View Full Version : 6" or 8" Jointer
I am looking to get a Jointer. So far my shop has a TS, Planer and Router Table. I was hoping to forego the Jointer for a while but after making some furniture without it I have decided to take the plunge. For those who go with out it I don't know how you do it. My TS takes care of side to side glue joints perfectly. Its the ability to get a flat reference face b/f I plane that I really care about. No matter how careful I pick my wood it always has some warp, cup or bow in it that the planer can't take out (without a LOT of time and effort). Anyway I am looking at the 6" Jet which seems pretty popular and I like the wheel adjustments vs. the lever type. I am wondering if a year from now I am going to be kicking myself for not waiting and springing for an 8". Grizzly makes an 8" for $700 and it looks like the Jet is about $450 with $50 rebate. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Also if anyone has any other Jointer suggestions (like powermatic, ridgid or bridgewood). Thanks.
03-13-2001, 01:37 AM
Well I am sure that lots of people will be suprised that it is me that answers you Jointer question. Mr. Jointer here.
To answer your question you will have to look at what kind of work you want to do. At some point you will most likely wish you waited for a larger machine even if you buy the 8 inch. That is just the way this tool thing goes.
In general 8 inch units are much better than the 6. This is because the beds are longer. The 8 inch units are pro quality in almost all cases. I have a 10 inch combo Jointer/planner and use it as a jointer much more than as a planner. I could have gotten buy with an 8 inch but not a 6. I had a six and gave it to my best friend when I got the new unit. I don't have any input on the Grizzly but the one tool a dust collector I bought from them was a good experience. The other brand you should check out General International. Made in Canada good quality, reasonable prices. Most of the others are all made in Taiwan. Good tools but almost all the same style.
Lou, you say the 8" are better because of the longer beds. Does this help in getting a true straight face because the board is on the table across more of its area? The reason I am asking is because my next project is a bunch (4 to 5) panel entry doors. After building some projects with what I have (and watching straight rough cut boards warp over 2 or 3 days once I got them in my shop), I just don't dare do this project without a jointer (I mean the stiles just can't have any warp or the door is will be pretty messed). The stiles will be pretty long 6'8" so I can imagine that with a 6" jointer (bed length 46") you would have over 4 and half feet off the outfeed bed when the tail end comes over the knives. I guess maybe I will save for that 8" after all. Thanks for your input.
03-13-2001, 03:14 PM
The bed length is a nice to have not a critical issue. The outfeed table is set to the top of the blade. When you use the jointer you want to keep the stock flat on the outfeed. When the stock is bowed in its length you are only cutting the ends of the board over the first couple of light passes. As the stock becomes flat you only need a couple of feet on the outfeed side to make sure that the stock is flat.
Couple of things about wood. When you take stock from the yard to your shop the RH will change and the stock will move. So one of the most important things to do is to stack the stock when it arrives so that air can reach all sides of the wood. You should leave it in the shop for a while before you start to prepare it for your door. This is to allow it to come into equilibrium with the shop. Then as you joint and plane it make sure you take about the same amount of stock off each edge. That gives you the best chance of straight square stock for your use. Know that depending on the type of wood and how it was dried stored and treated, that when you rip it there will be movement. Some internal stresses only become known after you rip a straight board and end up with two twisted and warped pieces.
That is why you want to buy extra from the same lot. With rough cut I go at least 30% overage.
Stack it with stickers to allow air movement in the shop. When your are ready. I joint a face, and then use the face as a reference to joint an edge to get a perfect 90 edge to the face. I then use the face as the down side and pass it through the planner. Now I have 3 straight square sides. To the TS and using the jointed edge against the fence I rip to width, the first cut I go about 1/16 strong to check and see it that causes a slight warp that I Then go back to the jointer to remove. If the stock comes out straight then the rest of the stock I rip to the final dimension without the final joint. After the stock is square, I use it quickly to make the Mortise and Tenons or other joints needed. I use cut off lengths to build jigs and by design they are the perfect thickness because all the stock has the same thickness based on the run thought the planner. Makes everything fast and easy from there.
03-13-2001, 11:07 PM
I've been using the 8" Grizzly, for about 6 years, in our cabinet shop. Don't have any complaints although the beds
on the less expensive brands may not be PERFECTLY flat.
A 6" jointer wouldn't be able to handle most of the H/M
stock that we use and it'd be no fun if you had to select your
boards or alter your projects because your jointer couldn't
handle the stock. I've edged some 10' lumber on both our
old short bed 6" and on our long bed 8". Guess which I
04-09-2001, 04:36 PM
>The other brand you should
>check out General International.
>Made in Canada good quality,
>reasonable prices. Most of
>the others are all made
>in Taiwan. Good tools
>but almost all the same
Just to keep the record straight, although General is a Canadian company and makes their top-of-the-line stuff in Canada (Unisaw-equivalent ts, and the like), the General _International_ line is Taiwanese. My understanding is that they do their own QA on it, so your chances of getting a bad one are small.
I just bought the General International tablesaw, after looking at the Delta contractor saw (more or less equivalent), the Ridgid, and some of the portable TS. Cast iron wings, good fence, and about $100 (Canadian) more than the Delta. I'd have gone for the upscale general or the Unisaw but couldn't justify the price, but am now very happy with the General International. It's smooth, powerful, and accurate -- I like it a lot.
04-19-2001, 10:08 AM
I had a Jet 6" jointer. It is a well made machine and performed very well. The problem is the length of the beds; not long enough to handle long boards (i.e. over 4'). So I recently purchased a Powermatic 60 (8") jointer. Nice and heavy, long infeed/outfeed tables, a very positive lock for 90 degrees, and 7000 rpm cutter head (21000 cuts/inch). The result; great cuts and great support for longer stock.
Why the Powermatic Mod 60? Heavier than the Delta DJ-20, Jet 8", Powermatic 12" (asian made), General International 8", Grizzly, Bridgewood, etc.; higher cutter rpm (and cuts/inch) than all of the others; USA made. If you want a step up from the Powermatic Mod 60 I would look at the Grizzly 12", Bridgewood 12" for the low end, and the Northfield Heavy Duty 12" and 16" on the high end. Of course finding an old Oliver 12" or 16" jointer would be great but they are a bit on the heavy side for home use (1800 lbs or so).