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.