6-in. Jointer 37-195 - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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6-in. Jointer 37-195

Delta - 6-in. Jointer 37-195

Delta’s 6-in. jointer features a rack-and-pinion fence and a conveniently located power switch.

$520 (As of 10/25/2005)

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Editor's Review: Tool Test: 6-Inch Jointers

by William Duckworth

review date: October 25, 2005

A 6-in. jointer is a good starter size for a workshop, so I chose 11 models to examine, all of which happened to be made in either Taiwan or the People's Republic of China. The only significant differences among them were in the fence designs and the mechanisms by which you raise and lower the infeed and outfeed tables.

With a jointer, you want infeed and outfeed tables that are flat and coplanar to each other, meaning that the tables should run parallel from one end of the machine to the other.  To function properly, the surface of the outfeed table must be flush with the top arc of the knife cut and perfectly parallel to the full width of the knife cut as well as to the surface of the infeed table.

Among these machines, you can choose from four fence designs, my favorite of which is the rack-and-pinion, because adjustments are quick and easy to make, and you can move the fence in and out with one hand.

The switch mounted above the table is more convenient and safer than having to bend over and reach down to turn it on and off. The rack-and-pinion fence was a joy to use, though the one on this machine came from the factory marred by a nib on the toothed column. The nib limited the travel of the fence halfway in both directions, so I had to take it apart and file down the nib to make the fence work properly.

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Editor Test Results:

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Delta
Manufacturer's Web Site www.deltaportercable.com
Manufacturer's Phone Number 800-223-7278
Horsepower 1 hp

I recently bought this jointer new for less than $400. Unfortunately, quality control doesn't seem to be a priority. First the good:Excellent fence adjustment mechanism.Good power switch position.Hefty weight and powerful motor. Seems solid enough that it should last a long time.Now the dirt:Twist in cast iron fence. How does this happen! I read a bunch of reviews on Amazon and this seems to be a common problem.Pulley alignment problem requires reversing the pulley on the cutterhead to achieve proper alignment of belt. I had to borrow a puller to get the pulley off. This seems to be another common problem. In addition my pulley was warped enough to contribute to machine vibration.Tables were not parallel. Had to follow instructions online to adjust (not too bad, but just the same!). The manual indicated that they were adjusted at factory and should not require adjustment. Don't believe it!Plastic knob to adjust outfeed table cracked. Still works.I sent an email to Delta and I'm waiting to hear back. Hopefully they will address the fence, pulley, and knob issues without requiring me to ship. If so, I'll bring it back to Rockler and try another brand. If these issues are resolved, I think it will make a nice jointer. I'll follow up when resolved.Follow up:Delta customer service is still first class. They sent me a new fence, knob, and pulley without question. However, the new fence was also not truly flat either. I took a file to it and flattened as best as I could and I am going to live with it. I still question the QC, but the CS has been excellent.

I bought this machine 6 years ago. I wanted an 8 inch machine, but my small shop size and lean budget limited me to the 6 inch jointer. I did a lot of homework and chose the Delta brand based upon Delta's reputation, Delta's longevity in business, other Delta users familiar to me, my ownership of other Delta Products, and the fact that spare parts are almost universally available in the United States. (Which is not the case for Craftsman and a lot of other tool sellers. Look in the trade journals and you will see many peoples ads looking for parts for machines made 5, 10, and 20 or more years ago!) In 6 years this machine never gave me a bit of trouble. It gave me flat boards and 90 degree angles. I finally sold it in order to upgrade to an 8 inch model (see my review of the Delta 37/380 8 inch jointer). The current owner does job site construction and has been very pleased.

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