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Forum topic by kyngfish posted 12-30-2019 07:23 PM 412 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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kyngfish

115 posts in 943 days


12-30-2019 07:23 PM

Hey folks. Last week I got a used powermatic 50 for around 300 bucks. 1990s model that’s seen some pretty hard use but still runs strong. I started by dimensioning some sapele to build a cabinet and I learned a few things. And I have some questions.

I got new blades and set them up. Set up the infeed and our feed tables. But with the sapele – depending on the board I got some pretty significant tear – out taking off very little wood. When I was facing the board – it really felt like the jointer was hitting the board hard but I had it set to about 1/16th. It worked significantly better if I used my planer to give the face a bit of a finish – then back on the jointer to flatten it.

My question is – is that just something I need to deal with when I work with sapele – or can I do something to the jointer to improve it? HF has some 3hp motors for like 150. The current motor is a 3/4 hp. Aside from setting up the table. What else should I be on the lookout for? The bearings seem fine. There doesn’t seem to be play in the cutter head.


4 replies so far

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

3609 posts in 2348 days


#1 posted 12-30-2019 09:03 PM

IME – avoiding tear out with sapele is always challenging, even when everything is set up perfect.
Sapele is extremely sensitive to grain direction with any high speed cutter (jointer, planer, or router). If you feed lumber with cutters pushing into the grain direction, then it creates dreaded tear out. Taking more thin cuts, is usually better than several thick cuts too.

Learning to read grain direction is key to minimizing tear out with any wood. This might help:
https://www.popularwoodworking.com/projects/the-way-wood-works-reading-grain-direction/

Tip #1: If you hands are not able to feel a rougher texture in ether direction, try using a micro-fiber towel. They grab onto the wood fibers much better. With a micro-fiber rag will quickly see the differences in grain direction across any board, even on boards planed/scraped smooth.

Tip #2: If Sapele is extremely dry, have seen it tear out worse than normal as it gets ‘brittle’. Worked some well aged sapele here in AZ that didn’t register on moisture meter (< 1.5%), and it would tear out if walk past and smiled at it. I found that if I spritz’d the surface with water bottle and wiped it into fibers before planing/jointing a side, the tear out was almost zero (as long as the grain direction was right!). Since our humidity averages less then 10% 9-11 months of year, extra moisture disappears quickly. Wouldn’t attempt this trick, or think you would need it; if you local humidity was above 50%.

YMMV and Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3345 posts in 2652 days


#2 posted 12-30-2019 09:15 PM

Kyng fish to me your post read like you only had one knife doing all the work. Rethink how to set your knives to cut equally.
It’s possible to set the knives so they all cut equally the telltale sign is they zing when they cut.
I hope your using good Hss.

Good Luck

-- Aj

View Spotcheck's profile

Spotcheck

36 posts in 3381 days


#3 posted 12-30-2019 11:04 PM

Sapele – I got zero experience with. Veneer-grade quartersawn white oak, I got a couple decades.

Powermatic 60B – 8”, sporting a Terminus head. Which means nothing to this discussions except that the knife alignment is guaranteed.

So….....As suggested, double check that the blade alignments are all ducky.

And then – from my spot on the time-space continuum – 1/16” is fatter than I would use on the QSWO. And I also very carefully study the results of each pass, looking for any signs of tearout. If I don’t like what I see, I reverse the feed direction to see what happens then.

Unhurried. Zen-out. Deep breaths. :)

View kyngfish's profile

kyngfish

115 posts in 943 days


#4 posted 12-31-2019 12:34 AM



Kyng fish to me your post read like you only had one knife doing all the work. Rethink how to set your knives to cut equally.
It’s possible to set the knives so they all cut equally the telltale sign is they zing when they cut.
I hope your using good Hss.

Good Luck

- Aj2

So I bought my knives from American Knife or whatever that place was called that someone recommended on this forum. The way I aligned the knives is I put a straight edge near the fence on the tables with the infeed Set at 0 and outfeed lined up. I raised the blade until turning it moved the straight edge slightly. Then I backed up a quarter turn and checked the blade wasn’t touching. Then I would do the same On the outside of the table.

I did this for each knife.

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