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Thread: Sorry! Another jointer question

  1. #1

    Sorry! Another jointer question

    I am new to woodworking (about 3 months). I have read many of the posts regarding jointers and 6" vs. 8". I realize you can joint wider boards with an 8" but most of the tables and panels I have seen have been made with 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 boards edged glued (if that is the appropriate terminology). So why would I need an 8" jointer. The cost is significantly greater and I am pressed for space. Is the 8" truly going to make a significant difference? I will also purchase a planer at the same time, just want to use the $$$ wisely.

    Thanks for you input

    John Patnott

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Southern MD
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    When you buy a 6" jointer, every board you get will be 7"+. You think I'm joking, but just wait until you get one.
    Jay St. Peter

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I was like you and thought there was no real need for a jointer wider than 8" in my case. It is true lot of the boards you face joint will be under 6" but as Jay said you will find a lot that are wider.

    An even better reason is the bed length.

    Another reason that was pointed out by some of the 12" jointer people is jointing the face of the board at an angle (I think its called scew or something like that). This results in much less tear out and I do it with every board I can. It causes the cut to shear the grain at an angle. Its a must for figured wood I'm told.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    I bought a Grizzly G0490 8" jointer last fall. The first board I jointed would have been too long for a 6" jointer.
    Don Bullock
    Woebgon Bassets
    AKC Championss

    The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.
    -- Edward John Phelps

  5. #5
    Don

    Are you happy with the G0490? Mine is due in this week and hoping I made the right decision.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Placitas, NM in the foothills of the Sandia Mountain.
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    Hey John,
    That's a good question. The problem comes when you start buying 'rough lumber' that will have bark on the edges and come in random widths and lengths. You buy it that way to get more control over the grain and figure in your work.

    As Jay said, if you buy a 6 inch jointer, the first board you need to joint will be 7 inches. I would generalize that to say if you have a 'n' inch jointer, the good boards will be n+1 inches wide.

    If you have a board wider than your jointer, you can rip it to be narrower, but sometimes that breaks your heart, when you have to destroy a handsome figure on the wood. I think the 2 and 3 inch pieces are ripped in a factory by a machine with no heart.

    Personally, I have an 8 inch jointer and I love it, but there are still boards too wide for it every now and then.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse Cloud View Post
    Personally, I have an 8 inch jointer and I love it, but there are still boards too wide for it every now and then.
    I would say it depends on the supplier and species. When I dig through the piles and pick the good boards at my current supplier around 1/4 of the boards I bring home are too big for an 8". About 90% would be too big for a 6. But, when I had a 6" and a different supplier it was really closer to 50%. But, I didn't always pick the best boards back then. I've learned to pick better boards and not be so concerned if they fit my jointer.

    One caveat, if a 6" is all you can fit/afford. Get one. Try to find one used so you won't lose anything when you eventually sell it. Just having flat lumber of any size brings your work to a different level.
    Jay St. Peter

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    St Marys, West Virginia
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    Funny thing is, I have an 8" jointer and sometimes wish I had a 12"!

    If you know you'll be working with narrow stock then a 6" will be great for you. In fact you will find some great prices from those selling theirs on Craigs List as well as here at the Creek.

    Buying the 8" was at my expense limit so that what I end up with. I have used all of the blade and glad I don't need to rip everything down just to use the jointer.
    One good turn deserves another

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Near Charlotte, NC
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    You know what, I was all over the place regarding the jointer purchase, from big 12" combo machines to 8" to 6" and back again. I decided I'm not going to buy one. I'm going to try rough flattening with power and hand planes and then using a planer. And also the sled method. And when/if I just don't like that anymore I will think about a jointer. But for now I will save the money and space.

    Just another option for you

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Going out on a limb here...Anything narrower than a 20" jointer is a serious compromise. I've brought home some 17" wide bubinga I didn't want to rip in half. Also didn't want to flatten it by hand. Seriously. Even 16" is kinda skinny. 12" is tight. 6" is just emaciated. I'd love to have a 20" Jointer.

    I have a 6" and an 8". Put em together and I have a 14"!!! I get a lot of woodworking done with them. If you are a professional custom furniture maker regularly using wide boards with special grain/figure for a living making $20K commisions than stop playing games and order a 20" jointer. Otherwise make a reasonable compromise based on your budget and shop space. Get the widest/longest tool you can.

    Nobody is going to tell you smaller is better with a jointer, but I'll tell you the one you can afford to own is better than the one you can't and don't.

  11. #11
    Rob Will Guest

    Go W I D E

    I would look for as wide of a jointer as you can possibly afford and find room for. It is very handy to have a jointer the same width as your planer. I know a guy who uses a 24" jointer and a 24" planer together all the time. The only reason that I bring that up is to make the point that an 8" jointer is not really all that big and if you get one, you will use it.

    8" is a nice all-around size and I would try to find a used one before investing in lesser "new" models. Watch for school auctions.

    Rob

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Patnott View Post
    I have read many of the posts regarding jointers and 6" vs. 8".
    You have already seen the discussions so you can only decide if you want to become one of us who has sold their 6" and moved up to an 8" or larger - or - spend it once. Now, if you want to join the walking wounded there is an upside; used 6" jointers are pretty plentiful . . . guess why.
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  13. #13

    jointer choices

    Adding another perspective if you are just starting out and are worried about the cash....buy something to get you going and upgrade later if you have to. I started out with a 1930's Delta Milwaukee it was a wonderful machine, but i outgrew it quickly even making small projects. Last year I bought the Grizzly G0586 8x72 2hp. It is awesome. This is the fourth grizzly tool I have bought and wil continue to buy more. Price is great, quality is superb, customer service is fantastic. I had a broken part once and they shipped it next day air for free. Definately consider the 8" it is more diverse but don't let the money cramp your wallet so that you can't get started. good luck

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Phoenix AZ Area
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Patnott View Post
    I am new to woodworking (about 3 months). I have read many of the posts regarding jointers and 6" vs. 8". I realize you can joint wider boards with an 8" but most of the tables and panels I have seen have been made with 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 boards edged glued (if that is the appropriate terminology). So why would I need an 8" jointer. The cost is significantly greater and I am pressed for space. Is the 8" truly going to make a significant difference? I will also purchase a planer at the same time, just want to use the $$$ wisely.

    Thanks for you input

    John Patnott
    Welcome John,
    Many here like to use very wide boards. I was trained to never glue up panels out of very wide boards unless they are quarter sawn as wood moves much more in flatsawn stock. I built tons of furniture with a 6" jointer. I eventually upgraded to an 8", but I did it more to get longer beds so I could do a better job on long stock. But my 6" jointer was an old 1940s Atlas that had a 36" or so bed.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    St. Louis
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    3,347
    Used to have a 6". Now have an 8". If I could have gotten a 12" or wider down the stairs, I would have gone that way.

    With a wider jointer you can skew a board to get a better cut. I also find it a significant time savings not to have to rip wider boards then glue them back up - especially on large projects.

    Go with the 8", you won't have any regrets - once you get past the additional cost.

    And the earlier comment about boards being N+1 is right on. Unfortutunately, I've got some that are N+4 or 5, but what can you do when you see that really nicely figured board?
    Where did I put that tape measure...

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