Review: Laguna JX8 jointer
Review: Raf Nathan
First impressions of this jointer are of a strong, well built and nicely detailed machine. It has very long tables, in fact 1850mm overall, giving a good advantage for straightening long pieces of wood. There are two extra support rollers that slide out from both table ends. They extend the working length but I did not think they were necessary for my type of cabinetmaking work.
Both tables use a parallelogram system, which means that no matter how you adjust the table up and down, the gap between the end of the table and the cutterhead always remains the same. It’s a little bit safer, and a superior way to adjust the tables.
The table rise lever has a smooth action to easily move up and down from around 0–4mm. As this machine has a built-in rebating table there is an option with the depth lever via lockout action to increase the cut depth. Most European style machines don’t have a rebate table however I think it’s a useful addition. Once you use them and get the hang of it is very helpful for certain jobs such as running rebated moulding.
There is general wood tech debate about the type of guard that is best for a jointer. Is it the mutton or lamb chop style, as
is fitted to this machine, or alternately the fixed style guard common on Euro machines? My personal preference is the fixed guard as it remains locked in position covering the cutters, whereas the mutton style does open up to the cutters as the wood is fed in.
As related to me though, many schools in Australia only accept the mutton style guard. The fence, which is a critical part of a jointer, is heavy duty cast-iron, nicely machined and has easy adjustment for moving across the table. Fence tilt and set-up is good with a locking nut to position at 90°. The whole fence assembly is heavy, accurate and pretty well bullet proof.
This machine was tested straight off the showroom floor and I have to say planed extremely well. I set the fence at 90° and was able to achieve consistent results with planed wood faces perfectly square and precise on all my test pieces of wood.
There is an easy to reach on/off switch with a large mushroom stop button. A great touch is the large knock-off bar positioned at knee height that you can activate should you need to cut power no matter where you are on the machine.
There are inbuilt castors, which means you can move the machine around the workshop, another good feature. Motor size is 2.2Kw (3hp) and requires a 15 amp fuse so you may need some electrical work in your workshop.
Would I buy this machine? Yes.
Raf Nathan is a Queensland based woodwork designer/maker.
Review machines from Carbatec: www.carbatec.com.au