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Thread: Using a 6" Jointer

  1. #1

    Using a 6" Jointer

    Hi! I would like to ask to hear some good talk on the uses of a 6" Jointer. I've searched many posts here and elsewhere about Jointers. And always those that can afford and have the space always say go bigger than 6". So I'd like to ask that those with positive input can point out the good things you can do with a 6" jointer, and say away from talk of going bigger.

    I ask this because my search on 6" jointer input is frustrating when the posts all seem to go in the bigger is better direction. I'd don't have any jointer experience at all really but am thinking of adding one to my home garage shop. I've seen some good deals on used 6" jointer in the $300 +/-, which would be in my price range. And a more appropriate size for my garage.

    What kind of things can you do with a 6" jointer? How would it improve cabinet making? I would like to get setup to do some remodeling of my small house. I want to redo all my kitchen cabinets, bathrooms, and built-ins, and some furniture. Currently I've accumulated these big tools. I have an older unisaw that I'm working on putting together and getting setup, a craftsman contractors saw that is for sale, a good 14" delta bandsaw, 15" drill press, 1200cfm 1 micron Delta dust collector, a Craftsman 10" CMS, bosch jig saw, etc.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Grant, if you don't want or intend to do face jointing, a 6" jointer is all you'll need. For the work you'll be doing, you'll need a jointed edge to start with for ripping rails and stiles and faceframe pieces or for gluing up narrow boards to make wide ones. Edge jointing on a 6" is a piece of cake, since you don't have as much bulk in the machine to deal with.

    However, if you are going to try face-jointing your stock, you WILL want an 8" or bigger jointer. But if you aren't intending to face-joint, you'll also need a planer to clean up the faces of your stock. Depends on how you want to do things---everyone to their own opinion....

    Nancy (16 days)
    Nancy Laird
    dandnspecialties@msn.com
    FWW Registered Voter and Voting Member
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!!


    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' If you love your country, thank a vet.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Grant,

    In this case, bigger *is* better. You do need a jointer, but you can get the job done with a six inch model. That's what I have, and I got my little yorkcraft for about 325, after trying all the tricks people try to get along without a jointer: router table fun, table saw jigs, etc. You'll save yourself a lot of time, money, and frustration by just getting yourself a decent quality small machine

    Thanks,

    Bill

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    A quality 6" jointer will do many tasks. The bigger is better syndrome comes from folks like me who do work that collides with the 6" restrictions. My 6" was perfectly acceptable for edge jointing but I can do that almost as well on the TS. It works fine for milling small lumber; table legs and stretchers, picture and mirror frame parts, small wall shelves, and small box parts can all be done on a 6".

    If you want to stay with a 6" for space concerns, embrace it and don't scrimp on your features. As Bill mentions (and I can chime in here too) if you go small, don't go cheap; you'll just have to buy again and that's a false economy.

    If you don't need the width, that's great but that is the only thing that should change. You'll want adequate power, good knife choices, long beds, great fence, reliable adjustability and good dust control. Fortunately there are several players in this field as space is always our enemy (it seems) and manufacturer's provide a solution.

    Here's some examples but I would want to hear from owners and I'm sure some will chime in.

    http://www.grizzly.com/products/6-Pa...Jointer/G0604X
    http://www.toolking.com/steelcity_40615.aspx
    http://www.southern-tool.com/store/j...d_jointer.html
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Punta Gorda, Florida
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    Get a 6" if that is in your budget. There are a lot of good ones out there for very good prices. I had a Ridgid for a while and really liked it but when I got a chance to get an 8" at a good introductory price I moved up to the GO490. Now I wish that I had a 12" so it never ends. It sounds like to me that the 6" would do just about all that you might need to do. For the money that you would spend on a 6" you cannot go wrong unless you buy an off brand model. If you find that you do need a larger one you can always move up later and have very little to lose. The 6" is a space saver.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    I'm chiming in again--because we own a 6" jointer. We have the Steel City 6" wedge-bed and it is a real honey. Extremely quiet as compared to most, it took all of about 15 minutes to get set up and running--just had to square the fence to the bed (it was about 2 degrees out of square). The great thing was that the bed came packed upside down in the crate, so no "blocking" was needed to keep it from rocking and rolling inside the crate. It took two of us to pick it up, turn it over, and put it on the base, but it really was a piece of cake. Fit and finish are impeccable, and I can not recommend the SCTW machine highly enough.

    Nancy (16 days)
    Nancy Laird
    dandnspecialties@msn.com
    FWW Registered Voter and Voting Member
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!!


    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' If you love your country, thank a vet.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    I've been using a 6" jointer for years. Sure, it has its limitations, but I really don't fine them too restricting. Most of the stock you'll buy is around 6" in width anyway, and unless you're buying rough stock, you'll seldon need to face joint.

    If you are buying wider stock, or rough stock, and need to face joint, you can make a sled for your planer (assuming you have one) that can act as a jointer for the first side. Then you remove the stock from the sled and plane the other side. Most of the small benchtop planers don't put enough down force on the stock to require an elaborate sled. A flat piece of mdf or osb is usually sufficient, with some wedges/shims to level the stock on the sled.

    Bigger planers do have metal feed rollers than will press a board down against the table, so the require a beefier sled.

    Along with my 6" jointer, I do have a 15" cast iron monster of a planer. As described above, I just use a sled for facing rough stock. I've done cherry, maple, and walnut up to 12" or more, using the aforementioned sled, with good results.

    I generally use another sled on the tablesaaw to get a straight edge on rough stock; then 'finesse' the edge on the jointer. These methods have worked well for me for many years. Sure I'd like to have an 8" or even a 12" jointer, but I don't have room for one in my already crowded shop.

    I've just learned to work around any limitations. I've built some really nice stuff over the years - using that 6" jointer. yeah, bigger may be better, but it ain't always practical...
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  8. #8
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    Very well said Jim D.

  9. #9
    actually I've got my eye on a 6" jet jj 6csx that is for sale for $225 firm, friend of a friend. From my research I think that is a good price. I't only has two sets of blades and and both need re-sharpening at this point. The guy says it is in perfect condition, just that he just purchased a larger one . It looks great and has no rust on the wings or fence at all. I'd have to get it on a mobile base but I have one that I could setup for it. Can you re-sharpen the Jet blades? They are sort of pricey otherwise if they are one-time use. How long do they last? The original owner says that he's gone through these two sets in about 8hrs of run time over the last 5yrs. Would he be selling it because the warranty has just expired (Jets 5yr warranty)?

    I've had a Jet wet sharpener for some time, that I've used for chisels and knives but don't have a jig for planer blades and don't know if I could sharpen jointer blades well enough myself with the Jet sharpener. Or would it be better to take the blades to someone and how much should I be charged for having them sharpened? I don't see a Jet jig for blades on the Jet site. Also the guy said it is a pain to install the blades and get them setup right.

    Also how can I learn the uses of a 6" Jointer? Are there any good sites that explain it's use to a newbie?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DeLaney View Post
    If you are buying wider stock, or rough stock, and need to face joint, you can make a sled for your planer (assuming you have one) that can act as a jointer for the first side. Then you remove the stock from the sled and plane the other side. Most of the small benchtop planers don't put enough down force on the stock to require an elaborate sled. A flat piece of mdf or osb is usually sufficient, with some wedges/shims to level the stock on the sled.
    I don't have a planer yet either. I've been looking into both for some time and now have a jointer I can pickup. But I'm thinking that in the coming months I could afford a planer too if I get this jointer at this price.

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