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6" versus 8" jointer

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Forum topic by tom3767 posted 05-03-2018 02:13 PM 3486 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tom3767

4 posts in 444 days


05-03-2018 02:13 PM

First off, thanks to all who respond. Me (and my 20 year old son) are novice woodworkers but would like to spend some time making stuff. A while back we cut down a few 30”+ caliber red oaks, we had a local guy rough saw them into boards about 1”+ thick by 6 – 10 inches wide by 10 feet long. We’ve had them stickering for about 2 years and finally I bought a 15” planer (Grizzley) off Craigslist. It seems to me that the boards must first go through a jointer to get one side flat, then the planer? Right/Wrong? Can I just run them through the planer? It seems the rubber drive wheels will just match the thickness and not necessarily make them flat. I was thinking you first run them through the jointer, flip them over then through the planer. How much better is the 8” jointer versus the 6” jointer? At Grizzly I can get a 6” for $700 but the 8” is $1100+. I realize I’ll have to rip the boards on the table saw. Unless I can run them through the 13” planer, joint one edge then rip to width. I’d love it if someone could advise me as to how to surface rough cut lumber. Thanks.


25 replies so far

View knotheadswoodshed's profile

knotheadswoodshed

225 posts in 2593 days


#1 posted 05-03-2018 03:00 PM

Go for the 8”, I wish I would have.

Yes, jointer first to get a flat surface then plane opposite surface, then joint one edge and rip opposite edge to width.

something to remember when sizing your rough lumber, do not joint one side and then remove the balance from the other side, remove material from both sides as equally as you can to avoid warping.

-- Randy - "I dont make mistakes, I make design change opportunities" www.knotheadswoodshed.com

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Loren

10477 posts in 4068 days


#2 posted 05-03-2018 03:21 PM

Generally with rough lumber I’ll “skip plane”
one side to get a look at the grain if I can’t
see it well enough through the fuzz. Then
I mark the board for cross-cutting for the
parts I want to get out of it, working around
sharp kinks and knots. If there’s a gradual
bow to a section I’ll mark it for shorter parts
because if you try to take a long part out of
a bowed board it can come out too thin at
the ends if your judgment isn’t accurate.

Once cross cut to rough lengths, the sections
are faced on the jointer and planed to thickness.
If I want straight-grained parts I’ll mark them
out and band saw the parts out oversized.
Most furniture makers joint and plane the
wood to within about 1/16”, let it move overnight
and then remove the rest of the thickness
and replace parts that have moved excessively.

If you’re making a harvest table for example
however, some bowing of some of the boards
can be clamped out because when forced
straight and glued to straight neighboring
boards. If most of your boards are bowed
the bowed ones may pull the straight ones into
a curve after the glue up. You’ll want to be
most careful about using straight stock for
doors.

6” or 8” is fine, but if you’re going to be making
big things with long boards a long jointer makes
it easier. Ripping stock down before facing
on the jointer annoys some woodworkers more
than others. Back before Taiwan started making
woodworking machines for the NA market a lot
of small and hobby shops got by with pretty modest
machinery.

Finally, wide boards can be faced by using a planer
sled or by working them with hand planes on a
bench. Flattening boards by hand takes some
time but it’s not unbearably tedious compared to,
say, sanding.

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1420 posts in 3181 days


#3 posted 05-03-2018 03:30 PM

You can always make an accessory board (“planer sled” as mentioned above) for your thickness planer to allow the “twisted” or uneven board to rest on that will hold it in position while it passes through the planer. This is done quite often. Devise a way to be adjusted to hold various uneven boards and you will only have to make one. Or just use shims to hold the uneven board. The uneven board to be planed needs to be firmly held to the accessory board at both side and both ends. The pressure from the planer rollers will press the uneven board down while it passes through the planer. This will get one side of the uneven board straight and level just like a jointer without having to buy a jointer (unless you just want one). And you will be able to use the full width of your planer for very wide boards!

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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weathersfuori

96 posts in 1550 days


#4 posted 05-03-2018 04:12 PM

Just my two cents on the 6” vs. 8”... I bought a used Delta 6” off craiglist a few years ago, but replaced it with an 8” Steelex (aka Grizzly aka Shop Fox) after the Delta got flooded by Harvey.

It’s really amazing to me how big a difference the extra 2” in width and the extra table length has been for me! It makes it easier buying rough lumber because I don’t have to limit myself to 6” or narrower boards (I don’t have to dig as deep in the pile at the lumber yard), and the actual milling process is just tremendously easier when working on bigger projects such as tables and doors. I feel like the bigger jointer has been one of my best investments in the shop.

The Delta was more than enough for small projects, so it just all depends on what you plan on making. But if you are buying new, I’d go ahead and pay extra for the 8”- To me a jointer is one tool that ends up paying for itself by saving on lumber costs… at least that’s my justification for it!

-- Weathersfuori, Texas, www.facebook.com/f5creations

View bilyo's profile (online now)

bilyo

739 posts in 1522 days


#5 posted 05-03-2018 08:14 PM

If you really want a wide jointer, have the space for it and the dollars, then go for it. For me, I have gotten along many years with a 6” short bed delta jointer and a sled for my Dewalt planer. I have flattened many many BF of lumber with the sled. There are numerous plans for sleds on the net and on videos. Some get pretty complex. I’m from the “keep it simple” school and made mine as just a flat sled with plastic laminate on the top. I use small wedges and hot melt glue to mount a board to it. It sounds tedious, but it is really not. As Loren said, you can waste a lot of material if you try to flatten a whole twisted board. Examine it first to see you can cut it up first. This can save a lot of material.

View jonah's profile

jonah

2075 posts in 3719 days


#6 posted 05-03-2018 08:25 PM

There are always a ton of 6” jointers on the used market. The reason is that lots of folks buy 6” jointers and then realize correctly that the majority of rough lumber on the market comes in widths between 6-8”, and that they can’t easily flatten such boards.

They then sell their 6” jointer and buy an 8”.

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

1243 posts in 2415 days


#7 posted 05-03-2018 08:39 PM

I suspect a lot of those 6” jointer on the secondary market are from people who just aren’t woodworking any more.

One thing to remember, there is always a board wider than your jointer, but you don’t have to walk around that board every day you are in your shop. If you have the space for a wider jointer, it will be nice. Also requires 220v power, which is not a big deal but does cost if you don’t already have it.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

1078 posts in 3238 days


#8 posted 05-03-2018 08:48 PM

When it comes to jointers, wider is obviously better. But I am pretty content with a 6 inch jointer. I buy wider roughsawn lumber all the time, and have never used a planer sled. I remove the guard and then run the board through in alternating directions. Like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvakUFUrOXA

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View ScottKaye's profile

ScottKaye

765 posts in 2373 days


#9 posted 05-03-2018 09:30 PM

Definitely 8” but good luck finding a Chinese made 8” jointer for the next 6 months. Even though Grizzly and others still advertise their 8” jointers online when you actually try to buy one you’re hit in the face with an out of stock notification. To understand the shortage pick up the latest (July 2018) issue of Wood magazine and read the article titled “China pollution crackdown affects tool market” (page 24) In a nutshell, China is finally getting serious about pollution controls and shut down thousands of high polluting factories (machinery producers included) and are having them install pollution controls before they can reopen. This has been going on for the past several years leading to the infamously long waits for the grizzly g0490 8” jointers and other clone makers (Steelex, Shopfox and others) Your best bet is to look into Jet, Baleigh or Powermatic which are manufactured in Taiwan or try General (Canada but very expensive) or some of the euro brands. FYI.. Woodcraft is having a 10% off sale on Powermatic and Jet starting tomorrow the 4th running through the 7th of May. I was able to get a local brick and mortar reseller to match Woodcrafts sale price and have a new Powermatic PJ882 (the aircraft carrier!) jointer heading my way in a week or so. Good luck with your research. Just trying to pass on some knowledge to you as I have been trying to buy an 8” jointer since Christmas!

Scott

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1932 posts in 1023 days


#10 posted 05-03-2018 09:40 PM



When it comes to jointers, wider is obviously better. But I am pretty content with a 6 inch jointer. I buy wider roughsawn lumber all the time, and have never used a planer sled. I remove the guard and then run the board through in alternating directions. Like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvakUFUrOXA
- jdh122

I’d love an 8” but in all honesty it’s a luxury that I actually don’t need or have room for. I can work on a 12” board as described above without any real problem.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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knotscott

8297 posts in 3796 days


#11 posted 05-03-2018 10:46 PM

I get by fine with a 6”, but and it’s a lot more limiting, and there’s no space for an 8”. There are a lot of boards that are between 6” and 8” wide. If I had room, I’d go for the 8”....since you’re even remotely considering it, you definitely should.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Rich's profile

Rich

4564 posts in 1009 days


#12 posted 05-03-2018 10:59 PM

I’ve jointed the face of boards wider than 6” on my 6” jointer. By removing the guard, I can run the board through, turn it around and run it again on the other side of the same face. I can go up to about 11-1/2” that way.

There is some technique involved. First, say the board is 7” wide. You don’t want to run it with the fence set back 6” because there won’t be a wide enough surface on the other side for a stable pass. I aim for about 60/40, so I’d run that board with the fence set 4 inches back from the edge of the cutter. It may leave a small step between the jointed faces, but the board will be flat enough to head to the planer without a problem.

The main limitation is that you need to have some extra thickness to work with. You’re probably not going to have any luck jointing a 13/16 inch board down to 3/4. Of course it needs to be relatively flat to begin with, but that’s true of any board regardless of width.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

1243 posts in 2415 days


#13 posted 05-04-2018 12:11 AM

You can also just remove the guard and joint only the 6” on the one side of the board flat. Like a huge rabbet. Then run that through a very simple sled on your planer to flatten the other side. My sled for this is a 2” piece of plywood with a cleat to prevent it from getting pulled through the planer with my board. Once the whole face is flat, flip the board, remove the sled and plane the rabbet/jointed side. Easy and no extra waste.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Rich's profile

Rich

4564 posts in 1009 days


#14 posted 05-04-2018 12:46 AM


You can also just remove the guard and joint only the 6” on the one side of the board flat. Like a huge rabbet. Then run that through a very simple sled on your planer to flatten the other side. My sled for this is a 2” piece of plywood with a cleat to prevent it from getting pulled through the planer with my board. Once the whole face is flat, flip the board, remove the sled and plane the rabbet/jointed side. Easy and no extra waste.

Brian

- bbasiaga

I like that idea. Don’t you have a problem with the board wanting to tip sideways though, since nothing is on that side to support it?

Edit: Never mind. I can see that if more than half of the board is supported on the plywood that it would be stable.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View jonah's profile

jonah

2075 posts in 3719 days


#15 posted 05-04-2018 02:09 AM



I suspect a lot of those 6” jointer on the secondary market are from people who just aren t woodworking any more.

One thing to remember, there is always a board wider than your jointer, but you don t have to walk around that board every day you are in your shop. If you have the space for a wider jointer, it will be nice. Also requires 220v power, which is not a big deal but does cost if you don t already have it.


Most older 8” jointers came with 1-1.5HP motors, so they don’t require 240V. My ‘70s Powermatic model 60 has a 1.5HP dual voltage motor, for example.

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