This has been another valuable investment for me.
Click image to enlarge.
Delta Benchtop, 6-Inch Jointer
LIttle, but it works!
I feel that in todays woodworking shop a good jointer and surface planer are necessary investments. This applies to even the more serious home-brewed woodworkers. Most of us who do not buy our wood from the high-buck specialty outlets can look forward to correcting and qualifying much of our lumber before attempting to build anything accurately. It would be nice to be able to build everything from premium oak or other hardwoods, but reality demands many of us to use materials that are more economical. This is particularly true of beginning and novice woodworkers.
The jointer is absolutely essential for gluing up lengths of wood to produce panels from which major parts are cut. No other method or machine produces such a smooth, true edge as quickly or accurately as the jointer.
Even though my Delta jointer is moderately priced, it works very well and holds it's settings throughout a job. The fence only tilts outward but with a little forward thinking that shortcoming is not a major problem. The cutting depth is easily set with controls on the front of the machine and features an easy-to-read scale, even for my 50-something eyes.
The only thing I would like to see come standard on this machine is a dust collector with a receptacle for a vacuum collection system. These are available from Delta for additional cost, as they are with many machines.
I ordered Delta's collector and with it attached to my dust system there is virtually no debris to clean up after use. The most important part of using the dust collector is that sawdust does not build up inside the unit (it does this very quickly) and begin backing up around the cutter head. This is not only bad for the machine, but with dust blowing back at you, represents a safety factor we can do without.
UPDATE 2: this machine has since been replaced with a floor model Delta - Click Here to see that review
UPDATE: Since getting this machine I have actually been able to make glued-up panels that are flat! For edging and squaring normal sized stock, this jointer has worked very well. The table settings are accurate and the cuts very smooth.
I have had to adjust the fence two or three times in the nearly fours years I have had it. I also have replaced the blades twice. Once was after running a garden fence worth of wet 4X4 pressure treated posts through it. Not a good idea for any jointer.
Other than the blades mentioned above, no repairs have been needed and it continues to work just fine.
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