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Thread: Baileigh JP-125 jointer/planer review

  1. #1

    Baileigh JP-125 jointer/planer review

    My JP-1250 is in and I've run a couple hundred feet through it (nothing exotic as yet), I know Shane and the boys at Baileigh are anxiously awaiting some feedback, so I thought I would get a preliminary review out there.

    The machine was nicely packaged with a decent crate and entirely bubble wrapped inside the crate (the skid wasn't quite up to the task though).

    To get the machine down my steep/narrow stairs single-handed, I broke it down into smaller pieces. It was surprisingly easy to dismantle, I only had to remove about 30 bolts.


    4) table pivot bolts (2 each)
    5) moving gear cover bolts
    4) cutterhead/drive roller hold down bolts
    4) motor access door bolts
    5) motor mounting bolts + cord
    4) wheel axle bolts
    4) planer table bolts

    With the machine broken down as above, the largest/heaviest component was the base cabinet w/planer elevation column and moving gear - maybe 200lbs: easily slid down a couple 1x6 runners down the stairs with the aid of a come-along.

    I was able to get it uncrated, dismantled, transferred to the basement and reassembled (w/cleaning and tuning) in about 4 hours.
    https://plus.google.com/photos/11571...CO7Eov39kOrMDA



    Fit and finish is quite good, the table surface grind is close to polished, the iron appears to be finely grained, there were a few sharp edges on the ground areas of the casting that I knocked down with a file: the paint is nearly perfect. I borrowed a 4' machinist's straight edge and checked the tables. I could get a .002 feeler gauge under the edge in a couple of places but couldn't get a .003" in anywhere. This is quite acceptable to me and, quite frankly, better than I expected.

    After I got the machine re-assembled I found that the tables were a bit out of co-planer (maybe .015" across the 4' straightedge, I didn't check them before I broke it down, so can't say how it was as delivered). This is pretty easy to tweak by adjusting 2 stop bolts on the front edge of each table. I found that I couldn't quite get the table entirely dialed in with the 4 adjustment bolts alone so I resorted to shimming one of the table mounting pivot points (one thickness of aluminum can) and was then able to make the tables satisfactorily co-planer (the most I can get under a straightedge in any orientation is .005").




    There are non-swiveling wheels integrated in the legs that run parallel to the tables. This is a great feature, but unfortunately, I need to move mine perpendicular to the tables. It should be quite easy to rotate the wheels in the rear of the machine, but the front ones are going to be more of a challenge: it would be great if the wheels could "go either way" from the factory. The wheel locking mechanism is far from elegant but I suppose it works: providing a bolt that was a more reasonable length and maybe a bushing to take up the wheel/axle slop would show more attention to detail.


    This machine comes stock with a "Warrior Machinery Spiral Tech" helical head. This head looks like a total knock off of a Byrd Shellix. It's super quiet which is critical in a basement shop, the finished surface off of this head seems to have less parallel scalloping than the surface off of the Byrd Shellix on the Grizzly 0609 at work. This machine comes with a 3hp 220v 1ph motor (one of the reasons I got it rather the the Grizzly with the 5hp which would have tapped out my panel) - It demonstrates no trouble planning up to 1/8" off of 8" wide hard maple, if I go much beyond that depth, it does seem to start struggling. I'm not planning on using this machine for massive stock removal, so I don't expect the relatively low power to be an issue for me.


    The conversion from jointer to planer and back is a simple 30 second process. Remove the fence, unlock the outfeed table, flip up outfeed table, unlock infeed table, flip up infeed table, flip dust collection shroud, switch hose: it takes much longer to describe it than to do it.

    front lft closed.jpg front lft open.jpg front rt closed.jpg front rt open.jpg back open.jpg back closed.jpg

    Dust collection is quite effective in both positions. I jointed and planed 3) fir 2x8x10's down to 1" and was left with maybe a gallon bucket of chips to sweep up. I'm hooked up to a 1-1/2hp Grizzly cyclone on a 12' x 6" run with a wye, a couple long 90's then a reducer to 4" and, until I nail down machine location, 10' of 4" flex hose.

    If this machine has a weakness, it is the fence. The fence slides parallel and perpendicular to the beds easily, but angle adjustment leaves much to be desired. At the moment the fence is not consistently perpendicular to the tables (~.050" difference from the leading to trailing edge) and there is no apparent adjustment mechanism. I discussed with Baileigh and they had some helpful suggestions, but no definitive answer. I think it is going to require some subtle filing of the fence pivot points to dial out this issue. While there are stops for 90 and 45, I don't know that I will ever have any confidence in them, I think there will always be a square or bevel gauge nearby. In addition to the twist, the fence itself is FAR from flat. With a machinist square and feeler gauge, I was able to find numerous hills and valleys of as much as .008" just in the 6" vertical height of the fence. Perhaps this is simply the nature of an aluminum extrusion vs a ground, cast surface, but it is going to bug me. I think I will probably hit it with a fly cutter on the CNC router at work to flatten it out. Of course the fence has to be removed to switch from jointer to planer but it is easy to take off and does seem to be accurate and repeatable (within the fences own limitations). Overall, I think the fence on the similar Grizzly G0634 seems like a better solution (though I haven't used it and it may certainly have issues of it's own).

    The work surface is higher than I expected, it's going to take some getting used to. This might actually work well as I have it configured as jointed boards will easily clear the extension table on my tablesaw and I can get short boards through the planer without moving the machine out from the niche between the tablesaw extension and outfeed.

    The cutterhead gives away the manufacturer, so I looked them up.

    http://www.warriorchina.com/Product....e=COMBINATIONS

    While there I noticed that the four threaded inserts on the front of the machine appear to be designed to accept a slot mortising attachment. Cool, I make mortises! I pulled the cover off of the end of the cutterhead and sure enough, there is a morse taper there just waiting to have a chuck slapped on it.



    I found a couple of European and Aussie vendors that sell what appears to be the same machine.
    :



    From one, the mortising attachment can be had for $247 AUD.


    http://www.machineryhouse.com.au/W615

    I sent an inquiry if they would sell/ship to the US but haven't gotten anything back as yet. I'm sure shipping would be more than the attachment itself, still... I asked Baileigh if they had any plans to carry the mortiser or if they could get me one, but they didn't seem too interested. I might have to add some tool shopping/shipping to my next travel plans.


    All in all, I am very please with this machine. A great alternative to separate machines with a very compact footprint. Baileigh shipped quick, offered good value for the dollar and has been responsive to inquiries thus for.

    If you've got questions ask, I'll try to update this thread as I get some more time on this machine.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Kevin Groenke; 04-04-2013 at 11:30 AM.
    Kevin Groenke
    Fabrication Manager
    UMN Design

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Doylestown, PA
    Posts
    5,911
    Good review Kevin. It sounds like you were able to break your machine down further than I was with a Jet JJP-12. I just removed the tables & fence which still left around 400 lbs. to move to the basement. I didn't see a practical way to reduce the weight further. We got it done but it wasn't easy. The Jet fence stops are for entertainment purposes only too. I haven't found it that big a deal to just use a speed square to set 45o and 90o. As long as the fence maintains its squareness when removed and remounted it should be good. Enjoy it.

  3. #3
    Great review and nice looking machine. Thanks and congratulations on your new tool. Did they throw in the cool Baileigh sign for your shop ? I'm flying out of Ontario, CA today, I'm going to stop by their show room on my way to the airport.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1,495
    Thanks for the review.

    Regarding the slot mortiser (at the risk of going on a tangent)- I have a Laguna 10" J/P combo machine. Aside from price, one of the reasons I chose the machine over the grizzly and Jet 12" machine was because of the slot mortiser capability.

    It comes down to the kind of work you do, but for me, I've found it to be a really big nuisance. It really gets in the way when you're using the jointer, and I swear it hits me in the leg every time I walk past the darned thing. I use the jointer on every single project I do, but I really only ended up using the slot mortiser once in my first few years of ownership (which incidentally caused my motor to burn out, but Laguna replaced the machine without issue). It's not practical to install it only when needed- you have to take a lot of time to align it in all 3 dimensions. It would take hours to do that each time you install it.

    So just last weekend I finally removed the thing. For me, it wasn't worth having it on the machine given the constant inconvenience. The other thing I didn't love about it is the lack of a miter slot. It seems you'd have the same issue with the unit you're considering. To complete the joint, you need to make a slot in the edge of one workpiece and in the end grain of another. The end grain cut requires perpendicular alignment. You can make a 90 degree block to rest against the lip on the front of the table, but a miter slot would be preferable.

    I haven't completely given up on having a slot mortiser- I'm currently cooking up a plan to use the attachment on a shop-built tool using a router and a left over cast iron extension wing from my table saw...

    Anyway, just wanted to throw my experience into the mix before you go through headaches to acquire the slot mortiser attachment. If you do enough slot mortises to be willing to deal with having to hunch over your jointer tables for all of your jointing operations, then have at it!

  5. #5
    Hey Kevin,

    Thanks for the detailed review, I'm leaning towards this machine and you've given me some good food for thought. I have a couple of questions if you dont' mind. Did the thought of getting a replacement fence come into play? Could the twist and flatness be an isolated instance with your fence, and maybe a replacement would be more acurate? Also, on the website and in their catalog, they claim that the fence doesn NOT have to be removed when switching from planer/jointer and vice versa. I even spoke with a rep who was apparently handling a unit while on the phone with me and said he believes the fence does not need to be removed from this operation. Could you confrim that? Have you tried it? I know the sample video posted by Baileigh shows the user remove it, so I'm confused with all the conflicting info.

    Thanks again for your answers in advance!!

  6. #6
    That looks suspiciously like this one:

    g0634xp.jpg
    I see some differences, but the basic design is the same.

  7. #7
    Great review... have been thinking about a J/P to replace a DJ20 and a 13" Planer.

    Were you compensated for you review? I see you have a giant baner you in shop.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Omar Lazo View Post
    Hey Kevin,

    Thanks for the detailed review, I'm leaning towards this machine and you've given me some good food for thought. I have a couple of questions if you dont' mind. Did the thought of getting a replacement fence come into play? Could the twist and flatness be an isolated instance with your fence, and maybe a replacement would be more acurate? Also, on the website and in their catalog, they claim that the fence doesn NOT have to be removed when switching from planer/jointer and vice versa. I even spoke with a rep who was apparently handling a unit while on the phone with me and said he believes the fence does not need to be removed from this operation. Could you confrim that? Have you tried it? I know the sample video posted by Baileigh shows the user remove it, so I'm confused with all the conflicting info.

    Thanks again for your answers in advance!!
    No problem Omar.

    I talked to Baileigh, they seemed to indicate that the fence issues were inherent in the design and material - they didn't offer to replace it and I didn't ask them to. I did file the bracket that the fence pivots on and was able to get most of twist out but I haven't had a chance to flatten the fence yet. Until the fence is FLAT, I really can't tell if it's perpendicular to the tables.

    It is possible to flip up the infeed table with the fence attached, but doing so results in the fence being pryed against it's locking mechanism which seems problematic: there are also corners bent sheet rubbing against each other resulting of some gouging of surfaces.

    I've been really busy this semester so haven't had much time to run the machine. With finals wrapped up, hopefully I'll making some chips in the near future.
    Kevin Groenke
    Fabrication Manager
    UMN Design

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Ruel Smith View Post
    That looks suspiciously like this one:

    g0634xp.jpg
    I see some differences, but the basic design is the same.
    I thought so too and the Grizzly was certainly a major contender. It's fence design might be better. According to Grizzly, theirs is made in Taiwan, the Baileigh says China on the label. I watched for a used machine and considered various new machines for a long time (to Hammer or not to Hammer), Baileigh's free shipping and discount just made for too good of a deal to pass up.
    Last edited by Kevin Groenke; 05-18-2013 at 12:18 AM.
    Kevin Groenke
    Fabrication Manager
    UMN Design

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by brian c miller View Post
    Great review... have been thinking about a J/P to replace a DJ20 and a 13" Planer.

    Were you compensated for you review? I see you have a giant baner you in shop.
    For the sake of full disclosure.

    A while ago when Baileigh launched their woodworking line, they were offering free shipping and a 5% discount to Creekers (and Lumberjocks) who were willing to post reviews and pictures of Baileigh equipment. They sent the banner and a bunch of ballcaps for the photo op.

    Other than the discount I have no affiliation with Baileigh and I have been fully candid in my review of the JP1250.

    Regards.
    Kevin Groenke
    Fabrication Manager
    UMN Design

  11. #11
    The problem, to me, with the Grizzly is that the helical head only having 32 inserts isn't enough. The original G0634 had a helical head using 56 inserts. The new one looks like the inserts are canted like a Shellix, but still... 32 inserts? At 20 ft. per minute I would think it needs more inserts to ensure a nice surface else slow the feed rate. Price is very nice, though.

  12. #12
    Thanks for the review. I am really thinking about getting this machine, I may order it this week. Do you have any updates, now that you have used it more? Do the beds stay in spec with the change over? Have you had any further problems with the fence?


    Earl

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