Jointer Refurbish #1: Refurbish Begins

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Blog entry by PTIII posted 11-09-2011 07:15 AM 9160 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Jointer Refurbish series Part 2: The Completed Body »

My father had acquired this old, apparently inoperable, Sprunger jointer when I was much younger. Over the years, I watched it continue to accumulate dust as it sat in the corner, never repaired to be used. My dad kind of got away from any woodworking since that time, but I’ve developed a stronger interest. I have made efforts to “economically” outfit a respectable shop, and in that vain, was able to negotiate this salvageable piece of equipment for my own use. It is a Sprunger Bros, Inc. jointer, model J6N, manufactured in Topeka, IN. I am still trying to understand when it may have been built. The serial number is 55427, which as near as I can tell, seems to indicate it was manufactured sometime in the 60s. If anyone can offer anymore information on it, I’m interested to learn.

At any rate, I thought it might be kind of fun to capture some of my efforts to refurbish this machine. So here is a picture of the machine on my bench before teardown. I am certainly open to comments, information, or other feedback.

-- Patrick, Jacksonville, IL

6 comments so far

View canadianchips's profile


2602 posts in 3018 days

#1 posted 11-09-2011 02:03 PM

Have fun refurbishing this old tool. I like old tools, giving them a new life. I might suggest replacing the bearings while you have it apart. They might look good, they are relatively cheap. Looking forward to seeing the AFTER pictures. BEST of LUCK !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 3808 days

#2 posted 11-09-2011 04:39 PM

PTIII; Looks like a nicely made heavy model. As you ask for comments:
Its not really a family heirloom, so before taking a large amount of time cleaning all the grime and rust and doing a full refurb you might be well served to determine if it can be made operational at a decent cost. Questions you might ask yourself: Does it have a stand,belt, bracket and motor? Does the motor work/run smoothly? are the blades ok. Are they a size and condition that can be replaced/sharpened? Are there any missing/broken parts (like turn handles)? Can you get parts? Are the beds flat? Is the fence true (90 degrees to the beds across its length)?
You could get into this with a bunch of time and effort, and still have a big chunk of change in it. DAMHIKT.
That said, It is not my intent to discourage you. Many of the castings of yesteryear are far superior to those of today and given the right circumstance (and ability) you could end up with a great machine that would serve you a lifetime woodworking. I now am of the opinion that a successfull refurb of an old machine lies in gathering the details and making sound decisions up front (prior to getting started).
Very much looking forward to seeing your progress if thats where your path leads you.

View PTIII's profile


16 posts in 3786 days

#3 posted 11-09-2011 04:58 PM

Thank you so much for your interest in my project.

I’m realizing now that there are a few points I forgot to mention, which I hope will address your concerns. With my background in mechanical and maintenance engineering, I can certainly appreciate evaluating the value of the rebuild prior to beginning. I was able to confirm that, after all, it really was operable. It just needed some “tweaking.” The motor seems to run good, and all of the parts seem to be present. I plan to replace the stand that I got with it. The bearings were marginally OK, so I did purchase replacements. And as near as I can tell, it appears to be pretty straight and true. I currently have it completely disassembled, and am in the process of cleaning.

Thanks again for your interest and feedback. I hope you’ll continue to check in on the progress, and provide other input.

-- Patrick, Jacksonville, IL

View levan's profile


472 posts in 3001 days

#4 posted 11-09-2011 05:07 PM

I had never heard of this brand before, but it appears to be a quality machine. Amazed that a google search has so much info. Love that old iron. Thanks for sharing and best wishes.

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 3808 days

#5 posted 11-09-2011 05:09 PM

PTIII; Sounds like you had you ducks in a row prior to starting. I am planning to keep up with your build as you progress (its in my LJ’s watch list). Thanks for the reply.

View ClayandNancy's profile


519 posts in 3036 days

#6 posted 11-09-2011 05:17 PM

Refurbing old tools, I found is kind of fun. I bought an old Boice Crane 6” jointer on Ebay that needed some TLC. Took it apart cleaned it and reassembled it. It came with a crude plywood base in bad shape. Went back on Ebay and found another with the original base, the jointer is close to scrap but the base was still good. Works like a charm, only have $100 in it. I still look for old iron to rehab, good luck with yours.

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