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Thread: Jointer recommendations?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Crystal Lake, IL
    Posts
    577
    I like having the ability to move machines around my shop, too. What I don't like is the expense, or the cheapness, of many of the mobile bases for woodworking and metalworking machinery. One of the benefits of a quality machine is its mass, and thus, the ability to dampen vibration. A mobile base can be very limiting in that regard, as it makes a machine a little less stable, and allows it to vibrate more.

    Because of that, I decided to just make all my machines in my shop mobile by owning a $50 pallet jack off of craigslist. I also added a $75 2 ton engine hoist, which folds up quite nicely inside a 24" X 15" space when not in use. I have machines upwards of over 10,000 lbs. in my shop, and I can move every single one of them with 1 (or sometimes 2 needed, and I added a 2nd pallet jack 2 years ago) pallet jack, and lift most of them with the hoist. I have picked 2700 lbs. of bandsaw up in the air with my engine hoist, carefully rigged with lifting straps, which cost about $8 apiece.

    Here's some food for thought, for those that have stayed away from the bigger quality machines because they deemed it difficult to move them. It really is quite easy.....

    Here's a pallet jack and some cribbing making a 1800 lb. jointer mobile



    And here's an engine hoist lifting it off a trailer.....with ease. Just pull the trailer right out, and set it down nice and easy.



    Sounds like you've already made up your mind about which way you want to go, and I'm not trying to convince you otherwise. I'm just sharing what I've learned over the past many years, and $50 for a pallet jack, and another $75 for a hoist is a heckuva lot cheaper than $150 mobile bases for each and every machine in the shop......by a long shot. My pallet jack is rated for 5500 lbs., but it will lift and move my 6500 30" planer by itself. Past that weight, I bring in the 2nd jack. Most machines discussed here are much less than half that weight.
    Jeff

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    6,619
    It's only a hassle to bring a used machine home if you let it be. For the cost savings you normally get buying used you can afford to pay a moving company to pick it up and deliver it to your door. Problem solved. And with a used machine you pretty much know what you are buying if you can see it run. Whatever damage there is is visible, not hidden inside a crate, and the price you pay reflects any issues, or you walk away. There's no dealing with customer service; the original owner did that.

    And you have a space issue, so you should definitely consider a combo machine. Minimax owner here, one built in the '80's. Bought it used; still runs like new. Change over from one function to another takes less than a minute and the tables are always flat and coplanar. The tables are plenty long enough at 60 something inches to comfortably handle 8' lumber. I'll take wide over long any day. I started with a 10" wide J/P, now this one is 14". If you use much rough lumber 8" is going to seem very narrow, very soon.

    John

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    52,901
    Quote Originally Posted by Corey Pelton View Post
    Plus the switch over is a pain that I'd rather not deal with.
    I can honestly say with a straight face, that the changeover is neither a pain nor time consuming. It take me about a minute and a half....and that's if I'm loafing.
    --

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

  4. #19
    Ok, seems I'm off base with the change over complaints. And, table length is probably adequate for most of my work (10 ft boards at most). My experience with change over machines is mostly Jet bench top j/p combo, and that thing was a nightmare, hah. Sold it with in a couple months of having it, hence why I'm in need of a jointer again. I'm of the mind of sticking with quality, but if I don't have to bust the bank, I won't. I know people have complaints about Grizzly machines, but I've had good luck with mine so far.

    Hammer's fence seems to be a bit of an issue, and for the price, I wouldn't expect any issues with such a thing. MM machines look very comparable (Classic and Elite). Looks like they also have a "silent" cutter available. I do prefer the quietest machine I can get, as the Dewalt is the single loudest machine I have.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
    Posts
    9,974
    Hi, there aren't any issues with the Hammer fence that I'm aware of, they work just fine.

    I've owned both generations of the jointer/planers for a decade now...........Regards, Rod.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    52,901
    Corey, I'm going to also suggest that unless there's a really, really special reason why you need to process a really long board, like that 10 footer you mention, don't do it beyond just skimming it to see what you got. Then mark it up for smaller pieces with chalk for project components (leaving a little extra of course) and then flatten and thickness. Table length then becomes almost a non-thought. I the rare moment I need to do a longer board for some reason, I'll use a little external support just to help insure I can handle the workpiece safely and securely, allowing me to stay focused on the machine table. It really is rare that we have to fully mill really long stock outside of special needs.

    Please don't rule out a quality J/P combo if you can fund it because of concerns about changeover and table length. While separates are pretty necessary for a production shop, I believe that most of us who work alone can enjoy impressive jointing capacities and great space utilization with these machines.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 04-02-2018 at 7:30 PM.
    --

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

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Central WI
    Posts
    5,501
    If you go the J-P route, do your homework and understand that build and condition are huge when buying. I don't own one so I have no personal experience ( I'm mainly an old iron guy ) but I participate on both the Felder and MM forums and J-P issues are common topics of discussion. Not a warning in any way, but don't go into any machine without studying some. Dave

  8. #23
    I took up Peter's suggestion about Craigslist, and contacted the owner of the FS41 Elite. Going to go have a look Saturday. Anything I should be on the look out for that would make me walk away? Anything about this particular machine that's a pain or has been improved in later versions? Not sure about year of manufacture for this yet.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Edmonton, Canada
    Posts
    2,287
    I have a minimax FS350 J/P that have taken apart into pieices twice and put back together when we moved twice. It is an excellent machinr and aside from the initial setup i had to do each time i didnt need to touch that again. Change over takes a minute or two but I am quite happy with the width. Wish it was wider!

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    1,838
    Quote Originally Posted by Corey Pelton View Post
    I took up Peter's suggestion about Craigslist, and contacted the owner of the FS41 Elite. Going to go have a look Saturday. Anything I should be on the look out for that would make me walk away? Anything about this particular machine that's a pain or has been improved in later versions? Not sure about year of manufacture for this yet.
    Great! I'd say bring a long straight edge to check the tables are co-planar. There should also be a Johnson bar type thing with wheels for moving it. Looks like a 2005-era machine but the hours are pretty low and it seems very clean I'd say the price is relatively reasonable.

    This machine can accept a mortising table as well. These should be available from SCM.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    52,901
    Quote Originally Posted by Corey Pelton View Post
    I took up Peter's suggestion about Craigslist, and contacted the owner of the FS41 Elite. Going to go have a look Saturday. Anything I should be on the look out for that would make me walk away? Anything about this particular machine that's a pain or has been improved in later versions? Not sure about year of manufacture for this yet.
    There have been some minor revisions over the years, but it's essentially a "top shelf" machine. Like Mreza, I have the FS350 and it's been rock solid other than a bad switch right at the beginning many years ago. And I'll be jealous if you can score that FS41 Elite...there have been a few times that I wished for the 410mm/16" width over the 350mm/13.68" width I have.
    --

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

  12. #27
    I'm half debating with myself about the FS41 Elite, over say a new A3-31. The price (straight knives) isn't too much higher for the A3-31. Also, Felder's showroom isn't far from me, and I'd like to see what they have on offer. The quotes I've gotten back for a new FS41 Elite have been quite a bit below retail listings, so I take it the Minimax sale is still going on? Still, it's over 7K for the new MM, which would be nice, but I could get a drum sander plus the used machine, or even a new Hammer for cheaper. There's also a FS30 Smart owner I've been in contact with. Under 3K for the machine, and he swears its mint and was barely ever used in the 10 years he's owned it. Gotta say I'm always concerned with machines that sit unused for long periods of time. Like most things, I'm probably overthinking it.

    Again, that for all the help, everyone. You guys are invaluable resource!

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    1,838
    I think Felder builds stuff to to order so you might want to inquire as to what the current wait time is for an A3-31. I don't believe these are stocked in the US.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
    Posts
    9,974
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Kelly View Post
    I think Felder builds stuff to to order so you might want to inquire as to what the current wait time is for an A3-31. I don't believe these are stocked in the US.
    Hi Peter, you would have to check to be sure.

    In Ontario Felder bring in "standard" machines as stock and sell them, so you can often find the more popular configuration in stock........Rod.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Doylestown, PA
    Posts
    6,126
    Jim gives good advice about board length. A rule of thumb that seems reasonable to me is that a jointer will surface a piece 1.5 to 2 times the bed length. The Jet JJP-12 I have has 55" beds so it should surface 82" to 110" boards. My experience says 1.5X is better, longer really needs additional support, roller stands in my case. I learned to cut boards to rough length then flatten them when soon after getting the Jet machine I flattened a bowed poplar board about 8' long. By the time I was done it was flat but both ends were about 3/8" thick. So now I skip plane to get an idea about grain and flaws, cut to rough length then flatten. It wastes much less wood. I'm working with rough sawn wood in case that's not obvious.

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