|Review by lumberjoe||posted 02-24-2013 03:11 AM||9536 views||0 times favorited||25 comments|
- Craftsman 7.5 amp 4-1/8" Bench Top Planer/Jointer (21789)
- Brand: Craftsman | Category: Jointers
First off, writing this review to me is like admitting in front of all my friends that I bought and really like the new Justin Bieber album. It’s a “piece of crap direct drive tiny useless toy”. I have actually said those words to other people considering this. So why did I get it?
Well for one, I have grown to like handtools. I don’t have room for another giant (expensive) 220v power hungry piece of cast iron. I have a few planes including a stanley jointer and I actually enjoy jointing by hand. So what’s the issue? My wife loves making cutting boards using exotic dense hardwoods. Her cutting boards have been featured as banner for the woodcraft facebook site and a few other places. She developed quite a following and we make a few a week now.
Hand jointing super hard exotics sucks. For me anyway, it’s a miserable, shoulder racking, more frequent than I would care for sharpening needed, tear out filled experience. I contemplated making a planer sled, but I don’t have room for another gigantic jig. A router plane would work, but that’s A LOT of wear and tear on my router and my neighborhoods eardrums.
So here we are, looking at mini jointers. I considered the Porter cable until I saw it in person. What a piece of junk. The fence is so bad I can deflect it with hand pressure when it is locked down as hard as possible. Granted this was a display model, but I look at the additional wear and tear a display takes as a sign of things to come.
I went and checked this one out and I am glad I did. The granite surfaces are nice. Super flat, and I don’t remember the last time I saw granite rust. the fence is heavy and solid. I locked down the tattered looking display model and tried my best to get it to give and it wouldn’t. So I took a chance.
Assembly took about 10 minutes the first time and about 15 the second time. Why a second time? The fence needs to be shimmed. It’s a hair (literally) too far from the cutter. I pulled it off the brackets and threw some washers in. I then started checking things out. Tables were completely flat. Using the adjustment mechanism provided, I was able to get the fence at a true 90 degrees to the table verified by a starrett machinist square.
Usage is pretty easy and pretty noisy. I have done a lot of hard maple, purpleheart, cherry, walnut and a sampling of a few others. I wouldn’t say it’s a beast, but at no time did I feel like I was overloading the machine taking about a 3/32” cut.
Results are superb if you keep your piece under 30”. Dead flat to the cast iron on my table saw, and jointed edge dead square to the referenced edge. Just for giggles, I sent a 3’ 2×4 tough it and the results were far less than stellar.
Would I recommend this to anyone? Probably not. Unless your specific needs match mine, it’s a pretty limited tool. If you only work with pieces under 30” and under 4 1/4” wide, and do not have the space for a Craigslist 6” X5 or Ridgid, it’s probably the best tool in it’s class. **If you are trying to be cheap and use this where a proper jointer is required and think you can ”make it work”, you can’t. The short bed and short fence put a pretty hard cap on the lengh of board you can run through it.
My wife is happy that she can fix any gaps in her dry fits herself, my shoulders and waterstones are happier, and my wallet didn’t get hurt anymore than an expensive dinner and a movie would have done.