Old joiner - what would you do?

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Ok, I had someone come over today and help to setup my machines. We looked at the 20 yr old joiner that I bought a couple of years ago and got the bad news.
It's got bad bearings, tho they aren't yet totally shot, and there's a dish in the in and out tables.
So we were talking about what to do and the answer was to junk it. The price of new bearings, fixing the dish and some other work that needs to be done probably would total close to $200 - 250.
I'm tending to just junk it out, perhaps keeping the in/out tables for sharpening (the dish isn't really very large but large enough to cause problems in joining) and maybe the motor and knives and that's it.
Anyone have any luck with a similar problem? What tipped you one way or the other?
MJ Wallace
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I would rebuild it myself. Old iron will last forever if taken care of and needed maintenance done. Puff
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I agree. Bearings are fairly inexpensive, as long as you buy them from a bearing supplier instead of from the manufacturer of the tool. If you're in or near a city of any substantial size, chances are you can find something fairly easily in the Yellow Pages.
Lack of flatness in the tables is a bigger problem, but any machine shop with a surface grinder should be able to take care of that for you.
I suspect that a little time spent on the phone will reduce your cost well below the $200-250 you anticipate.
Finally, you should be able to get a lot of good advice on procedures and sources of parts at the Old Wood-Working Machines site, www.owwm.com .
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Fri, 15 Jun 2007 11:12:06 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Last one-off surface grind job (an anvil face) I saw was $80 for that alone
I imagine I'd fix it though, if the jointer was basically worth it. Certainly bearings are an easy swap in most jointers (saws can be tricky sometimes).
I'm having trouble with this "unacceptable warp" in the tables though. Just how much are we talking about?
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This very well may NOT be the quality of Old iron as it is only 20 years old.
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wrote:

A couple hundred at least and a fair bit of time mucking about with it...I don't know. Unless it's a larger jointer I'd be tempted to sell what you have, as is, on Craigslist or some such and trade up.
R
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Can't say what I'd do for sure until know what it is -- other than it's 20 years old, you told us nothing of any real value.
If the tables are dished and you can get a surface grind job for $200 or less it must be relatively small and a lower end import -- in that case, I'd not invest any more money in it.
--
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Fri, Jun 15, 2007, 8:56am (EDT-1) snipped-for-privacy@non.net (dpb) <snip> If the tables are dished and you can get a surface grind job for $200 or less it must be relatively small and a lower end import -- in that case, I'd not invest any more money in it.
As usual, prices would depend a lot on location. It would cost a lot more in say a San Francisco or New York City machine shop then it would in a small rural town machine shop. If it would cost more than what I'd be willing to pay, I'd figure how to do it myself.
JOAT If a man does his best, what else is there? - General George S. Patton
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For a low-end import, pack the surface with Bondo and level it, then start saving for a better machine.
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wrote:

with out knowing the size and manufacturer it hard to tell. If it's 8" or bigger and a high quaility machine, sure buy the bearing from a supplier, not the manufacturer, and send the offending iron part to be machined. lower quaility 6" you can replace fairly cheap, with a newer better machine. and if possible (read that have the room and money) consider 8" or better. hope this helps. Jay Bissonnette Bissonnette Renovations
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What I'd do first is find out what brand and model of jointer I had. That would greatly help in making the decision.. Some I'd junk, others, I'd spend $500+ to get it right.
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Thanks to all to have added their comments.
Here's the parts I didn't tell you.
It's a 6" Grizzley. Unknown manufacture date, but the copyright on the manual is 1983. I don't know nor did I look up on Grizzley's website to know if they have a date of production for this machine.
I will get some estimates to smooth out the tables and if I could get them BOTH done for about $75 - 100, the joiner might be useful until I decide to replace it. The bearings, like I said, are not yet gone and the blades are in very good shape. The biggest cost I would think would be resurfacing. If I can get that down, it would make a diff. Oh, I live NORTH of the Golden Gate, about 50 miles. Rual yes, but still very suburban.
I think I might need a new belt, but that's minimal dollars there.
So, it's not an 15" or even 8", grand ole iron (Watkins, Delta, etc.), it's an earlier 6" Griz.
Does that change your thoughts now?
MJ Wallace
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Yeah...early Griz ain't what later is, in general, so at least one strike there.
That said, bearings, assuming they're a standard size and weren't something OEM-specified, would be pretty inexpensive and a relatively simple fix. One would assume one can get them from any local bearing distributor--if so, that's at least an "even"...
The dishing is something else again--my initial inclination is if it is really badly enough dished to be a visible problem in getting a straight edge, it's probably too much to take out by surface grinding.
It normally wouldn't be a dish in the table that would be noticeable, anyway, but a "droop" or "rise" in the tables themselves from either wear or maladjustment of simply inaccurate ways.
Can you demonstrate the tables overall are co-planar but dished or is there actually a problem overall in getting the infeed and outfeed tables aligned w/ each other? That is a far more likely scenario to cause actual observed problems in operation than some minor fluctuations in the bed itself.
Also, is the outfeed table adjustable or fixed? Are you sure you have the knives set at the right height relative to the outfeed table? What is/are the symptom(s) of the wood run over the jointer? Knowing that we may be able to diagnose the type of fault(s)...
--
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DPB,
Thanks for your comments. My responses below:

You're right there. My friends estimate was about $35 for them. But they aren't shot yet meaning, still good. Might be useable in the state they are in for 30 or more hours? Who knows, but it would mean testing them often.

No, we tested the beds and found them to be even across the entire machine. So they ways are good. The dishing is not a whole lot but more than what my friend would recommend and he's a master woodworker. He teaches woodworking and has an excellant eye for this work. I trust him completely.

We didn't get a chance to run wood because we ran out of time and spent a good deal of the remaining hrs of the day talking about the joiner itself. He pointed out the dishing, etc. He took out one set of knives and adjusted them, but not completely and the machine is disassembled at the moment, waiting on my decision.
The more that I think about it, if it cost me $200 more to fix it up (I think I spent $200 to buy it 3 years ago and it sat for all this time), I'd rather pony up another $300 to buy a new Jet or Delta 6-in, have a warranty, a better motor, flat tables (I'd test them and have them replaced if not flat). etc.
I appreciated your thoughts on this. I hate to see something useful go to scrap, but I don't think this machine is all that useful.
MJ Wallace
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Pardon the expression, but that's bogus BS -- a bearing in a fairly light-duty application like a 6" jointer isn't going to go from "good" to "unusable" in 30 hrs. If it's going to fail in 30 hrs, it isn't any good now.
If there's detectable play, they're already bad and should be replaced. If it's only that the jointer hasn't been used for a while, they may be dry and a shot of lube may well quieten them down. Unless you're going to be doing a whole lot of work, I suspect they could well outlast you unless they are already discernibly bad enough that there's no question.

That may be, but sounds like he may be one who's more interested in the machine than in wood. You're not machining metal to mills, here. Specs on good-quality machine beds (like Delta, Powermatic, etc.) are in the 3-5 mill range so unless yours is much worse than that you could well find as much or more in a new machine straight off the truck.

You haven't even run a single piece of wood across it to check and you're getting ready to junk it? Again, not intending to offend, but that's simply ludicrous. I fully expect that if you were to sharpen the knives, adjust them properly, and learn technique for jointing, it would do work good enough to match or exceed the rest of your skill level for some time to come with no cash outlay (other than perhaps the bearings).
IMO, ymmv, $0.02, etc., etc., etc., ...
--
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DPB,
Again thanks for the input.
You made some very excellent suggestions and I'm still "on the fence". Ultimately, I have to consider what I would like to do and thinking at the minimum, I could "lube" the bearings and then adjust the knives and then see where I stand. It's the least I could do, and your "gentle" prodding is spot on.
Again, thanks for your responses.
MJ Wallace
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If nothing else, you quite possibly could get most if not all of the cost of bearings if you were to sell it if it ran quietly instead of not...
But, as I read, sounds more like you're trying to justify a new machine and hoping somebody here will back you up. You should know that here we only say "atta-boy" after the decision has been made and the new iron is home and off the truck... :)
Seriously, if you're just starting into woodworking, I strongly recommend not being unable to "see the forest for the trees". Unless this dishing is extremely bad (and we're yet to see a single quantitative measurement or location on the bed of these imperfections), consider that most cabinet workpieces will be from a minimum of 12-18" to several feet in length. The length of these will span the overall length of the bed and wouldn't be able to follow these local high/low places anyway. Only if the bed is actually concave or convex over it's entire length is it likely to be a problem at all, and if there were so, the measurements you say your friend took wouldn't have shown the infeed and outfeed tables to be coplanar as you have said they are.
Another way to think of it is analogous to the beginning violin student -- a Strad is a fine instrument, but until the new pupil has mastered a fair amount of technique and skill, the difference between his "starter" practice violin and a Strad wouldn't help his sound much at all.
--
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote: ...

I meant to add -- to have the tables reground _correctly_ requires the whole jointer be surface ground as a unit, not each table individually. (That's how they do them at the factory after initial fitting.)
Thus, the size of a surface grinder needed to get it done that way is the length of the overall bed which is a machine a small machine shop ain't likely to have. Otherwise, they have to do one bed, then remount the whole thing making sure they have the overall alignment correct from the previous to within about 3-4 mills over the full length and do the other table. The setup charges alone will be two-three times what you're talking, I'm sure...
See my other response for what I think is more likely going on...
--
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In addition to the above remarks, I would give grizzly a call. They may or may not be able to help. But they could give you some ideas as to what your options may be. They do have all the machining capabilities to repair their machines. I have no idea what the rates (or shipping costs) would be.
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Lee Michaels wrote:

That's a good point -- being set up to do it as opposed to the extensive setup for a local shop could conceivably offset the shipping costs.
But, it's still foolish to think it needs anything of that magnitude at all until he's at least tried to set it up and use it unless there's far more indication of a serious problem than provided so far.
Nothing against his buddy, but he sounds like one of the anal-retentive types more interested in the machines than in woodworking to me, or else trying to "show-off" his expertise and getting bogged down in minutiae. Of course, he may have known and OP misunderstood the significance of the so-called defects, too. Who knows???
--
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