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Reply by Matt Rogers

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Posted on How Wide a Jointer? Otra Vez

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Matt Rogers

44 posts in 571 days


#1 posted 529 days ago

I don’t want to gloat, but I would recommend that anyone looking for a decent jointer and willing to spend up to $1000 looks for an old jointer like an American, Yates, Oliver, Clement, etc. For $700 I got a 16” American jointer from the ‘20s. It is finally given me the confidence in my jointer over my previous Grizzly 6” model that I never really trusted (not necessarily its fault, but I wanted to joint longer and wider boards than it could handle. Now with a full 7’+ long bed, I can run a full 8’-10’ board or timber on this jointer and get a true face. It also really helps me make simple wood block stools by jointing the faces of 12”x12” timbers.

Now you do have to check them out carefully and be willing to do some repairing and replacing bearings, but you end up with the last machine that you will ever need. I got both lucky and unlucky because it turns out that my cutterhead was busted by the previous owner who ran it until there was lots of play between the cutterhead shaft and bearing. I did not catch that before purchasing the unit. However, my uncle happens to work in a machine shop and re-machined the cutterhead and made new bearing retainers to get it back into working condition. That plus $40 of bearings from Accurate Bearings and I can face joint boards as wide as my 15” planer.

The only other thing that I did was replace the 5hp 3-phase motor with a single phase used motor of the same size with new belts. Now I have to eventually find an old beast of a planer to go along with it, but my Delta is doing fine for now.

Check out the forums at Old Woodworking Machinery (OWWM) and you will find lots of reviews and advise on these old machines.

-- Matt Rogers, http://www.cleanairwoodworks.com


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