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Thread: Older style craftsmen jointers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Location
    Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    41

    Older style craftsmen jointers

    Due to not having a table saw for a while, I’m back in hunting cheap tools mode. Down here in SW FL there’s not a lot of used stuff on Craigslist. What does come up are the older Craftsman jointers. I know nothing about how they’re built compared to current types on dovetail ways.

    I pretty much have no budget (spent it on table saw) so I have to old and cheap. Years ago, I had a Jet 6” that I was satisfied with. I’d love 8”, but probably won’t find one, and can live with 6”.

    Back to my question, are the older craftsman serviceable to where they work well? Or do I want to skip that design all together?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    366
    They will run forever. So long as the beds are flat, co-planar and not pitted and the knives are adjusted properly, it will do an admirable job.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Jim Mackell
    Arundel, ME

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    3,183
    If your thinking about the craftsman jointer with a fixed out feed table I recommend you pass. I had one until the internet was born and showed me the error of my ways.
    I see them all over Craig’s list on the west coast.
    Good Luck
    Aj

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    60,584
    What Jim said. As long as you can tune the machine so it's properly aligned and has sharp knives, you'll be fine for edge work and face jointing narrower boards. Jointers are not complicated tools so it comes down to mechanical basics.
    --

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

  5. #5
    Stay away from that design. The fixed outfeed table means you have to set the knives dead nuts to work properly. It is much easier to dial in with an adjustable outfeed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,003
    I had that exact machine for many years and it worked very well. If I had enough room I'd have kept it.
    I got an 8" jointer and the extra width is great, yes, but the 6" did a lot of work for me too.

  7. #7
    I have one I have used for over 40 years. I also have a 16" for face joining but the6" gets more use.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Doylestown, PA
    Posts
    6,921
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Hughes View Post
    If your thinking about the craftsman jointer with a fixed out feed table I recommend you pass. I had one until the internet was born and showed me the error of my ways.
    I see them all over Craig’s list on the west coast.
    Good Luck
    What Andrew said. The fixed outfeed table would be a non-starter for me. I'm not familiar with vintage Craftsman machines, there may be old Craftsman jointers that have adjustable outfeed tables.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
    Posts
    1,093
    I had a Rockwell that had the fixed outfeed table and it did a lot of work for me for 10 or more years. I sold it this summer after buying a 6" Jet with longer tables, but I was happy with the old one too. It's not hard to set the knives to the outfeed table, it just takes a little while of fidgeting around.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Lancaster, Ohio
    Posts
    987
    check it out really well, if okay then go with it
    for changing blades get a magnetic blade holder 2 pc set that rests on the outfeed table and holds the bade in the correct position. fast easy and accurate
    you are not setting up a 2k+ machine
    Ron

    Rockler Magnetic Jointer Jig | Rockler Woodworking and Hardware

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Posts
    640
    I used an old Cman 6" with fixed outfeed table for a couple of decades. Knife adjustments were a one hour pain, but once dialed in, it worked very well. If you're on a budget, might be a great option imo.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Somewhere in the Land of Lincoln
    Posts
    2,082
    What Kevin said but it worked for me in the time I had it. I set the blades with a dial indicator and all was good. They must have sold a million of them because they come up for sale frequently. I think there is 500,000 for sale at this moment.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    2,893
    Co-planer? The most popular jointer on social media sales sites is the fixed out feed table 6" version. That is a miserable machine for setting blades. I had one, avoid it!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    538
    I had one for 25 years or so. It cut well and accurately but lack of good dust collection was a big issue with it. I had difficulty changing the blades with it. Not really the machine’s fault, mostly user error. Overall, it served me well for a lot time until I upgraded to a wider, high quality combo machine.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,222
    Find a few videos on setting the knives. This is the cure for the previous complaints.

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