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Rusty old Delta DJ20 - worth a gamble at $200?

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Forum topic by kingpong posted 05-02-2018 07:49 PM 595 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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kingpong

12 posts in 1234 days


05-02-2018 07:49 PM

Just stumbled onto a Facebook sale listing for a rather old Delta DJ20 8” jointer for $200 and I can’t decide if it is worth picking up – looking for some opinions.

I’m really just starting to get serious, and I have a 1960s-70s 6” Craftsman jointer I got off CL cheap that works OK, though I’m not crazy about the fence and its ability to maintain a 90 degree angle to the bed. So I don’t have a huge need to get this, but it would remedy the weaknesses of my current jointer.

I would guess that this DJ-20 is of about the same vintage, looks like 1960s given differences in decals I’ve seen on a 1970 model. While it is said to run great, it is also said to need some elbow grease. The bed and fence are thoroughly rusted, as are some knobs and some other things. The base also has a decent amount of rust everywhere that the paint had been knocked off. No mobile base.

If I didn’t already have a 6” jointer I’d be more inclined to take a gamble on this. I’m sure that once restored it would be far better tool than my current jointer, but I also don’t want to bother with something too far gone. Woodworking items that are actually worthwhile tend to sell within hours of being posted, so there might not be much time to deliberate. What would you do?


9 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 4067 days


#1 posted 05-02-2018 07:57 PM

It’s probably already sold at that price.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7405 posts in 2619 days


#2 posted 05-02-2018 08:05 PM

I love rust – easy to remove and lowers the price significantly.
Rust on old machines is usually a non-issue and mostly cosmetic.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

17935 posts in 3426 days


#3 posted 05-02-2018 08:19 PM

Id pounce on an 8” jointer for $200. The thing could be rusted solid and i wouldnt care a lick.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View jonah's profile

jonah

2075 posts in 3718 days


#4 posted 05-03-2018 02:28 AM

Guaranteed someone has snapped it up at $200. Assuming it runs and the tables are reasonably flat, it’s a decent deal at twice the price.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10858 posts in 1906 days


#5 posted 05-03-2018 02:35 AM

Try calling but it’s probably gonna. Hell. I have a 6 and an 8 and would still buy it.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Julian's profile

Julian

1475 posts in 3110 days


#6 posted 05-03-2018 06:40 PM

I was in the same situation as you mentioned. Had a good 6” jointer but found a DJ20 for $200. If was stored outside for some time but for $200 I wasn’t going to pass it up. I spent a couple of weeks cleaning, making a mobile base, (new knives and belt). Spent about $200 to get it in good working order. It works great.

-- Julian

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5951 posts in 3233 days


#7 posted 05-03-2018 06:52 PM

I have that jointer and really enjoy using it. That said, I would pass on a “thoroughly rusted” one. I paid $500 for mine in pristine condition. If you factor in having the beds and fence machined, and replace any seized or damaged parts (cutterhead bearings???) it may really be a thousand dollar jointer and you’re doing all the work.

Might as well pay a little more for a DJ20 in better condition.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7405 posts in 2619 days


#8 posted 05-03-2018 07:57 PM

If you factor in having the beds and fence machined, and replace any seized or damaged parts (cutterhead bearings???) it may really be a thousand dollar jointer and you re doing all the work.
- pintodeluxe

I have to comment that I’ve restored quite a few extremely bad off machines and have never, ever felt the need to have any surfaces re-ground… cast iron can sit out in the elements for years and still be fine, usually with just some minimal pitting that shouldn’t cause any problems at all (other than cosmetic). Steel cabinets and other sheet metal will turn to dust just looking at it however :)

And bearings should be a given, regardless of condition – they are considered consumables, and replacing them is cheap insurance. Paying $30 or so now will prevent the possibility of having to pay several hundred later – or worse.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View kingpong's profile

kingpong

12 posts in 1234 days


#9 posted 05-03-2018 08:51 PM

I wound up contacting the guy about an hour and a half after it was first posted, and while he saw my message he didn’t respond – I figured it wasn’t a good sign. He just marked it sold.

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