Benchtop Jointers

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I'm considering purchasing a 6" benchtop jointer. Space is an issue in my shop, as is money. I know these things are not any good for long or wide stock, but I do a lot of small work (boxes, frames, etc) so I'm thinking that one of these machines might be adequate for the smaller stock I'm usually working with.
The three possibilities I'm looking at are the Delta and the Shop Fox, which can be seen on the following page:
http://tool-corral.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/page90.html
and the Woodtek here:
http://woodworker.com/cgi-bin/FULLPRES.exe?PARTNUM 5-955&LARGEVIEW=ON
To me, the Shop Fox actually looks like the best machine, although there don't seem to be many dealers and I worry about parts and service availability.
Does anybody have any experience/recommendations with these or any other brands I've not looked at? Or are these things just toys I'll be sorry I wasted money on? Keep in mind I'm just a hobbyist, but I don't want to buy something totally useless either.
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"If" you use the jointer to flatten stock for small projects it should work well for you considering it limitations. If you only want to straighten the edge of you stock you can easily an more cheaply get by with a sled guided by your fence on your TS. I have a stationary 6" jointer and prefer using the TS and a sled with clamps to straighten boards up to 8' long. I use the jointer for 6' and under boards.
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Leon wrote:

Thanks, Leon. Yeah, I'm perfectly comfortable using the TS for edges, but I'm really more concerned with those boards that aren't quite flat, or the times when I'm trying to glue up boards of slightly different thicknesses.
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"Charlie M. 1958" wrote in message

Just a word of caution ... it is a mistake, and misuse of the tool, to rely upon, or use a jointer, to thickness your stock, as a jointer can't guarantee you parallel faces ... for that you need a planer.
My advice would be to buy a planer first.
--
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Swingman wrote:

Swingman,
In the short time I've been hanging around here, your advice always seems straightforward and practical, so I'll definitely give that some thought.
The reason I was leaning against a planer, though, was that I heard (maybe erroneously) that a planer often did a poor job on the ends of boards. Working with a lot of short stock, I really can't afford much waste. Also, what are the problems with feeding short stock into a planer?
Charlie
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"Charlie M. 1958" wrote in message

For a non-neander, IME it takes a very good, and usually expensive, machine to effectively plane stock not much longer than the combined infeed and outfeed table without snipe, and you still may need to come up with a jig of some type to do it, although it is doable.
However, a practical solution is to plane your boards while they are a much longer length, then crosscut to final dimension.
This is pretty SOP for most woodworkers.
Another option, since you're dealing mostly with for small stock, is a thickness sander ... might want to check those out two.
HTH ...
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There are physical limits to what size wood you can pass through a planer "unassisted".
The rollers and blades can not deal with anything that is shorter than the distance between rollers.
A piece too short "might" get canted upward into the blades causing a hell of a mess and causing you to go change your shorts.
Having said that, you can do short pieces as long as they are "supported" in a planer "carrier".
Here is an example of that:
http://www.woodworkingtips.com/etips/etip030711wb.html
This will help a great deal with the "snipe" issues..
Charlie M. 1958 wrote:

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Depends on the planer. Some snipe worse than others. Also depends on your technique: supporting the ends of long boards as they enter and leave the planer reduces snipe substantially.

High-speed ejection of the board through the INfeed end is the major problem associated with feeding too-short boards into a planer. Read the manual carefully. It will prescribe the minimum length of board that can be planed safely. They mean it. As long as you're over the minimum, though, you won't have a problem.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Snipe is mainly an issue with long boards (i.e. ones that are too long to be fully supported by the planer during the entire planing operation). If you're dealing mostly with short stock this is pretty much not an issue and even with long boards a reasonable effort to keep the boards level during planing pretty much eliminates the problem.
You really should have both.
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doubt it is good for jointing anything much over 4' long, but I rarely glue anything much longer than that anyhow. But when I do, it will be a serious problem.
Do you use the TS for long board just for cosmetics, or does it give you a glueable edge? Doesn't seem likely, but it would be a solution for me.
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<snip>

A Stanley #6?
Patriarch
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That's my solution.

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piece of crap. I got it because I was really really short on space, but decided I needed to cram a real jointer in somehow.
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Charlie M. 1958 wrote:

Where are you at? If you're anywhere near Charlotte, NC, I have a Delta Shopmaster with a base that I'll make somebody a good deal on. Lightly used; replaced with a 8" North State bohemoth.
Make me an offer.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
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The Delta works, it's cut everything I've thrown at it with no difficulty, and for me "anything" includes lignum vitae, ipe, and purpleheart. If it will cut those it will cut just about anything.
Its big weakness is the fence--getting it aligned to an adequate approximation of 90 degress is a pain in the butt and once you've got it there you don't want to move it off of that setting because of the difficulty of getting it back. One of these days I'm going to make one up that's fixed at 90.
The tables have a good deal of friction--if it's not fastened down to something solid the wood you're cutting can easily drag the whole jointer around. Waxing the tables helps but it's not a complete solution--the "right" solution is to fasten it down to something.
I've successfully jointed 8-foot boards on it but it's not something that I would want to do regularly. For that you really want something with longer tables.
Looking at the pictures and descriptions of the Shop Fox and Woodtek my main concern would be dust and shaving extraction--the Delta has a wide open chute with no obstructions and that sometimes fills up with shavings to the point that they have to be pulled out by hand--I'd be concerned about the others, with much smaller outlets, getting clogged to the point that disassembly is required to clear them--of course there may be a nice cleanout on the back that doesn't show in the pictures.
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"Swingman" wrote in message news:...

One of the things I forgot to mention: jointing short stock on a jointer is no guarantee against snipe. Snipe is quite common when jointing short boards unless you really have your jointing technique down ... an art in itself.
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Charlie M. 1958 wrote:

I had the delta as my first jointer. The motor was great. But the tables were aluminum and the outfeet table drooped in one corner as much as 1/8". Make sure you get one with flat tables.
Regardless, you'll want dust collection. A shopvac should do the trick.
If I could start over again, I would get a proper six inch jointer. If space were an issue, I would take the legs off and put the 6"er on the bench. It wouldn't take up that much more room.
You may also want to consider permanently setting the depth at 1/32" or something like that, then build extension infeed and outfeed tables you can take off and put away. The sort tables will seriously limit things.
brian
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I built my jointer stand so that a board passes over the tablesaw wing, clearing the fence by about a half inch. It's not really inconvenient to bend a bit when using, and may even help on longer stock. Generally you can expect to handle 8' on a 4' table, as long as the wood's not too heavy. Then a support of some sort makes sense.
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Thanks to all who responded for giving me lots to think about.
Maybe I'll buy nothing but S4S stock in the future. <g>
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Consider the Stanley too.
--
Contentment makes poor men rich. Discontent makes rich men poor.
--Benjamin Franklin
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