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Choosing an 8" Jointer - seeking advice on options

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Forum topic by Elizabeth posted 09-23-2010 12:31 AM 5143 views 1 time favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Elizabeth

814 posts in 2609 days


09-23-2010 12:31 AM

I’m putting together my first real wood shop (previously it was a mini lathe and a scroll saw in the corner of a bedroom) and the time has come to select a jointer. There are so many options out there, and I’ve done a bunch of reading but I haven’t got the experience to know what the differences really mean.

I want to get an 8” rather than a 6” because I think the extra width is worth the investment – my shop is in a garage which is not being used for cars so I am fortunate enough to have the space. But I’m getting tripped up by things like parallelogram beds and spiral cutterheads…how much of a difference do things like that actually make?

I am mainly looking at Grizzly jointers due to cost but am open to looking at other makes. I also have the capacity to run either 110v or 220v power and I suspect I will be using the 220v.

Intended projects – among other things I want to make bandsaw boxes and puzzle boxes, starting with plain woods but eventually dealing with figured or burl wood too. I will want to prepare wood for using on the scroll saw. I’m not sure what other types of projects I will get into in the future. I don’t currently plan on making cabinets but who knows what the future will hold..

Advice welcome – thanks!


24 replies so far

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 2525 days


#1 posted 09-23-2010 12:49 AM

Do you have a budget?

Will this be you first jointer purchase?

Because if you buy the jointer, you will eventually need the planer.

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

814 posts in 2609 days


#2 posted 09-23-2010 12:53 AM

This is my first jointer purchase. I already have a planer.

The Grizzly ones seem to be running in the $800-$1,200 dollar range, and while I’d prefer closer to the $800 side of things it is not a deciding factor – I’m more interested in choosing based on the quality of the tool.

I understand that other makes such as Jet and Powermatic run closer to $1,500 and up, and while I am willing to consider those, especially if others believe they are worth the money, I will consider all contenders carefully before dropping that much.

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1592 posts in 2325 days


#3 posted 09-23-2010 01:28 AM

Elizabeth,

I’ve heard a lot of good things abouit the Grizzly products. One of the things I’ve hearde from people who have bought is that the spiral cutterheads are worth the extra cost. Based on that, I’d say you’re best buy in a new 8” jointer would be the G0656XP which is currently on sale for $998.00.

Good luck with your puchase and…

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

814 posts in 2609 days


#4 posted 09-23-2010 01:37 AM

Hi Herb,

Yes, that’s one of the ones I’ve had my eye on. I know some people have said that the Grizzly spirals are 90 degrees, whereas you get better shear action with one like Byrd which I believe is offset by 15 degrees.

Do you know if it’s possible to get a standard flat blade jointer (such as the Grizzly G0490 or G0656) and then replace the blades with a spiral head?

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 2525 days


#5 posted 09-23-2010 01:58 AM

Grizzly, Jet, Powermatic tools are made in the same factory. They all are same quality just specs that meets the requirements. All three brands make well made tools.

I reccomend the G0593
http://www.grizzly.com/outlet/8-Jointer-w-Spiral-Cutterhead/G0593

or the G0656PX

http://www.grizzly.com/products/8-x-72-Jointer-with-Spiral-Cutterhead-and-Mobile-Base-Polar-Bear-Series/G0656PX

Also Look here for the parallelogram and dovetail difference.

http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=40476

http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=106917

View twiceisnice's profile

twiceisnice

95 posts in 2292 days


#6 posted 09-23-2010 02:40 AM

G0609X 12” Jointer w/ Spiral Cutterhead FROM GRIZZLY , IS THE BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK.

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1592 posts in 2325 days


#7 posted 09-23-2010 03:34 AM

Elizabeth,

You could go the route, if you want to look at it, contact Byrd and verify that they make a head for the Grizzly machine in question. If going that route I’d really look hard at buying the jointer used since Byrd is very proud ($$$) of the product.

The people I’ve heard from that had Grizzly machines with spiral cutter heads were very pleased with them.

Good luck on your purchase and…

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2103 posts in 3193 days


#8 posted 09-23-2010 03:56 AM

what about going used? that can save real $. To do figured woods, you will probably need a spiral head to avoid tear out. The tear out will still be a problem with your planer though.

You’d probably need a wide belt sander or something like that. Alternatively you could scrape afterwards or hand sand forever. Thats what I do.

View ChrisForthofer's profile

ChrisForthofer

150 posts in 2532 days


#9 posted 09-23-2010 04:09 AM

I have a grizzly 6” jointer with the grizzly spiral cutter head. I know they make a Byrd head for the all their standard jointers however the grizzly spiral head works superbly, has the same indexable insert setup (I dont know if the inserts themselves are the same) and really leaves a beautiful finish in all of the woods I have put across it (both hard and softwoods, figured and otherwise). My suggestion would be to get the Grizzly spiral head instead of getting the standard head and tearing it apart at some point down the road and installing the Byrd. I will also say that I have been very happy with the Grizzly tools I have purchased, the jointer and a 14” bandsaw to date. I have my eye on one of their cabinet saws as a replacement for my contractors saw. Good luck in your search.

Chris.

-- -Director of slipshod craftsmanship and attention deficit woodworking

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7154 posts in 2379 days


#10 posted 09-23-2010 04:36 AM

I picked up a two year old G0593 off of CL a couple of months ago for $700. They do come up on occasion. That being said, I have jointed 8” Ash with the spiral cutterhead without a problem using the included 2hp motor.

NOTE:
A. G0593 is the 2hp version vs the G0656PX w/3hp motor.
B. G0656PX has a built-in mobile base where the G0593 does NOT.
C. G0593 has a 9 1/4” x 75” bed(longer) whereas the G0656PX has a 9” x 72 1/2” bed.

IMO, you probably will NOT need that extra hp in the G0656XP motor unless you plan on jointing a lot of very large very hard boards. Either of these jointers will be a pleasure to own and the $104 difference is a wash if you buy a mobile base for the G0593.

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

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

814 posts in 2609 days


#11 posted 09-23-2010 07:41 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone!

Steven – thanks for those links about Parallel vs Dovetail. One thread seemed to say there wasn’t much difference and the other seemed to say the parallel was worth it! I’ll do some more searches on that board and see what else pops up.

Twiceisnice – I’d love to get the 12” jointer but it would eat up my dust collection budget as well as my jointer budget. I don’t really need that much capacity anyway. Fun to dream though!

Hokiemojo – I’ve been keeping an eye out on Craigslist but no 8” jointers have been coming up in my area, at least not in the past few months.

Herb and Chris – thanks very much for your input on spiral cutterheads, I think I will go with the Grizzly one. Chris I have Grizzly’s 14” bandsaw too (haven’t used it yet; need to rewire to 220) so I’m glad to know that you’re pleased with that one.

Mike – thanks for that breakdown. I do need to have a mobile base so you’re right, it’d be a wash after getting the base for the G0593.

I think I am sold on Grizzly and on spiral cutterhead, now I just need to choose amongst the four machines Grizzly offers:

1) G0593 – $1,114 shipped incl. mobile base, dovetailed, 2 HP, 110/220, 75” table
2) G0490X – $1,239 shipped, doesn’t specify dovetail or parallel, 3 HP, 220, 76 3/8” table
3) G0656X – $1,169 shipped, dovetailed, 3 HP, 220, 72 1/2” table
4) G0656XP – $1,142 shipped, same as above except polar series and $27 less

Have I missed any? Do they do one with spiral head and parallelogram tables? The G0490 is parallelogram – does that mean the G0490X is too?

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1592 posts in 2325 days


#12 posted 09-23-2010 08:40 PM

The G0656XP includes mobile base. And @ only $28 morew than the G0593 the extra horsepower would be nice. More power is almost always better…

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

814 posts in 2609 days


#13 posted 09-23-2010 08:56 PM

Yeah, I think it’s between numbers 2 and 3 now. I am actually thinking about getting the G0490 (not x) and the Byrd Shelix cutter, it’s not that much more and Grizzly sell one (H8803) that they specifically say is for the G0490. Someone else on LJ has done that and I’ve emailed him to ask how it worked out.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7154 posts in 2379 days


#14 posted 09-23-2010 09:28 PM

Elizabeth,
FWIW, IMO the parallelogram tables may or may NOT be so important. I say this because the non-parallelogram table version AKA dovetail type table system has a successful record of ~100years of use without any major problems. If parallelogram tables were so important then ALL jointers would have them and all others would be junk and unable to be sold on the open market. That is just NOT the case.

That being said, parallelogram tables may be “nice to have” but I sure would not consider the lack of parallelogram tables to be a deal breaker. To me the ONLY deal breaker in the above Grizzly jointers would be NOT having a spiral cutter head. The spiral cutter IS that nice to have and use. My 2 cents…

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

View Rileysdad's profile

Rileysdad

110 posts in 2744 days


#15 posted 09-23-2010 11:49 PM

Liz,
The one other thing I would consider before deciding on a jointer would be table length. The longer the tables the better.

As for what supports the tables, I have found that I almost never adjust the the depth of cut. So long as they are lined up right and flat, you’re good to go.

I have the 3 blade GO490 and I’ll be upgrading to the spiral cutterhead. Put a knick in a blade the first week i had it and been living with a line in every board I run. Would have been nice to just spin a cutter.

-- Measure twice, cut once, buy extra stock.

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