Grizzly G0526 6" Jointer - Review

Just picked up my new Grizzly G0526 6" jointer yesterday - and have a few observations and a couple of questions.
This is their "6th Anniversary Edition" spiral cutter head jointer (it was my Christmas present from SWMBO - they just started receiving these items into their warehouse). The jointer comes in 2 boxes, the first one, weighing around 90kg, contains the jointer bed, fence and misc. parts. The second box, weighing ~50kg, contains the base and magnetic switch arm. I was able (with some creative swearing) to fit both boxes in the back of a RAV4. Once home, I managed to wrestle the boxes out of the car into my shop, and started the process "some assembly required". Once I got the components out of the box, I spent about an hour removing all the cosmoline (or whatever they use to keep the metal from rusting on the boat ride over). Next was to lay out all the parts and read through the instruction manual.
While the manual is well written, there are some differences between reality and the manual (and since this is a brand new model, I would not have through that there would be differences). The fence is shipped unattached from the bed - which actually makes cleaning the anti-rust gunk a lot easier (the manual states to remove the fence to clean the sliding parts). The base is the new whitish color, powder coated, and is very stable. I had to call my neighbor to help me get the bed up onto the base (it only takes 3 bolts to hold it on - but you need some tiny hands to get the bolts to go from inside the base up into the bed). The next step is to install the v-belt, ensure the pulleys are aligned, install the dust port, install the fence, and then the safety cutter head cover - and here is where my first problem manifested itself. The safety cover is supposed to be installed through a hole and make attachment to a spring-loaded device underneath the bed - the theory is that when you push a board through, the safety cover moves out of the way (counter-clockwise) and then springs back. However, for the life of me, I cannot get it to function as it is supposed to. I even took the spring device apart and cleaned and oiled it, but to no avail. The orange safety cover pivots, but does not "spring" back to its original position (guess I will stop by the store and talk to them - I live about 25 minutes from the Springfield, MO Grizzly showroom/warehouse).
Does anyone else have this jointer yet - and if so, did you get the safety cover to work correctly?
Next was to install the hand wheels, the v-belt cover and mount the magnetic switch arm. I am a bit reluctant to attempt power yet until I get the problem with the safety cover resolved. The spiral cutter head appears to be pretty massive, and the indexed cutter blades appear to be very easy to rotate to a new cutting edge if they become dull or get chipped - certainly easier than setting a blade ;-)
Included are some extras such as; 2 orange push blocks - kinda of cheap, but hey - at least they did not come with a HCA enrollment ;-), 5 extra cutter blades in a cute little plastic box, 5 torx drill bits sized for the cutter blades (not sure why 5), extra cutter blade screws, and open end wrench that has the correct mm ends for all bolts that you need to turn to assemble.
All in all it seems like a well built unit - very sturdy and attention to detail seems pretty good - - however I will save my final analysis until I actually run some wood through it.
Regards,
-George-
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Please do report back when you run some wood through with an actual review. This is indeed an interesting jointer. I'm ready for a new unit myself, and it is on my short-list. Cons for me with this jointer are price, inability to re-sharpen those squares, and concern about being the guinea pig for a new "technology" from Grizzly. I also wonder how the squares are seated on that cutterhead. If those things have a tendency to become unaligned, I think it could be a big headache.
With Woodcraft offering 10% off the Powermatic 54A next weekend, I think I've made up my mind, but would still love to hear about your results!
Brian.

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Brian,
The squares are seated on the cutterhead in a slot, and have a small "dot" depression on each square for indexing. If one edge gets dull or chipped, you just loosen the torx screw and rotate the square 90 degrees - really no way to get them back in place out of alignment.
I will definitely report back in a day or two once I run some wood through it.
-George-

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I don't have this particular jointer from Grizzly. I have the 1182Z. However, I do remeber having more than a few choice words with the spirits in my shop about getting that damned safety cover on. Sounds like you have the same problem. Take a look at the directions again. You need to rotate the spring-loaded pin on the safety cover a couple (or a few) turns in one direction or the other and then while the pin is under load, slip it into the hole on the jointer bed. Once it's in there, when the cover is pushed off the head, it will spring back into place after the wood goes past the head. Now, the pin has a couple of slots in it that fit over a small metal wire in that hole, so good luck getting it lined up. It's a stupid design, but I have nothing to compare it to, so maybe all jointers are like this and I'm just being daft.

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It sounds like the same design - I can get the spring to wind under tension, however once pressure is removed from the coverplate, it does not "spring" back. I will try what you suggested and see what happens..
-George

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On Sat, 10 Apr 2004 16:10:37 -0500, "George Gibeau"

George, I have a different model Grizzly jointer and had the same problem. If you dismantle the spring return device and look closely at the spring inside, the spring pins may not be lining up but binding inside the housing. I was able to bend the ends of the spring slightly with vise grips & pliers, re-assemble, and it works fine now. If you are close to a Grizzly outlet and don't want to mess with it, I would get them to give you a replacment part.      - Also check the spring tension winding as another poster suggested.

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George Gibeau wrote:

I have adifferent model and discovered that vertical positioning of the guard is important. You might experiment a bit.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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One way to get the guard on is to take the fence off, put the guard on so the split pin engages the spring, wind it up whichever direction is appropriate, then clamp it in place temporarily and put the fence back on.
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I think I am going to try to get a new spring for the cutterguard head as someone else mentioned. I tried some of the suggestions below, but none of them seemed to improve the situation - the problem is that if I wind the cutterhead counter-clockwise enough to get enough tension on the spring to return the cutterhead against the fence, the spring lets loose inside its housing. Oh well.
In spite of that - I decided to at least test the machine ;-) I really like the way the magnetic switch works. The off button depresses, and you cannot apply power until you rotate the off button to the right about a quarter turn (there is a power indicator light between the on and off switch). After I double checked all bolts and made sure I left nothing laying on the top of the bed, I switch the unit on (keeping my hand on the off switch just in case) - I was pleasantly surprised by the noise level of this unit - it really was not much louder than my drill press - without hearing protection it was certainly comfortable, with hearing protection the noise all but disappeared. I then ran some board across it (being extra careful of my hand position due to the cutterguard not having spring tension on it - although I did leave it in place) - I tried red oak, white oak, hard maple, cherry, walnut and poplar. Wow - the finished cut is really nice - very smooth, no chatter marks, no snipe - the table and the fence was almost dead on from the factory (had to do some minor adjustments to the infeed table gib and the fence) - and the manual has very clear instructions on how to check to ensure you are at factory spec. The dust port on the side of the base provided excellent dust control - and very little dust/chips stayed up around the bed area.
With the exception of the spring for the cutterhead, I am very impressed by this unit. If anyone lives in the Springfield, MO area and actually wants to see one in action - drop me a line (they don't have this unit set up in the showroom yet).
-George-
no affiliation with Grizzly other than a satisfied customer, blah, blah, blah.. - heck, I teach networking technologies at the local college and sometimes wish I worked at Grizzly ;-)

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Glad its working out for you George. Use that hearing protection when running wood across it!
Brian.

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