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Decision time.. 8 or 12" jointer?

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Forum topic by flitemedic13 posted 12-20-2016 06:16 PM 1903 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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flitemedic13

8 posts in 1027 days


12-20-2016 06:16 PM

OK so here’s my predicament. Theres alot of questions in here too so be patient with me. I was originally looking to upgrade my old steelex 6” jointer. It has served me well but needing more capacity. The idea was to catch 8” powermatic parallelogram spiral or wedege jointer on sale this past month but wasn’t quite able to spend the cash at the time. Good to go now and while I was doing a little research on if I should get the Grizzly choices, PM or shop fox, I realized Steelex has a 12” for about the price of the powermatic 8” wedge bed and less than the PM parallelogram byrd version.

1.I’m not sure how much quality I am sacrificing with steelex just to get more capacity.

2. I really need my jointer to be mobile..if I go with the 12” I think I may have to leave it on the pallet and buy a pallet jack..but then I need to be able to store the jack..ugh!

3. Do the Grizzly and generic spiral heads cut as well as the byrd shelix? Is there any perceptual difference?

So bottom line, which would u get? Am I crazy for thinking if I was gonna spend $2400 on a PM that I should just get the bigger capacity despite having to deal with a pallet jack and a generic spiral cutter and maybe some quality control issues from Steelex. Not saying the PM is perfect in every way but still.
Jointers in question : Grizzly 490xw and 495x, Powermatic 8” wedge and parallelogram byrd jointers, Steelex 12” spiral st1013. Or I could really cheap and get the steelex version of the Grizzly 490 for less than $1200 and put that savings to a wide belt sander in the future.


19 replies so far

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Loren

9623 posts in 3483 days


#1 posted 12-20-2016 07:13 PM

I would get the 12.

Jointers are straightforward machines.

View jmos's profile

jmos

797 posts in 2205 days


#2 posted 12-21-2016 12:59 AM

I recently got the G-0490XW, and I’ve got a Byrd head in my DeWalt 735 – I can’t see any real difference in the finish left by either head, they both do a very nice job. I wouldn’t go from either jointer or planer directly to finish, so it really doesn’t matter.

If I could have accommodated the 12” jointer, I would have bought one.

-- John

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bigblockyeti

4697 posts in 1556 days


#3 posted 12-21-2016 01:07 AM

I have a Delta 8” and an old Crescent 12” and while I use the 8” more, when you need the extra capacity there really is no easy work around not having it (the extra power helps too). I see no reason why you couldn’t mount locking casters under the 12” machine, sure they’d be more expensive than what would be require for an 8” machine but far less money and hassle than always having a pallet jack around for just one machine.

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ErikF

574 posts in 2080 days


#4 posted 12-21-2016 01:07 AM

12”

Buy a $100 welder from harbor freight and make a mobile base.

I have a 20” jointer and regularly wish it was bigger.

-- Power to the people.

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AZWoody

1138 posts in 1060 days


#5 posted 12-21-2016 01:20 AM

I’ve actually been looking at getting a vintage 12” to restore and add a helical head but if I can’t find a reasonable price I might be getting the Steelex. Like what was said before, they’re pretty straightforward machines so unless the quality control had some serious issues, it should be fine.

I saw that ebay has a couple dealers that carry them and one of them is utterguys and they have always been really good at answering questions on their products. I do know that it’s a Grizzly owned brand sold through retail like Shop Fox. Other than that I don’t know where it stands on the Woodstock totem pole.

As for wedge vs parallelogram, after having a wedge bed that was a pain to align properly, I swore to get a parallelogram from here on out.

Whether to get 8” or 12” I will guarantee that once you get the 8”, you’ll find you have a bunch of 9” boards to run.

View RogR's profile

RogR

107 posts in 701 days


#6 posted 12-21-2016 01:53 AM

I have the Grizzly 490 and it works well for me (the fence could be better). I find very little need for 12” and on the occasions I do I can manage with workarounds. Bigger is usually better if you have the space but that gets to be a lot of iron to move around if you don’t.

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Aj2

1175 posts in 1634 days


#7 posted 12-21-2016 04:18 AM

I have a 12 inch jointer I really like having long tables.I bought mine used and would never buy a new machine today.
There’s lots of used stuff out there you can inspect before forking out one penny.
The Phoneix Arizonia Cl has several 12 + jointers for sale.
The most important thing on a jointer are the tables.Flat and true is what make a good machine.

Aj

-- Aj

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pjswoodshop

41 posts in 1299 days


#8 posted 12-21-2016 05:12 AM

I just purchased an Oliver 12” with a Byrd head. Zero regrets on the size. I’d go with the larger of the 2 if you know you would use it.
And I’m a fellow flight medic… as your name suggests.

View Steve's profile

Steve

186 posts in 1836 days


#9 posted 12-21-2016 08:53 AM

I bought one right in between, its a General 10” with a helical head. its a great machine.

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

1006 posts in 1831 days


#10 posted 12-21-2016 03:24 PM



12”

Buy a $100 welder from harbor freight and make a mobile base.

I have a 20” jointer and regularly wish it was bigger.

- ErikF

Wow. Further evidence no matter how big you go, it’s never enough! Where the heck are you finding boards that wide? Whole tree slabs maybe?

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

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2711 posts in 1316 days


#11 posted 12-21-2016 03:27 PM

I thought Steelex went out of business?

I have a Grizzly 8” with a Byrd head and it does great.

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

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7656 posts in 2750 days


#12 posted 12-21-2016 04:14 PM

I have the old G0593 8in. w/spiral head. Believe what you want, but I have managed to joint +10in. boards on it. You just have to spin 180 after each pass. A couple of passes with a handplane and then run it through my lunchbox planer and I’m good to go.

As far as:
”...2. I really need my jointer to be mobile..if I go with the 12” I think I may have to leave it on the pallet and buy a pallet jack..but then I need to be able to store the jack..ugh!...”

I would think that you would not want to go TOO large of capacity if you are truly concerned about mobility. We on LJs love to spend other people’s money, so be aware of said bias when seeking advice. FWIW, a Grizzly G0609X 12in. weighs in at 1,056lb and G0490X 8in weighs in at 564lb.

IMO, THAT would tilt me in the 8in. capacity direction as far as mobility. BTW, I can scoot my 8in. around on the concrete floor without assistance. Just a thought…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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bonesbr549

1445 posts in 2903 days


#13 posted 12-21-2016 05:13 PM

I had your same decision point about 10 years ago. I had the budget for an 8” with shelix head or a 12” parallogram joint with 4 HSS knives. (Grizzly)

I stuggeled for a long time and in the end, I decided the old saying “get the biggest you can afford” stuck with me.

Also, the diff in price for the byrd head, purchased seperately was the same if i purchesed it with the jointer. I decided I’d get the 12 and upgrade down the road.

I’m 10 years downt he road and don’t regret it at all. Would do the same thing all over again. Further not really felt the need to do the upgrade as the HSS work fine, and been a great tool.

My only gripe is DC is got some issues and I have a good DC (2hp) connected right close to it and I still have to clean it out every now and then and the provided DC outlet is wierd size and I replaced it.

Never have the words been said “Dang, I got too big a jointer”

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

View flitemedic13's profile

flitemedic13

8 posts in 1027 days


#14 posted 12-21-2016 05:36 PM

Looks like I’ll go with the steelex 12 spiral st1013 then….it weighs 884 lbs ..Grizzly has a super heavy duty shop fox mobile base with bar extensions that may be able to fit the base of this jointer. I’ll probably leave it on the pallet until we move to a new house this summer for ease of moving it into a freight truck though. It seems like for the money I’d probably getting a decent machine with a spiral cutter in a parallelogram configuration. I’m hoping / cautiously expecting the quality is on par with grizzly/shop fox.

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flitemedic13

8 posts in 1027 days


#15 posted 12-21-2016 05:37 PM

Looks like I’ll go with the steelex 12 spiral st1013 then….it weighs 884 lbs ..Grizzly has a super heavy duty shop fox mobile base with bar extensions that may be able to fit the base of this jointer. I’ll probably leave it on the pallet until we move to a new house this summer for ease of moving it into a freight truck though. It seems like for the money I’d probably getting a decent machine with a spiral cutter in a parallelogram configuration. I’m hoping / cautiously expecting the quality is on par with grizzly/shop fox.

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