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Is there any benchtop jointer worth having?

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Forum topic by AZWoody posted 06-16-2016 04:46 PM 1483 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AZWoody

697 posts in 690 days


06-16-2016 04:46 PM

I am needing to joint some smaller sized cutoffs for turning blanks and they’re too small to use on my larger jointer.
I could make some kind of sled for the tablesaw but there are so many small pieces, that will take a lot of time to do them all.

Is there a benchtop that will do a decent job with short pieces down to maybe 4”-6” or so in length?


17 replies so far

View ScottM's profile

ScottM

346 posts in 1612 days


#1 posted 06-16-2016 04:54 PM

My 6” bench top says the minimum length is 12”. I know it can go smaller, just depends on your skill and how much you like your fingers….

So it looks like a jig is your option for pieces that short. Now to decide whether that jig will be for your table saw or jointer….

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4234 posts in 1665 days


#2 posted 06-16-2016 04:58 PM

You might want to consider something a little less high-tech:

Or perhaps a belt sander.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 952 days


#3 posted 06-16-2016 04:59 PM

I’d just use the table saw and a push shoe.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

757 posts in 1461 days


#4 posted 06-16-2016 05:49 PM

Got a power planer? You could build a sled to hold the small pieces and do them all at once.

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

View devann's profile

devann

2202 posts in 2158 days


#5 posted 06-16-2016 07:46 PM

Do you have a router table and a fence with adjustable infeed/outfeed fence?

I’ve used mine for similar solutions to yours.

1. I use a 2” x 1/2” straight cut bit. Setup bit so the cutter is as close to the front edger of the table as possible.

2. Using a steel ruler for a straight edge and two thin washers of the same thickness, place the washers upright against the infeed fence.

3. Place the straight edge against the washers aligning the straight edge with the leading edge of the router bit cutter. Secure.

4. Move the outfeed fence to the straight edge and secure. The thickness of the washers will be your depth of cut.

It’s a kind of mini vertical jointer, but it works.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

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firefighterontheside

13508 posts in 1322 days


#6 posted 06-16-2016 07:59 PM

Any 6” jointer is going to be basically the same as far as distance between tables, so safety will not improve from your bigger jointer. I’m no turner, but do you really need to joint turning blanks? Unless you’re going to leave flat faces on your turning.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

692 posts in 1264 days


#7 posted 06-16-2016 08:27 PM

I dont think anything made and sold today is worth buying.
A handplane would be your best bet.But if that’s not your cup of tea.
Keep your eye out for a vintage 4 inch jointer.
Something like this.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

697 posts in 853 days


#8 posted 06-16-2016 11:45 PM

I bought a used Porter Cable 6” bench top jointer off of Craigs List a few months ago for about $150. At first I had terrible buyers remorse because it was terrible. After looking at the setup a little more carefully, I realized that the blades were set too low and the blades were dull (probably because the previous owner used it to plane paint off an old board). I bought a new set of blades, set them to the proper height and it works like a dream for such a cheap tool. I’ve planned some hard hickory and gotten a finish ready surface. I also was able to plane as some hard as a rock live oak I milled myself. The chip collection works pretty well with just my shop vac. The worst thing about it is the fence is sort of difficult to get square buts once it is locked in, I don’t mess with it. The aluminum tables are not my favorite either but it works and they make it light enough to lift over my head to put on a shelf when not in use.

If you are going to use it frequently and have the room for one, bite the bullet and get a robust floor standing jointer. If like me, space is an issue and you just need something now and then, this is worth even the full retail price in my opinion.

BTW, I heard that the Grizzly 6” bench top is a little more robust than the PC so check it out too.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View teejk02's profile

teejk02

424 posts in 591 days


#9 posted 06-17-2016 12:33 AM



I bought a used Porter Cable 6” bench top jointer off of Craigs List a few months ago for about $150. At first I had terrible buyers remorse because it was terrible. After looking at the setup a little more carefully, I realized that the blades were set too low and the blades were dull (probably because the previous owner used it to plane paint off an old board). I bought a new set of blades, set them to the proper height and it works like a dream for such a cheap tool. I ve planned some hard hickory and gotten a finish ready surface. I also was able to plane as some hard as a rock live oak I milled myself. The chip collection works pretty well with just my shop vac. The worst thing about it is the fence is sort of difficult to get square buts once it is locked in, I don t mess with it. The aluminum tables are not my favorite either but it works and they make it light enough to lift over my head to put on a shelf when not in use.

If you are going to use it frequently and have the room for one, bite the bullet and get a robust floor standing jointer. If like me, space is an issue and you just need something now and then, this is worth even the full retail price in my opinion.

BTW, I heard that the Grizzly 6” bench top is a little more robust than the PC so check it out too.

- Lazyman

Most of the “bench tops” don’t let you adjust anything other than depth of cut. Interesting to see that the typical jointer is also available in the mini version…I learn something every day.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

697 posts in 690 days


#10 posted 06-17-2016 12:43 AM

I have hand planes as well, but some of these pieces are going to be a bit short to use a plane with. Also, I’m trying to avoid having to clamp things down to save some time. I’m wanting to be able to go through the scraps and flatten the side quick and make the cuts I need to save time.


I m no turner, but do you really need to joint turning blanks? Unless you re going to leave flat faces on your turning.

- firefighterontheside

Yes, straight edges are not important for turning but for me to cut my blanks, I need one straight edge and face so I can reference all my cuts.

I do like the idea of the belt sander. I could just put a low grit to make it quick and then do the cuts.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

697 posts in 853 days


#11 posted 06-17-2016 12:53 AM


- Lazyman
Most of the “bench tops” don t let you adjust anything other than depth of cut. Interesting to see that the typical jointer is also available in the mini version…I learn something every day.

- teejk02

That’s correct. The only fine tuning you can really do is adjust the blade height. I spent an hour trying to see if there was a way to fine tune the out-feed table height because my first thought was that my initial problems were caused by the in-feed and out-feed tables tables not being coplaner before I realized that the blades were just set below the outfeed table (and very dull).

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

757 posts in 1461 days


#12 posted 06-17-2016 01:44 AM

The shopfox/grizzly bench top was a good machine for me. You could adjustry the tables for planar but it was a pain. Still, not safe to use on short pieces.

Could you glue the shorts end to end to make them long enough to joint, then cut the glue lines out?

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

View splatman's profile

splatman

563 posts in 865 days


#13 posted 06-17-2016 06:02 AM

Clamp a hand plane upside down in a bench vise, along with a board (between the plane and the vise’s back jaw) to serve as a fence, and you now have a low-tech jointer that can handle short/small workpieces.

Cut a rabbet in the fence board so the board face covers the space between the plane’s side and the cutter.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

697 posts in 853 days


#14 posted 06-17-2016 08:44 PM

Just to clarify. The 6” PC jointer manual says not to use it for anything shorter than 10”. That being said, I have used it with 6” boards with a hold down/push block that kept my hands well away from the cutter head.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4456 posts in 3426 days


#15 posted 06-17-2016 09:01 PM

I have a Cutech 6” benchtop jointer for just your needs.
Needed to finish a base for an antique angle level. Small job for sure, but the Cutech sure works well for the small jobs.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

showing 1 through 15 of 17 replies

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