Need Jointer and Planer

junquecol

Bruce
User
Currently on RDU CL, Powermatic 15HHC - $2400. Planer has both helical head, and spare straight head. Relient 6" jointer - $375. Don't be afraid of a 6" jointer. Using a sled, you can face joint 9"- 10" boards. Seldom will you buy boards wider than 10"
 

Mike Davis

Mike
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.
I was not referring to hand tools, even the best power tools require experience and skill to set up and use properly and safely. Buying big expensive tools will not instantly make you a professional at anything. Taking time to learn how to use the tools goes a long way toward satisfaction in the shop and after the work is completed. Ignoring the necessary learning curve will lead to disappointment and possible injury or worse.
 

Mike Perry

New User
Mike
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.
I have a 6" joiner on a stand for sale for $300. In perfect shape , new knives and an extra set.
 

mkepke

Mark
Senior User
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.
My advice since you asked for it..

..decide what sorts of things you want to build in the foreseeable future. Music boxes? Kitchen cabinets? Four poster beds? Picture frames? Let what you want to build drive your choice of workshop equipment.
..decide what's a necessity versus a nice to have to build the projects you want to build. Helical cutterheads are usually a 'nice to have' unless you are processing a lot of lumber. 15" planers are a nice to have if you are only planning to make music boxes and picture frames.
..decide what your budget is for this hobby. Remember: lumber and consumables cost money too..not just tools.
..don't skimp on training for yourself. Classes, online resources, magazines, etc.

To calibrate your expectations, many hobbyists have 12-13" portable planer and a 6" jointer. That covers typical hobbyist stuff - low volume production of boxes, shelving, table/desk,.. Bought new, they will run ~$1100 for both machines, e.g. a Ridgid 4331 and a Steelex 6" jointer. Both tools can amputate fingers if used improperly.

I favor buying used machines for better value, but that's another learned skill.

-Mark
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
I think full disclosure might be helpful here. While the Asian import machines are the norm for home workshops these days, restoring a used USA-made school shop planer will result in a machine that will eat 1/4" at a time if you want it to. Below is a component comparison between a Taiwan-Tool 20" planer and a USA-made Powermatic 16" or 18" planer cutterhead and bearing.

1 comparison - 1.jpg

On the left is a section of a Powermatic 18" planer. On the right is a bearing from the Powermatic 18" or 16" planer. In the middle is an import 20" planer. The difference in heft is self evident.

1 comparison - 2.jpg

The other end of the import 20" planer shown with the import's bearing and the bearing to the Powermatic 16" or 18" planer.

My reason for showing these comparisons to to disclose what a buyer of an Asian import planer is not getting. I know plenty of woodworkers that have used the import planers for years and years with results that satisfy them. What performance satisfies some woodworkers may not satisfy all woodworkers.
 

Jeremy Scuteri

Jeremy
Staff member
Corporate Member
Those are some massive bearings! Holy cow. :eek: Nobody can argue the difference in heft, but the assertion that the older machine gives better "results" is highly questionable. Take 2 boards, put one through each planer and I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that you couldn't tell me which planer was used for each board.

Unless you keep the original straight blades on the older machine and a spiral head on the Asian import, then just look for the tear out on figured wood and that will point you to the older machine.

The heavy dustiness sure is impressive!
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Those are some massive bearings! Holy cow. :eek: Nobody can argue the difference in heft, but the assertion that the older machine gives better "results" is highly questionable. Take 2 boards, put one through each planer and I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that you couldn't tell me which planer was used for each board.

Unless you keep the original straight blades on the older machine and a spiral head on the Asian import, then just look for the tear out on figured wood and that will point you to the older machine.

The heavy dustiness sure is impressive!
The point I was addressing was maximum efficiency. Set various planers to take off 1/4" per pass. There will be a difference.

I did not assert that old machines gave better results. Some old machines in horrible shape with dull knives will give horrible results.
Because the Asian-made planers are very values doesn't make them very good planers. Whether or not they suit the owner's needs is not the issue I'm addressing. I've got Asian-made machines that I'm perfectly happy with but I have no illusions as to what they are and are not as far as machine quality goes.
 

zdorsch

Zach
Senior User
To add a little bit to Bob’s post.

The heft of the old machines generally equates to better stability and smoother operation. Heavier objects are harder to move—a good thing when planing and jointing because the board will move instead of chasing the machine across the floor!

Someone will correct me on this, but I think many new machines have universal motors—which are louder compared to induction motors found on older machines. My ‘73 unisaw is significantly quieter than my former delta contractor saw from the late90’s/early 2000’s.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
One of the down sides of heavy duty planers is their size. Below is a routine Asian 4-post 15" planer needing repairs. Behind it is my 18" Powermatic. The Powermatic will not fit through a standard door even with the table removed. The flange of the base is too wide for even a 36" door.

(my shop is often much cleaner than this with fewer machines floating around. 2007 photo)

1 planer comp - 1.jpg
 

TENdriver

TENdriver
User
Mike,

I would be very curious about the specific types of projects that are of interest you.



For example, I’m almost exclusively concentrating on 17th to early 19th century N American furniture. While lots of other projects interest me, I don’t want to continue chasing new skills.

I also believe in “hybrid” woodworking that relies on the strengths of both hand tools and a limited number of high quality machines. Futzing around with a machine and some jig to finesse a joint is pretty silly when you discover that an archaic and simple hand tool can remove a thou or two in a couple seconds.

Not to mention, that a basic understanding of hand tool skills seems to have some very direct correlation to doing higher quality machine work.

At least that’s what my personal experience has been.
 

patlaw

Mike
Corporate Member
Ten, I'm a lifelong beginner. Most of my current interests relate to simple things, like bookcases made from pine. If I ever make a project that looks decent, I'll probably have a celebration and invite everyone over. Seriously, woodworking is a big challenge for me. I got some things out of order, such as hand tools, power tools, sharpening, lumber acquisition, and the like. Slowly but surely, I'm getting there.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Keep at it. The activity of woodworking is the focus here. The results of a finished project is little more than the end of one chapter and the start of another.
The means (tools) to this end can be subject of many fun and learning conversations
 

patlaw

Mike
Corporate Member
Keep at it. The activity of woodworking is the focus here. The results of a finished project is little more than the end of one chapter and the start of another.
The means (tools) to this end can be subject of many fun and learning conversations
My woodworking skills are progressing, albeit slowly, but my tool ownership skills are zooming.
 

Mike Perry

New User
Mike
My advice since you asked for it..

..decide what sorts of things you want to build in the foreseeable future. Music boxes? Kitchen cabinets? Four poster beds? Picture frames? Let what you want to build drive your choice of workshop equipment.
..decide what's a necessity versus a nice to have to build the projects you want to build. Helical cutterheads are usually a 'nice to have' unless you are processing a lot of lumber. 15" planers are a nice to have if you are only planning to make music boxes and picture frames.
..decide what your budget is for this hobby. Remember: lumber and consumables cost money too..not just tools.
..don't skimp on training for yourself. Classes, online resources, magazines, etc.

To calibrate your expectations, many hobbyists have 12-13" portable planer and a 6" jointer. That covers typical hobbyist stuff - low volume production of boxes, shelving, table/desk,.. Bought new, they will run ~$1100 for both machines, e.g. a Ridgid 4331 and a Steelex 6" jointer. Both tools can amputate fingers if used improperly.

I favor buying used machines for better value, but that's another learned skill.

-Mark
I have a 6" joiner. Price reduced to $250.
 

walnutjerry

Jerry
Senior User
I have a 8" PM jointer that has been a pleasure to use, My planer is a Belsaw 12" straight blade that I bought in the 70's. Both have made life in the shop easier, especially when you start with rough lumber. I like the option of sizing my material to my specs when desired. I am a strong advocate of the longer bed jointer for flattening material-------longer the bed the more support and more accurate especially on longer lengths for glue up. Just my experience.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Any jointer with correctly set sharp blades beats the heck out of no jointer.
I recommend getting one and start using it. I'm on my fourth jointer upgrade now. I started with a Sears box bed jointer back in the early 1970s and did a whole lot of my household furniture with it. My first planer was a Bellsaw because the Ryobi AP 10 portable planer was still 10 years away.
1 Jointer - 1.jpg
 

NCPete

Pete Davio
Corporate Member
Ten, I'm a lifelong beginner. Most of my current interests relate to simple things, like bookcases made from pine. If I ever make a project that looks decent, I'll probably have a celebration and invite everyone over. Seriously, woodworking is a big challenge for me. I got some things out of order, such as hand tools, power tools, sharpening, lumber acquisition, and the like. Slowly but surely, I'm getting there.
what I have learned over the years, is that you never have anything out of order, just differently learned. That being said, I would need an entire shop and truck o build a house, but my grandfather did it with tools that he could carry in a one handed tool box.
 

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