|Review by nwbusa||posted 12-11-2013 04:05 AM||5682 views||0 times favorited||17 comments|
So, back in March or so of this year I was shopping for a new jointer to replace an old 6” Delta / Rockwell that was bought and subsequently sold on CL. After using the 6” for a while and learning its capabilities and limitations, I decided I wanted a larger machine. Ultimately, I decided I wanted a 8” jointer with a helical cutter head, as I work a lot with figured maple.
Up here in Canada, we don’t have the abundant selection of woodworking machinery that’s available in the States. I did some comparison shopping and decided to order from the US. A Grizzly 10% discount coupon was generously provided by a fellow LJ, which helped tremendously with the freight charges. For those who are curious about buying machinery from the US and having it shipped to Canada, I did not have to pay any duties or extra fees—just sales tax.
Ok, onto the the actual review…
The UPS freight truck arrived on time. I ordered the lift gate service, and the friendly driver pallet jacked the boxes right up my driveway and into my garage without me even asking. That was a relief because technically, they are only obliged to drop it at the curb side. I tipped the man, thanked him, and got to unpacking. Here’s how the jointer arrived:
And here’s how it looked unpacked.
I don’t remember a lot about the assembly process, other than I did it almost all by myself (except lifting the bed onto the stand—that sucker is heavy! My neighbor and I managed it though). Couple of things I recall:
—Getting the motor lined up was a bit of a PITA, requiring some trial and error to get the motor pulley aligned with the cutter head pulley. Not a huge problem, just takes some time.
—The biggest PITA was getting the Cosmoline grease cleaned off the thing, especially out of the cutter head. Q-tips and WD40 are your friend for this job, believe me.
—The tables were flat and coplanar, with the out feed table set perfectly to the height of the cutter head
—Fit and finish was acceptable for this price point. No peeling paint, overspray, or anything like that.
I’ve now run several hundred BF (maybe 1000) of various lumber through the jointer over the last eight months and I can say that I am pleased with the machine’s performance. The 3HP motor has plenty of power for face jointing wide boards, and the spiral cutter head leaves a very good finish on most woods. I do sometimes get minor tear-out on heavily figured soft maple, but it’s easily sanded out. It usually leaves a very smooth finish and leaves the milled surface flat, which is really what it’s all about. The carbide cutters seem to be as sharp now as they were new, and I don’t expect to have to rotate them for a long time.
Overall, I would recommend this machine to someone who is looking for a 8” helical head jointer at a moderate price point. I hope this review will prove helpful!
-- John, BC, Canada