Evaluating used jointer-planer

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Forum topic by ryanjg117 posted 10-09-2015 12:30 AM 585 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 523 days

10-09-2015 12:30 AM

I’m going to be checking out a used jointer/planer combination machine tonight and—being a novice woodworker myself—was wondering what I should be “looking for” in evaluating the machine.

Here’s the catch: the machine can’t be powered up. That’s right, the machine is 220V and the owner doesn’t have a 220V outlet in his garage. (He recently moved.) Obviously, this is a pretty big deal as I would like to be able to run some boards through and look at the finish.

That said, he has offered to essentially guarantee its performance (with a napkin warranty) once I have it moved.

I know there is some risk in such a transaction, but it seems to be a good deal on a really nice machine.

Knowing that it can’t be powered on, how would you evaluate its condition on-scene?


9 replies so far

View rwe2156's profile


2116 posts in 901 days

#1 posted 10-09-2015 10:55 AM

About all you can do is manually spin the head and check the height adjuster make sure everything is free.

If its been stored well and not overly rusted, you’re probably ok.

If the guy looks like a straight shooter and everything feels right, I would go for it.

Or, how about loading it up, have him follow you to your house, power it up and then do the transaction?

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 651 days

#2 posted 10-09-2015 10:58 AM


I would give it a sniff and if it smells burned then I wouldnt do it…or I would talk him down a great deal.

As said, spin everything. Feel for bearing play in the cutterhead. Take a straightedge and calipers and check for parallel between tables.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View Tennessee's profile


2410 posts in 1935 days

#3 posted 10-09-2015 11:09 AM

I agree with the smell test, and freedom on the movement. Also, when you spin the unit, put your ear to the motor, (if you can), to see if you can hear any noise in the motor. Fried motors often have char and carbon, broken windings, etc, that scrape and make noise.

And the mechanical mentioned above, of course.

-- Paul, Tennessee,

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

555 posts in 2477 days

#4 posted 10-11-2015 04:02 AM

Ask for a huge discount on the price if you can’t see it run.

-- Glen

View BurlyBob's profile


3468 posts in 1686 days

#5 posted 10-11-2015 04:18 PM

So Ryan did you get it?

View Luthierman's profile


157 posts in 508 days

#6 posted 10-11-2015 05:48 PM

What Glen said. Regardless of condition, you can’t run it. Price needs to reflect that.

-- Jesse, West Lafayette, Indiana

View ryanjg117's profile


8 posts in 523 days

#7 posted 10-11-2015 06:51 PM

Thanks for all the advice. I actually checked it out on Friday, before the responses here. The condition was OK – it had clearly not been ran for decade or more. That’s why I found it so surprising the seller was absolutely convinced it would run without any problems whatsoever. Who would say that about ANYTHING they haven’t used for ten years?

Just a weird exchange, so I’ll probably keep looking.

Thanks for all of the advice!

View BurlyBob's profile


3468 posts in 1686 days

#8 posted 10-11-2015 07:38 PM

I think you made a very wise decision.

View groyuti's profile


45 posts in 378 days

#9 posted 10-12-2015 02:55 PM

-- Spammer in the process of being removed.

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