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6" Joiners

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Tried and True 6" Jointers
 
6" jointers battle for the top spot.
 
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    • Tried and True 6" Jointers      Tried and True 6" Jointer Chart
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According to the old adage, if you don't start square, you won't end square. In fact, Creating dead-flat faces and perpendicular, straight edges should be your first steps in preparing stock for any woodworking project. A jointer provides the perfect solution.

We chose 6" jointers for this test because their price and capacity matches the budget and needs of most woodworkers. Unless you have need to face-joint boards up to 8" wide or 12' long, we can't see spending $1,500-$2,000 on a heavy-duty 8" jointer. (Note: Although touted as 6" jointers, the knives on most of the machines are actually about 6 1/16" long. Ridgid markets its JP0610 with a 6 1/8" capacity-the exact length of its knives.)

FAST FACTS

  • For a jointer to produce good results, the infeed and outfeed tables must be straight and co-planer (parallel).
  • All of the jointers in our test come with quiet, 1-hp induction motors pre-wired for 110 volts; but all can be rewired for 220-volt operation.
  • Poor technique can negate the performance of a well-tuned jointer. For the best results, after 8-10" of your workpiece has passed the cutterhead, shift your downward pressure to the outfeed side.

We put 'em together, then put 'em to the test
After assembling the jointers and cleaning the machined surfaces of protective coatings, we carefully checked the tables and fences for straight, flat, and parallel, using a combination of straightedges, dial indicators, and feeler gauges. If needed, we corrected any misalignments. We also examined each jointer's tables and fence for twist using a machinist's 90° angle block and feeler gauges.

Next, we made the chips fly by removing a hefty 1/8" from the faces of a forest of 6"-wide ash boards, and observing each jointer's power under load. With sharp knives, all of the models tackled this task with power to spare, and with no significant slowdown in the number of cuts per minute.

We then edge-jointed the same boards and examined the quality of the cuts, comparing them to both a straightedge and each other. Finally, we used each machine's rabbeting ledge to cut 1/2X1/2" rabbets, again noting the quality of the cut produced.

To learn the results of our tests of the Delta 37-195, Grizzly G1182HW, Jet JJ-6CSX, Ridgid JP0610, and Sunhill CT-60L, pick up the September 2001 issue of WOOD magazine and turn to page 60.


 

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