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Parallelogram Jointer - worth the additional money?

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Forum topic by jmos posted 07-18-2016 03:55 PM 1607 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jmos

737 posts in 1835 days


07-18-2016 03:55 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer

I’m thinking of replacing my 6” jointer with an 8” – is it worth the extra money for the parallelogram feature? I know I’d go for a spiral cutting head, but I’m up in the air about the parallelogram feature.

Also, for anyone who has one, what brand do you have and how do you like it?

Thanks!

-- John


18 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

8313 posts in 3113 days


#1 posted 07-18-2016 05:00 PM

People like the jointer they have. I’ve had several
and liked them all. I don’t think any were parallelogram
models. You get used to what you’re using.

If it were me I’d spend on more width, though 8”
is really adequate for most work.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3945 posts in 1959 days


#2 posted 07-18-2016 05:25 PM

It wasn’t when I bought mine, so I went with a Jet 8” (about 16 years ago). But the cost difference has come down quite a bit, so it might be a little different now. The advantages of a parallelogram table just don’t add up fr me…I seldom adjust the cutting depth, don’t worry too much about the gap around the cutterhead, and find the old DT way models to hold up very well.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4858 posts in 2279 days


#3 posted 07-18-2016 07:51 PM

I think the most important factor is the width of the joiner.
Parallelogram beds and helical heads are close behind though.
I have a Delta DJ-20 with parallelogram beds and I like the mechanism much better than Jet dovetail ways.
It is easier to adjust, and stays put once you set it.
My Jet would sag over time, and it was difficult to get all four corners on each table coplanar. Sometimes you have to resort to brass shims, which seems really rinky-dink for large equipment.

Grizzly’s 490 jointer is a near clone of the DJ-20, and probably isn’t any more expensive than other brands. That is one instance where you could get the parallelogram beds without paying a premium.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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JeffP

573 posts in 857 days


#4 posted 07-18-2016 11:31 PM

I’m surprised nobody has mentioned “helical” as being more important than parallelogram or width…

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

View RogR's profile

RogR

53 posts in 330 days


#5 posted 07-18-2016 11:55 PM

I have had the Grizzly 8” parallelogram for at least 8 years and have never had to adjust it. The fence could be better. The main reason I bought it was the longer infeed table. I run a lot of long stock, and that makes a world of difference.

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jmos

737 posts in 1835 days


#6 posted 07-19-2016 08:58 PM

Thanks all for the replies.

RogR – would you be so kind as to elaborate about the fence? I saw one review where the guy said he had to re-square the fence any time he moved it, and another saying it was a real bear to get square, but most reviews didn’t talk about it at all. Seems like it would be all over the reviews if it were that bad.

The longer beds are absolutely one reason I’m looking at upgrading. I’m trying to joint 68” boards on my 6” Jet and I’m having some trouble even though everything appears to be set up properly.

It’s interesting; looking at the Grizzly line, the 8” helical head dovetail way model, G0656XW is currently $1,295, and the 8” helical head parallelogram model, the G0490XW is $1,350 – $55 gets you slightly longer beds and the parallelogram feature. The Powermatic, Laguna, and Baileigh’s that are comparable to the G0490XW are all about $3,000. An amazing cost difference that I’m having a hard time justifying, but I’m also concerned there’s a reason it’s so much less.

I thinking real hard about the 490XW.

-- John

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AZWoody

697 posts in 689 days


#7 posted 07-19-2016 09:07 PM

If I were to buy a modern jointer again, it would definitely be parallelogram. I have one that’s dovetail and getting everything co-planer is not always easy and with mine, if it didn’t have a removable granite top, it would be impossible. I was lucky in that I could shim the bed that rested on the dovetails but it was so off, that if the dovetail ways and top was all in 1 piece, I would be out of luck on having a usable jointer.

Now, if I were to get a vintage jointer, I wouldn’t mind so much a wedge bed jointer as they were built to a much higher standard.

Definitely get the helical head if you think you will be using it on woods with a lot of grain changes. It really makes a difference with tearout.

Also, get the widest jointer you can afford. I started with a 6” then moved to an 8” and now I would go 16” for my shop but also am looking at 24” for the slabs from my sawmill.

View BulldogLouisiana's profile

BulldogLouisiana

218 posts in 605 days


#8 posted 07-19-2016 11:16 PM



I m surprised nobody has mentioned “helical” as being more important than parallelogram or width…

- JeffP

The OP stated they were going to get a spiral cutter in their first post.

-- There are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't.

View RogR's profile

RogR

53 posts in 330 days


#9 posted 07-20-2016 01:02 AM


would you be so kind as to elaborate about the fence? I saw one review where the guy said he had to re-square the fence any time he moved it, and another saying it was a real bear to get square, but most reviews didn t talk about it at all. Seems like it would be all over the reviews if it were that bad.

This. Maybe I’m doing it wrong, but it does seem as though the fence is finicky. It’s not a huge problem, and I can’t remember the last time I used it at anything but 90ยบ, but the detent doesn’t automatically register at 90 and the fence needs to be nudged this way and that to get it exact. And I feel I need to check it regularly because it can be bumped out of whack.

If I was regularly jointing at other angles it would likely cause some frustration, but as it is it’s not a deal breaker for me.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3945 posts in 1959 days


#10 posted 07-20-2016 12:00 PM


Thanks all for the replies.

I thinking real hard about the 490XW.

- jmos

You should be, that is surprising. All other factors being equal, it’s a no brainer. Just for info, check out this thread on another forum about that jointer. It wouldn’t change my mind, but it’s an experience you should read.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View jmos's profile

jmos

737 posts in 1835 days


#11 posted 07-20-2016 12:04 PM

Thanks for the additional info RogR.

Fred, it does seem like a no-brainer. It just makes me a little nervous that one machine can be half to cost of the others on the market without there being some significant trade-off; but I just can’t find it. There seem to be some minor drawbacks, but nothing big.

-- John

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2532 days


#12 posted 07-20-2016 02:37 PM

I’m coming late to the conversation but I’ll add my 2cw. Back when I bought mine, I was either going to get a Griz 8” with shelix head and dovetail ways or the griz 12 with parallogram and 4 HSS knives.

I struggled with it for a long time, and in the end I followed someones advice “get the biggest jointer you can afford”.

The bennefits is truely if an adjustment is required its easier as the dovetail design would require shims. Second benefit is as you increase cutting depth in a dovetail the tables regress farther away from the cutter head exposing more space or gap between cutter head and table.

Ok now I’ve had mine for over 10 years now. It runs like a champ, I have never had to adjust it so not a big deal. Sharpened the knives and no issues there. I would like to add a shelex head for figured stuff but not a must do.

To be honest I make only minor elevation adjustments period. So the whole argument of the gap kinda fades as well. I don’t think I’ve taken more than a full two cranks on it in its life.

I don’t regret the purchase. It s one of those things that if you ever need to adjust the tables and the wider it is the more that will come into play, it will make life easier.

However I would never ever go down in size. You will never ever hear someone say “dang I bought to big a jointer”

BTW my previous jointer was a LN #7

Cheers!

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View jmos's profile

jmos

737 posts in 1835 days


#13 posted 07-20-2016 02:57 PM

I’d love to go 12”, but my shop is in the basement and the stairs have a landing. I’ll hire movers to hump it down (just did for my new cabinet saw) but I don’t see any way to get it down into my shop. I won’t envy the guys I hire to take the ~350# bed down the stairs.

-- John

View amt's profile

amt

49 posts in 1184 days


#14 posted 07-24-2016 11:29 PM

Take the tables off before lugging it down. You might be able to get a Grizzly 12” spiral head for what a Powermatic 8” goes for.

-- -Andrew

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jmos

737 posts in 1835 days


#15 posted 07-25-2016 12:42 AM

amt – that’s an interesting idea – how hard is it to get the parallellogram beds off and back on again? I did a quick google search and came up blank. I’d hate to screw up a brand new machine.

-- John

showing 1 through 15 of 18 replies

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