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Thread: General 6" Jointer or BusyBee 8"?

  1. #1

    Default General 6" Jointer or BusyBee 8"?

    Ok... I've heard what all the guys have said.. Don't buy 6" jointer because you'll end up buying 8". Makes sense of course.. Easy to say if your not buying the machine which normaly is 2x the price of 8". So, here is my issue.. I've been offered a deal for a last years model of the 6" General International machine for the same price almost as the 8" BusyBee model. I'm going to use this machine mainly for hobby use at the moment.. It's a 24x7 situation.. So, what do I do know.. Buy the 8" BusyBee (Grizzly in the states) of buy the 6" which is probably a better machine.. Thanks for any advice.. Here is the link to the busy bee unit:

    http://busybeetools.ca/cgi-bin/picture10?&NTITEM=CT058

  2. Default

    Hi Telegix,

    Lots to comment on here and it's all up to you do decide what you need in the end.


    I used a 6" open base $500 Delta for the first 5 years of my woodworking hobby, I can say there were Few times I needed the width more than I needed a longer bed. The only times I needed a wider jointer was when I was glueing up boards for table tops. In those cases I had a local wood supplier who had a good machine shop joint and flatten boards for me...

    I sold my Delta 4 years ago and bought a used General 480 8" machine. Wow.... the longer bed is the most important feature to me, then the HP then thirdly the width.

    So, for me if I ranked a jointer's most improtant features out side of the obvious that it should be able to accuratly make the face of a board flat I would rank a Long bed, then HP then Width in that order as my keys....


    I just recently bought a Byrd Shelix helical head for my jointer, it just got sweeter!
    Take care,
    Jim

    My Passion
    www.pensforcanadianpeacekeepers.ca

    SPCHT

  3. #3

    Default

    See, thats good information.. Perhaps I will compare the 6" general bed vs. the 8" bed on the busybee.. I know that the new general has the same bed length as the one i want to buy, except "last years" in only diffrent in that the table is made longer by adding little adapters.. Probably not as good as one long peice, but thats why it's a little cheaper.. The General is $699cdn vs. $685cdn for the busybee.. So I will have to compare other details also.. Also, I presume that even with a 6" you could glue togeather boards to make a table top, needing more glue points however.. I'm looking to use this with a Makita Planer which I need to buy... The busybee is also 220v which I don't have handy I need to run some wires for that.. Something else I need to factor in..

    Just doing a quick edit of my post.. The busybee unit is 1 1/2hp vs 1hp on the general. The BusyBee unit is also 65" table length vs. 55 1/4inch on the general.. I'll need to ask about parts, etc as well for repair.. You can also get a carbide tipped set as well for the busybee as probably like for the general..

    John
    Last edited by telegix; 08-29-2006 at 09:58 PM.

  4. #4

    Default

    You should also have a look at the King KC70FX 6" jointer. It is a long bed model with 55" beds, 1 1/2 HP moter , and good duct collection. I have on and am very pleased with it. I beleive that it is $699.00. That is approximately the same as the other two units you are looking at.


    Ken

  5. #5
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    Default

    Telegix,

    OK... all I really know about jointers is how to take them apart and how to put them back together...

    Just one thing... Busybee is not Grizzly... I do not own any tools from either brand, but if you search for threads you will find detailed opinions of how the two companies are likely connected in blood, but not quality...

    have fun,

    Matt

  6. #6
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    Feb 2006
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    Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
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    Default 8 inch jointer versus 6 inch jointer

    I like Jim Shavers' answer.

    If you have used a six inch jointer then you will like the longer bed of the eight inch jointer.

    I upgraded from a 6" King ( a solid performer) to a 8" Grizzly mainly for the longer bed. But I like the greater horsepower , the wider bed and the pedistal mounted switch.

    Unless you have a preference for a "Brand" name then I would rush not walk to BB and buy the 8 " . At that price how can you go wrong and it does come with a warranty.

    A friend of mine ordered one the day he got the flyer ( he's on the waiting list and hopes to get it sometime in September) He is 74 years old and has been wood working most of his life, his main reason for buying is the LONGER bed.

  7. #7

    Default

    I have a 8" , and I agree with Jim that the longer bed is a huge advantage. I do find however that in the type of woodworking I do I seldom need long pieces of stock. I always cut my rough lumber a couple inches longer than the piece I need prior to flatening and planing. (this allows more control and ultimately thicker dressed stock)
    I do find more importantly than the lenght for me is the width. A 6" board is really not that wide. I use my 8" capicity all the time.
    I always have my eyes open for a good used 12"...
    The cost difference between a 6" and 8" is substancial. If a 6" is in the cards for you right now I say go for it. I am on the side of Kriach, I like the King KC70FX....

  8. #8

    Default

    Seems I have no choice but to go with the 8" then guys.. I also thought it was an amazing deal when I saw it and must have something to do with the anniversary special they have on now.. Tks..

  9. #9
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    Default

    What's the deal with the long handles for adjusting the beds instead of wheels? Any difference in precision or quality? Higher end machines seem to have wheels?

    MG

  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MG
    What's the deal with the long handles for adjusting the beds instead of wheels? Any difference in precision or quality? Higher end machines seem to have wheels?

    MG
    I have levers and there are times I'd prefer a wheel for what I think might be easier adjustment of the outfeed table. Fortunately, once set I don't move it unless I have changed the blades. I also don't move the infeed table that much and I usually am not trying to get a precise depth since my finished size is done in the planer.

    With care you can set the tables equally well with either and I have read posts on various forums where some prefer the levers.

    billh

  11. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Don McLeod
    ...
    Unless you have a preference for a "Brand" name

    ...
    I hope nobody is confusing General International with the General brand. Used price for a 15 yr old General 480 is about the same or more as the BB, and GI units.

    GI comes from offshore just like the others.

  12. #12
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    Feb 2006
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    Default

    I'm a lever guy myself. The right nudging gets it where you want it. Also, don't know if this is true of all wheeled machines or not, but the one I used for a while had considerable backlash in the wheel.
    Brent

    SPCHT

  13. #13

    Default Craftex vs. the world

    I have a Craftex Jointer (BusyBee) and the long handles instead of a wheel is a huge PITA. A wheel gives you fine control over the infeed and outfeed tables which helps set it up. It can be really frustrating banging on the levers to try and adjust the tables perfectly. What's worse is when you tighten the screws that keeps the tables in position, it moves the table and you have to start all over.

    Do yourself a favor. Instead of doing what I always do (which is buy a tool and find out a month later that there are a bunch of really annoying design flaws), evaluate everything, not just bed length, HP and bed width.

    Is the table really flat? - my Craftex is good
    Is the fence flat? - mine has a lip on the top which makes it useless so it had to be fixed
    How hard is it to change the knives? - mine is pretty standard but the knives that come with it are really cheap and will bend and warp if you put anything really hard like PurpleHeart through it
    How hard is it to "Tune"? - Craftex is fairly hard because of the levers)
    Is there alot of "play" in the fence? - there is a huge amount of play in my fence which makes it inaccurate

    I'm sure others can add some other criteria.

    Craftex is a good bang for your buck but it's cheap for a reason. You can really see the difference once you start using them for a while. That said, I do "get by" with them. If you are careful and keep them tuned, they will do the job it's just that you have to be more careful and ensure that you check them whenever you use them.

    Bottom line is...think of everything before you throw your money away (unless you have money to burn). Almost every tool I own had a predecessor which "sucked". In other words, I'm an idiot who seems to keep learning the hard way.

    Don't be like me

  14. #14

    Default

    Thats what I was worried about.. That tha craftex line was cheap for a reason.. Even if General International is made in china, i'm thinking they are more anal about quality control then craftex.. I going to buy the One-Way multigauge to always check things before I get started:

    http://www.newwoodworker.com/reviews/multigagervu.html

    it seems to be a good tool for these type of jobs.. So, now i'm going to have to personal inspect their demo unit at the showroom before I make a purchase.. I might end up with the general since the quality is definetly better and I can get it with the wheels vs the levers..

  15. #15
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MG
    What's the deal with the long handles for adjusting the beds instead of wheels? Any difference in precision or quality? Higher end machines seem to have wheels?

    MG
    I beg to differ. The DJ-20 is considered one of the benchmarks in qulaity 8" jointers, and it has levers. I used to have wheels on my old 6", but the levers are equally as effective, and quicker for coarse adjustments. For example, I can quickly raise the handle to the very top, where the cut depth is a tiny sliver. Great for quick finishing cuts.

    Cheers
    Randy

    "Gunga Galunga" - The Dalai Lama according to Carl Spackler

  16. #16

    Default

    Levers are faster while wheels are more accurate supposedly. However, I think most people don't change the settings once set. Therefore, I guess wheels might be desirable but not a deal breaker. Cheers, JG

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JG
    Levers are faster while wheels are more accurate supposedly. However, I think most people don't change the settings once set. Therefore, I guess wheels might be desirable but not a deal breaker. Cheers, JG
    I have the King 80FX and it is an exact copy of the DJ20 with the levers. I had wheels on my last 6" and much prefer the levers. If I'm straightening a board I might take a deep cut and then to joint it I take a very shallow cut. These jointer's move effortlessly and the levers are great.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent in Montreal
    I'm a lever guy myself. The right nudging gets it where you want it. Also, don't know if this is true of all wheeled machines or not, but the one I used for a while had considerable backlash in the wheel.
    I have the GI 6" long bed and it has developed a lot of lash in the adjuster wheel for the infeed (don't know about the outfeed because I haven't moved it in years).

    ...ken...

  19. #19
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    Default

    Speaking of General jointers, someone has a new General (not intn'l) for $1200 on Craigslist in TO.

    http://toronto.craigslist.org/tls/200983872.html

    Steve
    If a man speaks in the forest, and there's no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong

  20. #20
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    Default

    Went to the IWF this past weekend in Atlanta, Ga. Oliver Machinery had a large display and were selling their 10 inch jointer with helical steel knives for $2100 USD. Steve Wall , who is a Oliver dealer, has several in inventory at his lumber yard and stated he would honor that price until his inventory is sold. Only drawback is that his lumber yard is in North Carolina. Seems like a good price for a 10 inch jointer. Wall's name surfaces on US forums as a Lumber yard that does a lot of business through the internet and people speak quite highly of his business practices. In my brief encounter he is certainly very humble and delightful person to talk with.

    Brian
    " It is nice to be important but more important to be nice"

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