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bowed jointer fence

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Forum topic by dbw posted 03-04-2019 01:49 PM 742 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dbw

318 posts in 2170 days


03-04-2019 01:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer fence

yesterday I went to look at a used jointer which I was considering purchasing. I brought my trusty aluminum straight edge with me. I checked the fence (cast iron) for flatness and I noticed it was bowed along it’s length. The middle of the bow was approximately 1/16”. The beds are 8” X 76” and I don’t know how long the fence is. I didn’t buy it because I didn’t know if a bowed fence is a problem on a jointer. Here is my question: is a bowed fence a no-no on a jointer or am I overthinking this? BTW the tables were DEAD flat.

-- measure 3 times, cut once


30 replies so far

View firefighterontheside's profile

firefighterontheside

20623 posts in 2390 days


#1 posted 03-04-2019 01:54 PM

It’s not a huge problem as long as it’s straight up and down. It needs to be square to the bed along its length which it can be even with a bow. The problem would be if it was bowed at the top and not the bottom.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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pottz

6601 posts in 1518 days


#2 posted 03-04-2019 02:22 PM

yeah probably wont matter as long as the bed is dead on and the fence is square as bill said,if the price is right id go for it.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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dbw

318 posts in 2170 days


#3 posted 03-04-2019 02:50 PM

The bigger question is: is it common for a name brand jointer (Grizzly in this case) to have a bowed fence? Surely there are jointers out there where the fence is flat and square to the beds along it’s length.

-- measure 3 times, cut once

View Jeff Heath's profile

Jeff Heath

107 posts in 3603 days


#4 posted 03-04-2019 04:55 PM

This problem is more common than you think, and it’s typically found in the newer asian machines because the quality of the machining performed, as well as the actual cast iron used, is lacking. They rush to production these castings, machining them before they have properly cycled and cured. The curing process on cast iron can take years, and the vintage American and European makers of old knew this. A company like Northfield would let their castings sit outside for as long as 10 years before machining them, and selling them as finished machines. Big difference between a $1500 Grizzly jointer and a $18K jointer from Northfield.

It’s quite possible that fence you looked at was straight when it was machined, but stresses relieved in the castings, over time, have released and are causing the castings to move.

I restore a lot of vintage machinery. My entire shop is filled with them. I’ve had machine surfaces reground, and can tell you that when machining/grinding is not done correctly, or if it is rushed, the castings can move, and they can move a lot.

There’s a good chance that fence is not through moving, and you would also need to see if it’s moving in other directions, as well. I’ve seen several fences for jointers that had twist in them, as well, and that would make it very, very difficult to edge joint boards for glue-ups.

You were wise to walk away. Plenty of machines out there, in all sizes, that were made with quality castings. No need to chase gremlins in a machine that may be a problem child for some time to come.

-- Jeff Heath

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MrUnix

7498 posts in 2733 days


#5 posted 03-04-2019 05:09 PM

As mentioned, as long as it’s perpendicular to the table, it should not cause much problems. And it is more common than people realize… here is a snippet from a vintage Powermatic PM50 manual that describes how to fix it:

Straightening Warped Fence:

The fence furnished with your jointer is a finished casting. Under certain conditions it is possible that the fence may become warped. If fence is high (bowed) in the center, remove fence and place face up on the floor on two 4” pieces of wood (2” x 4” blocks will suffice). Gently apply presure to the center of the fence with your foot increasing gradually until you feel the fence “give” slightly. Stop applying pressure as soon as you feel the fence “give” and check with a straight edge. The fence should be perfectly straight. Repeat if necessary.

If the fence is low on the center, place on the floor face down and repeat the above procedure – REMEMBER, stop when you feel the fence “give”.

Should your fence be twisted, the following steps will return it to its original shape. Clamp one end of the fence to a wood vice and sandwitch the other end between two 2” boards and gently “twist” the fence. When the fence “gives” stop applying pressure and check fence with a straight edge.

(From PM50 manual http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/655/4309.pdf)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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pottz

6601 posts in 1518 days


#6 posted 03-04-2019 05:16 PM

i like the sharpening instructions.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1441 posts in 1350 days


#7 posted 03-04-2019 05:39 PM

I don’t mean to be too critical but I find it absurd to think that an iron casting needs 10 years to cure before it is ready for final machining. Tool companies that follow that procedure would be out of business long before their first piece was ready to sell. Established companies would also have to guess how many castings to make 10 years in advance. Millions of dollars would be tied up in work in process. So much for inventory control.

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pottz

6601 posts in 1518 days


#8 posted 03-04-2019 06:08 PM



I don t mean to be too critical but I find it absurd to think that an iron casting needs 10 years to cure before it is ready for final machining. Tool companies that follow that procedure would be out of business long before their first piece was ready to sell. Established companies would also have to guess how many castings to make 10 years in advance. Millions of dollars would be tied up in work in process. So much for inventory control.

- ArtMann


i gotta agree on that,thier not making high end wiskey-lol.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View BlueRidgeDog's profile

BlueRidgeDog

499 posts in 313 days


#9 posted 03-04-2019 06:23 PM

If it is a good deal, get it. If the bow bugs you and impacts your work, take it off and take it to a machine shop for facing.

View Richard Lee's profile

Richard Lee

255 posts in 1309 days


#10 posted 03-04-2019 11:11 PM


I don t mean to be too critical but I find it absurd to think that an iron casting needs 10 years to cure before it is ready for final machining. Tool companies that follow that procedure would be out of business long before their first piece was ready to sell. Established companies would also have to guess how many castings to make 10 years in advance. Millions of dollars would be tied up in work in process. So much for inventory control.

- ArtMann

10 years is alot, saw a show on Rolls Royce they season the engine blocks for a year outside.
But also rough machine, let rest for awhile then finish.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwZWShmZ3zI

I have a 6 Delta Rockwell that had a bad fence so I fixed it.

View Jeff Heath's profile

Jeff Heath

107 posts in 3603 days


#11 posted 03-04-2019 11:33 PM


I don t mean to be too critical but I find it absurd to think that an iron casting needs 10 years to cure before it is ready for final machining. Tool companies that follow that procedure would be out of business long before their first piece was ready to sell. Established companies would also have to guess how many castings to make 10 years in advance. Millions of dollars would be tied up in work in process. So much for inventory control.

- ArtMann

I am just telling you what Jeff at Northfield Machines told us during a tour of their facilities. I’m NOT saying 10 years is necessary, but that’s how many castings they had sitting outside, back in the day, when high quality industrial machines were being made. That’s the difference between the vintage heavy duty stuff, and the low quality stuff sold today to hobbyists.

A year or two outside, going through weather cycles, will be enough for castings to season. Not happening at all with the new stuff being sold.

I ended all my frustrations with these problems 20 years ago when I sold all my new asian made stuff and invested in vintage “made in the USA” high quality machinery. It started for me when 2 brand new Delta jointers, out of the box, back to back, had to be returned because of alignment problems with the tables. One of the fences was warped and twisted, too. Slowly but surely, I found what I needed, and restored them all myself.

-- Jeff Heath

View pottz's profile

pottz

6601 posts in 1518 days


#12 posted 03-04-2019 11:45 PM

wow what a treasure trove of beautiful old machines just waiting to be loved back to life.looks like about a 20” jointer in front? what woodworker hasn’t dream’t of that.probably weighs a ton (literally).

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View Jeff Heath's profile

Jeff Heath

107 posts in 3603 days


#13 posted 03-05-2019 03:28 AM

The machines shown, save one, are all working machines (Yates American Y30 in back right is under restoration). Some were full restorations, including paint, and some were mechanical only, like the Powermatic planer shown. The jointer is a Yates American #1, a 16”er. It was a full restoration, as it sat in a barn for about 20 years when I found it. It was rough, rough, rough, with heavy pitting in the tables, so I had it reground.

-- Jeff Heath

View dbw's profile

dbw

318 posts in 2170 days


#14 posted 03-05-2019 01:17 PM

I don t mean to be too critical but I find it absurd to think that an iron casting needs 10 years to cure before it is ready for final machining. Tool companies that follow that procedure would be out of business long before their first piece was ready to sell. Established companies would also have to guess how many castings to make 10 years in advance. Millions of dollars would be tied up in work in process. So much for inventory control.

- ArtMann

10 years is alot, saw a show on Rolls Royce they season the engine blocks for a year outside.
But also rough machine, let rest for awhile then finish.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwZWShmZ3zI

I have a 6 Delta Rockwell that had a bad fence so I fixed it.

- Richard Lee

This “aging” business reminds me of a Gallo Wine TV commercial from the 70’s where the voice says “we will sell no wine before it’s time.”

-- measure 3 times, cut once

View Robert's profile

Robert

3553 posts in 2014 days


#15 posted 03-05-2019 03:31 PM



The bigger question is: is it common for a name brand jointer (Grizzly in this case) to have a bowed fence? Surely there are jointers out there where the fence is flat and square to the beds along it s length.

- dbw

The fence on my Grizzly jointer has about a 1/16” bow in the center but it is square all along its length. Its never been an issue.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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