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Thread: Jointers - 6" or 8"?

  1. #1
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    Default Jointers - 6" or 8"?

    So I'm gonna buy a jointer. I need one for an upcoming progect (see older thread 'dovetails in fir?')

    For this project I can easily get away with a 6". A few folks are telling me to go with 8". I think that for 90% of what I do, 6" will be fine, especially given that a 6" jointer is half the price of an 8. Any of you that have had jointers for a few years that can offer suggestions? My old cabinet shop had an 8", but in my current profession, if I ever need a jointer at all, mostly is just to join boards, not straighten faces. Any thoughts and advice on what I might expect/want in the future?

    If you've had a 6", in which circumstances have you been disappointed with it?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Default

    I am lucky enough to have 2 joiners.. a 4" and an 8" but neither of them is wide enough... go Big as you can afford. Back when I was teaching we had a 12" on campus and even it was to narrow, every once and a while. Go as big as you can afford. (did I repeat myself?)

    I use the 4" more than the 8" but edges is not the full capacity of the joiner. Bigger is better.... What You can afford.
    Bill "Hickory" Simpson

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Simpson View Post
    I am lucky enough to have 2 joiners.. a 4" and an 8" but neither of them is wide enough... go Big as you can afford. Back when I was teaching we had a 12" on campus and even it was to narrow, every once and a while. Go as big as you can afford. (did I repeat myself?)

    I use the 4" more than the 8" but edges is not the full capacity of the joiner. Bigger is better.... What You can afford.


    Thanks Bill. I should also say that portability is a factor - every couple months or so I'll move to another job site, and somebody has to lift that sucker into the back of the truck!

    But I see your point. I might go 8". I do have labourers

  4. #4
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    Default

    I have a 6" inch jointer that has done a great job. Do I need a wider jointer...heck yah. There have been times an 8 inch would have come in handy. My shop is in the basement so weight is always a consideration for me.

  5. #5

    Default

    A portable joiner? Wow! I will be interested to hear how well the tables stay in alignment with all that moving and bouncing around.

    I would have suggested an 8" unit ( generally over 500 lbs.) until you mentioned moving it. JG

  6. #6
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    Clinton, BC
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    Default

    WooHoo! A trim carpenter in Whistler eh?

    I am going to take the real unpopular stand here and suggest you think twice about getting a jointer at all.

    I had one, it broke , I started using my TS to finish edge all my lumber, and I never again looked back. I work mostly with rough lumber so it all has to be edged and honestly - I have had way better results with the TS and a the Feud Glue Line blade than I ever had on the jointer. Of course in all fairness, my jointer was never all that great to begin with and I am sure I would have found it a different story had I owned a good one but.......that kinda brings me to my point.

    I believe most of the "good" one are big.....not just with size but weight and you are talking about transporting it? I am not altogether sure you will be happy with the results you get from a more portable model. Even if it works OK - I am with JG and really have a concern over alignment - that can be an issue in a shop setting let alone after transportation.

    I would suggest to you to take some practice runs on the TS - often it takes a several passes before having a perfect glue joint but you might find you really don't need a jointer after all.

    I took the pic below a couple of years ago when a friend was concidering buying a jointer to illustrate how the TS can do a good job of edge jointing.

    5 - 1x4 VG Fir


  7. #7
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    Default

    The same considerations are used when both buying a jointer, and deciding how big of an aircraft carrier to take into battle. You may not need a Nimitz, but just in case...it's gotta be nice to have! I have a 6 and once a month I wish it was an 8. The only thing to think about, though, is an 8 is not only twice as expensive, but I bet it's about twice as heavy too.

    Cheers!

  8. #8
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    Default Jointers

    Both Steel City and Powermatic make a 6 in Jointer with extra long beds. They are a couple hundred more than their regular 6 in jointers. This would give you the advantage of the longer beds that you get with an 8 in but not the extra weight If you attached a couple of carrying handles ( wheel barrow type) along each side I am sure two people could easily carry the 6 in. Working in Whistler, I am sure that budget is not your problem.

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

  9. #9
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    Default

    Thanks everyone for the replies.

    Shelley, I've done lots of jointing with a table saw and long straigh edge. I find though, that even with the best blade, the joint line is still discernable to the keen eye. But with a well tuned jointer, I can make them go away. The thing, is that right now, I need to build five pieces of furniture - something I don't usually do, and that I desire these particular people to see not a single defect in their furniture.

    I've pretty much decide on 6". I think that an 8 will be too heavy to move around, and that I can do 90% of what I want to do with a 6. And because most of what I do is not for myself, I can afford to rip a wide board to a narrow one if I need to flatten it and then joint it back up. If I do it right no one will know

    Sounds weird but there is a budget in Whistler It's just not what you and I are used to!

  10. #10
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    Default

    Hi Kiely,
    I don't know if you have made your decision yet, but here is a consideration that has not been mentioned yet. The difference between a 6" and an 8" usually includes difference in motor horsepower. Any construction/building site I have been on is criss crossed with power cords from a central power panel or each contractor's portable generator.
    This is my personal opinion - I would not want to run a 1.5hp/120V motor for any length of time on an extension cord. I am not so sure I would want to run a 220V extension cord on a site either.
    FWIW I recently went through this 6" vs 8" process. I settled for the 6" Delta X5 that would fulfill most of my needs stock-wise, lighter and therefore easier to roll around in my garage and lower hp motor (with lower operating costs) so I could use a short heavy gauge extension cord.
    Regards

  11. #11
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    Squamish BC
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    Default

    Thanks Darrell, that's an excellent point. On my current site we have a woodshop set up with it's own dedicated panel, but I won't be there forever.......

    I guess they don't make these things cordless yet eh? :lol:

  12. #12
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    J.P.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiely View Post

    I guess they don't make these things cordless yet eh? :lol:

    Sure they do...
    tb_planes-lg.jpg
    J.P. Rap Mount Hope Ont.
    Carpe Ductum (Seize The Tape)


    "In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. Elwood P. Dowd

  13. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by J.P. Rap View Post
    Sure they do...
    tb_planes-lg.jpg

    Nice set JP,

    How about... 15 1/2"





    Used it just today
    Last edited by Jim Shaver, Oakville Ont.; 05-13-2007 at 08:13 PM.
    Take care,
    Jim

    My Passion
    www.pensforcanadianpeacekeepers.ca

    SPCHT

  14. #14
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    J.P.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Shaver, Oakville Ont. View Post
    Nice set JP,

    Not mine. I just googled for a picture. I wouldn't post a picture of my one and only plane for fear everyone would die of laughter.
    I'm not a hand tool guy but I do appreciate those that are.
    J.P. Rap Mount Hope Ont.
    Carpe Ductum (Seize The Tape)


    "In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. Elwood P. Dowd

  15. #15
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by J.P. Rap View Post
    Not mine. I just googled for a picture. I wouldn't post a picture of my one and only plane for fear everyone would die of laughter.
    I'm not a hand tool guy but I do appreciate those that are.

    Agreed and I'm somewhat embarassed to say that I never even thought of doing it by hand Not that my little Record block plane could keep up to Jim's heavy - that's a beautiful plane, Jim.

  16. #16
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    Default

    So in the end I went with a Steel City - http://www.steelcitytoolworks.com/pr...y=7&tool=40615



    It was a toss up between this one and the General International. What won this jointer over is the
    • 36" infeed and 30" outfeed compared to the General's 28" in and outfeed.
    • 1 1/2 hp motor compared to the Generals 1 hp
    • Attached mobile base, compared to having to buy one for the General
    And the price was basically the same.

    What I liked about the General over the Steelcity was the controls to move the decks around, and the ability to lock them in place, which the SteelCity doesn't have.

    Now I just have to use it! Too bad I won't even be able to set it up for a week or so
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17

    Default Good Choice

    Its funny, I was in the same position a couple of weeks ago and I went with the Steel city one. The price was right and it offered a bit more than the GI. The set up of the jointer was very good, not too much tweaking. So far the machine has performed flawlessly. I really like the built in mobile base, it is alot easier to use that the after market ones. The dust collection is excellent. Th one thing that takes getting use to is the base is wider than most and it can get in the way especaiily the first few times.

    Good luck and have productive fun with the new addition

  18. #18
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    Warren

    Default

    Don't you mean Asian or Asian products?

  19. #19
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    Dec 2011
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    Centreville
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    Default Re: Jointers - 6" or 8"?

    I've used a 6" Delta jointer for 20 years and only use it for edging. Never wanted anything wider, personally. Some fellas can never get enough. ;)

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    llano Tx.
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    1

    Default Re: Jointers - 6" or 8"?

    I received the 6"powermatic 54A today and was surprised that it was made Taiwan instead of mainland china.I haven't uncreatd it just yet take a look.Hopefully it will be ok.

    gary

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