Jointer blade frustration

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Forum topic by YouthfullMind posted 10-21-2018 12:02 AM 561 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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73 posts in 997 days

10-21-2018 12:02 AM

I’m in the process of building a workbench currently and have been getting a bit stressed with my jointer blades. I got a “deal” on some white oak 2×6x9’ at 1.14/bf. I’ve used my jointer in the past on some hardwood, but mainly softwood. I had a brand new set of blades that were completely dull after face jointing 4 boards. These were factory blades on my powermatic 54a. I had a new spare set from my old jointer that fit and put those on with the same result of completely dull after 4 boards. The wood was dried outside and didn’t appear too dirty, but I figured dirt was the likely culprit dulling my blades. I pulled out my hand plane and cleaned all 4 surfaces of the boards down to clean wood. Onto my third set of blades today I was able to edge joint the first 8 boards and once again they were too dull to continue. It is by far the hardest wood I have ever used and my miter saw with a sharp dewalt 80T blade has difficulty cutting it as well. I’ve double checked everything on my jointer setup. I’ve sharpened the blades to the point that I can shave with them. It works great for the first few boards, but then I have difficulty pushing the board across the blade on the fourth board. My bf price on this wood is going up quickly with these blades!

I’ve spent more time this last week sharpening and installing jointer blades than actually woodworking. Is it normal for white oak to dull blades that quickly? Any suggestions?

6 replies so far

View ralbuck's profile


6577 posts in 3111 days

#1 posted 10-21-2018 12:21 AM

Decades ago cutting firewood;we had a wood that was called ironwood- it did look like white oak. I learned then to set in my chainsaw chains on some other wood first—then cut that or; even brand new, not just sharpened—chains dulled very quickly. Why they stayed sharp lj ger after being set in; I never did find out.

It might be worth trying—may or may NOT make a difference. Trying it will be inexpensive!

Hope it works for you.

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View Aj2's profile


3317 posts in 2643 days

#2 posted 10-21-2018 12:46 AM

What high speed steel are your knives? You might have to move up to carbide if this oak is that bad. I’ve had very good service from t1 the last white oak table I made.
Good luck

-- Aj

View YouthfullMind's profile


73 posts in 997 days

#3 posted 10-21-2018 12:51 AM

The 2nd set I used was T1. I’m not sure what the powermatic knives were, but I could tell that 2 different types of metal were used on their knives. I’m guessing it wasn’t carbide based on the lifespan. I was hoping to avoid having to spend a bunch on blades since I just bought the jointer. Maybe I’ll have to buy a set to finish my bench.

View Rayne's profile


1315 posts in 2385 days

#4 posted 10-21-2018 01:06 AM

Try inquiring with Infinity tools to see what they say. They make carbide tipped knives for many jointers and may be what you need for your white oak and other hardwoods for the future.

View msinc's profile


567 posts in 1349 days

#5 posted 10-21-2018 02:21 AM

Yes sir, white oak will dull blades very fast. I too have a 54A long bed and I recently went to a Shelix cutter head. It is easy to install and it positively solves the white oak blade killing problem.
It may not just be that you are milling white oak…local oak around here has a lot of minerals and grit actually in the wood. It is always better if you mill nice clean wood that is dirt and dust free. I used to think it was dirt or “sand” or some other grit on the surface that was killing my blades. Then I bought a saw mill and I take care to carefully clean my wood before I sticker stack it to dry inside. It does not have dirty surfaces, but it still killed my blades.
Not everything you hear about the Shelix is necessarily true…mine is no quieter than sharp, properly set up straight blades, it still has some tear out and it does not produce a smoother finish than freshly sharpened and properly set straight blades, but…it don’t go dull.

View Aj2's profile


3317 posts in 2643 days

#6 posted 10-21-2018 03:07 AM

That s a bummer I had a problem with hard maple just like you described. Finally figured out the black streaks I admired were minerals. I was able to source some opti steel. The faces are black and very hard. My next step would have carbide.
You can probably push your sharpness angle up to 45 maybe even 47.
And still have clearance. That’s should help a little if you have yet.
Good luck

-- Aj

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