Need Jointer and Planer

patlaw

Mike
Corporate Member
After more than six months of making no progress in developing my woodworking skills, I'm finally starting to see some improvement. It was somewhat of a mental thing. I decided that everything I wanted to build was a prototype, so if it's not perfect, it doesn't matter. While nothing I've built is perfect, I am seeing things fitting together better than in the past. If I decide to replace the prototypes, the actual versions will be better. So far I haven't need to replace the prototypes.

Since I don't have a planer, a jointer, or my band saw, I'm stuck with plywood and dimensional lumber. It's getting close to the time when I need to buy one or both of a planer and jointer. The only requirement I have for them at the moment is that they must have helical cutters. While the DW735 with a helical head is appealing, I'm considering getting something bigger, like a Powermatic. I don't have a clue what to get for a jointer. Another member here got a fantastic deal on a Grizzly from cragislist, as I recall, but that was probably a once-in-a-lifetime happening.

What would you recommend? I have 220 in the garage. Space is extremely limited, but both of these tools are essential and will justify clearing out other things to make room for them.

On an unrelated note, if you have any cutoffs or scraps of any wood or plywood (other than pine) at least 24" long, I'd be glad to purchase them from you. I want to make some jigs for my table saw. Another member gave me a bunch of hardwood and plywood scraps three years ago, and they have been very useful.
 

sawman101

Bruce Swanson
Corporate Member
Some wisdom I came across a long time back Mike; the difference between a great woodworker and an average wood woodworker is, the greater wood worker is able to cover, or hide his mistakes. Take heart my friend, there is a learning curve in wood working, where eventually your competence and abilities continue to evolve at a faster and faster rate. Planer and jointer of quality were my earlier procurements for my shop and skills many years back. But back then I also had a saw mill, and 2 close friends also had mills. I always have had an abundance of rough lumber on hand. Plywood is usually used for jigs and fixtures in my shop.
 

zdorsch

Zach
Senior User
Mike,

mid Benin the lookout for older American equipment that is generally better built and priced than a lot of contemporary equipment. Rockwell/delta, power metic, walker turner, craftsman, etc can serve you well. There is a decent used market in NC, so supply seems good from what I see on marketplace and Craigslist.

My woodworking space is shared with two cars and all of my equipment is on casters. Casters have allowed some bigger equipment to fit that otherwise would have been a pain.

I have a 4” delta jointer that I thought I would outgrow quickly, but I found it works well except for longer boards. I don’t find myself facing jointing boards over 2.5”. I’m passively looking for a larger jointer, but making bed extensions would solve my only gripe with the 4” jointer.

I have a belsaw planer that meets my needs most of the time, but a 16” or greater would be better. For price, $160 about 7-8 years ago, the belsaw can’t be beat.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
I got by without planer or jointer for 30 years or so. I have had several planers in the last 10 years and currently use a DeWalt 733 with straight blades. I like it because I can take the blades out and sharpen them easily and quickly. For anything wider than my 12 inch planer I use hand planes. I finally got a 6 inch jointer, I think it’s a Jet brand, three years ago. I rarely use it. Everybody starting out think they need bigger and better tools to improve their work when they really need to improve their skills more than anything. Industrial production shops need industrial tools, most home shops do not.
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
15" planer/8" jointer. IMO any of the major brands (Jet, Grizzly, PM) are going to be very similar for the essentials. Personally I wouldn't pay premium money for a PM.

I've gotten good service from Grizzly jointer and planer for almost 20 years. My 20" planer is identical to a PM its made from the same casting factory as PM just minor diffs.
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
Mike you should consider one of the combination machines. Hammer A3-41 is a good one
 

patlaw

Mike
Corporate Member
Mike you should consider one of the combination machines. Hammer A3-41 is a good one
Do you have one? I remember you have a Powermatic jointer. I'm looking at the Hammer, but I don't know much about combination machines. Plus, the Hammer is a PREMIUM product!
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
Do you have one? I remember you have a Powermatic jointer. I'm looking at the Hammer, but I don't know much about combination machines. Plus, the Hammer is a PREMIUM product!
I do have separate Powermatic planer and jointers. I remember you saying that space was an issue, therefore a combination machine would make sense. Hammer is indeed a premium product
 

cmboggs

New User
Chris
Depending on your location sometimes there are ‘shared’ workspaces that have all the essential big power tools covered.

When I was at NCSU I would user their Arts&Craft center. There I would mill most of my lumber and then just do the assembly at home. Now that I’m in Greensboro I found the Forge (another makerspace) to be just as helpful in covering some of the big stuff.
 

patlaw

Mike
Corporate Member
Grizzly has very good value (bang for your buck) when buying new.
I'm trying to understand the differences between makes like Grizzly and Jet, in particular. While I probably won't spend the money necessary to get a Hammer, which I would love to have, I don't want to ever have to buy another planer or jointer (unless I move up in size.) While I understand that good skills can alleviate the need for expensive equipment, I don't have the skills or the time to master them. The less time I spend planing and jointing the better. At least at this point, I'm more interested in the finished product than I am the process to make the finished product, primarily because of time.

If Powermatic and Grizzly are made in the same plant, buying Powermatic doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. However, if the Powermatic has some noticeable benefits over Grizzly, I'll spring for the Powermatic. I'd rather pay too much than too little for a (hopefully) lifetime purchase.
 

Jeremy Scuteri

Jeremy
Staff member
Corporate Member
They likely are made in the same factory, but that doesn't mean they are identical (other than paint color) like many people try to say. Any of the major brands will be more sufficient than you will ever need. Powermatic, Jet, Rikon, Grizzly, Shop Fox. They all make good stuff. Your wise choice for a spiral cutterhead will be more significant than the differences between machines. A jointer and planer open up a whole new world. You will be able to find some imperfections in any machine, no matter how expensive, but I think you will be very happy with any of the major brands.
 

bowman

Board of Directors, Events Director
Neal
Staff member
Corporate Member
As mentioned earlier, bigger/more expensive tools do not eliminate the need for improving your skills. Improving your skills takes time, which you mention you don't have the time for. Don't hang your expectations too high until you can put in the time, regardless of your tools you use.
 

Jeremy Scuteri

Jeremy
Staff member
Corporate Member
Neal, I think he is more referring to the skills required to get by without a jointer and planer, ie hand tools. Hand tools are super useful and have lots of value, but lots of people make absolutely beautiful items without ever learning to use a hand plane or sawing by hand. As the saying goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Quality machines make everything easier while low quality, badly built machines bring lots of heartache. Just my 2 cents.
 

Jeremy Scuteri

Jeremy
Staff member
Corporate Member
One more thing Mike, just to avoid disappointment, I would expect the following (many will spend MUCH less time):

1 full day getting the machine assembled

2 - 3 days putzing around on the internet figuring out the best way to get the machine set up / calibrated

1 day performing the calibration / setup and you will be 80% - 90% of the way there. Don't chase the last little bit, just start using the machine. In 6 months you might consider going through the setup process again. It's easier and faster the second time if you choose to make incremental improvements.
 

bowman

Board of Directors, Events Director
Neal
Staff member
Corporate Member
Neal, I think he is more referring to the skills required to get by without a jointer and planer, ie hand tools. Hand tools are super useful and have lots of value, but lots of people make absolutely beautiful items without ever learning to use a hand plane or sawing by hand. As the saying goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Quality machines make everything easier while low quality, badly built machines bring lots of heartache. Just my 2 cents.
Duly noted Jeremy, that's not how I interpreted his message.
 

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