Home > Woodworking > Has your zeal for woodworking ever made you do something foolish?

Has your zeal for woodworking ever made you do something foolish?

Recently I found myself in a bit of a “predicament”. In fact for several days I lost sleep searching for a solution to my problem. To my credit, I took the problem seriously and didn’t anything rash that could have at best caused great grievance or worst serious bodily injury. Enough with the introduction and on with the story.

My usual modus operandi is to spend many months surfing the net and planning my next “must have” tool or project for the Turtlecove workshop. Fundamental to any woodshop would be ability to surface rough stock. Now I had saved almost enough “points” on my Amazon Rewards to purchase a Dewalt  DW735 which I’m sure would have served me well; the only problem was this left me without a jointer. I was having enough problems working out a planer to buy, I think my mind might have exploded over a jointer selection. The guys on FWW Shoptalk Live continue to recommend an 8″ jointer (or larger) if feasible and this did make sense to me as well. All that said, I haven’t even yet mentioned the discussions over sharpening/replacing and adjusting planer knives. It all sounded like a compromise to me.

Enter Grizzly Industrial and their 12″ Planer/Jointer combo machines. I wanted the one with spiral carbide cutterheads. Let’s review the advantages, one machine instead of two taking less room in the shop (maybe). A 12″ jointer with index-able carbide inserts and a 12″ planer using the same carbide cutters. Sounds like a sweet deal only there are some concerns.

  1. First off, I was going to need shop space for this machine and savings or not it still consumes a 2 ft. by 6 ft. footprint. Even more when you consider the logistics of operating it.

    Check, I have a large basement so all I need to do is spend a half day moving, sorting, hauling and arranging to expand the shop.

    TC workshop space was expanded by an extensive cleanup.

    TC workshop space was expanded by an extensive cleanup. Could use some additional lighting though.

  2. Secondly, although Grizzly machines are quite affordable and they had a sale on, the machine was still going to set me back $2,500. This was just a tad over the $500 worth of points I had saved up.

    Check, I was going to take advantage of PayPal Credit and their 6 months interest free if paid in full. No worries, I had the cash but I don’t want to use it because I don’t have to.  I’ll let PP float my loan and pay in 5 installments.

  3. Thirdly, what was Susan going to think about my project?Check, my wife is awesome, end of story. Even if she doesn’t particularly like a decision or has concerns she is almost always going to support me. I let her know it was coming however before the delivery. I’m not completely stupid.
  4. Lastly, how was I going to handle delivery of the machine?Check, I’ll use a similar technique to what I with the table saw. I’ll meet the big truck at the road with my trailer, then ferry it to my garage door opening and into the basement. Viola! Better yet, now that I have my brand new pickup truck, I don’t even need the trailer, I can put it right in the bed of the truck. Oh yeah, and the jointer/planer comes with a built-in mobile base for moving around the shop.

DOH!

Clearly my lack of planning was problem on this whole process. For one thing, I ruminated over this purchase for months. During that time a newer/different version of the 12″ combo device came out. Ultimately I opted for the Grizzly G0634XP which came with end-mounted fence and was a couple hundred bucks less expensive to the model I first considered. That’s all fine and dandy only when I finally decided to “pull the trigger” on the purchase I was so concerned about making sure the charge went through PayPal Credit that I neglected to consider that this particular model didn’t come with a built-in mobile base and that the shipping weight was going to be  700 lbs.

OK well I did know the damn thing was going to be heavy but I definitely should have immediately ordered the necessary mobile base at the time of purchase. And the part about getting the machine onto my truck and moving it down to my basement all worked without a hitch. UPS guy was awesome and after lowering it to my tailgate, we just both slide it on to me bed. Driving slowly over the radically bumpy driveway, the thing never budged.

It was at this point that my 4-day nightmare began. I now had a 3 ft. by 6 ft. shipping crate with a 700 lb. (expensive/delicate) machine in it, 3 ft. above the ground.  And then it started to rain and rain and rain. For 4 days it rained.

The delimma

Now how am I going to get this off my truck without getting killed or breaking something?

SITREP – I was home with no vehicle and no help. Basically I could do nothing on Day 1 other than back my truck under the carport to get the beast out of the rain. I was smart enough to get on to Amazon Prime and order that heavy-duty mobile base. It would be delivered in two days.

Next day was slightly better. After taking my daughter to friends I could use her vehicle for the duration as she was gone for week. At least I had transport so off to Harbor Freight I went to buy a crane and crane accessories. This went fairly well and only 3 hrs and $300 later I was home assembling a 2 ton capacity crane.

2 ton Capacity Foldable Shop Crane

2 Ton Capacity Foldable Shop Crane. (at least it fits in the car)

Of course it was again raining and conditions were unpleasant but at least the insect repellent was working. Alas I had a crane, a load balancer and two lifting straps but….. no way to connect everything up. I began to consider my dilemma further. The jointer was long-ways in the bed and my crane boom was never going reach anywhere near I could get a safe grab and lift. I was going to have to do this in stages, scooting the device toward the rear of the truck so as to ultimately get a safe enough purchase to cleanly lift. Only problem was this thing was heavy and it wasn’t scooting on its own. Day 2 ended and once again I was again defeated and forlorn.

Day 3 and once again Susan was working and I was alone with no moral or physical assistance. Rain was the worst yet and in fact it was almost at a Tropical Storm level. I decided to work in the basement to finish the moving and clean-up I was going to need anyway. This was a moral regrouping for me. I felt I was never going to get that thing off my truck safely. A major concern following that of death and dismemberment was the possibility that this thing would rip the tailgate of my brand new truck right off. I couldn’t let that happen. Another night of interrupted sleep thinking about possible solutions. Some good news for Day 3, the mobile base had been delivered as promised!

Day 4 and it was again raining. But Susan was home and was willing to give me all the support she had to make this thing happen. She volunteered to go to town with me so that I could get the chain and turnbuckles I would need to do a proper lift. I also purchased supports (metal saw horses) and some 2x4s to rig up a trestle support to protect my tailgate. $100 at Lowes and I had supplies, I had help and I finally had most of the logistics sorted. Unfortunately it already 3 PM and I was pretty sure I was going to run out of time.

After setting up the tailgate support, Susan came out and we discussed series of procedures we would need to perform. I was able to tilt the jointer enough to slide a floor jack under the far end (nearest the cab) so that side would roll if we could just get the near side lifted enough. We rigged up but only had enough lift to move the jointer an inch or two before we had to lower, tighten the chain and lift again. After about 3 such moves the near end of the jointer was just at the edge of the truck bed. It was at this point we realized that we weren’t going to be able to lift the machine in this configuration. The jointer beds stuck out too far for the boom to reach in AND the roof was also in the way.  So we were going to have to take a risk. I extended the boom to the 1/2 ton setting to get the reach. This would allow us to reach in far enough to lift and rotate the unit 90° getting the jointer beds out-of-the-way. Although theoretically overloaded, the crane performed flawlessly and the rotation we performed with no difficulties albeit we had to lift twice to get the full 90°.

Voila! We had done the impossible and now the overhead lift was looking possible. I reconfigured the crane for 1 ton and we rigged to get that thing off the truck. The plan was to lift and not moving the machine, I would remove the tailgate supports and Susan would drive the truck out from under the jointer. And that is what we did. Earlier that morning I had already assembled the heavy-duty mobile base and measured for fit. Now was great time to simply twist the jointer 90° (long-wise) and set it right on the mobile base. Done, the nightmare had finally ended!

Success, the jointer/planer actually in Turtlecove workshop

Success, the jointer/planer actually in Turtlecove workshop.

This is not the sort of thing I do or have ever done. I was extremely relieved and thankful that nothing dreadful had happened. I was very, very grateful to my wife without whom I would still be trying to sort out the problem. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with a good challenge but I acknowledge I should have put more planning in before placing the order.

A relieved but slightly over-budget Turtlecovebrewer is looking forward to setting up and using his new jointer/planer.

 

 

 

 

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  1. August 6, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    All I can say is “whoa”!!. Good luck with the new tool. I’m glad it worked out because that sounded like a heck of a lot of work 🙂
    Bill

    • August 7, 2015 at 8:19 am

      I kept thinking to myself, “A #7 or #8 plane would have been a hell of a lot less expensive and much lighter”.

  2. August 7, 2015 at 3:43 am

    Glad you got it in safely. Great story

  3. August 7, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Thank-you for the kind words guys. Now that the PTSD has subsided a bit I hope to find time this weekend to get her setup.

    At least the rain has finally let up a bit ….

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