I'm ready to get a jointer now as the table top joiner I have been using is way
to smallfor most projects. Everyone tells me to try and get the 8" but the price
is really up there compared to 6" joiners. I'm now looking at the powermatic 6"
joiner with the long table. I'm not really committed to it but I do know a long
table is import for long boards. I have been only using the table top joiner to
prepare the edges for joining so I haven't seen the need to prepare the surface
of the boards yet. I'm open to spending more if I can convince myself the 8" is
more useful. I'm trying to buy the right equipment the first time and have been
very happy with my Delta unisaw so far. Thanks
If you find a burning need to mill boards greater than 6" but less than
8", then I'd suggest the 8". Otherwise, what's the point of buying the
bigger unit, other than bragging rights?
Unless we're talking about a PM54A, length over 6" machines.
A longer machine is much easier for longer board edges.
Aside from that, most of the lumber I buy is 6-8" wide, which makes an
8" machine just about perfect for face jointing.
Width is somewhat less important the the length in general, but you'll
never regret the larger if you have room and budget...I predict as you
continue (assuming you do) you'll wonder how you got along w/o the 8"
and be pining for a 12 or 16...
I like the old-style Delta's and Powermatics--but, as you note there's a
price to be paid for the name.
When I finally get one, it will be 6". I just have not been able to justify
larger. OTOH, if you have a riser block in your bandsaw, sometime resaw 7
or 8" material, you will be PO'd when you finally need that 8".
The reality is that we are not talking practicality, but we are doing mental
gymnastics. If you can justify the larger equipment, are able to pay for
it, and will be satisfied, go for it. The last thing you want to do is by a
$750 piece of equipment and know you should have gone the extra mile (or is
If you have the money, the DJ-30 is nice too.
I find I resaw most wider boards to minimize the amount I have to remove
to get a flat face. My 6" (Jet) works fine, but a longer table would be
an improvement. I'd got for the Powermatic over the big bucks for an
And I don't understand why you've only jointed edges. How do you
prepare a board for the planer?
Got money? Spend it, don't try to justify the expense based on number of
8" boards which you can't fix by any number of other methods. Personally,
I'd rather have an iron planer with bed rollers and a serrated infeed so I
could get boards to feed with almost no downward pressure. Having had the
opportunity for both - 12" jointer at the university vs. the JET 6" I have
at home - I think the number of boards which will _need_ 8" diminishes to
nil with the addition of hand planes.
Technique is more important than long tables, BTW.
It seems everyone talks about the 2" difference between the 6" and 8".
What seems to me to be more important is the horsepower of the motor,
the speed the cutterhead spins etc.
Also, is the hype associated with spiral cutterhead worth it? For the
same price of a powermatic 8" you can get a 8" Grizzly with spiral
No, what we were talking about was that the extra bed length associated
w/ the 8" machine is more significant than the width...although there
are times that's useful, too.
You can set the cutterhead speed as you wish. I've never seen a <good>
jointer come under-powered. Some of the really cheap Chinese/imports
<may> have a problem, but that class didn't seem to be in the mixhere...
I've not had the opportunity to actually use a Grizzly so can't really
comment...the "spiral" head has some advantages but personally I'm not
missing not having one...
If I get a new larger planer, however, it most likely will have the
spiral head--there's where I think they have a real advantage.
What percentage of the boards you join are > 8' long?
Unless you're talking 8/4 by 10", that's a piece of cake on a standard 46"
long jointer. If you're careful, you can even do 'em on an old 4" Rockwell,
because the business is done within a foot either side of the cutters. The
rest is keeping the board in contact within that spread.
Of course I have my jointer lowered so that boards passing over my tablesaw
at the standard 34 1/2" pass over it, so I probably get more effective
control than folks holding above waist level. I'm of the "better to be
better than the tool camp."
single set of knives will last you a few more years if you have an 8
inch jointer ...keep sliding that fence over to hide the dull or
nicked areas of the blades....
Of course knives can be replaced a lot of times for the extra money
it would take to buy an 8 inch jointer.... LOL
Well duh! <G>
I was responding to the specific statement about 8' long edges. While
I may not _join_ them, straight, 90 degree true to the face edges make
things much easier at assembly time.
Most all of the lumber I buy is 6-8" wide. An 8" machine allows me to
face joint 95% of my lumber without changing the width first.
I had a 6" and needed the extra size enough to warrant selling the 6"
and moving up to an 8". I also like the taller fence of my
particular 8" machine.
Actually, while for what I do a significant fraction are (or are 6/4 or
greater stock which is pretty heavy), even if only 1% were it would
still be well worth it....
Once I get things reorganized I'll go back to the search for an old 12
or 16 (or even 20 if I get lucky)....
OK I'll give the counter point to most. I upgraded from a 6 to an 8. With an
8 to get *both* length and width and my yorkcraft 8 was $750 delivered (very
close in price to the long-bed powermatic)
If you don't face-joint boards then don't waste your time. If you use
rough-cut stock you *have to* face joint your stock (maybe with hand planes,
but that is still face jointing). I will assume that you purchase the vast
majority of your stock surfaced.
I use almost exclusively rough-cut stock. Rough stock (from my guy) comes in
random widths between 4 and 12 inches. Around half of the boards that I get
are in that 6-8 range, so yes, I do find the extra width useful often.
If you plan on continuing to use surfaced stock most of the time, don't
bother. With rough stock I think that it's an upgrade that you'll find
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