New woodworker seeks advice on Jointer purchase and my introduction

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Forum topic by Ant posted 12-06-2012 06:12 PM 2326 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ant's profile


27 posts in 2224 days

12-06-2012 06:12 PM

Hello to the forum.

I’ve been a lurker of the forum for about a year and recently decided to become a member.

It’s been a lot of fun looking at the posts and projects on LJ’s and I’ve been amazed at the amount of talented WWers here.

I live in the Northern California area ( Santa Rosa to be a little more precise)

I decided about 6 months ago to build a woodshop in my backyard and start my new path into woodworking. I’m yet to build my first project. I started off building a 16’ x 12 ’ building in my backyard for a woodshop. After I pounded the last nail, sanded the last drywall joint, and textured the walls my wife decided it would make a better GYM than a woodshop. So SHE decided the garage is larger and I should build my woodshop in the garage (We never park our cars in it anyway) There were only two 110v volt outlets in the garage so I decided to rip out all of the drywall, ad a new Breaker box / sub panel off the main breaker box so I had dedicated 220v/110v electric in the new woodshop.

Long story short after ripping out the existing drywall I found severe damage to the load bearing walls. Load bearing studs had been Notched out leaving only less than half of an inch ( I found out from my neighbor that the garage used to be an apartment. They cut out / notched the load bearing walls to make room for plumbing! ( Idiots) On top of that the wall and adjacent wall had severe water damage / dry rot to most of the load bearing studs and the bottom sill plate was disintegrating. There were only two or three studs that weren’t damaged on a 22 foot wall and a 16 foot wall.

Due to my house being stucco I was forced to remove all of the stucco from the garage / Then replace the bottom seal plate and studs. My work is almost complete and I’m ready to ad the new sub panel, run new electric 110 / 220, and then drywall!!!!

It’s been a fun project but I’m ready to move on and get this damn thing DONE!! : )

Now to the meat of my post and I apologize for the long winded introduction.

I have a 10” Hybrid table saw, Routers, 12” compound miter saw, 12” Delta Planer etc etc….. But I DON’T have a jointer. Based on the advice of this Website and the majority of it’s members it appears as if I need a jointer. Well Need may be subjective but it seems as if it will be a useful tool to me.

I started looking for a used 6” or 8” jointer on Craiglist months ago and most of what I am seeing is older 6 or 4”. I was about to pull out the wallet for a new 6” Craftsman jointer ( I can’t believe I just publicly stated that) when my wife said NO just buy a new 8” Planer and get it over with….......... I tend to go a little over the top with my hobbies and she knows the path we are about to go on LOL

So with my wifes permission ( she tells me I need that ) I have decided to buy an 8” jointer. I am looking at the grizzly but am now thinking of maybe the Powermatic would be a much better option.

Is the Powermatic worth the extra 600 – 1000 dollars? Will the performance of the Powermatic be worth the extra / added cost? I am having a difficult time assessing if the added / additional cost is really worth it.

I am thinking of the grizzly G0675 10” Jointer/Planer Comb but it looks like the fence isn’t cast it appears aluminum? Anyone have this?

Also looking at the G0490 8” Jointer with Parallelogram Beds because it has the Parallelogram bed.

From reading the forum it appears as if the Spiral cutter head has mixed results / thoughts with its members. But I was thinking of getting the Spiral due to the indexable cutters and it’s quieter : )

Are there better options? Delta seems to have mixed feelings and I’m not sure about Jet….....

Hope to get some advice and I guess now that I’ve made my first post I should go comment on some amazing woodworking projects here on LJ’s.

OH and Last Anyone else in the Northern CALI Santa Rosa area? Where do you all get your project wood? Lowes and Home Depot are to expensive IMHO and the quality of wood is terrible!!!

Thanks in advance

Northern Cali

-- Ant

30 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30068 posts in 2542 days

#1 posted 12-06-2012 06:24 PM

First, Welcome to LJ’s!

Second, I hope your wife doesn’t start liking the new shop too much for something else!

If you’re doing mostly hobby stuff or minor sales, I would go with the lesser expensive one. If you’re thing of evolving into full-time, go as big as youcan afford. My opinion.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5798 posts in 3017 days

#2 posted 12-06-2012 06:52 PM

I have a 6” Jet and it works fine. Plain three knife cutterhead. It turns a pile of rough cut white oak into a stack of premium lumber. It is accurate for flattening one face, and squaring an adjacent edge. It sometimes will leave very small tearout in highly figured quartersawn oak, but that hasn’t been an issue for me since I always plane stock to final thickness. The Jet jointer is quiet compared to my Dewalt planer. Dust collection is excellent with a standard 4” dust collector.
The only limitation is width. I routinely run into 10-12” wide planks. To mill them I joint one side, then run it through a planer on a sled to flatten the opposite face. You’ll have this issue with a 6” or 8” jointer from time to time. An 8” machine offers a reasonable capacity, at a good price point. 6” jointers are widely available on the used market at about half of retail. Also consider bed size – if you have the room for a long jointer – it is helpful for jointing long table boards. My jointer is 45” long, so running 6’ boards through it is a challenge. I have seen accurate results because I use outfeed rollers.
You will use a jointer often. Even when I buy S4S lumber, I often re-joint an edge. Jointers are a one trick pony. They only flatten and square lumber (okay mabye that is two tricks), but in woodworking that is half the battle.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View toolie's profile


2148 posts in 2833 days

#3 posted 12-06-2012 06:59 PM

Is the Powermatic worth the extra 600 – 1000 dollars? Will the performance of the Powermatic be worth the extra / added cost?

second the welcome to LJ.

regarding the powermatic, the answer is a resounding NO. the new jet/powermatic family of tools are IMHO, trading on the past reputations of those brands. they are ok, average tools that attempt to command premium prices and appeal primarily to non-value driven pretentious know nothing wanna be woodworker tool snobs. grizzly provides good value and their customer and technical support are well regarded. having owned a jet BS and having dealt with jet’s tech support (jet is a subsidiary of walter meier tools, which also owns powermatic), i’ll never own another one of their tools.

in 6” jointers, wood magazine’s last comparative test rated a grizzly as the top tool in the test and the ridgid 6” as the best value. i have an older gray model ridgid and it’s a good performer at a fair price. and regarding cutter heads, in the aforementioned test, the testers found that straight blades provided the best cut of the heads tested.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View SteviePete's profile


226 posts in 3507 days

#4 posted 12-06-2012 07:04 PM

Nearly everyone goes through the same process as you. I regret I didn’t listen to the first guy that whatever you do buy the very best you can afford. For most home woodworkers and small contractor/furniture makes this usually means a step above contractor grade tools. Along with buying new I have fallen into some great deals.

Today, I have been retired over a year, my shop includes Griz 15” planer with carbide inserts – I’ve surfaced over 8000 bf of northern hardwoods—slow speed feed and small bites—surfaces still look great no streaks or tearout on highly figured maples/walnut. I’ve not touched the inserts. Same is true of 8” Powermatic jointer 882 HH (?). Noise claims are not of much use—everyone should wear hearing protection at all times in the shop. Period. Lowest noise levels for any saw, dust collector, planer, jointer, belt sander is above 85 dbA. Lower limits of noise levels considered not immenently dangerous to life or health (OSHA and Industrial Hyg words). Table saw is a 12 yr old Unisaw with Besmeier fence.(Free from neighbor – Saw Stop technology if I was buying.) Chain Saws: Stihl chain saws large to small. Band saws – Rikon 18”, two delta 14” (buy highest HP you can. I have repowered both deltas. 1.5hp- and spend the time to really learn how to use and maintain it. It becomes the most versitile saw in the shop. Shaper—Older Delta with lots of accessories—- gift from neighbor. Most can usually get by with 3-5 routers – from Dremel 300 – micro routers ($80), 1hp, 2.25 hp, big PC 3.75hp plunge. Ya its nuts but many go with it. Lathe is Jet 16-42 variable speed. Belt sanders – 16-32, 22-44. Will probably get a double belt one when I start building kitchen cabinet doors. Everyone of the tools mentioned above came after I had already bought one smaller, cheaper, “good-ha ha”deals. I don’t need any of the tools mentioned above. I could get by with much lower cost, smaller, lower quality. But I have the gimmies. I was reasonably thrifty for 60 yrs. Managed to stay out of nut house, no drink, no smoke, not much party-party, drive cheap cars til the wheels fall off. But drew the line somewhere—- fished, hunted, camped, traveled and got both kids through university with advanced degrees and plenty of debt-a house of their own, living happily where they want -(2000 miles from me.) Soooooo.

I have no regrets. ‘cept for Should have bought commercial grade tooling from the start; never buy tools at Harbor Freight or Borgs; use safety gear of greatest protection factor for the tools I use- I have had some cuts nothing major – but I get laughed at when in full woodworking regailia.

In conclusion, (enough BS already) Figger out what type of work you will be doing. Read, ask others and use (beg, borrow, steal) anything you think you need. I needed a powerful table saw, jointer and planer because most of my lumber is rough sawn. I needed good chainsaws – I cut my own logs and work with others. I needed good dust collection and air cleaner. I have COPD. I keep current and open minded to safer and better ways to do the work I enjoy and plan to do it for the rest of my life. (PS I passed the old power equipment to my daughters (35 and 33) and they now have a good start on a safe shop. End of Sermonette. I be happy to answer any of your questions. Steve.

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

View patron's profile


13640 posts in 3545 days

#5 posted 12-06-2012 07:11 PM

buy the tools
that will do the work
where you want to be later
not where you are now

somehow we are all overreaching
as we learn new skills
and using toy tools
work for a while
but not for the long haul

welcome to LJ’s

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Marcus's profile


1163 posts in 2224 days

#6 posted 12-06-2012 07:21 PM

was that a powertool haiku?

View patron's profile


13640 posts in 3545 days

#7 posted 12-06-2012 07:33 PM

burma shave

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View MJCD's profile


580 posts in 2575 days

#8 posted 12-06-2012 08:21 PM

“Burma Shave”—- dating all of us there ….

Again, welcome – both to LJ specifically, and to woodworking as a process. I hope you find LJs as helpful as the rest of us. And great question … it’s not just newbies that ask these questions.

First, congratulations on having a wife who understands these things; second, though a 6” will do the majority of what you will ever do, unless you’re nearly a full-time woodworker, 8” machines are generally built better and hold their tolerances better. I’m getting to the point where my 6” PM (Powermatic) seems small. Third, I agree that PM, JET, Delta, ... all of these are trading on days of past glory. PM was the standard reference within the jointer industry for many years, but not anymore. Grizzly has stepped-up to equalize the competition; PM and Delta have stood still – and that’s being polite. Where discretionary spending is worthwhile is for a segmented cutterhead; however, not all are created equal – Grizzly, PM (the family), and Felder (very high-end) utilize different segment alignment, and it makes a difference. You will not get a glass-smooth finish with these. Rather than PM vs. Grizzly vs. ..., I recommend looking at the user comments on the segmented cutters.

One area that new woodworkers often overlook or undervalue is layout & mark-up tools – spend the money for an excellent digital caliper, one good tape measure (any more than one, and you one-too-many measurements), two good squares (combo & double-square at Starrett); and look at the Incra Rules – I have two, and use them often. Finally, Dust Collection – as you spend more time in the shop, working different woods and materials (MDF), DC is critical. There are many low-cost alternatives here, and LJs has about a thousand blogs on this.

There are no dumb questions.

View sixstring's profile


296 posts in 2447 days

#9 posted 12-06-2012 08:31 PM

Congrats on starting the hobby and building the shop. I just started myself and am very grateful to my own wife who supports the cause. I live in Northern Cali too, in the East Bay, and purchase most of my wood/material from local Craigslist finds. Often times I’ve scored some excellent “free” material in the free section… I shouldnt be telling you this but what’s one more woodworker buying wood on CL right?

As a newbie myself, I just cant pull the trigger on spending too much for wood that I may just end up ruining in the process. I’ve mosty stuck to reclaimed lumber (nice old growth doug fir and redwood is readily available on CL.) With that said, the jointer and planer will get a lot of use as you start to mill your own lumber. I just have a used 6” Grizzly joiner but an 8” or wider would be very useful, alas, they cost a boatload more…

Get the Powermatic if it doesnt brake the bank. My PM66 table saw is the prize of my shop. Those guys know how to build machines for life and they are made in the good old USA (not sure about the new ones but I think so…)

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

View AandCstyle's profile


3179 posts in 2461 days

#10 posted 12-07-2012 01:03 AM

I agree with the others that Grizzly offers the best bang for the buck today. I have this jointer and am very happy with it-the spiral head creates very little (virtually no) chip out and is relatively quiet. I also have a PM66 TS and agree that it is a good machine, but I would not buy a new machine from PM. However, it you can find an older PM machine, it would likely be a great tool for you if it hasn’t been abused. HTH

-- Art

View Scomel Basses's profile

Scomel Basses

169 posts in 2201 days

#11 posted 12-07-2012 01:38 AM

Hello. I have the Grizzly 490X with the spiral head and it is an excellent machine. I build musical instruments along with furniture and work with a lot of figured woods and it does an incredible job. very clean joints and no tear out. I think it’s priced right, especially right now, and should last for years.

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2279 days

#12 posted 12-07-2012 01:45 AM

Congrats and welcome! I lurked here for about a year before joining, also and have no regrets. I divorced Facebook shortly thereafter! Fabulous folks here who have been very helpful and informative.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3289 days

#13 posted 12-07-2012 01:55 AM

Welcome to Lumberjocks. I agree with the above stating that a long bed 8” jointer is the way to go. I started
with a 4” shopsmith, graduated to a 6” Delta, used. I am now helping a friend do a kitchen remodel and have
been using his old long bed 8” Delta jointer, The only thing better is the 12” Crescent long bed in another shop. The real good old tools are occasionally available on Craigs list or garage sales, but I am saving up for a
new 8” jointer. The old Delta tools have spoiled me, do not have an real experience on the new ones. Hope you have lots of fun in your shop.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Woodmaster1's profile


1073 posts in 2791 days

#14 posted 12-07-2012 01:59 AM

I have a deluxe long bed jet 6” jointer. I have been very happy so far. I buy my wood planed to thickness, it only cost me $10.00 per hundred bdft. This saves my planer and all I have to do is joint an edge and rip it. That is why the 6” works for me.

View a1Jim's profile


117341 posts in 3781 days

#15 posted 12-07-2012 02:12 AM

Welcome to Ljs again
I have owned a Grizzly 12” spiral head jointer for close to 5 years I also own a 20” grizzly spiral head jointer. both have been outstanding tools and are great values. I have not read much in the way mixed reviews on grizzly spiral head tools other than those who have never owned one. To answer your question .No I don’t believer the powermatic jointer i worth a $1000 more,the reason is that powermatic does not seem to make their equipment as well as they use to.
As with many tools bigger always seems to be the general thought but unless you are going to be in the woodworking business I would not go larger than a 8” jointer. There will be many things you will want for your new shop and going overboard on a jointer my stop you from buying other things you will want in the future. How ever I feel if your budget will allow to go ahead and get the spiral head machine. Spiral head machines do a much better job on highly figured woods and the blades are cheep and are very easy to adjust if you have a nice in one of the little blades you loosen it and turn it and after that you till have 2 more times to turn the blade before you have to replace the blade.
This is much easier than messing with long blades. Just for the record even though I’ve had my spiral tools for close to 5 years I have not had to turn my blades at all. Good luck on whatever choice you make.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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