Jet planer and jointer, plywood finland birch - How to Do

Categories: Wooden Work Bench | Author: admin 16.11.2013

First, a bit of background: Before I bought this machine, I was using a 6” Grizzly Jointer and a Ridgid 13” lunchbox planer. I estimate that an 8” jointer would handle 60% of all the lumber I typically buy, a 10” jointer would handle 85%, and a 12” jointer 98%. With a combination machine, you use the same head for both jointing and planing, meaning you only pay for the helical head once. There are many good combination machines available, but in my price category, there are only two real choices: The Grizzly G0634Z (which replaces the G0634) and the JET JJP-12HH. The jointer uses a European style guard, which is quite different from the “pork chop” guard. I was disappointed with the workmanship and even more disappointed with the performance and most disappointed with the lack of help from Jet. I am getting ready to buy a 12″ combo machine and have been looking at Jet, Grizzly and Laguna. I planed a variety of species (QS red oak, FS white oak, Purpleheart, Hard Maple, QS Sycamore and QS beech) just to see how it would handle different grain patterns. It is well engineered, it has plenty of power, and the helical head tackles even the toughest grain.

There are several places on the Internet that provide good reviews and solid information, and countless others that are nearly useless or obviously biased. There is a little “give” if you push hard against the top of the machine, but it doesn’t move at all, even when jointing large, wide boards with some force.
I think JET has found a real sweet spot here, offering features normally found on much more expensive machines, and in a very compact form at that.
And it doesn’t make a lot of sense to buy a jointer with a carbide helical head but use ordinary knives in the planer.
In the end, I decided against the Grizzly for two reasons: First, the fence on the Grizzly must be removed from the machine before switching to planer mode .
Installation is a snap: Remove the packing material, clean the cosmoline off the tables (which was a only a very light coating) and attach a plug to the cord.
I don’t plan to move this machine more than once a year (if that), so instant mobility was not high on the list of requirements (raising the feed requires getting down and dirty to move the turn wheels on the casters). This is because the dust collection chute must be flipped between modes, and the planer table has to be 7” below the cutterhead for that.
I’m not going to presume it is in the same league as some of the more industrial machines from Hammer and Felder, but I don’t do this for a living.

Second, the machine is almost a foot wider (deeper) than the JET because of the rack-and-pinion fence system. With the red oak and Sycmore, I had to use slightly shallower cuts to avoid tearout, but not by much. I had seen a modification to use a power drill to move the table up and down, but I decided it’s not worth it. The only way I could come close to these results would be with fresh knives and feeding the boards at an angle. If I had a separate joiner and planer, I’d probably spend the same time wheeling each machine into position. If I lock it down “as-is”, my Wixey digital angle gauge shows 90 degrees at the bottom of the fence and 89.5 at the top.

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