I agree with Jason and I'll even go a step further. I think you should add up the cost of shaper and an assortment of cutters (plus a power feed) and compare that to the cost of a 12" jointer. An 8" jointer makes little sense to me - it'll leave you wishing you'd gone for a bigger model.
Originally Posted by Jason Beam
FAS lumber has to be a a certain width - around 10" after drying, I believe. Around here most of the FAS hardwood is just over that limit.
It's usually wise to rip boards that wide to avoid cupping, BUT with a 12" jointer you can make the decision. For that special table-top or other places where seams are undesirable, you'll have the capacity for wider boards.
I have a 4" jointer - my only piece of old iron It's a joke for face jointing, but I didn't buy it for that. If I ever upgrade it'll be to the 12"-16" range. The big'uns hold their value a lot better too.
All the best,
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