The Society of American Period Furniture Makers

Tools and Techniques => Power Tools and Shop Safety => Topic started by: macchips4 on February 21, 2012, 11:33:34 PM

Title: 12" jointer/ planer
Post by: macchips4 on February 21, 2012, 11:33:34 PM
I have been using a 6 inch jointer and a 12' "lunchbox" plane for quite a while. I've always been thinking of "upgrading". for a while I have been contemplating a jointer planer combo machine. (long before the recient FW reviews) in order to save space and to consolidate my small shop. Anyone with any experiance with these machines? Any advice?
Title: Re: 12" jointer/ planer
Post by: Ed Griner on February 22, 2012, 06:20:50 AM

I own a Hammer/Felder A-3/31.The quality of this machine is what you would expect. Right out of the box the set was perfect. Their staff is great,made for a smooth transaction. This J/P doesn't take up any more space than my old 6"Powermatic,Its a pleasure to use and a 12" jointer make woodworking so much nicer. Other than being a satisfied customer,I have no affiliation with Felder. I picked this up in New Castle,Del. at their facility and saved the shipping cost. I had the J/P about two years and still think its a great machine. Cost is right in line and they run sales.  Good Luck
Title: Re: 12" jointer/ planer
Post by: ttalma on February 22, 2012, 08:56:49 AM
If room isn't a concern I would buy seperate machines. I started with a lunchbox planer and had nop real complains other than it always seemed to be to narrow. The same with my 6" jointer. So I upgraded to a 12" jointer and 20" planer. By careful hunting and scouring craigs list and eBay, I only paid $1300 for both machines.

I had the chance to buy a 16" jointer a few years ago, and there are days I regret passing on it.

But if you don't have the space the above is a moot point.

But whatever you get splurge for the segmented cutter head. They do a great job.
Title: Re: 12" jointer/ planer
Post by: John McAlister on February 22, 2012, 09:42:31 AM
I have never heard the term "lunchbox" before. Exactly what does it mean? I agree with all that if room is not a problem separate machines is the way to go. I have an 8" jointer and a 15" planer and have frequently thought a couple more inches for both would be nice.  John McAlister
Title: Re: 12" jointer/ planer
Post by: ttalma on February 22, 2012, 11:20:31 AM
John it may be a regional thing, but around here what the industry refers to as a portable planer we call lunchbox planers.
Title: Re: 12" jointer/ planer
Post by: macchips4 on February 23, 2012, 08:30:19 AM
     well i spoke to a few dealers in the area and they were all pretty much none commital about the jointer/planer combo type machine. They all have sold at least one of the jet 12" machines. One dealer expressed his concerns about the long term accuracy on the jointer because of the tables always being tilted to use the planer function and beliveing a combo machine is just a compromise. He stated that  the commercial guys he deals with stay with an 8 inch jointer and a separate planer.
      When i asked what to do with boards wider than 8" he said they don't ,they cut and glue. 95 % of the time 8 is fine.
     That got me to second guessing. Is a 12" jointer that much over kill? Would an 8" jointer really be the "sweetspot" and be the best choice? Just cut the rails stile case parts to rough widths, use an 8" jointer for those parts and then deal with the wider tops and carcass sides by hand, then planer?
      How do other members cope with this? Those who have a combo machine there a problem or fear of the tables always needing to be adjusted?
Thanks for any replies.
Title: Re: 12" jointer/ planer
Post by: Martin S. on February 23, 2012, 09:05:11 AM
I have a 16" combo and have had zero issues with it.  For me a combo is great, however if I had to make a living at it I would not recommend it.  As with anything in life, there are different qualities and price points.  For me 16" is a good size, and I have used the full 16" a lot.

Title: Re: 12" jointer/ planer
Post by: macchips4 on February 23, 2012, 11:43:24 AM
Martin S, (P.S. a 16' jointer must be rally awesome to use with wide stock)
Do you find you must make periodic or any adjustments to the jointer beds as time goes by? Does the converting from planer to jointer and back again over time have any  effect on the accuracy of the unit? I don't have any pressure to make any decision or anything, i just do not want to pull the trigger on a combo machine and have some regrets down the road. I'm sometimes Leary of dealers who are so sure of the machines but yet never use them themselves
  The choices are between the 12" jet, hammer and on the cheap end the grizzly. I know each has it's pros and cons, but I feel I'm outgrowing the 6" powermatic jointer and find my self dealing more and more with wider stock than can be handled by it. I usually use a hand plane to flatten as much as possible using the table saw as a flat reference or a make a sled with shims and a flat sheet of mdf or plywood to run through the planer.
Thanks Joe    
Title: Re: 12" jointer/ planer
Post by: John McAlister on February 23, 2012, 01:52:03 PM
I misspoke above saying I "frequently" wanted a wider machine than my 8" jointer and 15" planer. It's the wider planer I'd like to have on occasion. The 8" jointer suffices 99% of the time; but a 24"+ planer would be nice especially to clean up glued up panels.  I have a 15" drum sander, Delta, that mostly gathers dust.  The fact that the drum does not oscillate is fatal! And to turn a wide panel around and run it through again doesn't work. It'll still leave a bad mark. Delta says if properly adjusted, it wont leave a mark! Delta reps have not been able to "properly" adjust it. 
Title: Re: 12" jointer/ planer
Post by: macchips4 on February 23, 2012, 04:13:49 PM
John, my brother has a small open ended jet  drum sander, he has to adjust it so the drum is not parallel and when the sanded panel is flipped/turned around there would be a thicker middle section. When sanding smaller parts (roughing out violin ribs) he readjusts it back to being parallel.
That being said, I've been getting along with a 6" jointer for years, using hand planes and sweat to flatten wider boards or tops. Then upon looking over the "hoard" of wide boards I've accumulated lately I began this quest to upgrade. first thought about an 8" jointer and worked myself up into a frenzy about a 12" combo machine.
  Now, I'm not sure which would be most beneficial. I don't want to spend 2500.00+ on a machine that would need constant fiddling or adjustment to keep accurate. I like the idea of just going to a machine and getting the expected results without to much thinking. (I have been getting away with that for a while)
I just don't know how much value to place in the online reviews of the machines.
Title: Re: 12" jointer/ planer
Post by: john previti on February 23, 2012, 07:58:14 PM
I have a antique 16" jointer that I got on Craig's list for 500 that is awesome.  So look there .  Just have to know that you have to look it over well.  Did have to rebuild motor after about 5 years.  Moving to shop was a bear .  I could not lift any of the indeed or out feed tables by myself, to assemble the darn thing.  Had to get a giant ex football player to lift them .  But they seated perfectly.  Used forklift on center.  There's going to be trouble when I move to new shop
Title: Re: 12" jointer/ planer
Post by: JB on February 23, 2012, 08:07:12 PM
I have a 16" Hammer Jointer/Planer (Hammer is Felder's "budget" line) . I bought it about 10 years ago to help out w/ restoring my Victorian House. It's seen alot of use, and here are my $0.02 on it:

- it's held adjustment amazingly well. Switching between Jointer/Planer hasn't caused problems. Seems to be dead-on in either mode. The adjustment went south on me once after I tried to joint an extremely heavy/large Doug Fir "timber" on it all by myself, but I guess I deserved that! No problems since then.

- the 16" width is a great - even for furniture making. Yeah, I could make do w/o it, but it saves ALOT of time. I'm always running glued up panels and wide stuff through it, and frequently wishing it was even wider!

- the 16" model had a much longer bed than the 12" model, w/ is the main reason I decided to go for it. The extra length on the jointer has been invaluable when making doors and millwork for my house, but is not of much use for general furniture making.

- the only real flaw is switching between jointer and planer mode - it takes what seems like a lot of time / mental effort to do so. I think if I actually measured it, it wouldn't turn out to be that much time, since I have learned to carefully plan my work so I do all the jointing at one time, and then move onto all the thickness planing. Still, it seems like a real pain, and if I was a pro, I would probably purchase a planer to go with it.

Title: Re: 12" jointer/ planer
Post by: John Cashman on February 23, 2012, 08:10:29 PM
I'm probably in the minority, but I have never had a jointer, and have never used one. Aside from a couple of tall bookcases, most boards end up being pretty short, and I find I can rough-flatten one side of a board before running it through my 12 inch thickness planer. I also am careful about choosing stock that has no twist. I do my glue joints either right off of the table saw, or with a hand plane if I rip with the bandsaw.

I don't miss having a jointer, and frankly don't know what I would do with one. Obviously I'm not doing this for a living, or I might feel different.
Title: Re: 12" jointer/ planer
Post by: John McAlister on February 23, 2012, 10:35:14 PM
I believe the forum emphasizes the many different ways you can skin a cat! It all depends on what you're used to.  John C., I don't do this for a living either, but I would have a jointer way up close to the top of needed tools for my shop; right up there close to the table saw!! Yet I think there are SAPFM members who don't have a table saw in their shops.In fact I once heard that at least one of our members (other than Mack Headley!!) does not have electricity in his shop.  I'll never be that good!  And all these shops turn out some beautiful stuff.  It takes all kinds. And that's why we all love furniture making. John McA.
Title: Re: 12" jointer/ planer
Post by: klkirkman on February 24, 2012, 07:57:18 AM
John ,

What an interesting post; it caused me to think back to the days when I had no power tools. When I did my first wood butchering, essentially as a child, I would always have to call my father to saw pieces of wood for me-with his dull handsaw; woodworking did not run in our family.

By the time I was a teenager I had acquired a plane and some good chisels, but I still made it to ride my bike to the home of a friend of our family to use a table saw or a lathe.

The truth is it wasn't so bad - but I will say this: if I had to give up electricity in my shop I simply couldn't get done all the things on my woodworking bucket list, but perhaps arriving at the place where you're not driven by that list could be a wonderful thing. Certainly, as you take away the power tools, you raise the bar on knowing how to most effectively use what's left.

Title: Re: 12" jointer/ planer
Post by: Ed Griner on February 24, 2012, 08:23:44 AM

 I still hand plane or hand whatever on every project I make. The point I was trying to make is if you are going to purchase new machinery Felder is absolutely top of the line. They have raised the level on the term "Top of the Line". I would say there is more low end machinery being sold as TOTL,that is substandard. With a company like Felder your dealing with the manufacturer,who provides old time service. Gives you a call,a month after the sale to see how your doing. Thats all folks!
Title: Re: 12" jointer/ planer
Post by: macchips4 on February 24, 2012, 05:49:51 PM
   I realize you are happy with the Felder machine, after looking at their web site videos and photos. i would agree it is "TOTL". When you were looking to purchase, did you have others in mind? what made the decision to choose felder over other? was it the 16" width? D0 you find the machine retains it's accuracy when changing between jointer and planer? Is there any periodic adjustments that are necessary to maintain it?. Sorry to linger on the subject, but it would be a big purchase.
Thanks, Joe
Title: Re: 12" jointer/ planer
Post by: Ed Griner on February 25, 2012, 05:12:58 AM

 Felder for me is located in New Castle,Del..Their ware house,sales,everything,related to their machinery is in one location. Customer service is a top priority,they encourage you to stop over and chat,look around,make you feel very comfortable about dealing with them. All of my other stationary machinery is Delta and Powermatic from the 40s to the 60s. I bought it all used,had to set it all up,and have been using it for thirty years,no complaints. A birdie suggested I check out Felder and I'm glad I did. Dealing with them was like my dad buying a new Ford in the 50s,Customer First!. The quality,design, is unequaled in cabinet shop machinery. If you give them a call, I'm sure you will be impressed. I had to order my A3-31 in Jan. for delivery in April,I found this a little strange,but it was worth the wait. Basically I ordered it ,they made it,put it on a boat and it arrived on schedule. Hope this helps,Good Luck

Title: Re: 12" jointer/ planer
Post by: Martin S. on February 25, 2012, 12:19:16 PM
PM me if you want more details.  Martin
Title: Re: 12" jointer/ planer
Post by: George Madok on February 27, 2012, 12:11:50 AM
My 1.5C worth,
maybe I'm lazy but I hate switching between functions. Sometimes I go back and forth between jointing and plaining and would not like to switch back and forth. I have a 1942 Northfield 12" jointer and a 'lunchbox" delta 12" planer that I keep waiting to die so I could buy a wider one, but it still keeps working. I mostly joint 12" or less but if I am using a board wider than 12" I would never think of cutting it down to fit my jointer. Wide, unjointed boards are at a  premium in period furniture making, so why pay premium prices for wide boards just to cut them down? If space is not an issue I would always go for stand alone dedicated machines.

George's 1 1/2c