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6" benchtop jointer recommendations?

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Forum topic by Razorburne posted 04-13-2016 03:07 AM 944 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Razorburne

41 posts in 879 days


04-13-2016 03:07 AM

Hi everyone! I have a very small shop and have neither a jointer nor a planer. I was actually planning on making the investment into a Dewalt 734 planer. That should take care of the no planer issue.

Given both a limited budget and limited space, I was looking at benchtop jointers as an option. Reviews I’ve read seem to either say these units are great or total pieces of you-know-what. I’m wondering what you all think – are any of these units worth the investment or are they total crap. I think the porter cable version has been on sale recently and can be had locally at Lowes.

I am aware I can joint with the planer as long as I build some form of a planer sled. Is this a better option then the benchtop jointer?

Any info would be much appreciated.


14 replies so far

View Cato's profile

Cato

693 posts in 2773 days


#1 posted 04-13-2016 11:26 AM

I’ve never heard anything positive from owners of tabletop jointers. I have a Ridgid 6” jointer that does just fine and at a good price point.

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2591 days


#2 posted 04-13-2016 12:09 PM


I am aware I can joint with the planer as long as I build some form of a planer sled. Is this a better option then the benchtop jointer?

Yes.
Benchtop jointers are really only good for short lengths of wood.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

393 posts in 680 days


#3 posted 04-13-2016 01:20 PM

i picked up a cutech jointer about 4 months ago and have been very pleased with it. it flattens stock and does edge jointing great.no, its not good for lumber over 4’, but very rarely do i need a piece of lumber over 4’ long.
plus it has inserts. nice feature.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4449 posts in 3421 days


#4 posted 04-13-2016 03:18 PM

Cutech here in my shop as well. PM me if you’d like to have the name and phone of their guy in Memphis. He can answer any questions you might have.
I use it for small work. As tomsteve said, nothing over 4’. The segmented head is a real plus ‘cause all ya have to do is replace a cutter or two if they get nicked.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

754 posts in 1455 days


#5 posted 04-13-2016 03:28 PM

I had really good performance with my Shopfox. Would highly recommend it.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View joey502's profile

joey502

487 posts in 978 days


#6 posted 04-13-2016 05:46 PM

Where do you live? If you are close to louisville i have a delta that has been used just once i would like to have gone.

View Razorburne's profile

Razorburne

41 posts in 879 days


#7 posted 04-13-2016 06:08 PM

Thanks for the feedback guys. I really do find it helpful. Joey….I’m a little ways away from you – I’m in New York. But thanks for the offer

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1738 posts in 599 days


#8 posted 04-13-2016 07:23 PM

I find a planer sled to be a fantastic solution for face jointing boards. Even with a good floor model jointer, your limited to 6 or 8” board widths most of the time. With a sled, you can face joint up to the planer capacity. It takes a bit of set up but they’re cheap to build and work extremely well. A straight edge rip jig or taper jig for the table saw can take care of your edge jointing too. I built the same type of sled that Geekwoodworker posted here and it works great.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Razorburne's profile

Razorburne

41 posts in 879 days


#9 posted 04-13-2016 08:19 PM

That’s a really nice planer jig! I was thinking about going with a much more basic system of shims to wedge underneath and either use carpet tape or hot glue to keep everything secure.

I’m assuming my method would work as I’ve seen others online use it – your method is much more refined

View JeffP's profile

JeffP

573 posts in 852 days


#10 posted 04-13-2016 11:17 PM

I have a brand name 6” bench top jointer.

Do I want a big 8” powermatic or grizzly? Of course. Can I afford one or find a place to put it? Not so much.
Do I drool when a 12” or 16” Porter makes an entrance on Craigslist? Sure.

A bench top jointer is almost by definition a compromise. As long as you take it for what it is, and don’t get frustrated when it does poorly at jobs it was never intended for, it is a good value and a huge step up from no jointer at all.

Can you joint an 8 foot long piece of wood on one? Yes, absolutely. Will it be easy and come out perfect? No, it won’t. Will it be better than doing without? Yes.

Most people don’t realize it, but the very old “Serenity Prayer” was about somebody who wanted a big jointer.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View Razorburne's profile

Razorburne

41 posts in 879 days


#11 posted 04-14-2016 01:04 AM

Well put Jeff!

If you don’t mind me asking, which benchtop model do you have?

View Matt's profile

Matt

182 posts in 879 days


#12 posted 04-14-2016 01:09 AM

I recently purchased a porter-cable 6” bench top jointer for $250 from lowes. Worked great right out of the box. It is light and easy to move. Works great for smaller pieces. The instructions I think say nothing over 18” long or something like that. I immediately ignored that and had no issues. I think it was a pretty good purchase for my small shop.

That said, I will be reading up about this idea of using a sled on the planer… never heard of that before. It could prove useful for larger pieces.


I find a planer sled to be a fantastic solution for face jointing boards. Even with a good floor model jointer, your limited to 6 or 8” board widths most of the time. With a sled, you can face joint up to the planer capacity. It takes a bit of set up but they re cheap to build and work extremely well. A straight edge rip jig or taper jig for the table saw can take care of your edge jointing too. I built the same type of sled that Geekwoodworker posted here and it works great.

- HokieKen


-- I do this for fun.

View JeffP's profile

JeffP

573 posts in 852 days


#13 posted 04-14-2016 11:40 AM



Well put Jeff!

If you don t mind me asking, which benchtop model do you have?

- Razorburne

I have this one:
porter-cable jointer=

It works better than I expected it to, and unlike a 16” porter…I can pick it up and move it with ease…

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1738 posts in 599 days


#14 posted 04-14-2016 11:58 AM



That said, I will be reading up about this idea of using a sled on the planer… never heard of that before. It could prove useful for larger pieces.

- Matt

There are 2 basic sled designs that seem most prevalent, the one I linked to earlier and ones like this that works on the same principle but uses wedges instead of threads for adjusting the supports.


That s a really nice planer jig! I was thinking about going with a much more basic system of shims to wedge underneath and either use carpet tape or hot glue to keep everything secure.

I m assuming my method would work as I ve seen others online use it – your method is much more refined

- Razorburne

Yes it absolutely will work. Playing cards seem to be popular as shims. I saw several examples that used a rigid plywood base with playing cards and hot-melt glue. Of course in that case, you’re setting up from scratch on every board but honestly, I’m not sure the set-up would take that much longer than it takes me to get mine set up. I think if I were starting from scratch, I’d go with the wedge-based sled FWIW.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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