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bleedinblue

New jointer season? I think so.

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I know the 6" vs. 8" debate has lived on for long enough to beat a thousand dead horses.  I'm going to beat one more, even if it's just to work out the decision in my own head.

Here's my line of thought(s).  I figure I can spend about $1500 before my wife starts throwing a fit.  I do not have 220v in my shop.  I can get it, but it'll be an inconvenience to get someone out here to wire it.  My shop is my walkout basement.  All equipment I take to the shop has to be rolled on a dolly/hand truck through my not-perfectly level yard, the weight of the machine is a pretty big consideration.  I am not 100% positive we are going to stay in this house "forever."  That could mean leaving this house next year, or in five years, or in fifteen.  I just don't know. 

My current jointer is a Ridgid 6" with something like a 44-48" total bed.  It's been OK, but jointing large/thick stock seems to expose some inconsistencies.  When gluing up the legs for my Morris chair I had a helluva time getting clean joints.  I need a longer bed too.

Those are the biggest considerations for my particular situation.

I could go with a Jet 8" with straight knives, which is usually priced at $1599.  Add in an upcoming 10% off sale (or more) and it's easily affordable.  It's something like 375 pounds, which is going to be a bear, but my table saw was heavier and I got it to the basement by myself.  I can do it with some....creativity.

Or, I could go with a PM 6", perhaps even with helical head.  It's lighter and SHOULD be more accurate.  I believe Eric was right when he said the jointer should be the one machine in the shop that should be dead on accurate every time. 

What do we think?  Capacity with slightly lower quality and more inconvenience, or smaller capacity with better quality that I can roll it in and go?

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We always have to adjust our decisions based on our own environment and our own uses.  Many people post who have run 6" knifed machines and don't know what all the fuss is about.  Other people run 16" machines and cry for more.  Your use should dictate your decision and your environmental limits can throttle it.  the end result will be what is right for you.  I never want to run a knifed machine again BUT, that is based on my past experiences and my current use model. 

Another 6" model is only going to be slightly better than your Ridgid if it is given a little TLC.  I see that jointer in the background of pictorials and videos of some well respected folks who do fantastic work.  If you are not consistently running into wide stock that the Ridgid cannot handle I would use a planer sled for the occasional wide item and spend that dough on something else..  Only you can decide how to spend your money.

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Man i'd get an 8". Is there any way you can convince the better 3/4s to allow you to "save" some money up for a nice 8"? A nice 6" isn't going to be a whole lot better than your 6" so i agree with Geedub.

As far as moving it a plywood trail will hep a lot as well as a dolly with bigger tires. Also the jointers do separate from their stands so you could move it in 2 parts. I called PM to see if that would void warranty and they said that i was good and they'd still honor the warranty.

I take it Griz is totally out?

The unknown future sucks but i'd get 240 to the shop and maybe wait a year for an upgrade so you don't have the voltage limitation. Also you could try the strait knife thing and then upgrade to HH in the future.

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I have the ridged 6" jointer.  I works but there are accuracy problems that I have learned to work around like having to re-square the fence whenever I move it( the fnece). Wish I had room for an 8".  On top of that my shop is in the basement and it would be tough getting it down the stairs.   So, while I am stuck with what I have, I recommend that you get the machine you really want - you only go around once.......

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1 hour ago, bleedinblue said:

Or, I could go with a PM 6"

I came oh so close to purchasing this last year and ended up getting the Powermatic 60C instead on Black Friday.  My final decision came down to "I didn't want to be looking over my shoulder at my decision."  I was basically in the same boat with my old jointer size wise and I think the PM 6" would have been a bandaid fix with regrets.  The helical head is something that you can put way back on the back burner.  Unless you work with a lot of figured wood it just isn't necessary.  My plan is when my straight blades need sharpening I may rethink the helical head at that time.  But I have had this on for a year, built a dining table, sideboard and several other small projects and the blades are not showing any signs of wear.

P.S. The 60 C comes in shipped in two pieces

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A good used unit could have potential.  I have always been a fan of buying new but to increase my woodworking capabilities in the shortest and the most affordable manner, I've incorporated Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist into my purchasing strategy.  With some diligence, a little patience, and a bit of luck you can sometimes find a great machine at a great price which can give you a tool you want with enough money left over to buy something else or for other purposes (installing needed electrical upgrades).

I found a Grizzly G0490 8" Parallelogram Jointer in great condition and paid $750 (it is $1,300 new with delivery).  I eventually plan to upgrade to a Shelix head but the present blades are doing just fine now.  I also paid $200 for a brand new Grizzly G0548Z Dust Collector (2hp, 1,700 cfm w/ one micron canister filter - $604 new delivered).  The owner purchased the DC then bought a larger unit at an auction and the Grizzly sat unassembled in his garage for a couple years.  He was asking $250 but couldn't find several of the parts when we were there to pick it up and knocked off $50 (the missing parts cost me $40 to replace).   

If you buy used, you can also have the option of upgrading in the future and sell what you buy used now at a later date (possibly at the same price you bought it for, with the original owner taking the biggest hit on the cost).

In regard to installing 220V, is there an option of doing it yourself?  I installed all of the electric in my shop (30' x 40' x 10'h pole building) and doing it yourself can make things more affordable, isn't real difficult, gives the versatility to adapt to changing arrangements in your shop.

Since having the jointer in my shop, I can easily say that having a nice jointer with the added width and longer table length is a great advantage over the smaller varieties, and if you can find a good unit that fits your budget & shop, it can be a worthwhile investment.

 

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9 hours ago, Chet said:

The helical head is something that you can put way back on the back burner.

I am going to respectfully disagree.  Just because I hate dealing with setting jointer knives, and the cut quality from a helical head is amazing regardless of the wood type.   I am extremely happy with my Grizzly 8" that I spent the extra money for a Shelix head.  If I didn't have the space for an 8" I still would have replaced my old jointer with a 6" with a spiral head.

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Im fine with my straight blades but Im also thinking like anything else if I had the Shelix head I wouldn't want to go back.

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10% off at Acme the next few days.  Does not apply to Powermatic.  :blink:

Grizzly is not in the picture only because they never have anything in stock anymore. 

The 8" PM isn't completely out of the question, but the price difference between the 8" Jet and PM is pretty great when you factor in the Acme sales.  A $400 difference may be worth it.  A $600 difference? 

I would like to get out of my lunchbox planer too...not gonna lie, another option may to be buy the 6" Jet along with the 13" floor standing Jet planer.  I like the bed length and quick set knives of the 6" Jet jointer. 

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You have almost the same cutting capacity and the jet doens't offer more power or not a significant power increase. The DW 734 is 15 amp so is the jet, the induction motor is more efficient so you might see a 5% increase in power at best. This isn't really enough to be significant. Comparing induction and universal motors isn't really the easiest.

You might be able to get by with a 120v jointer but if your going to go stationary for a planer I'd never settle for a 120v machine. Even with the 734 there isn't a huge step up until you get to a 3hp 15" machine. I'd do a byrd head before the 13" jet.

Wait you have an electrical panel right in your shop no? Why don't you have an electrician put a 220 outlet right next to it on the wall and use an extension cord for the 1-2 tools you need. It'd cost you minimal. I run my joitner off of a 20' 10 ga  extension cord i made from the SJOOW wire and 2 ends from the hardware store cost me $50. I'd suggest to do it yourself but some people aren't comfortable with electrical stuff which i get.

Next your goign to tell me this guy doesn't have 2 free spaces.

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The biggest reason I am attracted to the 13" Jet?  The noise and weight of the machine.  At a couple hundred pounds, it's light enough for me to easily move into the basement but heavy enough to not get knocked around by an 8/4 board.  I've never even let down by the power of the 734, but I hate the noise and light weight.

The sub panel definitely has room for 220.  I'm not comfortable doing it myself, but my brother in law can help. 

A Grizzly 15" with helical head actually sold through my local guild for $900 a few weeks ago.  A killer deal...but the machine was north of 600 pounds.  Just too big and too heavy.  This guy is tempting, but I'm concerned about the foot print.  I need to tape it off on the shop floor to get an idea of it's true size.

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That guy is tempting. I've looked at it myself as well. When i buy a 15" standing model I'm going to take it apart to move it in and then pay someone to do it. I won't let the weight get in my way I'll just find ways around it. Planers because of their smaller size make the weight more manageable. Jointers just plain suck to move so i hear ya there. After nearly crushing a friend of mine i said never again.

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It's a shame nobody does dual voltage motors anymore. You could start at 120 to get you by, then re-wire for 220 when you had the capability.

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2 minutes ago, Damon777 said:

It's a shame nobody does dual voltage motors anymore. You could start at 120 to get you by, then re-wire for 220 when you had the capability.

How do you figure? I bought one last year. 

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1 minute ago, Tpt life said:

How do you figure? I bought one last year. 

Because nobody ever talks bout them. It's always 110 or 220. I should probably pay more attention, but most of my stuff is 3 phase anyway.

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I don't think the focus on dual voltage is as significant as it once was because code has changed and 20 amp is the max circuit with 15 amp being more typical. To have a true 2hp dual voltage motor you'd need a 30 amp circuit to safely run it at 120 and you don't get any more power running it in 240. I don't know how long ago 30 amp circuits were allowed. The only reason i know they were is from old houses with fuse panels.

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3 hours ago, bleedinblue said:

10% off at Acme the next few days.  Does not apply to Powermatic. 

Frank, I got my PM 60C through Acme last year on black Friday and it was 10% off then.  I don't know if you want to wait that long.

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I can certainly wait for a deal, I'm in no rush at all.  I expect to build a dining table and a Roubo next year, but no big projects are imminent. 

I was in the shop for a few minutes this afternoon and took some measurements.  Fitting an 8"/72" long jointer is going to take more thought than I originally thought. 

There's lots to think about here. :wacko:

 

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I like my Powermatic PM54a.   The top is about 250 lbs, and the bottom around 80lbs.

One thing on a long jointer when trying to move it... My shop is the corner of a garage so I'm constantly having to push things around. since the pivot is at the center, it's really kind of a challenging.   There's a new Portamate PM-3550 mobile base where all 4 wheels swivel I was thinking about going with.   It's fine if you just have to pull it out lengthwise, but if you're trying to push it up against a wall it's like a 150 point turn.

 

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23 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

Ask @Llama for his opinion ....

HAHAHA!!!!!! Go big or take up scrap booking! :ph34r: :o :blink:

 In all seriousness, the extra for the 8" isn't worth it. The market should have demanded 6" and 12".

Guy likes his Jet 13" (I think) machine... I'd be interested in hearing his thoughts after a year or so on it. The beds on the cheap combo machines are short, the cheap ones also have poor changeovers... really need something longer.

The 12" Hammer is a great value, and will last you for the rest of your life and has longer beds than the Jet.

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4 hours ago, Llama said:

 

The 12" Hammer is a great value, and will last you for the rest of your life and has longer beds than the Jet.

No joke.  The price is very reasonable.  I can slide a good bit of money past the wife without her knowing.  The A3 31 is close enough to make me think about it, but pricey enough for me to scare off it.  

The A3 26 is closer.  Close enough for me to REALLY think about it.  Do they kill you with shipping charges though? 

700 pounds.  Seven.  Hundred.  Ugh.  

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Question for those who've purchased Hammer.  Is the price the price or is this like the sticker on a car?

Yeah 700 lbs, that would definitely need a plan.  Even disassembled the pieces are going to be heavy.  

I know local moving companies will move a single item like that.  Might be worth a look, but that kind of help don't come cheap.

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