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Jointer: New vs Old iron

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Forum topic by mlipps posted 03-13-2017 05:57 PM 984 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mlipps

115 posts in 949 days


03-13-2017 05:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer old iron jointing grizzly oliver moak porter old woodworking

Hi All,

I was wondering what the LJ community has to say about which jointer to get. I see Grizzly has a pretty well reviewed 12” jointer G0609x with a helical head. I was considering that. But by the same token for 3k I could hunt around for an old beast like an Oliver or Porter. But then again they’re hard to find.

What do you guys think? Is it better to go old or new with a warranty?

Thanks!
M


19 replies so far

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1138 posts in 1059 days


#1 posted 03-13-2017 06:56 PM

I just bought a couple old jointers but I also am going to be using them semi commercially. Depends on your price point. After I upgrade to helical heads and take them apart and refurbish them, I might come close or over the price point of a new one. That is, if they were a 12”.

Mine are 16” and 20”. These I still might come in cheaper than new.

Jointers are pretty simple machines though. If you don’t mind not having a warranty, then buying a used one would be easy to fix and maintain on your own but the prices of a 12” Oliver and Porter, after shipping are almost the same as a new Grizzly with the helical head.

I had been searching over a year so I have seen the prices all over the country for a while. Is this hobby, semi pro, or commercial use?

View mlipps's profile

mlipps

115 posts in 949 days


#2 posted 03-13-2017 07:35 PM

It’s mainly for hobby use currently but I’m in the process of transitioning.

I can guess the differences between hobby and professional but what would the difference be between professional and industrial beyond robustness of the machine. What environment would call for such differences if any?

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

477 posts in 1304 days


#3 posted 03-13-2017 08:16 PM

I recently bought one of these:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/262824755452?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

But I have yet to actually turn it on. It’s currently sitting in my driveway, tarped, with all the metal parts sprayed down with a corrosion inhibitor. I’m waiting on a 3 phase converter.

But for the price it seemed like I would be really hard pressed to find something better. It ticked all the boxes for me: spiral cutterhead, long tables, takes up less space than separate planer and jointer, and the 16” capacity is nothing to scoff at.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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Aj2

1173 posts in 1633 days


#4 posted 03-13-2017 08:33 PM

One different between old industrial iron is the build quality.My Oliver 166 has a 5 inch cutting circle the overall table length is 99 inches.They are very flat less than .002 so I can take a very lite cut on small thin parts or large.Its direct drive 3 ph and it’s very smooth and quite.
It did take me time and money to get it where it is now a finishing machine.That will outshine anything from China with a Bryd Head.

-- Aj

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

4697 posts in 1555 days


#5 posted 03-14-2017 01:39 AM

Old iron hands down. The Grizzly is no doubt a nice machine but not in the same class as an Oliver. It certainly takes much longer to wait for just the right machine and can be a bit of a logistical headache but it’ll be so worth it!

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JBrow

1273 posts in 755 days


#6 posted 03-14-2017 02:40 AM

Mlipps,

I suppose it comes down to whether you want to spend the time and money bringing an older machine back to its former glory or begin using the machine immediately. It also could be frustrating trying to find parts for an older machine. But then if patience pays off, you could end up with an older machine that requires little or no rehab work for less money.

As for the warranty on a new machine; it is comforting to have one and perhaps suggests the confidence the manufacturer has in their machine. Luckily I have never made a warranty claim since I suspect it would be a very unpleasant experience, even if all went smoothly.

View Sarit's profile

Sarit

549 posts in 2974 days


#7 posted 03-14-2017 08:59 AM

Look for northfield jointers as well. Even the old ones apparently stay true after several decades w/o any adjustment.

My $0.02 is to get the combination jointer/planer machine with a good helical head. It saves space although DC is a little tricky. You get to share the cost of the helical head on 2 machines. Switchover time is less of a concern for hobbyist. These machines are much more mobile than those old aircraft carriers.

I rebuilt a Delta DJ-20 8” jointer with a Byrd head and it was a lot of work which probably would have been better spent woodworking. The fence should probably be reground/milled flat, but I don’t want to spend any more money on it. If I had to do it over, I would hold out for a good combo machine on CL or some auction that doesn’t need much work.

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

4501 posts in 2039 days


#8 posted 03-14-2017 09:47 AM

Have a look at Paul Lemiski’s RAS, Jointer and thicknesser they are old.

This may possibly be of some assistance in making a decision

-- Regards Robert

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1445 posts in 2902 days


#9 posted 03-14-2017 12:44 PM

I’ve got the 12” Griz with HSS (parallolgram) had it for 10 years and its a good jointer. Only issue I have is design on DC requires an ocasional cleanout underneath but not a big deal.

Now, you say old American Iron, there is no coparrison. Those are beasts. Only down side is DC as generally lacking. Second moving them requires some effort.

My Griz is heavy but nothing compared to the old stuff. However you don’t move them after set so I don’t know how much it matters.

You could get a big old one for less I’m sure. Look for a 3phase one, and put a converter on it. Best way to go.

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

View mlipps's profile

mlipps

115 posts in 949 days


#10 posted 03-14-2017 10:06 PM

I love CanadianWoodworks.

It’s such a shame that the build quality of days past isn’t maintained in modern manufacturing.

Also, thanks all for confirming what I suspected. Sometimes it’s good to hear it from someone else.

I was wondering does anyone know of a good place to pick up one of these behemoths? I have no idea where to begin. Also if mobility is a requirement should I even bother? I can’t imagine there being a mobile base able to equip one of these machines.

I guess what it boils down to is which is my better bang for the buck. Am I doing myself a disservice by spending 3k on a new jointer vs an older one?

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

477 posts in 1304 days


#11 posted 03-14-2017 10:20 PM



I love CanadianWoodworks.

It s such a shame that the build quality of days past isn t maintained in modern manufacturing.

Also, thanks all for confirming what I suspected. Sometimes it s good to hear it from someone else.

I was wondering does anyone know of a good place to pick up one of these behemoths? I have no idea where to begin. Also if mobility is a requirement should I even bother? I can t imagine there being a mobile base able to equip one of these machines.

I guess what it boils down to is which is my better bang for the buck. Am I doing myself a disservice by spending 3k on a new jointer vs an older one?

- mlipps

I don’t have a machine shop, nor do I have a ton of time so I opted for buying a newer tool that just needs to be plugged in and maybe tuned a little. Unless you get an affordable ready-to-go “old iron” machine (unlikely), you’ll need to expect a lot of work. Replacing bearings, possibly dealing with stripped screws/bolts, worn out ways or other adjustments, missing parts, etc.

Also, you can make a mobile base for anything, if you have thick enough steel and big enough casters.

I purchased 3” x 3” x 3/8” angle iron for the mobile base for my JP-1686 (950lbs tool weight), and 5” cast iron casters rated @ 650lbs per caster. Essentially, casters need to be rated so that two casters can handle the full load of the tool and then a margin of error. Unless your floor is perfectly flat, while moving the load is often momentarily supported by only two of the four wheels. My casters were purchased on ebay, was about $50 for the set of four (including shipping). The steel was from a the surplus yard of a local steel distributor and cost me $0.40/lb, or about $55 for the three six-foot lengths I bought.

Take a look at a pallet jack. Most pallet jacks are rated for carrying 5000lbs and they have two little fixed wheels in the forks and a pair of big (like 7-8”) wheels attached to the steering handle. The bigger wheels are easier to roll with really heavy loads, but they cost more.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

4697 posts in 1555 days


#12 posted 03-14-2017 10:54 PM

As far as sourcing old iron, I scout Craigslist often and the newspapers online classified sections. Look for auctions too as things can sometimes go for cheap if it’s not well advertised or something only a few people might be interested in. I have a 12” Crescent that I found on CL about an hour from me and asked many questions along with a little contingent price negotiation. I had to rent a trailer as I didn’t have one at the time and when I got to see it in person everything was as promised and both parties fulfilled our respective ends of the verbal agreement. He loaded it on the trailer with a backhoe, I strapped it down as was off. It was heavier than expected as around 1500lbs. with the motor installed so it was a good thing I ate my Wheaties that morning as I had to push it down a couple ramps off the trailer and into position in my shop. I’m glad I did it and would do the same again if I wasn’t in a time crunch. Good luck iron hunting.

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mlipps

115 posts in 949 days


#13 posted 03-14-2017 11:10 PM

I check CL often. I’m in New York. Any recommendations on what auctions sites to use?

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

4492 posts in 3078 days


#14 posted 03-14-2017 11:32 PM

If you are seriously into wood working and appreciate the quality of old iron, then that is the way to go. That goes for any machine. If it is not for serious work, but just a hobby, then new is the way to go. Buying and using old iron is more than just working with a fine machine. It is an investment and pride of ownership.

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

9610 posts in 3482 days


#15 posted 03-14-2017 11:36 PM

MAchinerymax.com is good for woodworking
stuff. Ebay is always worth keeping an eye on
and owwm.org has a classifieds for old machines
that gets a lot of activity… lots of old 12” and
larger jointers get sold through that site.

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