|Review by Eric||posted 02-08-2012 12:35 AM||10003 views||0 times favorited||7 comments|
Having a large hunk of white oak cut up roughly (chainsaw!) and dried, and beaten up by taking a good hour on one piece jointing with hand planes, I finally took the plunge with the Jet 10” combo. I have a small non-garage shop, so both space and charge card were important! Since others have reviewed the machine here and on other sites, I just want to add my thoughts if you are considering the purchase.
First, as others have said, set up is a snap, tables well-enough co-planer out of the box for me. The supplied stand is cheap and probably a danger if you actually plan on using the tool. I made a low box-type stand on rollers out of 3/4” plywood, wide and long enough to be stable, but not too big for my shop.
Second, when setting up as a jointer be careful with the dust collecting hood. It triggers a dead man switch under the front housing; if you’re not careful enough with placing and securing the hood (and I speak from experience here!) the plastic of the hood will jam the rollers of the planer (which doesn’t affect the jointer’s operation)—the foul odor you smell shortly thereafter is the roller drive-belt frying. Since I already have an old and well-beaten up DeWalt planer, I didn’t really care; but if you need the planer be careful. As you’re installing the dust hood and raising the planer table into the “dust collection position” for the jointer, have the front cover off to make sure that the dead man switch is pushed in (its on the left), and then make sure the large white plastic gear driving the rollers moves freely BEFORE you turn the gizmo on.
Third, if you aren’t a believer in hearing protection become one before turning the machine on. I really think the passenger jet pilots flying over our house at 30,000 ft were wondering where that noise was coming from!
Fourth, induction motor and all, edge jointing with 1/8” remove works fine with little bogging-down; on face much over 1/16” made the neighborhood lights dim. It joints well enough, but it will definitely teach patience.
Fifth, since this my first experience with a jointer, all I can say is that dust & chip collection is OK—bits still fly everywhere.
Sixth, the biggest weakness in the machine I’ve found is the spring-loaded jointer blade guard. The spring really was installed upside down out of the box, and it secures weakly when placed properly. If you inadvertently over-rotate the guard away from the fence (again speaking from experience, as I was paste-waxing the table) it pops loose, and you have to disassemble/reassemble again. If you’re like me on this, a pair of those fancy pliers that help remove and replace spring clips comes in handy (I work on my own motorcycle, too….).
Last, my white oak is up to 53” long; much over that and outfeed support (roller stand, whatever) would be a great help.
Overall, it does a passable job (recall, my first experience with a power jointer), and is a whole lot quicker than hand planes. For what you get it seems a good value, and solid enough to do hobbyist work.