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Thread: My first jointer. New or used?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Northeast WI
    Posts
    73

    My first jointer. New or used?

    Hello. I am looking to purchase my first jointer, but could use some advice. I have used a jointer in high school and at my uncle's woodshop, but have never owned one. I went to school to fix industrial machinery, so working on a used machine doesn't intimidate me, as I used to work on machines that were similar to jointers, except the blades were 8ft long and the material went under the cutters. It was almost like a giant thickness planer, except it didn't cut wood.

    I am wondering if I am better off buying a used jointer and fixing it up or if I should just buy a new one. I do not have a thickness planer yet and would like to buy one shortly after a jointer and would like to buy a decent machine.. Is it worth the time buying a cheap jointer on Craigslist and getting it all set up or am I better off buying an entry level unit and avoiding the headaches? I am looking at a Craftsman 113.20650 on Craigslist right now for under $100, and it looks to be in decent shape. Otherwise I was looking at the Ridgid floor model for a new jointer. I don't have room for and 8in or bigger right now, so looking for a 6" until I can hopefully move to a larger space in the distant future.

    What are your opinions? Should I spend time trying to make something out of nothing or money on a decent unit and be done with it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    2,368
    Stay away from the craftsman jointers with a fixed outfeed.
    Look for a something in the 8inch range itís a good starter jointer.
    Bring a reliable straight edge to check the tables for humps or hollows.
    If you post your general location we might be able to help with any good choices.
    Good Luck
    Aj

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Northeast WI
    Posts
    73
    I am in the Northeast Wisconsin area, near Green Bay.

    I would love to get an 8" jointer but I just don't have the room in my workshop right now.

    And I respect you saying to avoid the fixed outfeed table jointers, but may I ask why? I only ask to learn as I have used jointers, but have never really worked on one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    West Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    5,216
    A fixed outfeed table jointer has no adjustment in it, therefore adjustments to make the cutterhead parallel to it are done with shims, which can be a pain.

    If you like woodworking youíll want to upgrade on the sooner side, so getting an 8Ē jointer makes more sense. They really donít take up that much more room, so make sure you really consider it.

    Definitely buy used whatever you do.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    West Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    5,216
    Sometimes you have to drive a bit, but there are some good options out there around you.

    Get this one:
    https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/tls...939625350.html
    Or this:
    https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/tls...923774747.html

    And get this to help set it up:
    https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/tls...952977880.html

    Or this one if you really want a jointer:
    https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/tls...6939625350.htm

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    1,012
    I agree with both Matt and Andrew on this one,look for an 8 inch machine and buy used. One thing that seems to trip up people looking for their first jointer is not understanding completely what this machine should accomplish. The jointers job is to flatten one face of a piece of lumber and then to make a square edge. Some people miss the flatten part. This is why you will outgrow a 6 inch jointer very quickly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    6,055
    Used. And a fixed outfeed table makes it a little harder but not that much, so I wouldn't shy away if you get a good deal. Especially on a 6" which you will like upgrade from anyway. If the tables are flat and parallel and it runs smoothly it will serve your needs.
    If space is a real issue you might want to look for a used combo J/P instead if two separate machines. I've been using one for 30 years.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Northeast WI
    Posts
    73
    Matt, I appreciate the suggestions, but there isn't a snowballs chance down under that the 12" jointer will fit down my stairs and I'm not afraid to drive, but is that delta really worth over $200? I'm not afraid of a project, but that's over a 6 hour round trip from where I live and it looks like it's in pieces.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Putney, Vermont
    Posts
    678
    Jason, Buying a used jointer is a good way to save yourself some money that you could use for other things.
    I think differently then others in that I think a 6" jointer makes a good first choice. There are plenty out there and they don't cost that much considering the labor saved in having one. Take your time and buy a good one.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    West Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    5,216
    I know you wonít get the 12Ē, just fun machines to look at. I started with a 6Ē, then 8Ē, now I have a 12Ē Northfield. By the way, my shop is in the basement with a turn in the stairs.

    The vintage cast iron base one is worth the money if itís all there. Itís a sought after style and those bases are rare. The open stand one is an easier project.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Central WI
    Posts
    5,251
    There are lots of used jointers in Wis. If you need cheap and want to learn before spending a lot, find a 6" but don't spend over $250 as you will shortly want more. An 8" is more like 450-850 range. Lots of choices too. Don't be afraid of old names like Yates, Boice Crane, Rockwell, etc. The old cast iron is usually good and you can bring a long straight edge to check the tables. Jointers are all about flat tables and used are as likely to be flat ( or more so ) than new. Dave

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Northeast WI
    Posts
    73
    Matt,

    They are indeed fun to look at. My shop also has a bend in the stairs, and makes heavy equipment and interesting workout to get downstairs. Lol.

    I did not realize the old Delta's are sought after. If I didn't know any better, which I don't, it looked like a giant pile of scrap metal

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
    Posts
    418
    The real question is do you want to be able to flatten wood? I know a friend who make cabinets who only uses a 6" jointer. He's able to get by because he only buys flat s4s lumber. But that can be a pain as wood moves and the longer it sit the more it can move. I like rough cut wood. I can let it sit at my house until I'm ready to use it. Usually it's adjusted to my shop so once I flatten it it stays that way. My friend only buys enough wood for about a few days worth of work while I like to buy enough for the project and some spare to just have on hand. With a 6" jointer you can get by but you will learn to do tricks to work around the limitations. There's a reason why more than half the used jointers for sale are 6" ones.

    Another neighbor does woodworking commercially. We have an agreement where he allows me full use of his shop in exchange for favors I do for him. He loves old equipment. The last time I had a pile of rough cut to flatten and square up it was on a 20" jointer that had babbitts vs bearings. It was a huge machine but could flatten a 12' board better than a pool table. If you look at used equipment you may come across one with these. You don't need to shy away but you should read up a little as you make find a great deal.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Exeter, CA
    Posts
    358
    I started out with a used 6" craftsman jointer, used it for prob 20 years. Then upgraded to a used Powermatic 8". Realized then that the Craftsman never really worked - not a typo - it never really worked. I was blown away at the difference. I love the Powermatic. I took a full day to carefully dial it in with a dial indicator. Also, after a while, I replaced the cutter head and motor bearings and had the knives sharpened. I'm convinced that it will be working just fine for many years to come. What a joy to use. Most of my big stuff is used that I have totally rebuilt. Saves tons of money and I enjoy doing it. No formal training, just follow my nose and am careful to document how it comes apart. Good luck with whatever you buy but, please only buy quality stuff, then you won't have to replace it later on. My two cents. Randy

  15. #15
    Iíve got an Inca 570 jointer for sale in Duluth, MN. Could meet you half way or something

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