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Thread: Seeking advice on a new purchase

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Seeking advice on a new purchase

    For the last year or so I've been purchasing rough lumber from a yard in my area. The lumber is much cheaper, but it does require that I spend a fair amount of time getting the material surfaced and square. For this I use an 8" benchtop jointer, and a benchtop planner. Final dimensioning is done with a Delta contractors tablesaw which I purchased about 25 years ago.

    I'm finally in the position (financially) to make a large tool purchase. I am torn between purchasing a 3hp Sawstop, or a jointer/planer combo like a Hammer A3-26, or Jet JJP-12HH.

    The Sawstop purchase would provide for the following:

    Greater safety
    Greater rip capacity
    More powerful motor
    Much more stable saw

    As I've matured as a woodworker, I've really come to appreciate, and realize the need for flat/square stock. This not only affects the final product, but also the enjoyment of the build process, which is why I'm considering upgrading my jointer and planer. A jointer/planer purchase would provide for:

    Greater surfacing capacity
    More powerful motor
    Greater accuracy

    Any thoughts on which way I should go? Any help or advice would be appreciated.

    Kevin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Sounds to me like the J/P brings a bigger bang for the buck based on your desire to work with rough lumber.
    --

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

  3. #3
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    +1 on the jointer-planer. Making stock that is flat and straight, and the thickness I need, is a big deal. A contractor-style table saw may be a little irksome to use, but it can do the job.

  4. #4
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    Jointer/Planer seems like the better choice.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2008
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    So Cal
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    +1 jointer planer.
    Aj

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Hirata View Post
    For the last year or so I've been purchasing rough lumber from a yard in my area. The lumber is much cheaper, but it does require that I spend a fair amount of time getting the material surfaced and square. For this I use an 8" benchtop jointer, and a benchtop planner. Final dimensioning is done with a Delta contractors tablesaw which I purchased about 25 years ago.

    I'm finally in the position (financially) to make a large tool purchase. I am torn between purchasing a 3hp Sawstop, or a jointer/planer combo like a Hammer A3-26, or Jet JJP-12HH.

    The Sawstop purchase would provide for the following:

    Greater safety
    Greater rip capacity
    More powerful motor
    Much more stable saw

    As I've matured as a woodworker, I've really come to appreciate, and realize the need for flat/square stock. This not only affects the final product, but also the enjoyment of the build process, which is why I'm considering upgrading my jointer and planer. A jointer/planer purchase would provide for:

    Greater surfacing capacity
    More powerful motor
    Greater accuracy

    Any thoughts on which way I should go? Any help or advice would be appreciated.

    Kevin
    I am no expert and an ameteur but I differ from the rest in saying contractor saws are not very good and I think I have the best with the Bosch. Since you have an 8" jointer I would opt for a good table saw, the centerpiece of a wood working shop.

    I am really struggling with my contractor saw now

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by John McKissick View Post
    I am no expert and an ameteur but I differ from the rest in saying contractor saws are not very good and I think I have the best with the Bosch. Since you have an 8" jointer I would opt for a good table saw, the centerpiece of a wood working shop.

    I am really struggling with my contractor saw now
    A contractor's style saw is different than your Bosch. It has a full size table, similar to a cabinet saw, and most often made of cast iron. Unlike the cabinet saw, the motor hangs off the back, is typically 1.5hp (induction motor, not a universal motor) and the arbor/trunnion system attaches to the table rather than the cabinet. This desin pre-dates the typical portable table saws and they weigh hundreds of pounds. While they theoretically could be portable to a job site and were often used that way "back in the day", most are used stationary in a shop.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 06-03-2020 at 3:36 PM.
    --

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

  8. #8
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    I definitely use the tablesaw as an "anchor" tool in my shop, in my processes and in my thinking. That said, I would rather have a good jointing and planing solution that almost anything else. I could probably even do without a tablesaw as long as I had a good bandsaw. Please bear in mind that the tablesaw is a joinery machine for me, not just a ripping and crosscutting tool. Giving a tablesaw up would reorganize a conservative 70% of my methods. Even still I would give up the tablesaw for a good J/P and bandsaw. To be clear; I mean a large, capable bandsaw. Giving up the tablesaw for a great J/P solution but, being left with a 14" cast iron clone would not make me happy.

    BTW, I own and love my Saw Stop but, I can cure a lot of low-end tablesaw issues with a good jointer and planer better than I can cure poor stock preparation on a tablesaw.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  9. #9
    In the unpopular opinion, I would say the table saw. If somsone told you that they would cut your fingers off your right hand if you didn't give me $3,000, you'd probably give it to them. Why not buy that insurance and gte a great tool? Buy the Sawstop! I did the same style upgrade from a Rigid contractor saw to the Sawstop and the difference is incredible.

  10. #10
    I vote for table saw.

    The cabinet saw gives better dust collection than the contractor saw.

    Further, accuracy is more important in a saw than a planer. That Sawstop will likely be a bigger improvement in accuracy than your bench top to a bigger planer would be.

    Next, the JP combos are nice (I have one), but they are marginally less convenient than the separates because of the switchover. Further your 8" jointer may have a longer bed and a more solid fence than some of the JP's you mentioned. Those things are more important in my shop than the extra width.

    If you are in the position, getting the Sawstop with the bigger mobile base, perhaps overarm dust collection, and perhaps the sliding table would give you a very, very clean and accurate and convenient tool.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Foster City, CA
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    Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond.

    Jim, that is exactly the contractors saw that I have. 1.5 HP, cast iron top and the motor hanging out the back. Good saw, but underpowered.
    I've enclosed the back of the saw to give me better dust collection. I also added a beefier fence.

    Matt, if it were not for the safety features of the SS, this decision would be easy, I'd get the jointer planer combo in a heartbeat. The safety brake is definitely a game changer, and as I get older, I do worry about that one little slip up which could cost me a few digits.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Seattle
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    398
    I surface most all my stock for my WWing hobby--a friend has a bandsaw mill-- and I get most stock at a bargain--
    I have a 12" jointer, 20" planer, and a SS and definitely think the J/P is the way to go. Wish I had a 16" jointer but a planer sled works well for 12"+ stock. The SS is a great machine but you will be money ahead by milling your own stock. True confession--salvaging nice lumber from rough "free" finds is a great cathartic. I have always used separate machines but the J/P combos have advantages and great reviews. Consider stock width when shopping. Good luck!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Massachusetts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    A contractor's style saw is different than your Bosch. It has a full size table, similar to a cabinet saw, and most often made of cast iron. Unlike the cabinet saw, the motor hangs off the back, is typically 1.5hp (induction motor, not a universal motor) and the arbor/trunnion system attaches to the table rather than the cabinet. This desin pre-dates the typical portable table saws and they weigh hundreds of pounds. While they theoretically could be portable to a job site and were often used that way "back in the day", most are used stationary in a shop.
    Ugh, I stand corrected

  14. #14
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    Jan 2008
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    Silicon Valley, CA
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    Kevin,
    where are you finding rough lumber now?

    Either upgrade looks useful, so I don't think there is an obvious right/wrong choice.


    Questions I'd have:
    - how are you for power? (220V?)
    - how are you for space?
    - how are you for dust collection?
    - what widths of material are you jointing/planing?

    For tablesaw:
    - is the sawstop fence an upgrade?
    - splitter?
    - (power and the detection circuitry are obvious improvements)
    - Are your running full-kerf blades and 8" dadoes?

    Jointer/Planer:
    - The switchover, as mentioned by Prashun, does slow things down a bit.
    - The A3-26 has pretty short tables compared to a standalone jointer; may be better than your benchtop, though.
    - are you thinking spiral or straight knives with the j/p?
    - you will need dust collection for j/p combos -- they clog quickly otherwise.

    - what is the finish quality with your current lunchbox planer? (are you getting much snipe? easy to change blades?)
    - If you get J/P, you may want to hold on to the lunchbox to use with the jointer.

    - (and did you see this 17" jointer?)

    Matt

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
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    1,506
    Kevin keep in mind most issues that happen on a Table saw are because of warped,twisted stock or edges that are not straight. I would upgrade the jointer/planer first. I noticed you have benchtop machines now,if you move to floor standing machines they will be more stable and capable.

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