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SOS - tuning jointer is now my worst nightmare, please send rescue

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Forum topic by Spikes posted 12-28-2018 05:17 PM 1150 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Spikes

125 posts in 584 days


12-28-2018 05:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer question

Bought a delta 37-380, cleaned up the frame, the beds, oiled everything, it ran ok but I thought after all the time invested I’d make sure the beds/blades were fine tuned out and that’s where it all went south… I don’t know if something is systematically wrong in the jointer, but I just can’t seem to get the bed tuning right.

Two issues right off the bat:
- the beds weren’t coplanar
- the infeed table was at like 5deg from the cutting head

I found that when I release the infeed table there would be a lot of play diagonally and if I pushe sideway while raising the bed it would eliminate the “angle problem” and the bed would be square with the cutter head. I’ve never seen anything like this in any thread I read about tuning a jointer so I’ve no idea where being square is key or I can live without it.

Second the beds. I’ve read that I should be shimming the outfeed table since the infeed is commonly adjusted. I can see that making sense, however I’m wondering if there are cases where that just isn’t going to fly and you need to shim the infeed table too. I was also reflecting that most of the times I can’t imagine wanting to take out more than 1/8, or even 1/16 so at least on paper I don’t necessarily even see an issue with shimming both tables if needed and just leaving it like that.

But the variable making this most difficult, which I’ve also not seen mentioned in other threads, is that the manual says the outfeed table should be 0.060” higher than the cutter head. To shim for that and at the same time shim for co-planar with the infeed bed just seems too hard.

What’s really necessary here? should both bed be square to the cutter head, coplanar and the outfeed table 0.060 above the cutter head?

Right now I have the outfeed table being 0.015 lower at the back (toward the fence) respect to the cutter head and the back (toward the fence) of the infeed table sagging at the beginning (away from the cutter head) by 0.032. The front of the beds are co-planar, outfeed table is at the right height to the current head and the infeed table is maybe off by 1 deg from the cutter head.

thanks,

-- Don't worry about making progress, worry about practicing. If you practice you will make progress even if you don't want to.


15 replies so far

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Goodsh

89 posts in 2458 days


#1 posted 12-28-2018 06:11 PM

My jointer beds have never needed adjustment so I don’t have experience with that but I can provide my experience with height of the outfeed table relative to the knives. Having the outfeed table higher than the knives makes no sense to me. If it’s higher than the knives then boards could jam against the edge of the outfeed table when jointing. And .06 is a lot and would definitely jam. My boards coming off the jointer are better than .01 off of perfect flatness. Probably better than half of than. Having the outfeed table .06 higher is crazy. That’s 1/16 of an inch. Unless that’s a typo and meant to be 0.006 but even that is too much in my opinion. To me that would be unacceptable in the flatness of a table and on the edge for co-planar.

I wouldn’t have the outfeed table higher. I have heard of suggestions to have the outfeed table a few thousands lower than the knives and I did have trouble getting really good results from my jointer until I did that. I aim for .003” lower than the knives and now get great results with no issues with snipe.

My tables are flat and co-planar to .005. The deviations you’re mentioning are substantial and I think would impact use. I’d suggest making the tables coplanar at their highest point and ignoring the cutterhead while doing that since knife placement is more important than cutterhead. Once tables are good then it’s a lot easier to set the knives to the tables and the cutterhead position or minor deviations don’t matter if the knives are set right. I’d do either the same height as the outfeed or very slightly below – .003.

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Spikes

125 posts in 584 days


#2 posted 12-28-2018 08:13 PM

Thanks @goodsh, I think it’s a poor explanation on my side and I think the manual agrees with you. It says 0.060” higher than the metal body of the cutter head, so with the blades protruding I’m guessing the blades will be leveled or even higher than the outfeed bed as you describe. This is just a guess tho, have not measured the blades, but it should be possible to adjust them so that the above holds true.

-- Don't worry about making progress, worry about practicing. If you practice you will make progress even if you don't want to.

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GrantA

1960 posts in 1946 days


#3 posted 12-28-2018 08:42 PM

Did you remove the tables while cleaning up? If so you could have misplaced some of the thin shims on the guns, that’s how you shim to make it square to the cutterhead. Get the out feed table right then work on infeed. It can be a pain but don’t let it beat you, one step at a time.

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Spikes

125 posts in 584 days


#4 posted 12-28-2018 10:37 PM

Also yes I misread the readings, altho not missed a 0, but read the mm as this feeler gauge has both.

In any case, I think I’ll call it a win, I just managed to get the outfeed table 0.060 above the cutter head and the two table coplanar to 0.0017 or so, I can get underneath the straight edge with 0015 but not 0020.

Ultimately it was a problem of trying to do it alone, I was holding the table with my shoulder while trying to shim it and look at the straightedge from the side and it just wasn’t working. Once someone showed up and held the table for me it didn’t take too long.

The only thing I could not work out is the cutter head being at an angle and honestly I’m not gonna touch the beds again trying to fix that as I’m not even clear that it’s an issue (it’s off by less than a degree with the outfeed table and about 2 degs with the infeed one).

Now onto figuring out how to sharpen the knives and set the fence , hopefully it won’t be as painful.

Thanks all

-- Don't worry about making progress, worry about practicing. If you practice you will make progress even if you don't want to.

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Goodsh

89 posts in 2458 days


#5 posted 12-28-2018 10:37 PM



Thanks @goodsh, I think it s a poor explanation on my side and I think the manual agrees with you. It says 0.060” higher than the metal body of the cutter head, so with the blades protruding I m guessing the blades will be leveled or even higher than the outfeed bed as you describe. This is just a guess tho, have not measured the blades, but it should be possible to adjust them so that the above holds true.

- Spikes

Ah, got it. I misunderstood. I’m still not sure I’d worry much about setting tables to the cutterhead. So long as you can put the knives in and have them at the right height I don’t see why the table to cutterhead would have to be so precisely measured against the tables. My jointer came with a jig to set my knives a certain height above the cutterhead but it’s useless. I ignore it and just set the knife so that it’s the height of the outfeed table (or a hair above). Setting the height of the outfeed an exact amount over the cutterhead and then knives being that same amount above the cutterhead seems unnecessarily complicated if you also have to set the tables to be co-planar. My knives have lots of play so I bet my cutterhead could range from almost the same height as the outfeed table to 1/4” below and I think I could still set the knives fine.

I’m no expert! But I did read half a dozen articles and watch as many videos from experts on how to set up a jointer when I got mine and none of them ever mention anything about setting table height based on cutterhead. I’d try without worrying about that. I love my jointer now (it’s a jointer/planter combo) but I have to say it was for sure the most frustrating of any tool to really get set up right. Good luck!

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Spikes

125 posts in 584 days


#6 posted 12-28-2018 11:22 PM

Fence went pretty quick , was pretty much bang on, just adjusted the 90 deg stop a hair and checked with a machinist square.

While checking the cutter head one thing I noticed is that there’s a noise when it hits a certain spot and looking at the belt indeed that spot coincides with some wear on the belt and rust on the pulley. And since one thing leads to another, checking the pulley I noticed quite a bit of slack. The manual says about 1inch pulling with your finger of slack from a straight edge set between the cenyer of the two pulleys. It seems about right however there’s quite a bit of vibration when the machine run, but not sure that depends on the belt alone. Motor seems securely fasten.

-- Don't worry about making progress, worry about practicing. If you practice you will make progress even if you don't want to.

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Holbs

2249 posts in 2568 days


#7 posted 12-29-2018 12:34 AM

Spikes…you seems to have a handle on things. I initially would of suggested outfeed table height to be exact to height of blades. Seems that is how everyone sets their’s. I used straight edge ruler trick on mine.
In regards to the belt noise. Hmm…new belt wouldn’t hurt? Is it single or double belt system? Depending on how far down the rabbit hole you want to go, could investigate the pulley bearing & motor bearing. Or both pulley & motor pulley’s are also co-planer.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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William Shelley

609 posts in 2008 days


#8 posted 12-29-2018 12:41 AM



Fence went pretty quick , was pretty much bang on, just adjusted the 90 deg stop a hair and checked with a machinist square.

While checking the cutter head one thing I noticed is that there s a noise when it hits a certain spot and looking at the belt indeed that spot coincides with some wear on the belt and rust on the pulley. And since one thing leads to another, checking the pulley I noticed quite a bit of slack. The manual says about 1inch pulling with your finger of slack from a straight edge set between the cenyer of the two pulleys. It seems about right however there s quite a bit of vibration when the machine run, but not sure that depends on the belt alone. Motor seems securely fasten.

- Spikes

Since you’re putting a lot of work into this, it might be worth it to swap the belt out for a link-belt. They have no memory so they don’t introduce vibration and they’re typically a little bit quieter, although with a different noise pitch.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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Spikes

125 posts in 584 days


#9 posted 12-29-2018 04:07 PM

And I spoke too soon… Last night after 2 more hrs of sharpening knives with the scary sharp method and setting them all up on the jointer, I took my first pass and uthe infeed table collapsed on itself…

The gib fell out, which suggests the set screws locking it were not tight enough however it did stay in place while sliding around during tests and so I thought it was good enough. The reason they were tight like that is that if I tighten them more it’d push the infeed table way at an angle. I guess with all the vibrations and the play not being super tight the whole thing came apart.

So back to the leveling know, may have to readjust the outfeed table after tightening the infeed gib more vigorously.

I wonder why all the play tho, there seems to be a lot of it on the infeed table compared to the outfeed one.

-- Don't worry about making progress, worry about practicing. If you practice you will make progress even if you don't want to.

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bgilb

101 posts in 3597 days


#10 posted 12-29-2018 04:56 PM

I don’t even use my 90 degree stop because it just seemed to misalign when tightening. I have to permanently locked on 90

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William Shelley

609 posts in 2008 days


#11 posted 12-30-2018 09:12 PM



I don t even use my 90 degree stop because it just seemed to misalign when tightening. I have to permanently locked on 90

- bgilb

I have never found a use for tilting the fence on a jointer. Maybe I just don’t do the kind of projects that feature is used for. I stripped out the factory mounting system for the fence and welded up my own that holds the fence rigidly at 90 with a couple adjustment points to get it dead nuts accurate. It’s much better this way, I can put huge pieces up against the fence with lots of force and get really accurate 90-degree corners. Recently I was jointing some 3” x 8” black walnut “timbers”. Any adjustable mechanism would have had too much flex and play to handle that kind of job.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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Spikes

125 posts in 584 days


#12 posted 01-01-2019 06:13 PM

thanks all for the feedback, I think I’ve ironed out all the issues minus the infeed table being at a slightly angle with the cutter head, but I just couldn’t figure that one out while still keeping the tables coplanar. From the first couple pieces I jointed it does not seem to be a problem, altho I don’t have a piece as a reference done on the same jointer with squared cutter head-infeed table.

-- Don't worry about making progress, worry about practicing. If you practice you will make progress even if you don't want to.

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

1038 posts in 3331 days


#13 posted 02-13-2019 01:49 PM

Recently got a used Delta 8” x 72” jointer and want to check out / tune up before serious projects. How accurate of a straight edge is really necessary for this? Do I need a woodpeckers quality / price, or is a less expensive and possibly less accurate tool adequate? Should I go for a 50” or longer straight edge for this time up? Thanks.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2529 posts in 2336 days


#14 posted 02-13-2019 02:40 PM

Did you get a Dj -20 with the adjustments in the corners.
I use precision straight edges to adjust jointer tables. When they are first set at the factory what do you think they use.
If they aren’t too far off maybe you’ll get lucky with Lee Valley straight edge.
Good luck

-- Aj

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ibewjon

1038 posts in 3331 days


#15 posted 02-13-2019 03:14 PM

DJ 20, no. Parallelogram, yes. But not home and don’t remember model. I am at least 3rd owner, so Leigh is mid price line, hopefully good for a home shop. Thanks

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