Craftsman 6 1/8 Jointer/Planer

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Forum topic by mattm posted 06-29-2008 05:59 PM 4745 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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27 posts in 3819 days

06-29-2008 05:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question planer jointer

Hello, I was hoping to get some insight on this product. I’m new to woodworking and had initially wanted to plane my boards down using hand planes. Since then… Well, planers are looking better and better. As far as jointing goes, I figured I could just use the table saw to get a minuscule amount off.

I was thinking about getting one of those $250 Grizzly planers, but then I saw this on Craigslist for $90:

Having not much money in the woodworking budget at the moment, this seems pretty nice. My question is, can this actually be used for planing boards, as well as jointing, and how would it work for that as opposed to having an actual planer?

Thanks very much for any insights.

8 replies so far

View lew's profile


12382 posts in 3928 days

#1 posted 06-29-2008 06:50 PM

I had a similar one many years ago. It spent more time at the repair center than with me. After the third motor, I complained loudly enough to get my money back.

I should have realized- but didn’t- that the 1 1/2 horsepower motor rating was not accurately represented.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3941 days

#2 posted 06-29-2008 07:39 PM

i would go for a larger model. the beds are not very long so you wont really get an accurate straight edge because the board will follow the edges of the bed. almost like a thickness planer when you cut a bowed board through. it follows it. such as with the small tables where the board will be off of it the boards bow will touch the ends of the tables and be lifted up in the middle. unless you joint small stock probably 3’ and under. and there is not a lot off mass so there will be vibration unless you bolt it down to a nice heavy table to keep it in place. i would go for a larger model. i to thought about getting this one but it really doesn’t get the job done unless you’re jointing small stock.

View Joey's profile


276 posts in 3988 days

#3 posted 06-29-2008 09:23 PM

Like anything else in liife, you pretty much get what you pay for. especially with woodworking tools. With cheaper prices you usually get cheaper products or tools with less power. If you talk to most of the woodworkers here most will tell you about a cheap tool they bought where they thought they were saving money, but ended up regretting it. You live and learn. but the opposite applies too, alot of the higher end tools are either overpriced or priced for commercial shops. they are built to run every day all day long.
The best advice is to talk to people, shop around, and decide exactly what it is you need, how often you’ll use it, and what you can afford.
there is a member here with a saying on his profile (I paraphrase) “woodworking is not just a hobby, it’s a freaking expensive hobby”

-- Joey, Magee, Ms

View mattm's profile


27 posts in 3819 days

#4 posted 06-29-2008 10:42 PM

Thanks for the advice. I am at a crossroads here. On the one hand, I definitely know it would be wiser to get something better, especially for planing. Like I said, I had actually been looking at the $245 Grizzly planer just a couple days ago. However, the wife and I are currently saving up a down payment for a new home, so I wouldn’t want to get one of those until after we get the new house with more space for stuff, which is likely still at least 4-6 months away.

At the same time, I have not quite been able to get my bench planes up to snuff for thickness planing, and I am kind of at a stand still because of it, since I have some boards for other projects that have some cups and bows to them.

Plus, while I don’t see this happening, I am at the point where I am still fairly new to things, and I am afraid of getting a bunch of fairly expensive tools and losing interest for some reason or another.

So, even though I know it’s not ideal, would it be a decent “in between” tool, given my circumstances? Or am I still just better off passing? Thanks again.

View dsb1829's profile


367 posts in 3800 days

#5 posted 06-30-2008 06:34 PM

The right tools make life much easier. I was right there about a month ago. I scrounged around the net, finding the cheapest imports I could find and then reading any review or comment on the brand or specific device. With very few exception people who bought these tools were not pleased. Either not enough power, poor quality control, no replacement parts (yeah, stuff is gonna break eventually), or fences/guides that didn’t work and were hard to setup.

Life is too short to be fighting with my tools and not being able to trust their results. In the end I found a nice floor model full size 6in jointer for just under $200 at the Lowe’s and I picked up a Sunhill planer for $250. Both items are great, have replacement parts available, and are providing excellent results. These 2 tools have opened up a world of possibilities for what wood I can handle in my shop.

Regarding planing,
The jointer can flatten 1 face and square 1 or 2 edges (depending if the grain will let you flip it for the second edge) to this face. However it does not parallel the faces or edges when you flip them. Faces and edges must all be parallel to their opposite in order to attain uniform thickness. You can shim and use the jointer to get uniform thickness, but it isn’t easy and requires a keen eye.

Regarding a new home,
I have no idea what your situation is, but I can say that I just recently bought my first home. My wife and I had been saving some, but not making much headway. We thought it would be years before we had enough down to motivate a lender. On the advice or a realtor friend of my wife we had a visit with one of the local banks. Long and short of it, the lender really didn’t care that we didn’t have much to put down. We got a 30yr fixed at under 6% interest and only had to put about $500 cash into the transaction at closing, so we got to use the money we saved up for moving in and home furnishings. Bottom line, it is worth the time to talk to a lender and see where you stand before spending years putting it off and building up a down payment.

$.02 for free

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

View mattm's profile


27 posts in 3819 days

#6 posted 06-30-2008 07:15 PM

Fantastic advice on all fronts, Doug, thank you. I realize also that I had a brain lapse and was confusing the functions of a jointer and a planer. For some reason I was thinking that the planer is what was used for actually face-jointing cups and bows out of boards, but now I recall reading that those defects will still be present after being run through a planer, unless using some sort of sled jig.

And of course, now looking further into things, I see that even a router can be used to edge joint thing, and of course there is always the table saw option. But, I suppose I would still need a way to face joint things. Maybe I’ll just break down and get the the $200 Grizzly 6” jointer until I can get an 8”, since it is only $100 more than the Crafstman one, and reportedly of much greater quality.

Also, may I just say, that is a FANTASTIC deal you got on the house. Congrats!!

View dsb1829's profile


367 posts in 3800 days

#7 posted 07-01-2008 03:45 AM

Nothing wrong with the Grizzly stuff. But just like any other importer/tool company you need to inspect what you get. On occasion even the better companies send out lemons. I was very close to pulling the trigger on a grizzly jointer when I found my local Lowe’s deal. Same deal with my planer. Sunhill had a better planer for less money when it came time to pull the trigger. Sunhill is another importer like Grizzly. I recommend checking them out . I have purchased a few things from them now and customer service has been spot on. Equipment is also superior to something like harbor freight, which are always tempting from a price perspective.

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

View Woodshopfreak's profile


389 posts in 3915 days

#8 posted 07-02-2008 11:58 PM

I believe that is an old model of mine and I am perfectly happy with it, you can get accurate joints from a 52 inch board. I don’t see the point in buying something bigger if you don’t need to joint things bigger than that. I can’t even handle much more than a 5 foot board in my shop :(

-- Tyler, Illinois

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