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My New Delta 6" jointer

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Review by lanwater posted 1471 days ago 7767 views 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
My New Delta 6" jointer No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I just purchased the Delta 6” professional jointer.
I did not consider better 8” jointer for mainly one reason: I do not have enough space in my garage / shop. I also did not have the luxury of actually seeing all these jointers before purchase. I went to several stores (Woodcraft, Rockler …) but none had any on display. They all volunteer to order it for me.
Among several jointers that were suggested were the Delta 6” professional jointer, the jet 6” jointer and the grizzly jointer. I went for the Delta because the price.

I have considered several others and asked advice from many people and fellow LJ members who give me good opinion: http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/1413#comment-682491

The first jointer from Amazon got lost during shipping and Amazon promptly refunded me since they did not have another one in stock to replace the lost one. The second one, from woodworker.com, arrived in good condition and I promptly set to assemble it.

It came in two boxes. The first box contained the base with the motor pre-mounted. The second long and heavier box contained the table already assembled and the fence.


The assembly is not difficult and took me a little under 2 hours to complete. Besides for a flat screw driver, all the tools need for the assembly were included. The hardest part was to lift the table and mount it on the base.

Mounting the table s was a hassle. The table is secured from inside the base. The first 2 bolts, as seen in the picture are easy. The third has to be inserted through the dust chute. You cannot see the third bolt so you just have to feel it and tightening was not very easy.


Once the table was in place I proceeded to mount the fence; that was also easily achieved.

After the fence I put on the guard. And then the switch

Now comes the part of making sure everything is aligned properly.
The fence would not budge even after making sure the bolt holding it were lose. It was stuck. After fiddling with it, it came loose and I was able to move it. Probably some paint had dried in the wrong place. Squaring the fence to the table took more energy and frustration than needed. If you look at this picture:

You will see that there is quite some room for play in this mechanism. So when you think you have the left side squared, the right side is not. When you get both sides squared and try to tighten the bolt then it easily fall out of square.

I raised the infeed table to be in the same plane as the outfeed table and see if it was all flat. To my surprise the outfeed table was lower on the far left end. The light is clearly visible. The gap is about 1/32. The only alignment available is to raise or lower the outfeed table. There is also a couple of bolts that has to do with the “dovetail” mechanism on which the outfeed table rides but he manually states that those are aligned at the factory.
I then tried to raise or lower the outfeed table to see if it changes anything. I undid the locking mechanism as seen in this picture:

I tried to rotate this knob as instructed in the manual:

It does not turn either way. It is stuck. I called tech support thinking I am missing something; the tech was reading the same manual I was reading and was not familiar with the product. I was giving the number for the nearest tech center. I guess when companies merge (Dewalt and Delta), it takes a while for tech to know each other products.
There we more vibration than I would have liked when the joiner is turned on. Maybe it has to do with the base, also from Delta, but I do not think so.
Do I like this joiner? The honest answer is no. I feel it is build to be cheap.
Does it joint correctly? I do not know yet since I cannot align my outfeed table correctly.
Why the rating of 3 stars? Well I think all tools need some alignment at the begining and thatt jointer has been recommanded many times.
Hopefully that’s useful to some of you. If you have any questions I will be glad to answer.
Thank you for reading!

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA




View lanwater's profile

lanwater

3067 posts in 1517 days



20 comments so far

View Routerisstillmyname's profile

Routerisstillmyname

675 posts in 2092 days


#1 posted 1471 days ago

Excellent review. I know it’s a hassle to return heavy equipment especially all the work and time that goes into assembly but, There is no reason to keep something that you are not 100% happy with. These days, I feel we give the manufacturers way too much free ride and they keep taking advantage. There was a time when buying a brand name and paying more meant something. But apparently since every thing is being manufactured in china, than brand names are just slightly better in some cases than your local home depot or HB.

-- Router è ancora il mio nome.

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1657 days


#2 posted 1471 days ago

This is an excellent review. Thank you.

I purchase a 6” Grizzly jointer about a year ago. Assembly went quite smoothly but I needed a second set of hands to help me set the table on the base. It took me a little longer than I liked to get the fence in alignment but the infeed and outfeed tables were perfect from the factory. All-in-all, I am very happy with my Grizzly jointer.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14818 posts in 1771 days


#3 posted 1471 days ago

Great review. I have the delta bench top and it has been fine but would love a bigger one.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View buckeyedudes's profile

buckeyedudes

143 posts in 1711 days


#4 posted 1471 days ago

Too bad about your experience here.

My education is not to be a price buyer! Be a value buyer; pay a little more and buy it from a local vendor – like a wood working/hardware store that also repairs the items. Typically they help with tech support and will bend over backwards for you.

Also, do your research; on-line, consumer reports, articles, etc. Touch and feel before pulling the trigger on a purchase like this. If you are going to have the item for a long time, take time and really know the product you are buying.

We can never be 100% with this stuff, but to protect ourselves we must perform due dilegence!

Good luck friend.

-- Before you louse it up, THIMK!

View chuck24's profile

chuck24

48 posts in 1857 days


#5 posted 1471 days ago

Sorry to hear about your experience as well.

I did not encounter any of the problems that you had. I must have been lucky or you were unlucky. So far I am completly satisfied with this jointer.

All in all the set up was pretty straight forward and I dint have to monkey around wuith mine near as much as it seams you did. Mine came out perfectly flat and when set to 90 or 45 degrees is perfect every time; though I still feel the need to check it just the same.

I have been using it for almost a year now; cutting everything from purple heart to pine and everything in between and I see no difference in the blades ability to cut. Though, I must say, I am not looking forward to changing the blades for the first time.

As for the vibrations I havent really noticed any on mine. Mine isnt on a base either. Just on the floor. I have moved it across the shop twice now. relocating due to orginizing the shop, and checked it each time and is still all level and comes to a 90 and 45 degree angle with out failure or adjustment.

Hope that you are more impressed with this planner as you use it. Other wise I may be willing to have two in my shop. You never know when you may dual planners.

Thanks for reading and hope it gets better for you.

Chuck

View ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

2355 posts in 2110 days


#6 posted 1471 days ago

I, too, am sorry to hear about your troubles with the new machine.

I have a 1999-model 8” Delta jointer that I bought used a few years ago. It had more vibration than I wanted, especially when starting and stopping. I replaced the motor pulley and installed a link belt. That made a huge difference. I have been very happy with the jointer.

But, given that you have a new machine, I really do not think that you should have to be replacing parts.

-- “A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory.” ― Mark Twain

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2160 days


#7 posted 1471 days ago

I’m a little curious why you would give a jointer you say you don’t like and is cheaply made 4 stars?
Sorry for you troubles. Next time try a grizzly.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View reggiek's profile

reggiek

2240 posts in 1853 days


#8 posted 1471 days ago

Thanks for the review. I had a friend ask me about which of the smaller jointers I would recommend. Obviously, I will tell him of your issues.

I need to get a larger jointer myself, but I am looking at the Grizzly. Since pretty much all the machines are now coming from China (I have nothing personal against the Chinese…except they are far behind the curve on quality control, safety and training for their workforce…With that in mind, the only thing you can do is to make sure you buy from a company that will support their product. I have not heard anything really negative about Delta….but your experience shows they need to do some catch up.

Grizzly, though, has had top of the line customer support and so far I have nothing but praise for them. My experiences with them have been Top Notch. I have also received excellent support from Powermatic. Currently, these are the only large tool manufacturers that I will recommend/puchase from at this time.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View mmh's profile

mmh

3304 posts in 2305 days


#9 posted 1471 days ago

Sorry to hear of your woes on a major piece of equipment. Space is also an issue and we opted for the Grizzly 6” jointer with spiral cutting head and so far we’re quite happy with it’s performance. The spiral helix blade cuts hardwood to a glass like finish. Only thing I have to complain about is the gallon and a half of oil they used to lubricate/protect the metal parts with and it took a while to get the cutter head cleaned with all those sharp nooks & crannies.

As for the “3rd bolt”, didn’t the instructions call for a short, long armed person with a skinny head and strong hands to help??

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View CryptKeeper's profile

CryptKeeper

132 posts in 1533 days


#10 posted 1471 days ago

I just glanced over at Woodcraft.com’s ‘90 Day Satisfaction Guarantee’ and I am a little surprised:
http://www.woodcraft.com/Static/CustomerService.aspx

“Satisfaction Guaranteed – We Promise!
We’re absolutely confident that you’ll be satisfied with your purchase from Woodcraft! If you’re not, return it anytime within 90 days and we will gladly replace the product, give you credit, or refund your money, whichever you prefer. Woodcraft’s Guarantee does not apply to power tools, which are subject only to manufacturer’s warranties. Special-order items or manufacturer drop-ships are subject to a 25% restocking fee.”

I would at least try squeaking to Delta to see if they are willing to grease the wheels and make you happy.

-- Ron - Any day that I don't learn something new is a wasted day.

View doordude's profile

doordude

1085 posts in 1566 days


#11 posted 1471 days ago

sounds like a great buy if everything would set up right. maybe you just need to work the bugs out.
Does anyone have an opinion on a general 6’’ jointer?

View Cato's profile

Cato

641 posts in 1895 days


#12 posted 1470 days ago

Sorry you are running into problems with your new purchase, that is a bummer.

Maybe Delta will be able to replace the entire top for you.

I looked at everything Woodcraft had on display on jointers when shopping for mine and it came down to the Jet and Ridgid jointer. Both got super reviews, and I ended up going with the Ridgid and am quite happy with it. Well built and runs very quiet with no vibration. Cost was under half of that for the Jet, so that was a plus as well.

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4271 posts in 1631 days


#13 posted 1470 days ago

I have the very same jointer that I bought ( hardly) used for $300.00.
It vibrates but except for that it works OK.
It is too small and later on I plan on buying a jointer/planer combo

-- Bert

View sawblade1's profile

sawblade1

754 posts in 1609 days


#14 posted 1470 days ago

OK you give the jointer a bad rap before it was Due!! As far as the overall machine it is an industrial piece of equipment requiring you to make final adjustments some of which are quite difficult, as far as the paint sticking mineral spirits on a playing card will do, adjusting the table for square is accomplished with two people and are done one side at a time, And the vibration comes from the belt due to the machine sitting so long the belt has taken shape of the packing carton replacing it will make it a lot better also placing a 5 lb bag of sand to help weight the base will dampen vibration.
I have a 1977 Delta #37-220 6” jointer and love it picked it up for $100 low hrs, also almost new condition (it sat in a basement) I have all Delta and Dewalt and absolutely love them!!!!!!
All and all good review

-- Proverbs Ch:3 vs 5,6,7 Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways aknowledge him and he shall direct your path elmerthomas81@neo.rr.com

View lanwater's profile

lanwater

3067 posts in 1517 days


#15 posted 1470 days ago

Thank you all for the input and support.

A1jim: I only gave it 3 stars. The 3 stars is me thinking I just got a bad top since all the other research and input rate this jointer to be excellent. The site seems to average all the input for a particular product.

Sawblade1: Thanks for your input. I understand the need to tune the machine before use. However on this one, as I stated in my review the adjustment could not be done, even with tech support help. Miniral spirit or the like would not be much use since the screw is actually inclosed in the table and not reachable. My feeling is the engineers who design the fence mechanism and the placement of the bolts mounting the top to the base put priority on saving cost more than functionality.

I have talked to local service center and they wanted me to bring the jointer for service.
I insisted that hauling in a 290lb item is not doable for me. They seemed to imply that this was the only option.
Then I reminded them that my other option is to return it. From there I was put on hold and was given the local on-site service rep that can come and take a look.
They did also mention that the entire top might need replacement.

I will definitly post tthe results.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

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