1942 Oliver Jointer

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Forum topic by slopjock78 posted 03-02-2017 11:52 AM 868 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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70 posts in 2585 days

03-02-2017 11:52 AM

So i have been wanting to add a jointer to my shop for some time now. Been keeping an eye out for a nice used one, but nothing has been popping up in my area. Today, i see on my local craigslist a 1942 Oliver 8”. I have no personal experience with the brand, but know that they are(or at least were) considered a top brand. The machine appears to be repainted at least, and from the pictures looks to be in excellent shape. its set up for 220V 3 phase with a 1 HP motor. I am not set up for 3 phase, but I believe there are options for this. The listing says $995 firm. What are peoples thoughts on an old machine like this?

11 replies so far

View HokieKen's profile


7127 posts in 1340 days

#1 posted 03-02-2017 12:27 PM

I love old machines, my jointer is a 40s model Atlas that I restored. It’s a great machine and does a great job. But I only paid $30 for it.

Oliver made great machines and are highly sought after. However, they made several jointers and $1000 would be fair for some models and way too steep for others. My gut tells me that it’s too much for a 8” though. They made some BIG production jointers that were 12-16” I believe. But they also made some small home-shop jointers that, even fully restored, wouldn’t draw that price. And a 3 phase 1 hp motor is unusual. Normally you don’t see 3-phase smaller than 2 hp. Not impossible but unusual.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Ripper70's profile


1164 posts in 1110 days

#2 posted 03-02-2017 01:10 PM

Sounds tempting. I’ve seen those vintage Olivers for sale in my area and they seem to always have exorbitantly high asking prices. They look really cool but if I could snag a 20 year old Powermatic 60 and have $300 or $400 bucks left in my pocket, I’d pass on the Oliver. If you simply need an 8” jointer to function in your shop you shouldn’t need to spend that much money.

If you’re more interested in having a showpiece type, vintage tool or need a machine that can withstand the rigors of industrial type workflow then it certainly would be worth a serious look.

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

View slopjock78's profile


70 posts in 2585 days

#3 posted 03-02-2017 01:17 PM

Thanks for the replies so far.

I do not need the rigors of an industrial type jointer, and most likely do not require a 8” jointer either. But I do like quality. I would be perfectly happy with a lower cost machine, as long as it does the job with a reasonable amount of accuracy. I’m definitely in this as a hobby, but will pay for quality if I see the value in it

View ChefHDAN's profile


1193 posts in 3051 days

#4 posted 03-02-2017 01:39 PM

I have a 6” Rigid jointer and have never had a problem with it, got it for $200 and it was nearly dead accurate right out of the box. But…. even though I’m just a hobbyist too, 2 times in 10 I really wish it was an 8”,.. but then $100 for a #7 Stanley is fun to use too….

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View PJKS's profile


62 posts in 723 days

#5 posted 03-02-2017 01:42 PM

New Grizzly 8 inch for almost same amount … 3hp, single phase …..

-- Pat / Colorado

View Aj2's profile


1879 posts in 2000 days

#6 posted 03-02-2017 02:26 PM

I think it’s too much.Ive also seen them on Cl around me way over priced.The one thing that machines has over anything new made is a direct drive motor is very quite and smooth.Larger diameter cutting circle I saw one with a Bryd head fully restored and it was pretty Slick.


-- Aj

View slopjock78's profile


70 posts in 2585 days

#7 posted 03-02-2017 02:28 PM

So, what I think I’m hearing is that for the amount of money for this old Oliver, it would be better to buy a new Grizzly-type machine for about the same money?

View bigblockyeti's profile


5286 posts in 1922 days

#8 posted 03-02-2017 02:41 PM

I would agree with that assessment. There’s certainly value there but if it’s belt drive you’d probably be looking for a new motor on top of your investment, direct drive and you’ll need a vfd. Great deals pop up on 8” jonters every now and then and unless you’re hell bent on getting some very old iron something will show up eventually.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View AZWoody's profile


1414 posts in 1426 days

#9 posted 03-02-2017 02:42 PM

Maybe the price is high because he has converted the head to a newer helical? Might want to find out but the concern is the motor size. Depending on the way you would convert it down to single phase, you’re going to lose some of the hp and then you’re left with much less hp than you would need. Personally, I think 1hp for an 8 inch jointer is borderline weak as it is.

In that price range, yes, I think new would be better but one thing you might want to look at if buying new is a helical head, and in my experience, a parallelogram style beds. It makes things much easier to adjust. Wedge beds are simple, until you have to start shimming.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3850 days

#10 posted 03-02-2017 03:23 PM

I like old woodworking machines a lot but the
only reason I really mess with them is to
get more capacity and power for the money.

My old 3 phase jointer is 16” wide, which makes
it worth the hassle. To me, an 8” jointer isn’t.

Oliver is one of the more sought-after brands but
honestly unless you really want to get into 3-phase
machines I don’t think it’s a good choice and not
especially a bargain either.

View slopjock78's profile


70 posts in 2585 days

#11 posted 03-02-2017 03:27 PM

Thanks for all the replies everyone. This is the exact kind of advice I have come to expect from this site over the years. I dont post often, but when I do, I can always expect excellent advice from the community.

I think I’ll keep on looking and try to find something that will fit my needs more at a better price. Or maybe wait for a deal to come out for a new Grizzly…...

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