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Thinking about saying goodbye to my 6" jointer

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Forum topic by controlfreak posted 10-19-2021 01:27 PM 781 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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controlfreak

3050 posts in 883 days


10-19-2021 01:27 PM

One of my first power tool purchases was a 6” Craftsman jointer. I de-rusted it set new blades and it works well. Ironically I also bought my first plane for $20 from the same family. This weekend I started to take a cracked rough cut cherry board and make two S4S boards out of it using only hand tools. I finished last night and felt like I had a great workout. I am getting pretty damn good at using winding sticks and marking gauges to dimension stock. I even bypassed the table saw in favor of ripping the long edge on each board. As I look at my jointer and the real estate it occupies I ask myself “is this worth it when any board over 6” can’t be face jointed anyway and edge jointing is getting easy with a plane?”. Should I pull the plug on it?

I have two options 1) Sell it and let someone else do the heavy lifting or 2) move it to my office to store it till I make up my mind. Let me know your opinion.


20 replies so far

View jonah's profile (online now)

jonah

2255 posts in 4581 days


#1 posted 10-19-2021 01:50 PM

I never owned a 6” jointer, mainly because everyone I talked to said to go straight to 8”. I joint so many 6-8” wide boards that I can’t imagine making do with less capacity on mine.

Given how many 6” jointers end up being sold on Craigslist/wherever, it seems I got good advice.

I’d ditch it and look for a bigger one, or if you’re good enough to not need one at all and just use hand planes, then go that route.

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Andre

4825 posts in 3088 days


#2 posted 10-19-2021 02:59 PM

I went from a 6” to a 12” but just picked up a old Delta 6” to restore? LOL! we won’t talk about how many
hand planes are in the shop, for me have started to downsize most projects but still like the option to pick what method suits my mood? Sometimes slow and quiet places me in a better frame of mind:)

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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controlfreak

3050 posts in 883 days


#3 posted 10-19-2021 03:14 PM

Until I commit to expanding the shop an 8” is out of the question but I agree that the 6” is just too limiting. Right now it is such a pain to bring out of the corner (that it hogs) and juggle the dance of misfit tools. I just feel I can part with it. I also love the fact that I can put on a podcast (Mortice and Tenon lately) and work without hearing, lung or eye protection. The old girl also has no dust port so she is a messy girl. Of course when I left the shop last night the floor was full of long wide shavings, I like it like that.

I hear ya Andre, I have two more planes inbound. I am just starting down the rabbit hole of molding planes. Wish me luck.

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chriscarter

38 posts in 1373 days


#4 posted 10-19-2021 04:33 PM

At this point I feel like I can edge joint just as fast with a hand plane than with a power jointer. If I had to pull the power jointer out, maybe connect the dust collection, I’d be done with a hand plane before I even turned the power on.

If you need to face joint a lot of narrow boards, then maybe it’s useful. But if you have a thickness planer it doesn’t take much effort at all to hand plane one side enough for reference. Again, I’d say any board under 6” wide, I could get one side good enough for referencing for the thickness planer before I’d get the the power jointer out of the corner of the room. You don’t need one side perfectly flat. You just need a side decent enough for the thicknesser to reference.

I’ll put it this way: if someone offered me a FREE 6” jointer, I’d turn it down.

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controlfreak

3050 posts in 883 days


#5 posted 10-19-2021 04:57 PM



At this point I feel like I can edge joint just as fast with a hand plane than with a power jointer. If I had to pull the power jointer out, maybe connect the dust collection, I d be done with a hand plane before I even turned the power on.

If you need to face joint a lot of narrow boards, then maybe it s useful. But if you have a thickness planer it doesn t take much effort at all to hand plane one side enough for reference. Again, I d say any board under 6” wide, I could get one side good enough for referencing for the thickness planer before I d get the the power jointer out of the corner of the room. You don t need one side perfectly flat. You just need a side decent enough for the thicknesser to reference.

I ll put it this way: if someone offered me a FREE 6” jointer, I d turn it down.

- chriscarter


The last line speaks volumes! As I get more into hand tools I can get a plane or a saw out faster than I can get the power tool set up and running (due to limited space my table saw stays folded up). I think you have pushed me over the edge toward putting it up for sale. I also agree with flattening one side of the board for prep going into the planner. I have never gotten the build a sled thing. Thanks for your input Chris.

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SMP

4951 posts in 1188 days


#6 posted 10-19-2021 05:11 PM

I have had a 6” jointer for 20 some odd years and rarely use it. Most of the hardwood stores near me only sell S2S or s3s. So I usually just use my table saw and hand planes in some combo. And even still, my Stanley #8 is tuned to joint an edge pretty effortlessly in stuff the size I normally use.

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splintergroup

6016 posts in 2504 days


#7 posted 10-19-2021 06:12 PM

I have a 6” and it is probably the least used power tool in the shop. It was initially the go-to tool for getting a straight/square edge on boards as designed, but various table saw techniques have all but eliminated that need. Aside from a few other uses, the one I still keep it around for is small log processing.
I like the colors of apricot for small boxes/frames, but any trees I come across are 90% small logs in the 8” diameter range and under. A dozen passes over the jointer will cut through the bark and leave a good “flat” for riding on the band saw.

I could use it more, but even with a mobile base it just ends up being left where parked, holding various stacks of small boards and other shop surface eating knick-knacks.

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therealSteveN

9208 posts in 1856 days


#8 posted 10-19-2021 06:19 PM

First off let me say this isn’t dismissive, this is purely meant to be educational.

Some folks don’t let the absolute width of a jointer determine how wide the max width of a board they can run across the jointer. Everyone wants access to a 16” wide jointer at their disposal just when they need it. Fact is, this visiting jointer doesn’t exist, so making use of the one you have is often done in other ways.

This poster mentions a work around a lot of users of 6” jointers have had good luck with.

Popular Woodworking blog, about several different ways to flatten a wide board, including tooling held by hand.

Wood magazine showing the wide guard I speak about below.

Perhaps a better question to ask yourself is if everything you made was less than 6” wide, would you keep the jointer? If your answer is yes, perhaps you just need to be more inventive with how you use your jointer. I have done this using both halves of a board on my jointers through the years, and there is an easy to make fence that makes it as safe as running a jointer is normally. The thing you can think of this is sometimes you do need a swipe or 3 up the center to remove a ridge, but all together time spent to flatten a face is much less than a hand plane alone.

I used to do quite a bit of stair work, so a hand held planer wasn’t something I didn’t understand how to use, so for me it would always be quicker than a hand plane, YMMV on that, because I have seen some really mess up a piece of stock trying to use one.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Jim Jakosh

26997 posts in 4388 days


#9 posted 10-19-2021 06:33 PM

I guess you have to go by what you need and what your capabilities are. For me, the 6” jointer is my go to tool for straight lining boards to glue or send through the table saw. My shoulder will not take stroking a plane as long as it would take to do what that jointer does. I only use a plane on wider boards to get them flat to go through the planer. I started with a 4” jointer 24” long and now have a 6” Grizzly 55 “long . Some times I wish I had an 8” or 12” but I don’t have any room for a bigger machine.

If you need the space and enjoy flattening and straight lining by hand, then the jointer really isn’t needed, I guess.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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Aj2

4129 posts in 3080 days


#10 posted 10-19-2021 10:06 PM

One can never have too many jointers.

-- Aj

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controlfreak

3050 posts in 883 days


#11 posted 10-20-2021 09:47 AM

Thank you for all the comments. I have decided that because my hand plane skills have improved I would benefit more from the added space. I also detest needing to move every other object including my bench to accommodate room for it. It is going on craigs list as soon as I get some pictures taken.

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Gene Howe

12435 posts in 4711 days


#12 posted 10-20-2021 11:24 AM

Bought the Dewalt planer. Sold the jointer. Too many alternatives that don’t take up valuable floor space. In the ten years since it left the shop, it hasn’t once been missed.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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HokieKen

19821 posts in 2421 days


#13 posted 10-20-2021 12:38 PM

I’m sorta in the same boat as you CF. Except I have known for years I don’t need the jointer yet it still sits taking up shop space… For me, face jointing is normally done with hand planes for smaller projects or on a simple sled I made to send through the thickness planer for larger boards or when I have a lot of lumber to do. Edge jointing is either done with hand planes or using a straight edge ripping jig on my table saw. The jointer just sits sadly in the corner observing all of his better siblings enjoying their recreation time. I can’t recall a single time in at least two years that I’ve used the jointer.

If I had an 8” jointer with long tables, it may be a very different proposition. But my 6” 1940s Atlas is a looker, not a user. Which is why I can’t bring myself to part with it. It was one of my first vintage power tool purchases and the first I restored.

As purchased:

After restoration:

I wish I could find a good way to use it to justify its footprint so I could keep it. I have pondered the idea of fitting a sanding drum to it and using it as a kind of surface sander. But that’s probably a lot of fiddling for a tool I don’t really need and will probably never really use.

Anyway, I say all this to say: Don’t fall into my trap and loose shop space indefinitely for sentimental reasons or “just in case”. Kick that sucker to the curb. Old 6” jointers are not hard to find if you change your mind later ;-)

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

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controlfreak

3050 posts in 883 days


#14 posted 10-20-2021 12:51 PM

I put wheels on it so I could move it around but the metal feet can’t really support the load so it weaves around like a drunk driver. That is a real nice restore on that Atlas Kenny!

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HokieKen

19821 posts in 2421 days


#15 posted 10-20-2021 01:07 PM

Thanks CF. It wasn’t a small task which is why I find it hard to part with. It really is time to bite the bullet and let her go though…

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

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