Are these older Craftsman jointers worth my time?

Tom Baugues

Member
Messages
2,696
Location
Lafayette, Indiana
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.
Jointer.jpg
 

larry merlau

Member
Messages
18,425
Location
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..
 

Jim DeLaney

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
6,351
Location
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.
 

Jeb Taylor

Member
Messages
518
Location
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.
 

ken werner

Member
Messages
3,377
Location
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.
 

Mike Cebula

Member
Messages
25
Location
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
 
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