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Newbie jointer question

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Forum topic by Mikeleg posted 632 days ago 733 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mikeleg

8 posts in 633 days


632 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: jointer question joining

Hi Everyone,

I’m just starting out on my woodworking adventure and I have a few newbie questions about jointers. First, are the spiral cutters head cutters really worth the extra cost? Are four heads significantly better than 3? Can you replace normal cutters on an older jointer with new spiral cutters? I’m looking at second hand jointers and right now I am leaning toward getting an 8”. This info will help me understand what I am getting into.

Thanks,

Mike


10 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1451 days


#1 posted 632 days ago

Hi Mike—

You can live a full and meaningful woodworking life with a straight-knife jointer.

Is a four knife head 1/3 better than a three? Is a three knife cutterhead 25% less effective than a four? Small difference. This needn’t be a factor in making a decision when you’re shopping used.

This puts us back to the question which is asked so often that the answer could reasonably be required in everyone’s signature line: What kind of woodworking are you going to do?

If it’s centered around exploring exotic woods and building lots of furniture from highly figured examples, the spiral cutterhead would be an excellent investment.

If you’re going to build cabinets for yourself and your children and their children, not so much.

As for upgrading a used unit, Byrd Shelix makes some convincing claims about the long term financial advantage on the same site as this list of jointers which they can retrofit.

It looks like in general terms adding a Shelix head to a used 8” tool could about double your investment. If it’s a sound tool, and you’re young and quilted tiger ray fiddleback petrified stumpwood gets your pulse rate up to the temperature on a summer day, there’s no question in my mind that it’s worth pungling up the money for one.

If you’re retired, minding your quarters and dimes, you may opt for postponing the retrofit until the next time you get your cholesterol numbers back from your GP.

Happy hunting. And I hope you get a green Powermatic or an old Delta. They have soul.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View nwbusa's profile

nwbusa

1016 posts in 887 days


#2 posted 632 days ago

I doubt Lee’s response can be improved upon. Worth reading twice.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Kelby's profile

Kelby

133 posts in 1012 days


#3 posted 632 days ago

I would add that the cost of a spiral cutterhead upgrade is significant. You may find that you would spend almost as much on a used jointer plus a Byrd spiral cutterhead as you would buying a new jointer that has a spiral cutterhead to start with.

Either way you go, you are making the right decision by getting at least an 8” wide jointer. Having a large jointer with a spiral cutterhead will keep you in the habit of face jointing your material, which will make a huge improvement in your woodworking.

-- Kelby

View Mikeleg's profile

Mikeleg

8 posts in 633 days


#4 posted 631 days ago

Thanks for the great advice everyone. I ended up buying a mint condition Rockwell 6” this morning for under $100. I’ll. spend some time learning on this machine and it allows me the time to find the right 8”.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1451 days


#5 posted 631 days ago

Excellent move, Mike. The Rockwell (which should have been on the soul list) will not depreciate in your shop, you can get to doing stuff, and the right 8 will show up on your front porch in the near future.

(Thanks for the compliment, John. Much appreciated,)

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

14645 posts in 1168 days


#6 posted 631 days ago

That was a quick move Mike, and as Lee already very eloquently stated, the right one.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Mikeleg's profile

Mikeleg

8 posts in 633 days


#7 posted 631 days ago

Yeah. I bought it on the spot. At the price he was asking, I was afraid that I would miss the opportunity if I hesitated. I just tried it out, and it runs perfectly.

View alfied's profile

alfied

4 posts in 374 days


#8 posted 374 days ago

Hello Everyone!

I am Alfied. I am 19 years old and I love to make discussion with peoples and found this forum ever best. Here I just want to extend my appreciation to the admin for accepting me here! Thanks guys, hope to spend a good time with you all.

-- http://www.kenwayproperties.com.au/

View Buckethead's profile

Buckethead

1910 posts in 469 days


#9 posted 373 days ago

I stumbled upon this thread serendipitously. I read the original post, then the first response from Lee Barker.

Sometimes, a post about a tool is absolutely poetic. This one of Lee’s fits that description. Would that certain posts get a “stickey” and remain visible to newcomers. Lee answers so much with so few words here. A sublime post.

-- Bucket, any person that spends 10k on a bicycle is guaranteed to be a $@I almost started to like you. -bhog

View unclebenny's profile

unclebenny

27 posts in 478 days


#10 posted 373 days ago

I would just like to add that Lee’s post may apply to all of our tools. I have a serious case of “tool envy ” when the fact is maybe the ones I have (although not the top of the line delta or powermatic) are quite adequate for the projects I do. Thanks Lee for the reality check.

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