Plate Joiner Question - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 04-09-2009, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Plate Joiner Question

Hi Guys,

I need to make a decision on buying a used plate joiner. I currently have one that's a router attachment (Craftsman) that I bought years ago and used for the first time last night. What a piece of garbage!

Anyway, my area Craigslist has three plate joiners available right now. A Porter cable #557 (like new) for $145, an older Porter Cable #555 for $45 and a DeWalt DW682 for $100 that's like new but a bit more of a drive.

This morning I emailed the guy with the PC #557, offered him $100 for it and haven't heard back yet. The PC #555 is cheap (and nearby) and the guy says it works well but I have ho idea as to whether that older model is any good. Anyone have experience with it?

Advice??

Thanks, Bill
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post #2 of 22 Old 04-09-2009, 04:19 PM
 
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I, too, am in the market for a used biscuit joiner.

Not familiar with the mentioned models other than to say they are both respected names. Actually, I really don't know a heck of alot about joiners period.

What I do know, or at least think, is that quite often, power tools being older can be a good thing.

This is especially true with some established brands that established reputations making good stuff, then got bought by a megacorp that brought in the bean counters to figure out how to squeeze more profit out of the company. The result is the newer stuff is inferior. My grandpa had an old crafsman router that was made in the 60s. It was of better quality than the junk they have today. Unfortunately, years in a damp basement along with sporadic use resulted in a seized bearing.

So, my recommendation would be to take a look at the older model, especially since it is nearby. If it looks like it's in good shape and will do what you need it to do, buy it.
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post #3 of 22 Old 04-09-2009, 05:33 PM
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That 557, if it's a Type 3, is a little high priced at $145. If he doesn't accept your $100 offer I go as high as $120 maybe $125 but IMO that would be pushing it. I have that joiner and it's considered the top of the heap in the affordable class. I'd stay away from that older 555. Since Porter Cable replaced that model they have come out with the original 557, improved on that with the 557 Type 2 and further improved on that with the 557 Type 3.

The DeWalt is also a fine joiner just not with all the features that the PC offers such as the ability to use FF biscuits. Having said that, you might never even use the FF feature. I haven't in all the years I've had my 557.

Dave

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The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
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post #4 of 22 Old 04-10-2009, 07:30 AM
 
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I have the new PC and love it. I only use #10 and 20 biscuits also. I have to agree that it isn't a Lamello, but who can afford that?
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post #5 of 22 Old 04-10-2009, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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The guy with the PC 557 actually got annoyed with my $100 offer and raised his price $20. I told him I was sorry I insulted him with my low offer and he emailed back and said he had been in a cranky mood and apologized. No counter offer though! I think I would have gone $125 but he doesn't seem to want to dicker.

The local Re-Tool (used tool franchise) has three DeWalt 682K's. Two used ones for $100 and a brand new one for $150. I think I'll swing by and take a look. From the reviews I've read and what Sweensdv said, it seems they are nearly as good as the PC. $150 seems to be a good deal on the new one.

Thanks for the replies,
Bill
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post #6 of 22 Old 04-10-2009, 06:01 PM
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Bill,
I have the older 555 model. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. For 45.00, as long as the blade is in decent shape, I don't see how you could go wrong. It is very easy to use, cuts good, easy to adjust. I don't see why people spend a lot of money on a biscuit joiner. They don't do anything that I would consider rocket science. They cut a friggin' slot, that's it. The 555 has been around for a long time, in fact, I am trying to remember when I bought mine. It had to be in the early 90's . Still looks and works like new.
Mike Hawkins
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post #7 of 22 Old 04-10-2009, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for everyone's input! I stopped at Re-Tool to check their DeWalts (they had no PC's). Sometimes their stuff looks pretty beat up but one of the two used DeWalts was nearly new and had a sharp blade, manual, wrenches, dust bag, metal box, etc. I paid the guy $100 and took it home. They include a warranty, too. The guy said that they somtimes get used PC 557's and they would go for $125. I'm happy with what I ended up with, though.

Bill
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post #8 of 22 Old 04-11-2009, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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A postscript: I tried out the DeWalt last night on some oak and some pine. It works beautifully! The slots are centered and the biscuits are a light snug fit. All the dust/chips go right into the bag with no mess. I'm happy!

Bill
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post #9 of 22 Old 04-11-2009, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodgeboy77 View Post
......... I'm happy!
Bill
And yours is the only opinion that really matters isn't it?

Enjoy your new joiner.

Dave

Life is like a roll of toilet paper.
The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
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post #10 of 22 Old 04-11-2009, 04:20 PM
 
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Congratulations on your new plate joiner! I love getting new tools. It's like Christmas a few times a year. I have the Porter Cable 557 and I love it. I paid 150 for it off craigslist and have paid myself back 10 times over (maybe more) because I use it for my business. The dustbag works well as long as the joiner is on...dust just falls out if its off, but it still works better than any power tool I have with a dust bag.

As far as a Lamello I feel like some power tools cost more than they're ever worth when there are quallity counterparts like porter cable and dewalt at a fraction of the cost.

You got a good deal! Congrats again!

Last edited by TheRecklessOne; 04-11-2009 at 04:22 PM. Reason: misspelling
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post #11 of 22 Old 04-12-2009, 05:36 AM
 
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Hey wreckless, what's your name? Thanks for the comment back on the Lamello. I feel sometimes like people ignore me. I have messed up my neck this year and have been disabled for one year so far. I have had six major neck surgeries so far. I really like the ability to adjust the Lamello so easily, however, I never adjust mine. Once it is set for the center of 3/4 stock it usually stays there. I could never justify the cost of either Lamello jointer unless I was rich. My PC is just great. I also had a Ryobi and have to say it did a good job also, it was just a little unbalanced with its design. BUt if worked great. I paid like 220 for my Pc jointer. I don't regreat it at all.

I see you have a picture of your wife or girlfriend with you. Looks like you have a great relationship. Cherish it. My wife, Stefanie, has stuck with me through all of my neck problems over the last year and could not be more supportive. We are lucky to have women who understand all of our pations, right?
Bobby
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post #12 of 22 Old 04-16-2009, 08:53 AM
 
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There are a few ways I can see the lamello or other really high end stuff being worth the dollars.

The first and best reason.... you make your living with it, you will use it a lot, want it to work as efficiently as possible, rely on it working every time and are able to write off the expense.

I suspect that a really good cabinet maker who demands perfection with every cut he makes would buy the lamello. Not saying he couldn't get the same quality with the mid priced stuff, just that it might be easier to achieve with it. Kinda like a professional mechanic having a few hundred thousand dollars worth of snap-on tools rather than craftsman.

The other reason is you have more money than God so it just doesn't matter.
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post #13 of 22 Old 04-17-2009, 12:43 PM
 
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Bobby great post man. My name is KC by the way. It stands for Kansas City...It's the name I was given in the Navy because its my hometown. I'm sorry to hear about your neck. However, That which does not kill us better make us stronger. I'm glad to hear about your wife and your relationship being solid through your ordeal. That's super important. The picture is of my wife Shannon and I. She loves that woodworking and carpentry are my passions especially when she gets a new built-in or new cabinets.

Not many people even know about Lamello. All I can really say is to each there own. I know that there are plenty of craftsman who are rockin' and rollin without biscuit joiners and even 1 in particular who writes on another forum who uses a harbor freight joiner. I think tools themselves are a minor part of craftsmanship, but your relationship and ability to manipulate that tool to do what you want is much more important.

Keep fighting the good fight Bobby my prayers are with you!
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post #14 of 22 Old 04-17-2009, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Reckless wrote:
<<I think tools themselves are a minor part of craftsmanship, but your relationship and ability to manipulate that tool to do what you want is much more important.>>

Very well said. But then there's those of us who need all the help we can get!

Seriously, I agree with what you say about tools and craftsmanship. I'm one of those guys (and I'm sure there are others on this forum) who just loves tools, though!

Bill

It's better to have a tool and not need it than to need a tool and not have it!
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post #15 of 22 Old 04-27-2009, 11:28 PM
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PC or DeWalt? First, they're both made by Black & Decker but, I'd go for a DeWalt... PC model changes are made too often and with questionable engineering differences... DeWalt is more consistent... if the wheel is round and it rolls...
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post #16 of 22 Old 04-29-2009, 12:31 PM
 
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I would go with the PC, just my opinion.
However, the plate jointer is one tool that I had a near accident with. I had one or two kickbacks on tablesaw and circular saw and believe it or not the biscuit/plate jointer.
I either didn't have a firm grip on the workpiece or the machine had not come up to speed as I plunged and the workpiece went directly to the right and an incredible speed. It almost hit my grandfather. I always take the time to clamp the piece unless is heavy like a cabinet. You will not regret it I promise. That thing really scared me.
Bobby
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post #17 of 22 Old 10-22-2009, 01:42 AM
 
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Hi Guys,

I found these forums when I was searching info on dado blades and biscuit joiners to complete my next projects. Great info! Bad site to find when I need to write my provincial apprenticeship exam in less than a week!

I went with the Freud dados ($129 in Alberta!!). After reading much info on joiners, I purchased the PC second hand, brand new in the box. The retired gent had received it as a gift and wants to use M/T joinery and had no use for biscuits. The biggest selling point for the PC for me was the 2" blade, as I plan to use FF biscuits. PC joiner is $300 retail here! I wish I was paying the prices you guys are.

My question is, someone mentioned here that there are now 3 PC 557 models. What are the differences, and how does one know which is which? My new toy just says model 557.
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post #18 of 22 Old 10-22-2009, 07:45 AM
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I would not neglect the ability to use the smaller biscuits. Some years ago I purchsed a second biscuit cutter that only used the small biscuits. It comes in very handy when working on small projects.

G
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post #19 of 22 Old 07-26-2016, 06:33 AM
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I just purchased a used PC 557 and it came with the 2" second blade. When I mount the 2" blade and put the setting to FF, the blade does not extend out enough to make the cut when I push forward. Also, if I move the sawdust guide as shown on a video, it makes contact with the blade. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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post #20 of 22 Old 07-26-2016, 09:13 PM
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Can't tell you much about the joiner, but you may want to start your own thread instead of hijacking one that's 7 years old.
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