What do you think of this jointer?

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Forum topic by Vududude posted 12-02-2013 05:59 PM 3921 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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41 posts in 1756 days

12-02-2013 05:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer davis and wells used

I’m fairly new to woodworking and planning on building my first workbench which I’m planning to model after the roubo workbench in Chris Schwarz’s book. I’d like to get a used jointer, but don’t know much about them and so I’m a little hesitant about buying older used equipment.

This Davis and Well’s jointer looks to be in great condition. Link

Is this a good deal? There’s not too much out there about Davis and Wells that I can find
For older machines like this is it easy to find new blades and parts?
For someone who knows very little about motors, how easy would this be to maintain?

thanks for any help!

12 replies so far

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17307 posts in 2971 days

#1 posted 12-02-2013 06:18 PM

Looks like a decent unit in my opinion. Baldor is a good motor. 1/2hp should be sufficient. Id say check it out. Bring along a good square to check that the fence doesn’t have any twist in it and it locks at 90. You can also bring along a straight edge to make sure the tables are flat. $250 is a decent price for a used 6” jointer.

Here’s some info (not much) from

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

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11479 posts in 2345 days

#2 posted 12-02-2013 06:30 PM

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41 posts in 1756 days

#3 posted 12-02-2013 06:41 PM

Thanks for the info.

Do you think this overall would be a better deal than a new craftsman like this one? Link

also in terms of getting parts and such, do you think finding new blades or other replacement parts would be difficult?

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17307 posts in 2971 days

#4 posted 12-02-2013 06:46 PM

A much better deal than a benchtop jointer. The longer tables will be much more helpful and the added weight is a huge bonus. The used one wont bounce around on you.

In terms of parts there aren’t really too many moving parts on a jointer. The only things that you may need are bearings for the cutterhead assembly and the knives should be a standard size. I don’t see any issues on that front.

The D&W jointer looks very well cared for. Its missing the original stand but that wouldn’t sway me too much. Browsing around the owwm and vintagemachinery site these jointers don’t seem to be super rare so replacement parts should be available as a lot of them have been restored.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

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5620 posts in 2778 days

#5 posted 12-02-2013 07:57 PM

I wouldn’t mess with anything that has an open drive belt. It’s not worth risking injury.
Especially since so many Jet and Delta jointers are available at that price point.

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

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208 posts in 1716 days

#6 posted 12-02-2013 08:20 PM

Looks like a nice machine to me, older, heavily cast, and someone spent some time setting it up. Don’t worry about the open belt mentioned above, just make a box to cover it if you are concerned. Parts are likely not needed and knives are just stock 6” blades as mentioned above. Buy it, enjoy it, and use it well.

-- Minnesota Woodworkers Guild, Past President, Lifetime member.

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11479 posts in 2345 days

#7 posted 12-03-2013 04:52 AM

Yeah just cover the belt if it bothers you, or don’t stick your fingers/clothing in it while it’s running. Davis and Wells made machinery for 50 years so parts shouldn’t be anymore of a problem than other vintage machines.

-- Rick M,

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312 posts in 1861 days

#8 posted 12-03-2013 08:55 PM

There’s no comparison between the Davis&Wells and that little Craftsman toy. Years ago I had a Delta benchtop jointer that the woodworking rags rated head and shoulders above the Craftsman and I hated it. Weak fence, short tables, screaming loud motor. Just an all around unpleasant and barely useable product. I see no reason to believe that the Craftsman has anything more to offer. The big boy has increased capacity, solid locking fence and it is just way nicer to work with and look at. Go with the old iron. There a reason why that old jointer is still in good working order, quality.

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 2392 days

#9 posted 12-04-2013 03:49 AM

Get the D&W.
Whats the worst case scenario? -You sell it for what you paid. You then have a whole lot of free experience!

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

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10260 posts in 3612 days

#10 posted 12-04-2013 03:53 AM

New machines aren’t made anymore but there’s still
parts available:

California company. Lots of the machines in the state.
Some machines were badged Oliver for awhile.

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17307 posts in 2971 days

#11 posted 12-05-2013 03:22 PM

so did ya buy it?

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Vududude's profile


41 posts in 1756 days

#12 posted 12-05-2013 04:13 PM

I’m still thinking about it. That jointer’s been listed a few times by the owner so I’m going to look a little more and make a decision soon. I’m also on the market for a thickness planer so that might be the purchase this xmas instead :)

thanks for all the suggestions and advice on this jointer. It does look like a good one and I end up picking it up I’ll post an update.

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