Reply by runswithscissors

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Posted on Jointer/planer or separate machines

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3129 posts in 3087 days

#1 posted 03-13-2016 02:55 AM

There is a Powermatic/Jet outlet south of Seattle that sells “scratch & dent” machines via Craigslist. The discounts are significant. I bought the Jet 12” combo machine with the helical head, and paid about $1800 for it. I had to haul it myself (about a 2 hour drive), because they don’t ship.

The advantage of the Jet is that switching between functions is about as quick and easy as you could make it. The jointer tilts up as a unit, and the fence doesn’t have to be removed. The only way it would be quicker to change over would be to have the dust hood redesigned so that it wouldn’t run into the planer table when you go from planing to jointing. Not sure how that could be done, but I’m thinking about it.

I love the helical head, and would be sad to have to go back to straight knives. The jointer bed is almost 56 inches long, whereas the Hammer’ is only 50 (which may be okay in a really small shop). I’m planning on making removable table extensions for it. The fence is aluminum, but it seems plenty sturdy and rigid, and I have no complaints. It does use the Euro style blade guard, like the Hammer, but I’d rather have the pork chop style.

It is possible to overload the machine by taking too deep a bite when planing. This sometimes happens to me when I’m trying to plane a board of uneven thickness (after jointing). The claimed horses are only 3, which is less than both Grizzly and Hammer. There is a sort of clutch (basically an idler pulley on a lever) that makes the drive rollers go that you have to remember to engage when planing (i’ve forgotten a couple of times). I try to remember to disengage it when jointing, but it probably doesn’t matter that much.

All in all I really like the machine. Though 12” is a narrow planer by today’s standards, on the other hand, a 12” jointer is truly a luxury.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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