I had been frequenting the Craigslist postings for a jointer over the last few weeks to try and score one for my shop. The jointer is the last big piece of equipment that I needed for my shop (although I wouldn’t mind upgrading a few pieces that I already have). The main reason that I wanted a jointer was due to the experience that I had while building my brother-in-law’s mobile bar. The wood that we had selected were standard 2" x 4"’s and not until later in the project did we discover that they were not consistent in their widths and thus causing us alignment issues. By having a jointer I can still use inexpensive wood but get it cut to where I could avoid the inconsistencies cheap wood can bring.
I had almost purchased a smaller Delta jointer last weekend but then decided against it. It was workbench model (no stand) that was a generation older then the small Jointer that they currently sell at Lowes. While it was only $130 (compared to $220 for the new one at Lowes) I had read that people had not been too happy with this inexpensive jointer. The may thing that people did not like was the fact that fence is difficult to get square. Several folks recommended getting the next step up if you could afford it as it would be a better long term investment and save a lot of frustration. While looking at the $130 unit from Craigslist I could see why people had that issue and decided to wait until a better unit came along.
While looking at Craigslist yesterday I came across a new post for a previous generation jointer that was a step up from the entry level one. It was a Delta 37-190 and the guy selling it was asking $175. I called up and told him I could pick it up that night to which he agreed. When this until was brand new it went for about $475 while the newer version is going for about $400 at Amazon. At his house I discovered that he was selling it because he had bought a bigger and better Jet jointer. He ran a few boards through the one that he was selling to show that it worked and I handed over the money . I loaded my new toy up in my brother-in-law’s truck and took it home.
The one thing that I can say about this jointer is that it is heavy. Amazon lists it at 212lbs and I believe it. From what I have read the heaviness comes from the fact that it is made out of cast iron. This is supposed to make the surfaces more accurate and therefore your cuts come out better. This is one more advantage this jointer has over the smaller Delta model as it is made of aluminum.
Along with the jointer the guy gave me a diamond blade sharpener and a blade alignment jig which was really cool and unexpected. He did mention that the blades needed to be sharpened so It looks like I will need to learn to sharpen and align the blades before I do any cutting. I am looking forward to see what my new toy can do.