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Thread: Minimax 14" J/P vs. Grizzly 20" Planer & 8" Jointer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Montrose Colorado (SW Corner)
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    Minimax 14" J/P vs. Grizzly 20" Planer & 8" Jointer

    Hello,

    I have a quick opinion survey......Got a chance to buy a slightly used 14" Minimax J/P. I was planning on a new Grizzly 20" spiral head planer and a new Grizzly 8" jointer. The Minimax seems to be in great condition, although I have not seen it. I have read a ton of the past posts on combos vs. separates, but was wanting to see what the fellas out there would be thinking. I love the 14" jointer, but would be missing the 20" planer........They would be very similar in cost. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    p.s. I have lots of room, space is not really a consideration, and am involved in general woodworking and cabinetry
    Last edited by Jason Yeager; 12-27-2008 at 10:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Northern Michigan
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    I thought there was a law against saying MiniMax and Grizzly in the same sentence?

  3. #3
    If you're going to do much face jointing, I think a 14" jointer & planer would be more useful than a 20" planer & 8" jointer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    I have a 12" jointer and 20" planer. I would not trade two extra inches added to my jointer to have a 6" reduction in planer AND have them both in one machine that I have to change over to use each one. I am not good enough yet in my workflow to have combo machines.

    You could buy the combo and still buy a 15" or 20" planer latter on though if it does not work out.
    Glad its my shop I am responsible for - I only have to make me happy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    I have an MM FS350 (350mm/14"...actually 13.68 inches or something like that!) and love it. This was the precursor to the current FS35 Smart J/P combo. I like the combo format and the capacities it brings and rarely find a need for a wider planer...especially now that I know how to use hand planes to surface something really large.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Western Nebraska
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    Minimax. Not really comparing apples to apples in machine quality I don't think. Just my opinion though, others will disagree.

  7. Though I agree with a previous comment about machine quality, nevermind the brand names for a bit.

    Functionally, I suspect you'd be a lot better off with a wider jointer, or at least a jointer and planer that more or less match. Do you dimension a lot of stock more than 14" wide? If so, would you be happy ripping it to 8" widths to joint it? I guess what I'm asking is if you did have a 20" planer but only an 8" jointer, what would the combination of the two get for you?

    Another important question--since you're already involved in general woodworking and cabinetry, what machines are you considering the upgrade from? In what ways are they not working for you?

  8. #8
    I find that a matched jointer and planer works better for the type of work that I do (18th century furniture). Then again, I don't like to rip lumber to fit the machinery at hand..

    I find with most of the lumber that I buy, that a 8 inch jointer is only effectively be able to effectively face joint less than 35 to 40 percent of the time..

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Scottsdale, Arizona
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    469
    I have the 13 inch MiniMax combo because of space limitations, but if I needed 20 inch capability, I would consider the planer only, and build a wide jointer sled for it.

  10. #10
    I have the 16 inch MiniMax combo and love it. Even sprang for the carbide Tersa blades (and haven't yet felt the need to switch back to the HSS, even though I can do it in under 3 minutes).

    If I am making a raised panel door wider than 20 inches, the panel gets above my 16 inch max. My practice is to glue up each half, then joint and plane to close to final thickness, then VERY carefully do the final joint to put the two halves together. When the halves are joined, then do the final sanding with ROS or drum sander.

    My previous 6 inch jointer was basically useless for face jointing "good" wood (to be rated FAS or S&B, it must finish to over 6 inches wide). I was thinking of going to 8 inches, but watching the wood I was using for a while, 8 inches was only partially going to solve the problem. So I am pretty happy with 16 + 16

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Speaking as someone who only has a 6" jointer and 12.5" lunchbox planer, I'll toss my two cents in here and you can make what you will of it.

    The significant plus that the 8" jointer gives you is longer beds vs. the combo machine. The question is, will you really, really need the extra length? If not, then I would go with the combo machine. The extra 6" of width for face jointing is far, far more valuable than either the extra bed length, or the 6" inches of planer width.

    If I had my druthers, I'd have a 16" Hammer or Felder jointer/planer. However, since my givens are unemployment and no 240v power in the shop, I'll keep on pokin along with my current setup.
    It came to pass...
    "Curiosity is the ultimate power tool." - Roy Underhill
    The road IS the destination.

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Having recently changed from an 8" General jointer and 14" General planer to a 12" Hammer jointer/planer combo, I can tell you that I'm very pleased to have a wider jointer.

    I find the wider jointer to be valuable when I have wide stock, or to be able to skew the stock on the jointer for difficult grain situations.

    If you purchase the combo unit, I think you'll appreciate the increase in performance as well as the increase in jointer capacity.

    regards, Rod.

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    I use a MM FS35 (14") JP -

    The extra width of the Jointing capability is terrific. I would not want it any less as it has surfaced many a 10-14" board that I would NOT have wanted to rip in half.

    Any project that has a top up to 27" wide will only need 1 glue line.......that was my motivation for getting one.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Sanford View Post
    The significant plus that the 8" jointer gives you is longer beds vs. the combo machine. The question is, will you really, really need the extra length?
    A very good point. Outside of skimming to test for grain and color, I rarely will work a "long" board through the complete milling process. 5-6' would be a max component length for most furniture and cabinetry work so the so-called "short" beds of typical combos don't really affect matters. It's also very easy to provide extensions for that rare need to "go long". For me the "wide" is the important part since it allows me to do all kind of things that just will not fly on a narrow machine, including skewing the workpiece for a better cut on highly figured material and cleaning edges on odd-shaped items.

    Like Charley, I'm also a fan of the Tersa knife system on my Minimax J/P. I had an unfortunate nick the other day. It took less than 30 second to deal with it merely by moving one of the three knives to the left a skoosh and one to the right a skoosh.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post

    by moving one of the three knives to the left a skoosh and one to the right a skoosh.
    Jim, time to start practising metric measurements for the future.

    In the Metric system it's a "smidgen" for a small amount, a milli-smidgen for a very small amount, and a micro-smidgen for times when you want to appear as if you really can see as well as a twenty year old.....LOL.

    Regards, Rod.

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