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My father in law is a master woodworker and I have tried bouncing ideas off of him for building my shop, but he doesnt grasp budget. He is adamant that I should not buy anything but the best or I will be disappointed. I am wanting a jointer for my shop and I am looking at the Delta JT160 which is about $220 at Home Depot. He says that it is too light and I should keep saving and get the DJ20 ($2000). I am a father of a one year old and young. I love woodworking and having the right tools, but even if I had $2000 sitting around for tools, I would buy more than just a jointer. Is this benchtop jointer good for the money or is there a better one? I am a VERY novice woodworker and am starting out remodeling my kitchen by just putting new cabinet doors on (hopefully).

My next purchase will be a better table saw but jointer first.
Any recomendations?
 

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I think you'll find a lot of guys around here that agree with your FIL. I think you should reach a little deeper though. You don't have to spend $2000 to get a decent tool, but I think you'll be wanting to spend a bit more than $200. I would think that $400 would snag you a really nice used jointer. $600-$800 would fetch a nice new jointer. At least one you won't be disgusted with after a few months.
 

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I think you'll find a lot of guys around here that agree with your FIL. I think you should reach a little deeper though. You don't have to spend $2000 to get a decent tool, but I think you'll be wanting to spend a bit more than $200. I would think that $400 would snag you a really nice used jointer. $600-$800 would fetch a nice new jointer. At least one you won't be disgusted with after a few months.
What he said. By the way, where are you located??
 

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DO NOT BUY THAT LITTLE PIECE OF CRAP!!!!!! I made the mistake of buying one and gave it away!!!!! Absolute GARBAGE!!!!:thumbdown:
Buy a better one for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info. Thats exactly what I was looking for.
Oh, I am located in Huntsville, Texas. About an hour north of Houston.
 

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I agree. I made the same mistake. Even after upgrading with longer infeed/outfeed table extensions, it just isn't any good.

Save your money to get a big one, the longer the better. In the mean time, you can joint your edges (not faces) with a router with a flush cut bit and a straight edge guide or use shims on the outfeed side of your router table with a spiral bit. That's what I do now, till I can do it right. I do have a 12" planer, so I can get by not jointing the faces for now.
 

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flatiron
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jointer

look for school auctions, or shop auctions. I have bought several great piece from school auctions. schools have good equipment, powermatic, delta, oliver
buy good equipment, it pays for itself. my opinion
 

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My Delta 6inch jointer is the heart of my shop...darn certain to buy quality for this piece...I think when I bought mine it was around 1500
so 2000 is should be a pretty decent machine...forget cheap...you will cry twice...Look for one used or a demo...but buy quality....
 

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What kind of Delta 6 inch jointer goes for $2000? I'd think that kind of money ought to buy at least a 12 incher.

Just wondering, 'cuz I just bought/stole the JT360 on closeout from Lowes for $275. It was the floor model, but after reading the assembly instructions :blink:, I'm real glad it was already put together.

By the way, first post here... I'm a complete noob, but there's plenty of expertise here to learn from. Thanks!
 

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Delta DJ-15 bought several years ago...it weighs about 250-300 pounds and is heavy iron....has long solid infeed and outfeed cast iron table and is dead on accurate...also can joint on it...they had a more expensive model that was an 8 inch at the time...I vacillated between the two...glad I got this...Lowes does not carry this model...but I suppose they could order...I got mine from WoodWorkers Supply in Albuquerque NM...along with a contractors saw, band saw, and drill press. Plus a bunch of other accessories for the saw and such...buying quality you cry only once...if you buy cheap you cry twice (or more..)..
go slow and get the best, don;t satisfice....
 

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Amazon.com has the Delta 8inch jointer for 2952 retail and 1795 discounted...it weighs 576 pounds...mine is only 6inch and weighs
probably 300 pounds...my neighbor and I put it together and set it up...on and I got the cart with rollers for it too....so I can easily move it around my garage floor as needed...best tool I bought of the whole bunch...don't go cheap on a jointer...its the heart of most of what I do...furniture wise...
 

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My father in law is a master woodworker and I have tried bouncing ideas off of him for building my shop, but he doesnt grasp budget. He is adamant that I should not buy anything but the best or I will be disappointed. I am wanting a jointer for my shop and I am looking at the Delta JT160 which is about $220 at Home Depot. He says that it is too light and I should keep saving and get the DJ20 ($2000). I am a father of a one year old and young. I love woodworking and having the right tools, but even if I had $2000 sitting around for tools, I would buy more than just a jointer. Is this benchtop jointer good for the money or is there a better one? I am a VERY novice woodworker and am starting out remodeling my kitchen by just putting new cabinet doors on (hopefully).

My next purchase will be a better table saw but jointer first.
Any recomendations?
Like you, I am a newcomer, and like you I have better things to do with my money (like buy food) than spend two grand for a jointer.

While most here decry the JT160 as junk, it is not as bad as some say, provided you are willing to work within its limitations. For one thing, in stock form this 30-inch jointer will not decently work with boards longer than about two feet, with three feet being a stretch, making it a small-project jointer and not something one would use for boards six to ten feet long. For another, out of the box the infeed and outfeed tables may not be parallel with each other.

I solved the parallelism problem by simply removing the two tables (remove the screws on top) and carefully filing down some of the mounting points to where the tables were truely parallel and sitting flat. You could also use very thin washer shims to build up mounting points that were not high enough. You have to be careful doing this, because you could also get parallel tables that were slightly twisted. However, the job is doable with the help of a good, steel straightedge. If you file away a fair amount you will also probably have to re-seat the blades, which will then be sticking up too high.

I solved the short-table problem by cutting some 1.25-inch thick, very smooth and flat oak boards to fit over and wrap around the ends of the two tables. Careful drilling allowed me to then attach them so that they were flush with either table end. This extended the length of the full span to 52 inches. I also installed the unit to a mobile base that allows me to easily roll it through the door and down a short ramp onto the workdeck outside of my shop. Try that with a 500-pound jointer.

The result was, for under $200, a decent table that can do work that, although not perfectly precise, will be more than good enough for amateur-grade projects.

One nice thing about this unit is that it does have variable speed (for use with stuff like plastics), and it also has a adjustment gauge that is physically large enough to allow for fairly workable depth-of-cut calibrations. Some bigger and more expensive units have compressed scales that make this type of work tricky. Replacement blades are cheap, and supposedly not sharpenable, but I have discovered that with a bit of care then can be honed back to like-new status several times.

If you are still balking at getting the JT160, consider the Ridgid floor-standing unit. It has a 45-inch span and cast-iron set of tables and costs $350-$400, depending upon its sales status at the time. Anybody who spends two grand on a super jointer and is not in the business of selling most of the stuff they make is wealthier than I am.

Howard Ferstler
 

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Thanks for the tip on leveling the tables. Do you have any idea what the 4 allen screws are for on the underside of the outfeed table. Once you remove the 4 big allen bolts and take the outfeed table off, there are 4 small allen screws that appear to be there for the purpose of leveling the outfeed table mounting bracket. I cannot for the life of me see how they function and there is nothing in the manual that points to these.
 

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I would avoid the little toy jointer. To be of any value a jointer has to produce a straight edge. Not "sort of" straight. You can make a better solution by simply making a shooting board and using a hand plane. If you do it right you can make the end of the shooting board so you can trim perfect miters. $30 will get you a CI Chinese bench plane that you can tune up into an acceptable tool. You can even use it with winding sticks to face with.
 

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The Nut in the Cellar
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I've had one of the Delta 6" variable speed benchtop jointers for many years and it is useless for any workpiece over 3' long. I only use it for taking tiny bits off of an already jointed edge. I have an accurate table saw fence with a 24T glue rip carbide blade and it will joint an edge far better than the little DJ160. Quite honestly, it gets used so little that after twenty years, the original knives are still installed.
 

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The Nut in the Cellar
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All of your comments are worthwhile, but I hope you realize that you are talking with people who last visited this thread twelve years ago.
OMG I do now!
 
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