This post will just cover the basic assembly of the jointer and the issues I encountered. I am currently experiencing a serious issue with the alignment of the fence, which I will cover in a subsequent post.
The cabinet for the jointer is one-piece and comes almost fully assembled. The motor is preinstalled, but it’s still manageable with one person to get it out of the box and maneuver it as necessary. You need to install the locking foot pedal, which requires a 13mm wrench for two bolts (a socket wouldn’t fit, so I used a crescent wrench, which did), and two 17mm wrenches for another bolt (used a 17mm socket and the crescent wrench). After the pedal’s on, just adjust the leveling feet and you’re done with the base. The locking foot pedal is GREAT. Works very easily and immediately makes the base surprisingly mobile, even with the weight of the jointer and fence on it. Really appreciate this design.
Next you need to mount the jointer tables and cutter head assembly. I don’t know what this thing weighs, but it’s heavy. The instructions recommend you get another person to help you. I did not take this advice and managed to mount it on top of the cabinet and get it aligned with the three mounting holes more easily than I expected. It’s one of those things that’s more difficult to pick up because it’s awkward than because it’s so heavy.
Having mounted the jointer atop the cabinet, I came across my first assembly hiccup. Grizzly sent me 2 too few 10mm flat washers and 2 too many 8mm flat washers. Of course, I didn’t notice until the jointer was already on top of the cabinet and I could only get one screw in. Miraculously, the only size of washer I happened to have was 3/8”, and these worked perfectly: the hole size on them was actually closer to 10mm despite their nominal size. Mounting these bolts was, frankly, a pain, as it involves reaching up awkwardly inside the cabinet to insert the washers and screws. For the outfeed-side screw, you have to contort your arm and wrist up and through the dust port. Doable, obviously, but a chore.
At this point, I decided to take a closer look at Grizzly’s inventory and compare it with what I had and with what the instructions said I needed. Basically, it doesn’t correspond to either one. Here’s a picture of the notes from my trying to tie everything:
Grizzly gives you 8/10mm and 12/14mm but none of these sizes are used in the actual assembly! From reading through the entire manual, I think a 10mm wrench is required for gib adjustments, but I can’t find any need for an 8, 12, or 14. Weird.
They listed 5 10mm lock washers, but the instructions only use 3, and they only gave me 3.
The Phillip head screws and associated washers are to hold the dust port on, but they were already attached to the cabinet when it arrived.
Anyway, not a catastrophe, I just mention it so people know what they may be dealing with.
Assembling the rest of the pieces was relatively straightforward with two minor exceptions.
First, when loosening the motor-mount bolts to allow the motor to slide down and tension the v-belt, my crescent wrench wouldn’t fit, a socket wouldn’t fit, and it’s a 13mm nut, which Grizzly doesn’t provide the wrench for, as noted above. Thankfully, my neighbor was there and he had a 13mm combo wrench, which spared me a trip to the store. If you plan on getting this jointer, a 13mm would be useful since it is a frequently used size, and it’s absolutely essential for adjusting the motor.
Second, upon mounting the switch arm, I discovered that they did not include the two cord clips that are meant to be mounted to the backside. Not a dealbreaker, but frustrating.
Anyway, overall the process wasn’t too bad and soon I was done, leaving me with this great looking machine:
As you can see, I left the wax paper covering on the bare cast iron surfaces on the tables and fence to protect them during the assembly. Well, last night I took them off to degrease everything and that’s when I noticed some, I think, serious issues with my fence assembly and table. I’m investigating it a little more, taking some more pictures, and will do another post where I hope to solicit some help from the LJ community.
Thanks for reading!