LumberJocks

Good Jointer for the Price

  • Advertise with us
Review by ErikF posted 10-13-2012 02:26 AM 6453 views 1 time favorited 34 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Good Jointer for the Price No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I needed to upgrade from by benchtop jointer to a stationary unit so I purchased this jointer last week at my local Harbor Freight. I have had some good luck with their power tools and read some good reviews about this specific jointer. The setup took some work due to the terrible owners manual that comes in the box…it has about 6 random pictures along with a few pages of text only instructions. I had to change a few pieces around as I went but managed to get it assembled in a couple hours.

Once it was put together I noticed a few things: the tables were nowhere near where they should be to make an accurate cut and that one of the knives had a few dings. I went to harbor freight with the knife, they didn’t have another planer in stock so they let me swap it out with their display model so easy fix there.

I spent most of yesterday getting the tables adjusted and they are close as I can get them to coplanar. I set the knives using a small plane of glass and magnets I set on the out-feed table. Once the blades were set I waxed both tables and the fence then it was time for a test run. I took a few passes and got some snipe on the tail of the board. I adjusted the out-feed table and ended up with a flat board.

This jointer should serve me well and it received 4 stars due to the fact it has some plastic parts that I would have preferred been cast (adjustment wheels mostly). I purchased a two year warranty for and extra 50 bucks and in my experience they back their warranties without any fuss. Hope this review is useful to someone out there!

-- Power to the people.




View ErikF's profile

ErikF

420 posts in 989 days



34 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112828 posts in 2323 days


#1 posted 10-13-2012 02:56 AM

Thanks for the review

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View patron's profile

patron

13165 posts in 2087 days


#2 posted 10-13-2012 02:59 AM

always nice to upgrade

glad you resolved the glitches

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

509 posts in 2063 days


#3 posted 10-13-2012 03:46 AM

I own the same machine. My one complaint is that the fence is difficult to secure at the desired angle (almost always 90 degrees to the table). The act of tightening the handle pulls the fence away from the angle you are trying to secure. Once you have it, it stays put. But getting it there is a pain.

Everything else is great, and this machine, at the price charged, represents a great value.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View Bob817's profile

Bob817

653 posts in 1128 days


#4 posted 10-13-2012 11:49 AM

Erik, You said you adjusted the outfeed table, just exactly what did you do because I’m having the same problem with my old jet jointer? Thanx,

-- ~ Bob ~ Newton, N.H.

View ErikF's profile

ErikF

420 posts in 989 days


#5 posted 10-13-2012 02:32 PM

Bob,

I the adjustments to my outfeed table by adjusting the gibb screws and I also had to shim back of the table to raise the end due to a slight sag. It took me a while to get everything lined up and I am not sure if it was the most expedient way of doing it but I am happy with the results. I read that you can buy quality metal shims on amazon that come in different thicknesses and this seems to be the most accurate way to do it. I am too impatient to wait for a package in the mail so I cut up a soda can instead.

I also made similar adjustments to the infeed table because everything was so out of whack. Once the tables were getting near coplanar I clamped my best straight edge to the outfeed table to see where the gaps were. Once I did that I was able to make my adjustments with the gibb screws to get my final results.

This is my first run at tuning a jointer so time will tell if my method works or not. Hope I was a help, let me know if you have any further questions.

-- Power to the people.

View Bob817's profile

Bob817

653 posts in 1128 days


#6 posted 10-13-2012 02:41 PM

I will give it a try Thankyou very much for your reply Erik.

-- ~ Bob ~ Newton, N.H.

View ArtB's profile

ArtB

20 posts in 897 days


#7 posted 10-13-2012 07:46 PM

I just dont understand, if you get a brand new machine. It has to be fine tuned, for the better part of the day. parts are plastic junk and you are forced to buy a two year warranty because you dont trust it, it gets four and a half stars. I call this one star, because the motor didnt blow up when you turned it on…

View ErikF's profile

ErikF

420 posts in 989 days


#8 posted 10-13-2012 08:12 PM

I don’t understand your logic…unless you have owned this machine and had problems with it? I paid a lot less for a new machine that took some time to set up, and I think this would happen in most cases when assembly is required. There are two plastic pieces that I would prefer to be metal but they work fine.

Are you one of those people that leaves a review for a car even though you have never owned or driven it?

Anybody reading this review: I spent my entire morning making accurate cuts with this jointer. I learned how to adjust the tables by a guy doing the same thing with his much more expensive Grizzly jointer.

-- Power to the people.

View LeChuck's profile

LeChuck

419 posts in 1808 days


#9 posted 10-13-2012 10:33 PM

I have the same and installed it a while ago but just getting around to finishing the setup as I’ll need to use it soon. I didn’t like the lack of a useful system to tighten the belt other than relying on the weight of the motor itself (not heavy enough) and muscle.

Mine came with a tool that appears to be a height gauge for the blades. Have you used that? Of course, it’s not mentioned at all in the horrible manual. The “manual” says that the back of the bevel on the blades should be 1/6” from the surface of the blade assembly. I’m assuming that it should be 1/6 below the surface even if the manual does not specify. Mine look like they are set flush, and if that tool is indeed a height gauge, it shows that all 3 blades are indeed about 1/6” too high. I want to make sure I’m not going off the wrong position from the start, and not unsetting the blades for nothing…

I have a feeling this tool will perform just fine once setup, but it’s really let down by the manual, and the assembly of the stand and motor is not a fun moment to say the least.

-- David - Tucson, AZ

View ErikF's profile

ErikF

420 posts in 989 days


#10 posted 10-14-2012 12:11 AM

LeChuck,

I hear you on the shortcomings of the manual and I did forget to mention the motor. I loosened the bolts and used a piece of hickory to put some down force on the motor, it worked pretty well. Be careful when setting the knives, if they are out too far the will make contact with the infeed table. I did not use the tool that came with the jointer. Once I got the tables to be coplanar I set the infeed table slightly higher than the cutter head. To ensure the knives were set properly with the table I used a piece of glass and 4 magnets to set the knives. If you are not familiar with this method: set the pane of glass on the outfeed table with one edge just over the cutter head. Loosen the knife and allow the magnets to pull it up, this will get the blades set exact with the table. After you are done with this run a few boards over the tables…I found the “sweet spot” for the outfeed table after a few passes. Again…I never messed around with the tool that comes with it. I couldn’t tell what it was supposed to do.

-- Power to the people.

View LeChuck's profile

LeChuck

419 posts in 1808 days


#11 posted 10-14-2012 12:22 AM

Thanks for the tip. I don’t have a piece of glass handy or magnets at the moment though. This is strange, because the knives are in line with the cutter head, leaving a gap of 1/6 at the bottom of the groove. They are probably supposed to almost bottom out there. But the factory settings seem to go off of that knife position. Per what I can tell, once you back to the front table far enough, you can lay the height gauge down on the cutter head and then get the knives to touch the bottom of it to get the right height. I guess I’ll try that first.

The thing is, it seems that to get the proper setup, you need to go off of the correct knife height first, I mean the proper height of the knives from the cutter head, then you will set your rear table to be exactly in line with that, then zero out your front table. If you decide on an arbitrary position for your outfeed table and set your knives to that, they may not stick out of the cutterhead at the right height. That’s the theory. Not sure what difference it actually makes.

My tables seem to be almost exactly in line, although the issue is with the fence. It is not totally flat and has a warp to it, so setting up at 90 degrees at the front, which is a pain in itself, means it’s not at 90 in the back.

-- David - Tucson, AZ

View cutworm's profile

cutworm

1065 posts in 1539 days


#12 posted 10-14-2012 02:44 AM

ArtB. If you want to rate this machine buy it and then rate. Otherwise let the man review the machine as he see’s it. I thought it was a good review.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1669 days


#13 posted 10-14-2012 12:26 PM

I’m with cutworm. Not everyone can afford or want the most expensive name brand on the market.

Good review Erik

-- Life is good.

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

509 posts in 2063 days


#14 posted 10-14-2012 01:09 PM

I also agree with the way Erik reviewed the tool.

I’m perfectly willing to buy the most expensive name brand on the market as long as that purchase represents the greatest value for the dollar spent. The amount that I spend is not the important part – it’s how much tool I get per dollar spent.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1669 days


#15 posted 10-14-2012 08:02 PM

You got it Mark.

-- Life is good.

showing 1 through 15 of 34 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase