Enlon Jointer Refurbish

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Blog entry by Jacob C. Heffelfinger posted 08-28-2013 08:07 PM 5325 reads 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I moved back to the US from Kuwait, I was determined to 1. Meet my newborn son, 2. Get several specific food items I had been missing, and 3. Build my shop up and get some furniture built.

My son is now 28 months old and has a 7 month old sister, I’ve eaten everywhere I wanted and then some, but I still have yet to make anything other than household necessities such as a simple shoe rack for my wife, a simple but fancy looking desk for myself, and shop stuffs. I’ve started an Adirondack chair from Rockler plans using white oak, but every time I start to make progress I find that I need to make something else to help in the process, so between family, work, and equipping the shop, it’s been a SLOW project.

The first of the many intermediary projects (my second favorite to work on) was the re-furbishing of a 30+ year old Enlon 8” Jointer. I found it on Craigslist and purchased it for $250, which I think was a great deal. It’s pretty much the same as the Grizzly G1018 and several other jointers of the period, so I downloaded the manual from Grizzly and figured out how to deal with any differences as I went along. It had only been used once by the guy I bought it from, but was sitting in storage for 16 years without having been cleaned up after its last use. Needless to say it needed some work.

There are many more pics here: Jointer Project

First I completely disassembled the jointer and cleaned it as best I could. Then, I striped the paint from the cast iron parts and the stand. I started by using a wire brush on a corded drill. This was WAY too time consuming, so I switched to chemicals on the stand. This worked well in the smooth sheet metal, but was not a fun way to go, so I switched to sand blasting. I did all of the sand blasting myself and that was fun! I protected the table and fence surfaces with blue tape and removed pretty much every speck of paint.

The rust on the tables and the fence was pretty thick after 16 years in storage. Luckily there was almost no pitting whatsoever. I started by using WD-40 and a Brillo pad to remove as much as possible. This didn’t get me very far, so I moved to 220 grit sand paper with CorrosionX and VERY light pressure. It might have been better to use a wire brush? I don’t know, but this still took awhile. Eventually I moved up through 400, 600, 1500, and 2000 grit sand paper finishing with a 3000 grit car polishing pad. The surface is slick, especially so after wax was applied) and flat.

After the paint and rust were all gone, I washed and primed each piece. I used 3 coats of Rust-Oleum primer, 3 coats of Rust-Oleum paint, and 3 coats of Rust-Oleum clear coat. It looked great at first, but I’m getting some nicks here and there. If I ever (I hope I don’t) get the urge to repaint this sucker again, I’ll use a spray system instead of cans and an automobile clear coat for hardness!!! I also painted the motor flat black and the mobile stand with a pounded metal spay paint.

Once the tables and fence were clean, all painted parts re-painted, and non-painted parts cleaned and greased or oiled, I put it all back together. I changed the power plug, replaced the belt with a Power Twist V-Link belt, and had the knives sharpened. That’s when the I started on the worst part of the whole project: Aligning the tables and knives. I ended up having to shim the outfeed table to get it perfectly co-planner with the infeed table. It took a long time, but was definitely worth it. Anyone who as ever set jointer knives knows how incredibly painful it can be. Especially when there are no screws to help with height adjustment, only springs! I’ve done it a few times now and I will be purchasing a spiral cutter head the next time the knives need sharpening!!!

I’ve now used the jointer to help dimension many board feet of white oak and it has been great!

-- ~Jake

9 comments so far

View OhioMike's profile


73 posts in 1579 days

#1 posted 08-28-2013 11:18 PM

Nice work. I’ll bet it didn’t look that good when it was brand new.

View Roger's profile


19704 posts in 2221 days

#2 posted 08-28-2013 11:48 PM

1st, let me say, Thank You for your service. Welcome Home. This is an awesome restore. Wow! Fantastic.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Jacob C. Heffelfinger's profile

Jacob C. Heffelfinger

32 posts in 1150 days

#3 posted 08-29-2013 12:34 AM

Thanks Mike!

Thank you Roger!

I should be clear, though that I am a DoD civilian serving those who serve us, but not actually in the military. I know I still provided service out there, but I always feel a bit awkward when I’m thanked and never actually served in the military or faced the vast majority of hazards that Service members have and do.

-- ~Jake

View WayneC's profile


12642 posts in 3514 days

#4 posted 08-29-2013 01:01 AM

Looks really great.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View doorslammer's profile


108 posts in 2986 days

#5 posted 08-29-2013 12:28 PM

Agree on the spiral cutter head. I recently purchased an old Bridgewood CT-200 and went through much of the same process. Ended up throwing those stupid springs out and just used a magnetic knife setting jig, but a spiral cutter head is probably in the works for this fall.

-- Aaron in TN -

View HokieMojo's profile


2103 posts in 3145 days

#6 posted 08-29-2013 07:09 PM

I was going to say it looks exactly like my grizzly, only a different color. Now you restored it and the color is closer, but it doesn’t look like my grizzley anymore!! Great restore. You took yours much farther than I did on my blog, and it really shows. Nice work and most importantly, congrats on the kids. Welcome home and I’m sure those in the military appreciate your efforts, so I do too. It’s not easy being away from home and family for so long during such big milestones.

View Jacob C. Heffelfinger's profile

Jacob C. Heffelfinger

32 posts in 1150 days

#7 posted 08-29-2013 07:54 PM

Thanks guys!

LOL, I got rid of those damn springs too, doorslammer.

Looked at your blog, Hokie, and your’s looks pretty good too.

-- ~Jake

View NormG's profile


5424 posts in 2421 days

#8 posted 08-29-2013 11:37 PM

That is one nice refurb job, the green looks great on this machine

Fantastic job, bet you learned a lot about this jointer

-- Norman

View Vince's profile


1105 posts in 2846 days

#9 posted 08-30-2013 09:15 AM


-- Vince

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