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Thread: More on Jointers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Central Virginia, just below Charlottesville.
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    More on Jointers

    Been following the 8" jointer discussion, especially the Grizzly 490. But what about the Grizzly 526 6" model? Is the trade-off in width and length worth what is apparently better cutting with the carbide spiral-insert blades and ease of cutter adjustment/changing? Setting: I am a beginning woodworker. I am thinking that it is not worth it, either the cut is not that much better or as a beginner I need the width and height to compensate for lack of experience--or both! Thanks.
    Bill Randall, novice but learning!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Kansas City, MO
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    Hi Bill,
    Wider Jointer means wider boards, period. Carbide spiral segmented cutter means better chip loading per cutter. These variables are not differentiated by skill. The spiral cutter head costs more and is available for the 8" as well. Which jointer is best for you will depend on the size of stock that you tend to work with.
    Chuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    York Co, PA
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    398

    Yes, 8" worth it

    Bill,
    You'll get vvarying answers, but most will tell you that 8" is worth is because you will very likely be handling wood in the 6"-8" wide range and having to first rip it down so that you can joint it is a real drag.

    YMMV, but that's my opinion on 6" vs 8".
    Good luck,
    -Mike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Central NY State
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    Depends. I started with a 4" outgrew it, 6" outgrew it, now have an 8". If you're a beginner, you may not want to make the bigger investment. Good news is that there's always a market for used equipment, and when you upgrade, you can usually sell and recoup much of your costs. Can you try out someone's 6" and 8" jointer to see how they feel for you? You might be more comfortable with the smaller unit.
    Good luck.
    Ken

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Central Virginia, just below Charlottesville.
    Posts
    5

    Cool 8 vs 6 spiral

    Thanks for the quick response, guys. I know the Grizzly 593 has both 8 and spiral, but my budget would really stretching. In an 8 inch, is the spiral worth the extra 250 clams (490 vs 593)? I'll never buy another jounter, at my age!
    Bill Randall, novice but learning!

  6. #6
    With a well-adjusted saw, edge jointing is rarely necessary. The primary "critical" use for a jointer is to flatten the face.

    I found my 6 inch jointer was almost useless. Top quality hardwood must finish to 6 inches wide to earn the FAS grade, which means that it must start at least 6 1/2 inches wide, which means even the narrowest boards won't fit on a 6 inch jointer. Since wide boards bring a premium, I think you will find most boards are between 6 and 8 inches wide.

    I upgraded from 6 inches to a 16 inch jointer, and love it, but that is more than I recommend for most people.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Kansas City, MO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Randall
    Thanks for the quick response, guys. I know the Grizzly 593 has both 8 and spiral, but my budget would really stretching. In an 8 inch, is the spiral worth the extra 250 clams (490 vs 593)? I'll never buy another jounter, at my age!
    Hi Bill,
    If it is worth $250 depends on your use. The wider the jointer, the more benefit you gain but at 8" it is chrome wheels more than power steering. If you don't get it you will not be kicking yourself later. If you do get it you will forget about the money after awhile. Regardless of what you decide on there is always the next model up that has some feature that just costs a little bit more...
    Chuck

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Anywhere it snows....
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    I recently posted at length soem viewpoints regarding smaller jointers in PM messeages to other members. What I told them was this. One element that makes a 12 inch to 20 inch jointer more accurate is the use of SUPER PRECISION bearings. Now if I have a 4 to 5 inch cutter head, its EASY to find all sorts of ABEC class 7 bearings for this machine.

    Smaller jointers like 6 and 8 inch jointers have smaller cutter heads. That means much smaller bearing journals and finding super precision bearings for these beasts becomes extremely difficult. Few devices in the past needed this level of precision on such a small shaft. And when such an item was built, its often a 20,000 RPM aerospace or super high end metal working instrument. Thus, if the bearing is available (A Mightly Big IF), then its going to cost more than the whole jointer is worth.

    So these smaller jointers have muddled through life with this limitation. Now trying to exchange heads with bryd shelix heads and what not can improve the performance of the jointer in some figured wood cases. But your not going to get the improvement you would had you changed out the bearings to super precision bearings.

    Changing the heads on a porter or northfield or even a larger mini-max jointer with these types of bearings will manifest some serious improvments in cutting performance esp. in figured woods. But in general, I personally would not change out the heads on 6 and 8 inch jointers unless I really had to. The price to improvment ratio is to high for my own needs.

    Just my penny's worth....
    Had the dog not stopped to go to the bathroom, he would have caught the rabbit.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Plesums
    With a well-adjusted saw, edge jointing is rarely necessary. The primary "critical" use for a jointer is to flatten the face.

    I found my 6 inch jointer was almost useless. Top quality hardwood must finish to 6 inches wide to earn the FAS grade, which means that it must start at least 6 1/2 inches wide, which means even the narrowest boards won't fit on a 6 inch jointer. Since wide boards bring a premium, I think you will find most boards are between 6 and 8 inches wide.

    I upgraded from 6 inches to a 16 inch jointer, and love it, but that is more than I recommend for most people.
    Excellent Points!
    Had the dog not stopped to go to the bathroom, he would have caught the rabbit.

  10. #10
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    By the way. I coined the term STICK JOINTER a few years back to describe the 6 and 8 inch jointers. The primary function of a stick jointer is to joint the edge of a board. Now the 8 inch jointer does have the ability to face joint some boards. But if your face jointing quite a bit, even an 8 inch jointer wouldn't be wide enough.

    My stick jointer is an older direct drive wallace 6 inch jointer from about 1920. Its being restored slowly but I have not done much work on it over the winter so that shows you how useful it is.

    My main line jointer is a 20 inch porter from 1961. Personally, I think your going to have pry this jointer from dead lifeless fingers!
    Had the dog not stopped to go to the bathroom, he would have caught the rabbit.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Vero Beach FL
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    594
    Bill

    I had an old garage sale 6" jointer and limped along with it for awhile, I bought the Grizzly and am very happy with the decision. I simply don't have space for a bigger machine in my garage/shop. I figured it was better to get the 8" capability and the parallelogram capability (knockoff of the Delta DJ20 that so many have raved about) and I am completely satisfied with my decision. I probably will upgrade the head to a shelix sometime in the future, but for now it is working fine.

    One of the advantages/disadvantages of this forum is that you'll get lots of advice from a wide range of people with different woodworking situations. You'll sort of have to read between the lines to calibrate the advice you listen to with the backgrounds of the people who are giving it. I envy the people that have the space for "big iron". It isn't going to happen at my house, so I have to make do with what I am able to squeeze into my space. But, all things considered, the 8" jointer has been a MAJOR step up in my ability to work with wood without having to rip stuff down. Besides, the real limiting factor is my 13" lunch box planer. If I have wider stuff, I take the guard off the jointer, joint a flat face, put that on a piece of mdf and run it through the planer to flatten the other side, then flip it over and remove the "rabbet" from the other side.

    Good luck with your decision, lots of good information here!

    Jay

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Dev Emch
    By the way. I coined the term STICK JOINTER a few years back to describe the 6 and 8 inch jointers. The primary function of a stick jointer is to joint the edge of a board. Now the 8 inch jointer does have the ability to face joint some boards. But if your face jointing quite a bit, even an 8 inch jointer wouldn't be wide enough.
    I guess it all depends on the wood you use. I don't think most amateur woodworkers regularly need to joint pieces that are wider than 8". I almost never buy any boards over 8" wide and it's not because I only have an 8" jointer. It's because 8" and narrower boards typically fall within my project and budget needs. I don't agree at all that the primary function of an 8" jointer is for edge jointing. You do realize that most people on this forum aren't professional production shops, don't you? Sure, I wouldn't mind at all having a bigger jointer but I would only rarely actually use that extra capacity over an 8" Most of what I buy is between 6" and 8" wide and at the two hardwood suppliers in my town this is the width of a lot of the wood they sell. Me buying a 20" jointer would be like me buying a bazooka to shoot squirrels. Only occasionally do I come across a really big squirrel.

    Bruce

  13. #13
    Bruce, I, too, rarely have boards over 8 inches wide. But when I glue up a panel, I only rough plane it first, then glue it, then joint and plane the complete panel. Ohhh so nice.

    I recently retired, and prefer woodworking to golf and fishing, and sell my work, so I am technically a professional, but I work alone and definitely do not push the big iron all day like a production shop. Nothing wrong with an 8 inch jointer, but you don't have to be a production shop to make good use of a 16 inch or larger jointer.

    Will you invite me over for squirrel stew when you get one of those really big ones?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Plesums
    Bruce, I, too, rarely have boards over 8 inches wide. But when I glue up a panel, I only rough plane it first, then glue it, then joint and plane the complete panel. Ohhh so nice.

    I recently retired, and prefer woodworking to golf and fishing, and sell my work, so I am technically a professional, but I work alone and definitely do not push the big iron all day like a production shop. Nothing wrong with an 8 inch jointer, but you don't have to be a production shop to make good use of a 16 inch or larger jointer.

    Will you invite me over for squirrel stew when you get one of those really big ones?
    Hi Charlie. I do understand that there certainly are uses for an aircraft carrier sized jointer. My main point was that for the majority of face-flattening jointing tasks in the average hobbiest shop an 8" jointer does a lot more than just straighten an edge. I have pretty good luck gluing up panels that are flat enough that a wider jointer isn't really necessary. My ROS and 13" planer has taken care of any slight irregularities. Another point is that the jump in price as well as the extra large foot print is beyond what most hobbiests are willing or able to deal with when an 8" or, for some, even a 6" is all they'll ever need. Another poster pointed out that most affordable lumber is between 6" and 8" so, at least for me, a 6" jointer wasn't going to cut it. I currently have an 8" Sun Hill with 65" beds. I work in my garage shop and space is a big consideration. I almost bought their version with 72" beds but the slight extra length cost a lot more and it just wasn't worth it for me. I've yet to come across a jointing task where the extra few inches would've made the job easier. But because of the way I have to roll around all of my large tools to keep them out of the way the extra length and width of a monster jointer would certainly be noticed. Now, if someone was kind enough to send me a 16" jointer for free I would certainly deal with the space issues but for the big jump in extra expense and considering how little I'd use the extra capacity it would've been a waste for me. I guess it all boils down to what sort of projects you build and your techniques.

    Now, about that squirrel stew...It's been a few years since I've been deer hunting but way back when I used to hunt with my dad, and sometimes after that, whether or not we got our deer we would usually see a lot of Gray squirrels. Sometimes we would carry along a .22 for such occasions but usually we just had a 30.06 and let me tell ya, if you aren't good enough to just blow the head off of the squirrel you weren't going to have much left to eat. We usually were successful with more than half of what we shot but with some all you could find was a couple of legs and maybe the head. (Sorry for the graphics but nobody said hunting was pretty) Pretty good eating though. Now days I have so many big, fat Gray squirrels living in my backyard and all around my neighborhood that I could practically catch them with a net. We leave then alone though...For now. I'll drop you an email when I get tired of them driving my dogs crazy and I decide to fire up the ol' stew pot.

    Bruce

  15. #15

    jointer purchase

    Hi Charlie, a little over a year ago I gave my old craftsman 6" jointer to a
    friend and ordered a 10" Oliver. Now I am looking at a helical cutter about 700. Wish I had bought a 12" with the helical already on it. No
    matter how big you get it is never big enough. Jim

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