|Review by Ian_S||posted 02-27-2011 09:01 PM||19746 views||1 time favorited||17 comments|
When I decided to upgrade to a 12 Inch Jointer at the end of 2010 I researched many brands and models. Usual suspects like Powermatic, Delta, Grizzly, General, Shop Fox and even some of the Euro models at the urging of a respected colleague. The Euros were way out of my price range (I refuse to take out a loan to buy a machine as my colleague suggested). While researching the remaining brands I found this video of an Oliver on youtube www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKMxIY0iGlw . The Oliver Machinery that some of us may remember from High School shop is no more. The name was purchased by Sunhill Machinery, an importer of Chinese tools and this jointer is one of their branded imports. That said, I began comparing Oliver to the other brands and liked what I found. Two things stuck out to me as pros for the Oliver. This entire machine is cast iron, base and all, it tips the scales at 1700 pounds. Most important to me, this machine has an American made Baldor 3hp motor.
On Feb 2, 2011 I purchased the Oliver from Machine King in Matthews, NC. I found Machine King through the Oliver website. I contacted 8 of the dealers listed. Five did not give me the time of day, one referred me to their website and one gave me a price that was almost the same as a Euro machine. Then I talked to Justin from Machine King. Within the hour he had called me back with his best price ($4050.00), including delivery to my shop in Kingston, NY. Then Oliver was delivered on Feb 15.
It took my friend and I three hours to uncrate the machine and move it from the ground floor to my second story shop. The building I rent in has an elevator and the owners operate a metal fabrication shop on the ground floor. I borrowed their dollys, jensen bars and an engine hoist to move the jointer.
Assembly tasks included: bolting on the fence, cutterhead guard and attaching a plug end. I was pleased to find that the knives and beds were correctly aligned from the factory. I cleaned off the protective oil, hook up the dust collection and fired the machine up. Assembly time three hours.
This machine does not vibrate. At all. Forget nickels, you could serve coffee with your grandmothers fine china on this machine while it is running!
The bed of the machine is 92” long. The infeed bed is adjusted by a large wheel mounted on the back of the machine. The wheel is very easy to use and moves the bed smoothly. I got the three knife cutterhead because I couldn’t justify $1000 premium for the Byrd cutterhead. I put the jointer to the test on 300 linear feet of 6” to 10” wide rough cut (very rough cut) spalted hard maple. I am very impressed with the quality of the cut. The fence is 60” long and 5-5/8” high. The fence on my machine has a spot on each end where it twists about the thickness of a business card. Due to the length of the fence I have not found this to be an issue. I notified Oliver of this and they noted it in my file. The jointer has a two year warranty and I will keep an eye on the fence.
The main reason I took one star away is dust collection. I have a Penn State Industries 1200cfm dust collector with 6” pipe running to all machines with blast gates at all branches. The way the machine is designed makes it almost impossible to efficiently collect dust from the machine. There are large openings at the adjusting wheel for the out feed bed as well as a mix of cavernous openings for dust to get stuck inside the machine. Four small 10”X12” pieces of 1/2 plywood and a few strategically placed shop rags and dust collection now meets my standards. Dust collection modification time 2 hours.
At the end of the day I am very happy with this machine and would recommend it to anyone.
-- Ian, NY