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Creator of Sawdust
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure this topic has been beat to death, but here goes anyway. I'm planning to make some cabinets that are going to take me into new adventures: Rough Sawn and rail stile doors. If I go "rough sawn" I need a jointer. So the question 6 or 8 inch. I know that most everyone says to buy the biggest you can afford. Just some thoughts and assumptions that could use comments from those with more experience than me.
1. one of the major reasons for buying an 8 inch vs a 6 inch seems to be, to be able to joint wider boards. But aren't wider boards used mostly for edged glued panels? If that's a yes, can't the glued panel, with a little more effort, be done with 6 inch wides, rather than 8.
2. are there any other justifications for going 8 inch other than this? I can't think of any, but then, I've never had a jointer.
3. Regardless of 6 or 8, I probably will go Grizzly since I have a lot of it in my shop and have had good luck, so my thoughts auto go to their line of jointers. Since, again, I don't do any exotic woods, the straight knife heads seem to be more than sufficient.

Any comments from those more knowledgeable than me is appreciated.

Ed
 

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Ed,
Just my .02 here. Obviously like you stated, if money and shopspace are no object, buy bigger. But for what you are doing, I don't see why a 6" wouldn't work fine. I just bought a 6" late last year and got a jet with the longer bed. Any time I am doing glue ups for panels, table tops, etc., I am ripping boards less than 6" to help control warping. One of the other advantadges of going with an 8" jointer is to get a longer bed. If you aren't going to be jointing any overly long boards, than you may not need an 8" machine. The one thing I look at in a jointer or planer is the ease of blade changes. The jet I bought has a quick change setup which makes it a simple process. If it's a PITA to change, you are not going to want to do that. Hope this helps,
Mike Hawkins;)
 

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That pretty much says it all.
+1....though I do like the extra bed length on an 8"er. Other than that, the 2" extra is a waste of $$, IMO. Simply because I mostly joint edges and, when I need to flatten, 6" is plenty wide.
 

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If the question even comes up, standing wisdom says to buy more power and capacity....many of us don't have the choice. The 8" gives you more length and width capacity, has more power, and is more stable (safer). Everything a 6" can do, an 8" will have an easier time with. There are plenty of rough sawn boards that 6-1/2" wide....it's a shame to rip them narrower to fit your jointer.
 

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Yes, the 6 inch will work with more work. But the 8 inch will have a longer bed and that is the main reason I would buy an 8 inch. Also after you joint a 6 inch board, you will have to rip it on the TS and will probably end up with a board less than 6inch. I have the ridig 6 inch and its a great machine but when I joint boards over 3-4 feet long I wish I had bought the 8 inch.
 

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When it was time for me to get a jointer, I went back and forth for weeks. Then I realized that the my shop made my decision for me. I did not have 220 wired into the shop, only 110. You can get a 8 inch jointer with 110, but its going to pull alot of amps because of the HP of the motor. A large majority of 8 inch jointers are just 220, and the ones that are dual voltage are usually pre-wired for 220. There are exceptions, but what kind of power you have in your shop can make a difference. I knew that eventually I was going to rewire the shop, but that wasn't going to happen for another year or two, so I bought a 6 inch jointer instead of an 8 inch.
 

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Creator of Sawdust
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, I think the 6 will do fine. Griz makes a nice 6 inch with parallelgram tables that'll fit just fine. Thanks for the input.
Ed
 

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Just got eh ridgid 6" jointer on sale @ HD for $300... great deal. I used it to joint the edge of a 3ft 2" thick piece of oak, so far it has been great, it's quiet, powerful and can be wired for 240. The bed space was plenty long but I only did a 3ft piece so that doesn't mean much yet :)
 

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I bought a 6 incher (flipped to 240v). It's a beautiful machine. Runs smooth as silk, joints straight as can be, great price...

I thought I'd never need the extra 2 inches, but I've found myself needing the width many times now. I found quite a jump in price going from 6 to 8 inches. But if I had it to do again, I think I'd swallow hard and pony up the bucks for the 8 inches.
 

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If you find a bargain on rough cut mill stock or slabs you'll wish you had an 8".
 

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I would go with the 8". I just sold my 6" grizzly cause it was too small. You will like it better for longer boards. It sounds like you need a planer more than a jointer though, unless you already have one. Use a planer for the face and a jointer for the edge. I know some people like to run the face of one side on the jointer before running it through the planer, but it really isn't necessary. If you are gluing panels, then a jointer is a must. Like anything, the nicer the tools the better the results (and faster). Keep checking Craigslist, I found my 8" grizzly almost new for $300 and sold my 6" for $250. Right now Grizzly is selling the 8" for $650 Plus shipping http://www.grizzly.com/outlet/8-Jointer-w-2-HP-Motor/G0586
Aaron
 

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I would go with the 8". I just sold my 6" grizzly cause it was too small. You will like it better for longer boards. It sounds like you need a planer more than a jointer though, unless you already have one. Use a planer for the face and a jointer for the edge. I know some people like to run the face of one side on the jointer before running it through the planer, but it really isn't necessary. If you are gluing panels, then a jointer is a must. Like anything, the nicer the tools the better the results (and faster). Keep checking Craigslist, I found my 8" grizzly almost new for $300 and sold my 6" for $250. Right now Grizzly is selling the 8" for $650 Plus shipping http://www.grizzly.com/outlet/8-Jointer-w-2-HP-Motor/G0586
Aaron
I would take strong exception to that statement, my friend. The jointer creates one flat surface out of a board with twist or cup by running the surface over the cutterhead then by transferring pressure to the outfeed table, several passes may be necessary to make the entire surface "flat". Then, that flat surface is pressed frimly against the fence to create one perpendicular edge. Now, you can use the "thickness planer" to make the opposing side "flat" and most importantly "parallel" with the original surface.
Your method would jamb a planer in a heartbeat since nothing is flat on the initial pass and may result in a wedged workpiece. However,
I have done what I advise not to do, starting with a "relatively flat"
workpiece. My older planer has rubber feed rollers and is pretty forgiving.
There is no substitute for having both machines and every woodworking professional will have both. My friend's custom door company, where I have worked on occasion, has a 16" jointer, a 20" thickness planer, a 12" table saw, a 42" widebelt thickness sander, and a dual spindle shaper capable of 8" cutters. He has other specific tools for his trade but these are the basic ones.
Myself, I have 2- 6" jointers, and a 13" jointer/planer, 3 thickness planers, and a 24" dual drum sander, dust/generator. I use them daily and could not work without both types of machines. I was also a "shop" instructor at the University of Illinois in the '60's. So, my opinion is based on some real wold experience.:smile: bill
 

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220v VS 120v Shop "rewire"

BigRed,
I don't know if you truly "rewired" your shop for a 220v receptacle, but if you had no. 12 AWG wire for a 20amp 120v receptacle, you could have changed out that one for 20 amp 220v, and replaced the breaker with a 20amp dual pole breaker without changing a single wire depending on the code requirement, 3 wire or 4 wire conductor. Some non-metallic is rated for 25 amps. I run all my 3 Hp motors on these circuits. My 5 Hp Table saw is on a 50 amp. I am not recommending anything here just giving my methods, so take proper safety steps and consult a professional.:boat: don't wire a live circuit with wet feet! Now I remember a "funny" story, well it could have had a far different ending. But, the short version is I had removed the switch plate cover to paint, live circuit, switch at the end, hot wire, leaned out the window bare chested to look at some babe, touched the 2 wires, probably turned all the lights on and fell backwards.:eek::eek: It restarted my heart in a whole new rhythm...heh...heh
I probably started a whole new thread on that note!
:yes: bill
 

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Most of the boards I run are at least 12" wide by 10' long. I have ran 1000's of bf through my 20" grizzly planer without a problem the way I mentioned above. The way you say, I do agree with, but it just isn't feasible for me to buy a huge jointer for that one purpose. I guess it also depends on the condition of the lumber from the sawmill. I always plane my boards first then joint one side and saw after that. I run one side of all my boards through the planer then flip them and do all the other sides. I keep flipping them until I get the desired thickness. I probably would be doing it different if I was showed a different way when I first started doing this, but this way works for me.
 

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BigRed,
I don't know if you truly "rewired" your shop for a 220v receptacle, but if you had no. 12 AWG wire for a 20amp 120v receptacle, you could have changed out that one for 20 amp 220v, and replaced the breaker with a 20amp dual pole breaker without changing a single wire depending on the code requirement, 3 wire or 4 wire conductor. Some non-metallic is rated for 25 amps. I run all my 3 Hp motors on these circuits. My 5 Hp Table saw is on a 50 amp. I am not recommending anything here just giving my methods, so take proper safety steps and consult a professional.:boat: don't wire a live circuit with wet feet! Now I remember a "funny" story, well it could have had a far different ending. But, the short version is I had removed the switch plate cover to paint, live circuit, switch at the end, hot wire, leaned out the window bare chested to look at some babe, touched the 2 wires, probably turned all the lights on and fell backwards.:eek::eek: It restarted my heart in a whole new rhythm...heh...heh
I probably started a whole new thread on that note!
:yes: bill
My shop has several electrical issues that derived from the previous owner's stinginess. He seemingly cut corner's everywhere. Below is a link explaining the issues that I have with my shop wiring. As it stands right now, I do not have the space in the box to add a double pole breaker. I also have only 60 Amp service out there right now. When I add on to the building in the near future, I plan to wire the shop the correct way while I am at it.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f7/electrical-help-needed-8482/
 

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Ed,
Just my .02 here. Obviously like you stated, if money and shopspace are no object, buy bigger. But for what you are doing, I don't see why a 6" wouldn't work fine. I just bought a 6" late last year and got a jet with the longer bed. Any time I am doing glue ups for panels, table tops, etc., I am ripping boards less than 6" to help control warping. One of the other advantadges of going with an 8" jointer is to get a longer bed. If you aren't going to be jointing any overly long boards, than you may not need an 8" machine. The one thing I look at in a jointer or planer is the ease of blade changes. The jet I bought has a quick change setup which makes it a simple process. If it's a PITA to change, you are not going to want to do that. Hope this helps,
Mike Hawkins;)
yup to all.
 

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AAron,Your Quote:
..... The way you say, I do agree with, but it just isn't feasible for me to buy a huge jointer for that one purpose. I guess it also depends on the condition of the lumber from the sawmill........
You obviously have had success with your 20" Grizzly planer, which is a substantial machine, minimum 5 Hp, maybe more. That big of a machine just keeps on cuttin' and with a depth of cut great enough, a slight taper in the rough board wouldn't matter. A lesser machine might have problems. And the fact that you are aware of the differences in lumber from the sawmill also adds to your success. So without knowing your specific situation I was advising out of concern and caution, rather than being a smart ***. As I said I've done what I advise against, so I get it. A 16" jointer is a monster for sure and my friend uses his sans guard for 12" to 14" wide boards. I will not use it! :no: So, thanks for you response and stay safe. bill...
 

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I've never used a smaller machine. My uncle had a full cabinet/hobbyist shop including a Robland x31 (which I hope to buy someday) I learned on his equipment and then purchased my own (most of the same brand and size since I already knew how to use them). I build custom homes and sometimes will build the kitchens for the customers (some just like to order from the big box stores :thumbdown:) . In any case, since I don't have experience with the smaller equipment, I probably should have bit my tongue or in this case, my fingers, :icon_smile:. I wasn't aware of that being an issue. Sorry for hijacking the tread :thumbsup:
 
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