Messages Archive

Big jointers
Response To:
Hank, I have to admit... ()

John in NM
"I occasionally see a video where someone runs a huge board over a jointer that looks like and aircraft carrier and flattens it as if it were nothing and I drool...a little."

Good thing its only a little, because they require a lot of work to keep flat. You only want a jointer as big as ~2/3 your planing capacity - 8" for a 12" planer for example - the exception being one of the excellent combo machines available where parity doesn't cost you anything. If you have a lunchbox planer, you can easily pair it with an 8" jointer and learn how to flatten a 13" board on a small planer.

I learned most of what I know about machine setup fighting with an import wedge bed jointer vs an Oliver 166 at one shop I worked for. The wedge bed was vastly harder (for me) to get set up, but once there it tended to stay. The Oliver was technically easy, but required periodic tweaking to stay flat (it was heavily used however, that makes a difference vs a hobbyist using the same machine).

So don't drool over those heavy jointers, they are only worth the space if you have a huge planer and plane wide boards. They're a very cool thing to have if your shop is in a hangar and you can afford the cost, but most of us can't.

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