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jplemons

JJP-12 Unboxing, setup and review (eventually)

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I wasn’t sure whether to put this here or in the product reviews, but I intend this to be a thread that will develop over several posts in an effort to pass along my experiences with this machine so that it may help someone else. So, here it goes. 

After a lengthy research process, I decided the JJP-12 would fit my needs. While I could squeeze the budget for the straight knife model, the helical head was a bit out of reach. I ordered it from http://www.equipmentsalesandsurplus.com for $1985, which included lift-gate service. Due to bad weather in Tennesse, the shipment took longer than expected; however, Neil at equipment sales was quick to respond to my email and later even called to explain what was going on. I got a tracking number right away and a date for delivery. 

The shipping company, to be blunt, sucked. The delivery window was during the workday and I was scheduled for some extra training that day, so I had my mom wait during the 11-3 window. The window closes, and no delivery. I called dispatch and said the driver would be there. Nearly 1 1/2 hours later, my wife was home and took delivery. The driver, who my wife said was real nice, noticed some damage to the crate.

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He took the top off to get a better look but didn’t notice anything, so my wife accepted it. I got the crate off and shimmied it off the crate onto its mobile base with the help of my son. 

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I started unwrapping the plastic and wiping off the protective gunk when I noticed the blade guard appeared crooked. I looked it over trying to see if there was some way to adjust it to 90 degrees to no avail.

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After more searching I discovered the mounting bracket was bent and cracked. No bueno. 

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I called the place I bought it from and talked to another helpful gentleman who gave me the part number and contact info at Jet. That call has to wait because they were closed, of course.

I continued the setup process, wiping off the gunk and checking the tables when I discovered the infeed table was slightly higher than the outfeed table at the front. I made the adjustments rather easily and then checked the blade height to the outfeed table. The blade seemed a touch high because it makes contact with my straight edge just barely, so I’ll have to adjust that as well. Tomorrow. 

Here’s a couple more shots. 

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I’ll update with the setup process and through a test run. 

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Doh.  The cracked iron sucks.  Really sucks.  Is it worth continuing setup until you know what the outcome of that will be?  If you have to return the machine, you'll be wasting your time...

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Your table surfaces look flat.  When I looked into this machine a couple of years ago the tables were grooved.  Is flat an option or is that how the tables are comming now?

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1 hour ago, Mark J said:

Your table surfaces look flat.  When I looked into this machine a couple of years ago the tables were grooved.  Is flat an option or is that how the tables are comming now?

Nah, they're grooved. Made it harder to clean. I'll see if it affects use in a couple days. One thing that was odd to me is that the planer bed is grooved as well. I understand why they say they went with the grooved top, but the suction thing doesn't play with the planer bed.

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Could have just been from a surface grinder.   The table on my Centauro bandsaw has surface grinder  "grooves" on it, but it's been coated with some sort of phenolic stuff that keeps rust off of it, and makes things slide easily.  The "texture" that you can see is still pretty miniscule.

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On 2/2/2018 at 10:35 AM, Tom King said:

Could have just been from a surface grinder.   The table on my Centauro bandsaw has surface grinder  "grooves" on it, but it's been coated with some sort of phenolic stuff that keeps rust off of it, and makes things slide easily.  The "texture" that you can see is still pretty miniscule.

No, these tables are grooved. 

OK, I had to take a day to wire up a 220/30 amp outlet and make an extension cord. I originally planned to swap out the 14 AWG supplied cord at the motor or control box inside the jointer with a 10 AWG longer cord, but it’s not as simple as I thought, so I just put a plug on the supplied cord and made up a proper extension. 

My initial check of the tables seems good and all appears coplaner — .0015 feeler gauge barely goes under. The knives were a different story. I spent a good three hours setting up the knives and now all are either .001 from the outfeed table or +/- .0005. 

The fence has drawn many complaints, and I can see why. It’s aluminum. However, once it’s locked down, it hold pretty well. Initially, I couldn’t get it set to 90-degrees but removed the stops and was able to get it there. 

Im still waiting on the replacement blade guard from Jet and will be doing some more tests soon. 

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Depending on the cord type the 14 ga wire should be fine. They wouldn't have been able to install it and get a UL pass or other similar rating. Removing the cord and replacing it would open you up to the liability it's probably best to leave it.

I'm not sure I'd be a fan of the grooved tables. I think they benefit the manufacturer more than the user but that benefit translates to a cost savings so i guess that benefits the user so hey if they work they work!

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The thing that bugs me about a grooved table is that sometimes you want a flat spot of cast iron as a reference surface or for sanding.  

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Those "grooves" on the tables look just like the surface on the table of my Centauro bandsaw.   I was thinking they were from some sort of surface grinder, but it was just a guess.

That's quite a machine for a "first Jointer"!

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On 2/5/2018 at 8:12 AM, bleedinblue said:

My understanding is that the grooves on the tables of these machines is similar to the corrugated soles of hand planes.

Yep, marketing. ;)

Those are some grooves man! Can you feel them? wow, that's groovy! :o 

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How is the fence working out?  Does it stay square when you adjust for narrower or wider boards?  Does its seem robust enough for the task?  I remember seeing one in a store a year or two back and the fence didn't give me a lot of confidence.  

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1 hour ago, Mark J said:

How is the fence working out?  Does it stay square when you adjust for narrower or wider boards?  Does its seem robust enough for the task?  I remember seeing one in a store a year or two back and the fence didn't give me a lot of confidence.  

Seems to be doing well. I don’t sense any flex or movement. Once it’s clamped down, it’s pretty rigid. It handled that big hunk of curely cherry pretty well. 

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Quick update — after a little bit more use I can see what others are saying about the fence. While it stays in place once locked down, getting it to 90-degrees takes some maneuvering. I think the fence itself is fine; however, the issue is the large mounting bracket. I’ll fiddle with it today and take some photos. 

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@jplemonsI would be interested to know your opinions as regards the bed lengths, both for the jointer and planer.  

Do you think the shorter beds will be a problem for jointing long boards?  What about the planer?

Since there are no optional bed extensions the obvious solution would be roller stands.  For the jointer with its fixed bed height you only have to set this up once.  But for the planner every time you adjust the thickness you change the height of the bed requiring a readjustment of the stands, so I don't think stands are a solution.

But maybe this isn't a real problem?

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I don’t see it as that big of a deal in practice or from what I’ve read. I cut my boards to a rough length first anyways. I’m sure I’ll have some issues later on down the line if I need to joint an 8-footer for something, but overall I think that’s an exception for the pieces I’m planning to build. 

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8 hours ago, Mark J said:

@jplemonsI would be interested to know your opinions as regards the bed lengths, both for the jointer and planer.  

Do you think the shorter beds will be a problem for jointing long boards?  What about the planer?

Since there are no optional bed extensions the obvious solution would be roller stands.  For the jointer with its fixed bed height you only have to set this up once.  But for the planner every time you adjust the thickness you change the height of the bed requiring a readjustment of the stands, so I don't think stands are a solution.

But maybe this isn't a real problem?

I have a Hammer A3-31 which is of similar dimensions.  I do find jointing longer boards to be a challenge, particularly if they're are heavy.  For my inevitable Roubo build in the next few years, I'll certainly be buying the optional bed extensions.  The problems is that because they're European, they're quite expensive.  Planing isn't an issue because the board is gripped pretty tight and I support them as they are fed in and out.

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