Bench Top Jointers For Furniture? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-24-2017, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Bench Top Jointers For Furniture?

Hi every one with jointers being so expensive. I have been looking at the cheaper model bench top jointers like the delta 6 in. MIDI-Bench Jointer or even the PORTER-CABLE 10 Amps-Amp Bench Jointer. Both of these are 6 inch bench top jointers. Are these going to be good options for making furniture or would it be a better idea to get a used floor model machine off of creglist or something of that nature. But what I really want to know it will that bench top jointer get me by making furniture?
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-24-2017, 03:51 PM
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We have a small benchtop jointer alongside two large floor models (8" and 10") in our furniture workshop where I teach. All three get frequent use, with the benchtop model being used on short/narrow parts and the larger models doing face and edge jointing on longer boards. I can't see getting by with just a small jointer, but they can certainly help out.

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post #3 of 14 Old 03-24-2017, 04:08 PM
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All I owned was a 6" jointer for about 30 years

The 6" was an old Craftsman with a fixed outfeed table, about the lowest cost version available. When you say making furniture, there a lot of pieces under 36" and less than 6" wide for which a 6" would be fine. Wider boards than 6" are not used much except in table tops and then they may be up to 8 ft long, no match for a 6" jointer. So, the size of the jointer is relative to the size of the project and the boards you need for it. I owned a beautiful 8" Grizzly for a short while, thinking I was going to go "big", but that never happened. I now own a 13" jointer/planer which works for everything I do.

The primary function of the jointer is to straighten and flatten the face of the boards. While the jointer is also used to straighten the edges of a board, they can also be straightened on a table saw with a straight line jig. I use this metrhod with great success. So, the width of the face is the determining factor. There is no other woodworking machine that will do this operation as easily and as quickly as the jointer.

The longer the boards, the long the jointer beds should be. You can make matching height supports if push comes to shove and I have done that with good success on the rare occasions I needed it.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-24-2017, 05:41 PM
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I have a Delta 6" variable speed jointer and it works quite well on stock up to 48" long. I made a chip collection port for it so the 2 1/2" vac hose for the ShopVac will fit.

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post #5 of 14 Old 03-24-2017, 07:45 PM
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My first jointer was a 6" Powermatic. Got it new but the tables weren't straight and could never get it to work well. Next was an 8" Powermatic that was a nice jointer. The longer bed made a big difference. I also installed a larger motor so I could make heavier facing cuts. I've still got it, stored away. Current jointer is an old 16" Crescent that I rebuilt. Nice machine, not what you would put in a home shop. But the tables are about 8' long so long boards can be faced. Since we have a SL rip saw we don't use a jointer for edges.

A bench top jointer is probably fine for small work, so is a hand plane & shooting boar.
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-24-2017, 07:54 PM
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The bench top jointer is alright if you only joint short pieces of lumber. If there is need of jointing wood 5' or longer then the bench top jointer is going to give you some trouble.
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-24-2017, 10:15 PM
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I've used a 6" joiner for 40 years and built a lot of furniture.
The length of the bed makes a big difference with a 6" joiner. My old joiner has a 5' table.
A bench top model normally has a very short bed. A short bed makes it more difficult to use when working with pieces longer than 24".

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-26-2017, 12:07 PM
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It all depends on the size boards you plan on joining. All I have is a benchtop jointer and I have no issues jointing boards up to 40 to 60 inches depending on the width and weight if the board. If you edge joint long, wide stock, the short fence height along with short table length can make it difficult to maintain consistant table/fence contact. The other thing to consider is how easy the machine will be to set up and tune. Bench top jointers usually don't have adjustable outfeed tables, so you have to get the knives adjusted perfectly to each other and the outfeed table, and if you have to make a slight height adjustment it has to be made on all 3 knives instead of a single table height adjustment.
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-28-2017, 01:41 AM
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Justin, you do what you got to do. I've been furniture and cabinet making for 23 years, professionally, and I have a 4" bench top jointer. Never had anything else. Not that I never wanted a bigger one, but contrary to what others may believe, you do not NEED to have a bigger one. If you can afford to buy a bigger, better one, more power to you.

Woodnthings said "The primary function of the jointer is to straighten and flatten the face of the boards. While the jointer is also used to straighten the edges of a board, they can also be straightened on a table saw with a straight line jig. I use this metrhod with great success"

I use my jointer primarily to straighten the EDGES of boards. Sure, you can make a jig to get straight edges on a table saw, but they will be inferior to the edges you will get on a jointer, especially if they are glue edges. And saw marks are hard to sand out of hardwoods, if they are exposed edges. I usually flatten the faces on the jointer mostly for door rails and stiles, before thickness planing.
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Last edited by mmwood_1; 03-28-2017 at 01:50 AM.
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-28-2017, 06:30 AM
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Many of the responses here are not about bench top jointers, rather they write about 6" jointers.

"Get by" are the operative words when thinking about a bench top jointer. Yes, I would rather have a floor model, but is necessary a bench top can get by. It will probably take longer to do the job on long boards and you may have some "redos."

But you can "get by." Many people have made furniture without any type of power jointer.

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post #11 of 14 Old 03-28-2017, 06:45 AM
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I think it depends mostly on your needs. My frst jointer was a 4 inch benchtop model. Not the nicest thing, by any stretch, the beds were short and it was way too narrow, but it did work for most of my needs, my needs being relatively short and narrow boards. If your average board length is less than about 2 feet and narrower than 6 inches, a benchtop model could serve you quite well. If youre needing something to straighten out an 8 foot long board, youll come up short. All depends on what youre needing

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post #12 of 14 Old 03-30-2017, 01:40 AM
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There are many of that with various designs offered n craigslist, some being offered used, brand new and refurbish.
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post #13 of 14 Old 04-25-2017, 09:50 PM
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I have been using the Cutech jointer and like it. Comes with. Helical cutting head and am happy with it.

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post #14 of 14 Old 10-25-2018, 11:58 PM
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A benchtop jointer is very limited in what you can join with it. They typically have very short beds which means you can't really join anything longer than 3 feet (or maybe at max 4 feet). Many people feet a lot of tools in a 1 car garage (some here have photos). You can have a stationary jointer on a mobile base that tucks under your bench when not in use.
BTW, size of a jointer is determined by its width typically, so they say a 6" jointer, or 8", or 12", etc. The length of the beds are important too but not defining the size of a jointer.
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