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Thread: Are these older Craftsman jointers worth my time?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Lafayette, Indiana

    Are these older Craftsman jointers worth my time?

    So last weekend I fried the motor on my benchtop jointer. I've been looking around to see whats out there. Now mind you I am not a cabinet maker nor do I build large furniture or anything like that. I do have lots of rough cut lumber that needs a straight edge though.
    I see several of the older Craftsman jointers listed in auctions and sales from time to time. I assume that are the heavy cast steel and all but do they work well enough to fix up and use today. Here is an image of one I see in an aution for tomorrow. I have no information on it at all.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    It's not what you achieve in life...It's what you overcome!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    that era of craftsman tools were rock solid tom,, but you need to look at what you can buy a new one for before going to used one.. the grizzly's or jets or others are good jointers for the money and can be found used.. for a fair price..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    As Larry said, those were good, solid, iron machines. They did have some drawbacks, though: like tables that were pretty short, making it harder to do long stock successfully. Also, the outfeed tables on those were fixed, so your knive adjustment had to be spot-on with the outfeed, else you'd either get a lot of snipe, if too high, or the wouldn't work at all if too low. Modern jointers have adjustable outfeed tables, so you can 'zero adjust' them.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    San Antonio, Texas
    Additionally, more and more of the newer jointers will take helical cutting heads. Not so sure about this one.
    Billy B.

    "It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first." - Ronald Reagan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    6 inch jointers come up on the used market frequently, I would shop around.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Decatur, Alabama
    I used one for a while and see many for sale. Mine worked pretty good, just a little shorter than i wanted. I wouldn't pay over $150 for one around here though. That's in working condition.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    They're pretty well proven, and there's a bunch of em. Around here they sell in the $75 to $100 range regularly...YMMV.
    Got Wood?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Lakeport NY and/or the nearest hotel
    I have a vintage craftsman 6", and while it works, I'd replace it in a heartbeat with a modern adjustable rig.

    However the price was right for mine... Free

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Central NY State
    In a word, no.
    I had a 4", then a 6", now an 8"
    You can often find a used 6" for a reasonable price, or even a new one as was said before.
    Chances are you'll outgrow a 4" in very little time.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Garden Grove, CA
    I have had the Sears model 113.20680 for more than 10 years. I purchased it used for $100 and took it to an automotive machine shop and had them level-grind the top. That also cost $100 (something that took them extra effort to do since they never had such a request) and I've never been sorry for the investment. The 3 blades are 6 1/8" and are readily available and easily sharpened. As far as having an adjustable outfeed - I feel it is totally unnecessary since it is so easy to adjust the height of the blades to match the outfeed table using any number of jigs that have been written up. Also, since an adjustable version is adjustable, it can get out of adjustment. I think I even saw where someone had a replacement cutterhead available for it that would allow you to use a helical blade setup - not cheap.

    I've never really needed to use the entire width - seems the max width I plane is around 4". Even more so, I joint edges which is almost always under 2".

    I've seen my same model at garage sales from $25 - $100, some even have the stands and are in original boxes. (Some guys never seem to understand the value of a jointer.)

    One other point is that the motor is external with a belt and you can use just about anything you can get your hands on that is strong enough.

    Mike Cebula
    The saw and I get along fine, because I always assume it is trying to maim me.

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