|Review by glassyeyes||posted 06-24-2011 11:32 PM||5784 views||2 times favorited||12 comments|
I purchased the Grizzly G0656 helical head 8” jointer on June 11, and received it a few days ago. I have assembled it and tested it, and feel it is a good—though not perfect—tool. My rating also takes into account that this is very reasonably priced for an 8” helical head jointer; I would expect a little better fit and finish, with fewer issues, on a higher-priced machine.
PICTURES: Plenty of pictures are available online: I included these to show a simple way to tension the belt, and to show a simple addition to prevent the mobile base lever from suddenly releasing.
DELIVERY: I had it shipped to my house, with the optional liftgate service—it was worth the extra $34. The UPS Freight driver rolled it right into my garage, and waited patiently as I checked over the two boxes. There was no external damage.
UNPACKING: The jointer base, with the motor and various small components, is well packaged in a sturdy cardboard box with foam liner. The main assembly was packed in a plywood box and form-fitting foam insert. There was nothing to prevent parts from moving around if the box was inverted or placed on its side or end, but mine arrived in good condition.
ASSEMBLY: The assembly was straightforward, but the quality of the manual is uneven. In some respects it is quite detailed, including descriptions of the exact size and type of nut and bolt—and in other places omits this information.
(UPDATE:) FENCE ADJUSTMENTS: The fence stops were very straightforward, and seem to hold their position (so far, with limited use). BUT IT DOES NOT APPEAR POSSIBLE TO ADJUST THE FENCE TO PREVENT IT FROM DRAGGING ON THE OUTFEED TABLE. A careful filing of the lower edge, followed by work with a 600 grit diamond stone, seems to alleviated the worst of the marking.
MISSING PART: This jointer was missing a small Woodruff key, or spline, that holds the infeed table hand wheel on the shaft. Not an easy part to replace. Customer Service is shipping it, but IS NOT OVERNIGHTING IT. This should have been sent overnight, or by two-day shipping at least.
AN ODDITY: The fence is adjusted by a rack-and-pinion gear, with a hand wheel. The hand wheel is BORED for a handle, but the jointer doesn’t include one. This was a bit confusing.
THREE COMPLAINTS: (1) The three (3) mounting bolt holes to mount the jointer to the base are sized at about 10mm or a little larger—but the supplied bolts are 8mm socket heads, so small I was afraid they would pull through the sheet metal of the base. 3/8” by 2” bolts were much more secure. (2) The belt was stiff and lumpy. It was worth replacing it (Advance Auto Parts, automotive v-belt, #47515 or 11A1205). (3) The fence bottom is rough, and drags across the outfeed table. I plan on asking Grizzly how to adjust the fence to clear the table; I can’t figure out the adjustment for this problem.
NOISE: The unit is somewhat noisy when not under load, and a bit noisier on shutdown, with an odd “grumbling” sound as it slows down. (UPDATE: SOME OF THE NOISE IS COMING FROM THE INFEED HANDWHEEL. My handmade Woodruff key (spline) seems to permit too much movement.) SOME OF IT IS ALSO COMING FROM THE FENCE; when tilted forward, and moved off the table proper, most of the remaining noise disappeared.)
DEPTH OF CUT: The Grizzly helical head design seems to be somewhat self-limiting with regard to depth of cut—I don’t think you can take off anything like the indicated amounts as marked on the tool. (UPDATE:) Well, duh—the scale covers the rabbeting in function, too, of course! “I was tired!”
(UPDATE:) The roller base is very nice, but this is an incredibly top-heavy machine—driver beware—
ADJUSTMENTS: Other than the fence problem noted above, the tables were perfectly adjusted. The test cuts were very smooth, no ridges or scalloping as reported elsewhere with helical heads.
-- Now, where did I put those bandaids?