My Journey #2: New Toy!

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Blog entry by Trimble posted 09-16-2010 07:21 PM 8367 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Quest for "Flat" Part 2 of My Journey series Part 3: What I've been up to »

Wow, so much can change in just 24 hours. (yeah, i’m going to pretend I wrote this last night hehehe)

So, yesterday, I was slaving over a hot sheet of sand paper trying to lap the plastic parts of the fence on my newly gifted router table, in hopes of being able to use it as a mini jointer to make at least some little flat boards…

Well, today, I spent a little time looking at Craig’s list for Charlotte NC, and found an add for “Millwork tool” including a “Craftsman 6 in jointer $35”. That was all the description there was. Notice the lack of important keywords such as woodworking, lumber, machine, power, etc. So, I got the feeling this might be one of those rare deals where the seller isn’t quite sure what he’s selling… or at least what it should be worth. He probably didn’t get many calls.

So, I hopped in my mini-van and drove out to what seemed like the middle of nowhere. As I was driving, I kept pondering “what are the chances this thing is going to be a biscuit joiner and not really a joinTer?” Alas, the ad said “6 in” so I figured it had to be real. and for $35? serious?

Well, I arrived and got a look at this piece of equipment. At first, my heart sank. “What a piece of crap!” “I can’t work with that thing, it’s a giant chunk of rust!” were the phrases that went through my mind.

But, then I got to thinking… “Wait a minute… what am I looking at here?” and “We’re only talking about $35 bucks here… I spent more on a copy of Starcraft 2 for my kid” started going through my mind.

Luckily, I had brought my trusty combination square. I trust it to be reference flat, as I can hold it up to a piece of glass and it sits perfectly. So, I laid the square on the in-feed and out-feed tables to check for flatness. I had to brush away some of the dust and rust, but my trusty square sat true. Under that rust is a perfectly flat, not-warped mass of cast iron from a day when tools could be passed down from father to son to grandson, and so-on.

So, I bought it. Loaded it into my van. And Drove it home.

Now, I’ll admit I’m cheap. I try to get away with spending as little as possible on my hobbies. It’s especially important to be cheap when it comes to having inlaws who are constantly nagging about not spending money, and wife who isn’t quite yet taking this hobby seriously. So as I was driving home, I kept thinking to myself “Am I being TOO cheap? A new jointer would have only been a few hundred bucks…”

Well, as I drove, I pulled out my iPhone and started googling “Restore antique jointer”. To my surprise, I found articles not only about restoring jointers, but actually about restoring Craftsman jointers of same era, and actually almost the exact same model. I also found the original owner’s manual online. It seems that restoring this thing is actually not only possible, but very likely to yield forth a fantastic tool once the rust and grime have been dissolved away.

As we drove, my wife called a friend and I overheard her mentioning that her husband now has a new project to work on that will keep him out in the shop. I guess that’s kinda true ;)

So, without further ado, I present to y’all my latest acquisition, an antique Craftsman 6” Jointer, complete with 3/4 hp motor.

Edit: I’ve moved all the photos, and the links broke, so I’m fixing them.

8 comments so far

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 2968 days

#1 posted 09-16-2010 08:01 PM

COngrats on the New to be Restored jointer.

The way to go. Glad wives are so , so , so loving and understanding.

I´m on a way to restore myself. will search for my manual as well

BTW, I learned a lot in LJ.

-- Back home. Fernando

View Tom Coster's profile

Tom Coster

120 posts in 2863 days

#2 posted 09-16-2010 08:43 PM

Great score! You can’t compare a 6” that is made today to that iron. What Era do you figure it was built? 40’s ? I picked up a Craftman 6 in. that looks to be maybe about 10 years newer for $75.00. Big heavy, cast iron. It took two people grunting and groaning to get it into the back of my pick up. It works like a dream. I love it.

-- Tom, MI, SC

View degoose's profile


7234 posts in 3379 days

#3 posted 09-16-2010 09:13 PM

Great buy… have fun cleaning it up.. enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View HerbC's profile


1763 posts in 2884 days

#4 posted 09-16-2010 10:17 PM

Great find!

My dad had one just like that.

Have fun and…

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3140 days

#5 posted 09-17-2010 12:01 AM

now -now that cuold with a little albowgrease and evaprorust or electrolysis
bee a buty in your shop
and your wife is maybee more understandeble than you first
after all she drowe with you out in the nowheresland and let you bring home a pile of rust

take care

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 2999 days

#6 posted 09-17-2010 03:34 AM

Good score !
Keep taking photos of your restoration of this tool, cool to follow along.

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2913 days

#7 posted 09-17-2010 06:39 PM

I’ll give you $40 for it! $5 clear profit! ;)

Congrats. Those older Craftsman jointers are nearly bullet proof. Your grandkids will end up using this thing.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View EEngineer's profile


1103 posts in 3638 days

#8 posted 09-17-2010 10:50 PM

Yeah, pictures! I love watching old arn being restored.

If OWWM was not the site you found, let me recommend it. You’ll see a lot of “sad bastards” that looked worse than yours and cleaned up real nice!

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

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