Equipping the Shop #6: Harbor Freight 6-inch Jointer - Model #30289

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Blog entry by Ocelot posted 01-09-2012 06:14 AM 5953 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Tenoning Jig - with add-on digital readout Part 6 of Equipping the Shop series Part 7: Harbor Freight 5 Speed Bench Top Wood Lathe - Model #65345 »

Probably 3 or 6 months ago, I picked up a little Jointer at Harbor Freight. I had a 20% off coupon and it was on sale too, so I got it for about 2/3 of list price. I didn’t have anywhere to put it so it sat in the box until sometime in December.

Finally, more than 3 years after the shop was built, in early December, I got the attic floor completed, and moved hundreds of boxes of stuff upstairs – so that now I have room to work down below. So, opened the box and set up the jointer. Now, before I began, I considered this to be my “starter” jointer. I just bought it because it was probably the cheapest cast-iron 6-inch jointer with a stand that I could buy. I figured that if it worked at all, it was worth the money and I could use it until I get a real jointer.

Well, I had the good fortune to have a visit from my old (retired) pastor friend, who before he entered the ministry was a tool and die maker. We sat there and dialed that thing in so that both ends of all 3 blades were within 2 thousanths of the same level.

All I can say I can’t imagine $200 better spent on a tool. It works quite sweetly. The table is short, but for the things I have jointed – up to 48inches long, it did a fine job. Now, I can’t really face joint anything except for narrow stuff, but I already have found this little machine quite useful. If you take the time to dial it in, it serves well. I’ll post some photos and talk more about the blade adjustment procedure when I get more time.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

3 comments so far

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 3422 days

#1 posted 01-09-2012 06:21 AM

It’s a great feeling to get a tool at a great price and have it do the job well. Plus you got to hang out w/a buddy. Congrats!

View macatlin1's profile


78 posts in 3859 days

#2 posted 01-09-2012 01:54 PM

Congratulations on your new toy.

Be careful if you move the jointer around. The sheet metal legs are a bit flimsy and will fold over if the jointer is leaned back or forward. I put a couple of plywood panels on each side to connect the front to the back and make it more rigid.

View Ocelot's profile


2641 posts in 3554 days

#3 posted 01-09-2012 09:05 PM


I do enjoy getting good value. Of course, my shop is a little unballanced with my 20 inch spiral cutter planer and this little jointer, but that’s fine for now.


Thanks for the tip. I’ll be careful if I move it. It seemed sturdy enough when I was setting it up. I still haven’t put the dust chute or belt gaurd on it and may do a little more adjusting when I add those.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

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