When you find old iron like that you want to check out the Old
Woodworking Machines website at owwm.com for info about the
manufacturer, model, manuals, etc. Buffalo was a good brand. I don't own
any tools from that company but I've seen some as I look for them when I
shop around. If the jointer is in mechanically sound shape (i.e. no
cracked castings, no important parts missing [guard, fence, cutterhead],
no rust *pitting* on the tables, all parts move freely, no awful
grinding noises when the unit is powered on, has a motor that works and
does not otherwise look as if somebody abused the thing) then with some
elbow grease and a little time you'll have a swell jointer. You may have
to replace the knives in the cutterhead. How many does it have (2 or
3?). If you have to buy or replace the motor then you're looking at
another $100 or so for a new one, or maybe next to nothing if you can
find one at a garage sale. Light surface rust is easily removed with
mineral spirits and some fine grit automotive sandpaper. If it's a
decent machine in good shape then the only other consideration is size:
do you want a small 4" wide or a larger 6" wide machine, and what length
of boards do you intend to joint with it. The longer the tables the
longer the boards it'll handle. OTOH if you're just starting out as a
ww'er a little 4 incher will probably suit you for some time.
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