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Size of Jointer to choose

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Forum topic by mds4752 posted 12-09-2013 06:09 PM 1444 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mds4752

48 posts in 1171 days


12-09-2013 06:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer

As a novice woodworker, I’m considering adding a jointer to my small shop. Most of my projects will be small and of the hobby variety—i.e., furniture and the like. I have no plans to grow into a business or production opportunity. Most of the lumber I plan to purchase will come from a local lumber store(s), and will likely be S3S or S4S (I think those are the terms anyhow). My main purpose would be to clean up edges / saw cuts from my table saw and to trim down the board dimension. I have a planer already. My budget is limited and I’m not opposed to a used unit provided it’s in good shape.

My question for the forum is: what factors go into determining what size jointer one should purchase?

-- "Live each day as if it were your last; one day you're sure to be right." -- Lt Harry "Breaker" Morant


33 replies so far

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4822 posts in 2510 days


#1 posted 12-09-2013 06:14 PM

Most people will tell you that 6” is enough, I personally prefer 8”.
This is what I now have after having a 6”.
The determining factors are: what are you going to do with it?

-- Bert

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jmartel

6565 posts in 1612 days


#2 posted 12-09-2013 06:15 PM

I believe all of the 8” jointers require 220V power, so if that is a consideration, you will need to stick with a 6” jointer.

Many people own the 6” Grizzly models, which can be had sub $500.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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mds4752

48 posts in 1171 days


#3 posted 12-09-2013 06:17 PM

Power is definitely a consideration. I forgot to mention that right now, my shop is in my basement and I don’t believe I’ve got any 220 wired down there. Great tip jmartel—thanks.

-- "Live each day as if it were your last; one day you're sure to be right." -- Lt Harry "Breaker" Morant

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Loren

8301 posts in 3109 days


#4 posted 12-09-2013 06:28 PM

6” is fine for most furniture making. When and if you want to
make big things like a house door, you’ll want an 8” for
the added width. A 6” machine can be extended with
a shop made extension table for handling long boards
more easily.

Also 6” jointers tend to be shorter and easier to
maneuver around in a small shop. My current jointer
has a 42” bed I think and it is really adequate for most
work. though it does get kind of physically taxing to
joint or face plane boards longer than 6’ or especially
heavy boards.

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mds2

308 posts in 1406 days


#5 posted 12-09-2013 06:32 PM

I dont have a jointer but when I do buy one I’ll get an 8”. And they do make some that run on 110v.

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jonah

687 posts in 2760 days


#6 posted 12-09-2013 06:37 PM

8” jointers are also a lot bigger, heavier, and more cumbersome. I have one, and it takes four people or a shop crane to move the thing any distance.

I’d start with a quality used 6 incher. Good ones are ~$200-$300 on Craigslist. Look for something that has been well taken care of, runs smoothly, and has flat tables.

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mds4752

48 posts in 1171 days


#7 posted 12-09-2013 06:42 PM

Great answers folks.

One stupid question: does a planer do any amount of flattening of a cupped / warped board face?

The jointer obviously does an edge whereas a planer wouldn’t be able to. I assume that a planer would simply put a smooth face on a warped board instead of truly flattening it???

-- "Live each day as if it were your last; one day you're sure to be right." -- Lt Harry "Breaker" Morant

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nwbusa

1017 posts in 1748 days


#8 posted 12-09-2013 06:44 PM

I started with a 6”, had the space and power available for a larger machine, so I ended up with with an 8”. 95% of the boards that come into my shop are 8” wide or less. Occasionally I get a wider board, in which case I flatten one face with hand planes (there’s lots of options for dealing with wider boards). I’ve got a 13” wide board on my workbench right now that needs milling, so even if I had a 12” jointer, it wouldn’t be big enough.

-- John, BC, Canada

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jmartel

6565 posts in 1612 days


#9 posted 12-09-2013 06:46 PM

mds2: Which jointers are those? I haven’t seen them before. I’d be interested in an 8” if I could find a 110v model.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4822 posts in 2510 days


#10 posted 12-09-2013 06:48 PM

Mobil bases make moving a 8” jointer easy, I know I do it almost daily when in my shop.”I still say that 8” is a better choice as he will rapidly outgrow a 6”.

-- Bert

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TheDane

4997 posts in 3125 days


#11 posted 12-09-2013 06:53 PM

Bert is right … if you can afford an 8”, go for it. I have been pretty happy with my 6”, but I quit often have to resort to workarounds when I am working with wider stock.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View teejk's profile

teejk

1215 posts in 2146 days


#12 posted 12-09-2013 06:55 PM

I would opt for 8” primarily because of the longer bed but also because I hate to rip wider boards only to glue them back together. You lose the natural grain figures by the width of the saw blade plus any finishing you do.

But being in your basement, you and 10 elephants will be able to get an 8” machine down there (you can look it up but they are not light and the beds are typically 6 feet long).

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pintodeluxe

4853 posts in 2275 days


#13 posted 12-09-2013 06:58 PM

My Delta DJ-20 8” jointer is 110v. Most are 220 though.

A jointer will flatten cupped lumber, and square an adjacent edge.
Generally if you plane a warped board, it will yield a thinner warped board.

I started with a 6” Jet and it worked fine. I had to adjust it periodically, which was a hassle because of the dovetail way design. I quickly needed to upgrade to an 8” model, which has parallelogram beds. They are easy to adjust and stay coplanar. I had so many 6-8” boards that my little jointer couldn’t handle. Basically if you have a 6.25” wide board, you need to trim it at the bandsaw first before jointing. That got old in a hurry.
But the point is to start somewhere. If you are building boxes and picture frames, a small jointer may work fine.

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

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b2rtch

4822 posts in 2510 days


#14 posted 12-09-2013 07:04 PM

I bought a used 8”Powermatic for $400.00.
I spent $800.00 to replace the motor and the cutting head,only because I wanted to.
I did not had to

-- Bert

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Woodmaster1

736 posts in 2049 days


#15 posted 12-09-2013 07:05 PM

I have a 6” long bed jet that has been just fine. I usually get my hardwood planed before I buy it. I pay $10.00 for a hundred board feet to get it milled so all I have to do is joint an edge. That saves a lot of wear on my planer.

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