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Benefits of 6" vs 8" Jointers

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Forum topic by Dustin posted 02-14-2017 05:05 PM 676 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dustin

404 posts in 575 days


02-14-2017 05:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip jointer

Hoping to get some input for the final steps in “tooling” my shop. I’m pretty adequately equipped, but the main tools I lack are the ones I need in order to buy better lumber at better prices (i.e., rough cut vs big box store junk): a jointer and planer. I have a friend with a very nice PM HH 6” jointer, but don’t want to make a twenty minute drive and interrupt his day every time I need to use it, even if it is one of the most enjoyable machines I’ve ever used.

So my question is this: will I get much more out of an 8” jointer vs a 6”?

Here are some considerations:

1) I’m looking for used, very cheap (<$300). I know that sounds a little nuts, but there’s an auction place near me where the old Jet JJ-6CS’s have been through a couple times and sold for less than $200.

2) Room is not a huge factor, so long as there’s a mobile stand and it can be tucked away when not in use.

3) I do more small projects than large. While small tables, even a desk or two, are in my near future, larger items such as a dining table are quite a ways off.

4) I don’t currently have 220 in my garage where I work, as none of my tools are particularly powerful, but have all 20A circuits (dust collector on it’s own circuit). If I ever needed to add it in, it would indicate I’ve got more resources to buy better tools, at which point moving would be on the top of my list, so 220 at my current house doesn’t seem like a future need.

My main thoughts are that an 8” jointer would make life easy, obviously, for boards over 6” wide. However, I’m considering planers right now (the Dewalt 735 pops up in my area’s craigslist every so often), too, and thinking about doing a planer sled for flattening stock rather than face jointing. The 6” jointer, then, would be used only when working with stock 6” wide or less (for face jointing), and of course edge jointing.

Thoughts, opinions, or recommendations?

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."


12 replies so far

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Ripper70

608 posts in 744 days


#1 posted 02-14-2017 05:20 PM

I think the most important consideration is the length of the bed. There are a few 8” options that don’t require 220v service and there are a few “long bed” 6” jointers that can give you some additional length, but those of the 8” variety, if space isn’t much of a factor, would probably serve you better in the long run. Finding an 8” jointer for less than $300 bucks might be the hard part.

You never need the extra capacity of any tool, until you do.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

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unbob

800 posts in 1738 days


#2 posted 02-14-2017 05:22 PM

I found an older grizly 8”, I have never wished I bought a 6”

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Dustin

404 posts in 575 days


#3 posted 02-14-2017 05:24 PM


You never need the extra capacity of any tool, until you do.

- Ripper70

Truer words have never been spoken.

On that note, what do you think is the minimum length bed to avoid buyer’s remorse? The JJ-6CS models look to have about a 4ft bed.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

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Ripper70

608 posts in 744 days


#4 posted 02-14-2017 05:36 PM

If you can get a decent JJ-6CS for less than $200 that’d be a hard bargain to turn down. On the other hand, there are plenty of folks that use their table saws for jointing boards. I’m a big fan of Jimmy Diresta and watch his YouTube vids all the time. I’ve never seen him use a jointer. I don’t think he even owns a jointer.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

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papadan

3584 posts in 3203 days


#5 posted 02-14-2017 05:41 PM

Dustin, you are asking a lot of different questions about a lot of things. Let’s take your thread title to start with. Difference between 6 & 8 jointers. Simple, 8” gives wider capacity, stronger machine and motor due to higher capacity, physically bigger machine so you have longer bed to work with. There it is, question answered. Now, there are tons of people who own jointers so they have no need for a planer. Jointers can and will joint edges and faces of your boards. Next item, I have been playing with wood most of my life with the last 18 y, being more “Fine woodworking” I don’t have, and never will have a need for a jointer. I never buy wood from the borg or milled. All rough, mostly left over center slabs from a veneer company. Veneer is cut from green logs that are soaked in ponds for weeks to soften then for easy cutting, just think about what the leftover slabs are like. I have a planer that is the most important tool I own. It does all the smoothing out and thicknessing of my wood. I use a simple router with a straight edge to joint all my lumber. My lumber from the main source requires 2 years drying time before use and I am cafefull on how I stack and sticker it to prevent warpage and cupping. On the rare occasion that I do have some, I use tablesaw and planer sleds to clean up the mess. With 2 sleds I built I can take any rough lumber and turn it into S4S ready to assemble lumber with just my Ridgid planer. You can do the same thing with your rough lumber with nothing but a jointer, and yes, 8” is better and 6” for many reasons. OK, my Pneumonia is still not over, so I’m done for now. Dustin, Read and understand the answeres everyone offer to your questions, then use followup questions to continue.

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papadan

3584 posts in 3203 days


#6 posted 02-14-2017 05:56 PM


You never need the extra capacity of any tool, until you do.

- Ripper70

Truer words have never been spoken.

On that note, what do you think is the minimum length bed to avoid buyer s remorse? The JJ-6CS models look to have about a 4ft bed.

- Dustin


Posted while I was typing slow. You are trying your best to make the small stuff your major concern. 6 or 8….8 is bigger, bigger is more capacity. Benchtop 6” give you about 3’ width and don’t even make a good anchor. Floor model with 4’ bed ain’t much better. ANY MACHINE CAN USE WORK SUPPORTS TO LENGTHEN THE BED The strength, and cut capacity are the main factors and what your decision should be based on.

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Dustin

404 posts in 575 days


#7 posted 02-14-2017 06:20 PM

Dan,

Yeah, I suppose I could’ve been a little more dialed in with the title. Mainly, I was wanting to get people’s opinions on the feasability of 6” floor-standing (not even considering a benchtop) models, but was also hoping it would open up the conversation on alternative approaches different woodworkers use. So for that, I very much appreciate your detailed response. I have considered going without a jointer (I have for this long, but that’s been due to a lack of time in the shop and using mainly plywood and BORG hardwood), and transferring that portion of my budget to a good planer is a definite possibiilty. I’ve seen a few sled designs, but looks like I’ll be looking up some more tonight when I get home.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

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RustyHacksaw

129 posts in 1098 days


#8 posted 02-14-2017 06:29 PM



Dan,

Yeah, I suppose I could ve been a little more dialed in with the title. Mainly, I was wanting to get people s opinions on the feasability of 6” floor-standing (not even considering a benchtop) models, but was also hoping it would open up the conversation on alternative approaches different woodworkers use. So for that, I very much appreciate your detailed response. I have considered going without a jointer (I have for this long, but that s been due to a lack of time in the shop and using mainly plywood and BORG hardwood), and transferring that portion of my budget to a good planer is a definite possibiilty. I ve seen a few sled designs, but looks like I ll be looking up some more tonight when I get home.

- Dustin

A jointer is not necessary. There are easy to make planer sleds for flattening, and edge jointing sleds for the table saw for that. The jointer just does it faster. It is far from a necessity.

Planer is a non-negotiable.

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William Shelley

477 posts in 1304 days


#9 posted 02-14-2017 06:33 PM

(redacted)

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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William Shelley

477 posts in 1304 days


#10 posted 02-14-2017 06:34 PM

I have a 6” craftsman jointer. I don t do a ton of big projects either, but the few times that I have needed it, I REALLY needed the bigger capacity. With that being said, I m waiting for my new Baileigh 16” x 86” jointer/planer combo machine to be delivered later this week. :)

It s almost impossible to buy too big of a jointer. The bigger units (even an 8”) are heavier, which means it s safer to joint large boards / beams by yourself. E.g. my craftsman 6” only weighs maybe 200 to 250lbs and if I m trying to joint an 8ft 4×4, it starts to get a bit tippy as the weight of the whole 4×4 is on the outfeed table. Most 8” jointers are going to be 400-600lbs, and my new 16” sits right around 1000lbs. That makes a big difference in stability and prevents vibration as well.

- William Shelley

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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Dustin

404 posts in 575 days


#11 posted 02-14-2017 06:51 PM



With that being said, I m waiting for my new Baileigh 16” x 86” jointer/planer combo machine to be delivered later this week. :)

- William Shelley

<sigh> So much envy…

Again, folks, thanks for all the replies. Considering that flattening anything wider than the capacity of whichever jointer I got would require the use of a planer sled anyways, it certainly seems like that’s the way to go. I’m thinking I’ll keep an eye out for the next used Dewalt that shows up. I’ve used a few lunchbox planers in the past, from cheap (Porter Cable) to heavier and more expensive (Makita), but man, the 735 left a nice finish.

Considering that an entire wall of my shop will be bench/cabinet space, edge-jointing fairly long boards with a router and straight edge shouldn’t pose any problems.

On that note, anyone have a suggestion for a preferred planer sled build?

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

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papadan

3584 posts in 3203 days


#12 posted 02-14-2017 06:53 PM



Dan,

Yeah, I suppose I could ve been a little more dialed in with the title. Mainly, I was wanting to get people s opinions on the feasability of 6” floor-standing (not even considering a benchtop) models, but was also hoping it would open up the conversation on alternative approaches different woodworkers use. So for that, I very much appreciate your detailed response. I have considered going without a jointer (I have for this long, but that s been due to a lack of time in the shop and using mainly plywood and BORG hardwood), and transferring that portion of my budget to a good planer is a definite possibiilty. I ve seen a few sled designs, but looks like I ll be looking up some more tonight when I get home.

- Dustin


I lied just a little, when someone asks for simple book shelves I do use the Borg S4S Oak or Poplar. But I learned many…many years ago that those boards need to be edge jointed before use or you will have lousy looking shelves.

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