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wareaglewoodworker

Jointer sizing advice

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Following the collective wisdom I received when asking about a planer, I decided a few months ago to purchase a Jointer as well.  Given my poor results from hand-jointing with my Stanley no5 this seemed a prudent decision. :(    To that end I started looking at the Grizzly 8" Jointer options and really liked the parallelogram models.  But they were out of stock all winter so I waited... Then along came the Powermatic sale and I could wait no longer.  I jumped the gun and bought a PM54A.  My reasoning at the time was solid.  The one big project I know I have in my future is a long dining room table (probably something 12' x 3') and the 72" bed of the PM will accommodate such long boards.  The price and free shipping allowed me to buy the Jointer and a DW735 while falling just outside my budget. I reasoned that the future upgrade to a shellix cutterhead on this jointer was a fairly inexpensive proposition.  Plus I reasoned that the parts for the projects I had lined up were all under (or could be under) 6 inches in width.   And finally I could run it on the 110v supply my shed already has in place.  

A month later and due to a series of events (storms, a vacation, multiple weekend invasions by the niece and nephew, the release of Tom Clancy's The Division) I still haven't set the thing up and buyers remorse has set in.  It seems everything I read or hear on jointers says to skip the 6" models and go for an 8" model.  I'm still within the return window for free shipping but I'd have to pay the restocking fee to return it.  Grizzly now has the 8" parallelogram jointers in stock and on sale.  So on to the question.

Is it worth the $300, the trouble of wiring up 220v supplies and the hassle of arranging the return to move from a 6" to 8" jointer?  Or should I just shut-up, make something, and take a bigger loss later when I decide I need to update?

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I know a guy that has been doing this hobby for 30 years on a 6". And I know one that has a 16" been doing it for the same amount of time. They both just work with what they got.

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I hate to be the guy that is just linking other conversations but this one took place recently and there was a lot of good information in the threads that will be hard to replicate again. I was debating between a jointer and a band saw mentally while it was all going on and decided to stick with a crappy 6" jointer over not having a nice band saw.

In the Jointer Technique it goes over utilizing a narrower jointer to make due if costs push you to stay with a 6". It can be done, is it ideal no but you have to answer the cost question yourself. From my use of the website there are different groups of people. The no expense spared group, the Pros, The rich hobbyist, the poor hobbyist, middle of the road, and the hand tool nut. I don't know where you fall but only you can decide that.

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I really like my grizzly 8" jointer, most the stock I buy is 6-8" so 8" sure saves the hassle of finding a sweet board that's like 7.5", running 220v isn't that tough.

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33 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

I hate to be the guy that is just linking other conversations but this one took place recently and there was a lot of good information in the threads that will be hard to replicate again. I was debating between a jointer and a band saw mentally while it was all going on and decided to stick with a crappy 6" jointer over not having a nice band saw.

 

Wow! I completely missed that thread last month.  Thanks!  Also putting the extra dough toward a good bandsaw is something I'm considering.

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42 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

I hate to be the guy that is just linking other conversations but this one took place recently and there was a lot of good information in the threads that will be hard to replicate again. I was debating between a jointer and a band saw mentally while it was all going on and decided to stick with a crappy 6" jointer over not having a nice band saw.

In the Jointer Technique it goes over utilizing a narrower jointer to make due if costs push you to stay with a 6". It can be done, is it ideal no but you have to answer the cost question yourself. From my use of the website there are different groups of people. The no expense spared group, the Pros, The rich hobbyist, the poor hobbyist, middle of the road, and the hand tool nut. I don't know where you fall but only you can decide that.

I have no idea why you are lying right now.. there are only poor hobbyists if they are woodworkers.

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Look at used jointers for sale.  You will see a lot of 6" machines.  Sure 12" or 16" wold be great but, for me 8" is wide enough 99% of the time and I have a planer sled for those few occasions a year that it isn't.  What works for me may not suit you. 

I realized in about 30 days that I was going to lose money on the 6" I convinced myself to buy (despite warning from various forums).  I dumped it and bought an 8" vowing never to fail to listen to the many experiences of others again.

You will get everything from Cliff's 6" and 16" story along with everything in between.  We are all different, do different things and do them differently.

Read EVERYTHING.  Listen to EVERYBODY.  Once you feel you have soaked in enough data, percolate and come to your own conclusion.

 

P.s. Dump the 6" unless you only plan to edge joint or build with really narrow boards :ph34r:

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I have that jointer and have no regrets!  8" is overrated for 99% of the hobby shops IMO!

 

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   I have a 6" with a 30" bed, I use an outfeed roller for boards longer than 5', and have jointed up to 9' long with it , with no problems, you learn to make it work, or you just spend more cash... that choice is only yours to make!!

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I used a 6" jointer for years I now have a 12" combo machine. It really depends on what you plan on making over the next few years. If most the projects will fit into the capacity of the 6" probably not worth changing now, if not probably was a mistake that can still be corrected for what is a nominal fee, in tool terms. 

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For me, $300 would be a really tough pill to swallow for buyer's remorse - I think it would make me even more bitter.  So personally, I'd stick with the 6" and distract myself with $300 worth of other tools ;) Even though it is a 6", there are new people getting into woodworking all the time, so I don't think it would be too difficult for you to sell the 54A down the line.

If I hadn't been lucky enough to find a really good deal on a used 8" spiral head Grizzly, I probably would've gone with a quality 6" jointer as well... then again, I can say that easily in hindsight ;) 

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The step from a normal 6" to an 8" is pretty big. The step from an 8" to 12" is also pretty big. I agree with everyone suggesting a 12" down the road. 8" is nice for the bed length(seems like your PM might already have 60-80" beds), weight, and added stability. My 6" used to wiggle and move when I bumped it or used it. The 8" didnt move much, and 'movement' isn't in the vocab of the 12". building with only 6" boards sucks if you intend on making a lot of furniture. I cant tell you how pleasurable it is to work with wide stock when its available. I used to poke around for 5-6" boards at my supplier, which was difficult to locate. Now I head right for the widest boards in the pile.

 

I don't know what the restocking fee is, but a quality small jointer is better than no jointer, and better than an improperly tuned or imprecise jointer. You can have a 20" jointer, but if the beds aren't flat, coplanar, with a flat fence set to 90° then you have a large useless machine. As I upgrade machines, I much prefer the larger versions(typically higher quality too), but that doesn't mean I didnt have fun making stuff with the smaller machines.

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Following the collective wisdom I received when asking about a planer, I decided a few months ago to purchase a Jointer as well.  Given my poor results from hand-jointing with my Stanley no5 this seemed a prudent decision. [emoji20]    To that end I started looking at the Grizzly 8" Jointer options and really liked the parallelogram models.  But they were out of stock all winter so I waited... Then along came the Powermatic sale and I could wait no longer.  I jumped the gun and bought a PM54A.  My reasoning at the time was solid.  The one big project I know I have in my future is a long dining room table (probably something 12' x 3') and the 72" bed of the PM will accommodate such long boards.  The price and free shipping allowed me to buy the Jointer and a DW735 while falling just outside my budget. I reasoned that the future upgrade to a shellix cutterhead on this jointer was a fairly inexpensive proposition.  Plus I reasoned that the parts for the projects I had lined up were all under (or could be under) 6 inches in width.   And finally I could run it on the 110v supply my shed already has in place.  

A month later and due to a series of events (storms, a vacation, multiple weekend invasions by the niece and nephew, the release of Tom Clancy's The Division) I still haven't set the thing up and buyers remorse has set in.  It seems everything I read or hear on jointers says to skip the 6" models and go for an 8" model.  I'm still within the return window for free shipping but I'd have to pay the restocking fee to return it.  Grizzly now has the 8" parallelogram jointers in stock and on sale.  So on to the question.

Is it worth the $300, the trouble of wiring up 220v supplies and the hassle of arranging the return to move from a 6" to 8" jointer?  Or should I just shut-up, make something, and take a bigger loss later when I decide I need to update?

Get the 8 inch jointer. First, you already seem to be leaning towards it. Second, it's rare for woodworkers to regret having a machine with more capacity. Third, "buy once, cry once".

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12 minutes ago, Acer Cletus said:

I wouldn't go from a 6" PM to an 8" Grizzly.  Just my opinion though.  

 

I agree completely.  A turd spray painted to look like gold isn't quite a precious metal 

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While I said that personally, I'd stick with what I already have, if you're going to have to really convince yourself every time you look at the 54A that keeping it was the right decision, then swap it.  It's your shop, and especially if you're doing this as your hobby/escape from regular life, you need to be happy with what's in it.

One other option is have you considered selling it locally?  If you can sell it at less than a loss of $300, that's better than you just throwing the money at a restocking fee, and someone else gets a quality tool.

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Thank you all for the advice. I've thought it over and I'm going to stay with the PM54A. I'm going to put the money I'd have spent on a restocking fee toward a dust collection unit.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I wanted to post a follow up on this subject after a couple of small projects. I have to say I'm very happy with the decision to buy the 54a. A buddy of mine helped me set of it up. Out of the crate it was aligned and ready to go. For starters I ran a cutoff from a 2x4 over it first to see how it worked. I put the calipers on it and the it was practically dead on at all four corners. I broke out the straight edge and Found less than 1000th of a difference between the tables and they were co-planar. We ran hard maple and cherry through it for a cutting board project and it worked perfectly. This week I ran more cherry through it for a project. And I'm still happy with the results.

I plan on upgrading the cutter head to a Byrd Shelix possibly as soon as the first blade replacement. But as of now I have no complaints. Setup was a breeze and it performs well.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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3 minutes ago, wareaglewoodworker said:

I wanted to post a follow up on this subject after a couple of small projects. I have to say I'm very happy with the decision to buy the 54a. A buddy of mine helped me set of it up. Out of the crate it was aligned and ready to go. For starters I ran a cutoff from a 2x4 over it first to see how it worked. I put the calipers on it and the it was practically dead on at all four corners. I broke out the straight edge and Found less than 1000th of a difference between the tables and they were co-planar. We ran hard maple and cherry through it for a cutting board project and it worked perfectly. This week I ran more cherry through it for a project. And I'm still happy with the results.

I plan on upgrading the cutter head to a Byrd Shelix possibly as soon as the first blade replacement. But as of now I have no complaints. Setup was a breeze and it performs well.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

You'll be a long while before blade replacements!  I'm nearing 3 years..

Congrats!  You've got a nice machine!

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21 minutes ago, Tom King said:

Looks really really fun to set up. I can imagine the months of fun I would have trying to do that :unsure:

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1 hour ago, Tom King said:

As a former sailor on a carrier... Im ok with this being called 'the aircraft carrier' hahaha

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I have a 54a as well. As much as I'd love an 8", i can live without it for now. Its true most stock is 6-8", but most of my finished components are well under 6" so i just break down boards before jointing.

It really just depends on your workflow, if you feel hampered by the 6" right now then maybe u should upsize. Otherwise dont. And fwiw youre talking about upgrading from PM to Grizz which could be a risky proposition.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

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