Purchasing a few machines
Hello everyone, I’m Tim and I’m new with the group. My trade that I studied is woodworking which I have been out of for years since I shut my shop down in 1998 which was a large cabinet shop business that I had for 18 years. We just buy all of our cabinets now from large manufacturers with a retail showroom. I’m looking to get back into woodworking a little in my basement and looking to purchase some woodworking machines to make life easier. I apologize before hand for my lengthy post.
These are the machines that I’m looking to get. An 8″ Powermatic Jointer, Model 60HH, a 20″ Jet Thickness Planer, Model JWP-208HH-1, a Powrmatic Drum Sander, Model 2244 and a Jet Vortex Cone Dust Collector Model DC-1100VX to share with these machines and a Delta Table Saw that I already have.
I’ve been out of this trade so long and I really don’t know machines as well as I used to but what we had in our shop was all high grade commercial machines which I wouldn’t need now. I did own a Powermatic Jointer though and always loved it. I want to buy good, strong machines that will do a nice job at the slow speed that I will be working at that will give me long term wear.
These would be my questions;
1. Have I picked the right brands and models for my small needs?
2. Since I’m buying a wide drum sander, do I really need a 20″ planer or could I get away with a 15 or 16″? Should I go with a little wider, 25/50 sander?
3. Woodcraft Inc also told me to look at the Luguna Planers and Super Max sanders. Has anyone had experience with these brands? They are less money than what I’m looking at but don’t want to save money if they don’t perform well or last long
Thanks for your time with helping out an older woodworker!
That's quite a "starter" shop! How wide your machines need to be depends on what you plan to build. If you are going to get a wide sander you might consider a helical-head jointer-planer combo machine instead of the two single-use machines. They come in 12 and 16", I have a 12". The advantage is I have a 12" jointer and a planer to match. I gave up an inch from my lunchbox but I don't miss it. The space savings over two machines is significant, and the changeover is no big deal for a hobbyist.
Realistic working stock for what you call a "small basement shop" are boards under 12" wide anyway... and leveling glueups could be done at the wide sander.
I bought a Sawstop industrial mobile base (the hydraulic one) and had it cut and welded to fit the J/P so I can spin it around and roll it into a corner.
Thanks so much! Appreciate your thoughts. I will look into that. I was thinking that same thing on level glue joints since I'll have the sander
I have owned or used several of the machines you mentioned:
8" powermatic jointer. I had a helical head and long bed. Hands down, my favorite jointer ever. Big enough to do real work and worth the price. Fence was square, beds were coplanar... in short, a great machine.
Powermatic drum sander. I had the dual drum 37" powermatic. It's a good machine, but the drums are rubber coated and can be damaged. Honestly, for drum sanders, I would rather have a used performax than most of whats out there today, but the powermatic is better than most.
For dust collection, I'd probably recommend oneida. Good designs, good motors, good support, good filtration, bad pricing... Oh well. I still think it's worth it if you're only buying it once.
Laguna dust collection and supermax (laguna) sander. Avoid them both. Every laguna tool I have ever used has looked very nice and worked like garbage. I've used a commercial dovetailer, shaper, and dust collector all by laguna and every single one had problems and performed badly. I avoid laguna at all costs now.
Sanders won't replace planers. I moved up from a 15" grizzly (garbage) to a 22" oliver (heaven). I needed 22" because I make panels as large as 20-9/16". Jet and Grizzly both have nice looking machines with cheap motors and parts. With a planer, it's all about the motor, the noise, and how well it will stay in tune. I haven't used the Jet 20, but my guess is it needs lots of attention regularly (I'm basing that on every grizzly experience I've ever had). Maybe that's not a big deal, but I hate losing production time to deal with a machine that can't hold its settings. Regardless of the machine, opt for a helical head.
These are just my opinions and others may differ, but my opinions are based on being the only guy in a cabinet shop that does 20-30 kitchens a year, so I'm pretty familiar with all the machines I mentioned.
Good luck. Have fun putting your shop together.
If you can afford the upgrade to the Powermatic PJ882HH jointer, its worth doing. It is an 8 inch parallelogram with a helical head. Much easier for us older guys to adjust and maintain and gives a finish as smooth as glass. I've never been a fan of combo models. That whole jack of all trades, master of none thing comes to mind. But if you aren't too fussy about finish and don't mind a little extra sanding, it would be nice to have a 12 or 16 inch jointer. I have used the Supermax drum sander and I like it. If there is a big price difference, nothing to knock about the Supermax. Sorry, I don't have any experience with the Laguna planer.
Thank you godelescher. You gave some great advice there and I appreciate your time! Thanks!
I will take a look at that model Powermatic Jointer. Thanks and appreciate your time!
Godelescher provides sage advice.
Dust Collection: Clearvue Cyclones or Oneida - these are well worth the money, I've owned both. Minimum 6" diameter main runs
Oliver makes excellent machines - they look like others, as they are spec'd overseas; however, they are engineered tough.
I am not a fan of Laguna, Jet, or Grizzly. Laguna is notoriously bad at customer service, and I've returned several Jet tools due to quality control and performance issues - their parent seems to be milking this cow.
The Delta table saw is an excellent starter saw; when you have the time and money go for the higher-end Powermatic (or Oliver), or get really serious for a Hammer/Felder.
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