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Jointer technique help

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Forum topic by nickbatz posted 01-13-2020 12:26 AM 632 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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nickbatz

599 posts in 934 days


01-13-2020 12:26 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer

I just put my Davis & Wells vintage jointer back together after having its motor repaired, and am now learning how to use it in earnest. It’s a beautiful machine, I have it set up square with the outfeed table flush with the knives…

But I’m trying to shave about 1/8” off a 5.5” x 5.5” x 18” beam I dumpster-dived, and it’s giving me the finger. This is just to plane off the chewed-up sides.

I know this is not the official job of a jointer, that if I weren’t a total sissy I’d use a thickness planer (which I don’t own). But can’t a jointer do that, in addition to jointing boards’ edges to glue into panels?

I can use a belt sander, but I want to put the big, loud machines I have to use.

Any hints about technique? I’m not trying to do it in one pass.

TIA


23 replies so far

View GrantA's profile

GrantA

2856 posts in 2261 days


#1 posted 01-13-2020 12:48 AM

Did you lower the infeed table? Outfeed table flush with knives, all knives set to be flush with Outfeed.
Lower the infeed table a bit and letterrip!

As for can’t a joiner do that, yeah a joiner flattens Wood, not just edges but faces too
Pictures or it didn’t happen!!

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nickbatz

599 posts in 934 days


#2 posted 01-13-2020 01:12 AM

It happened. Will take pix. :)

This beam has four faces (like too many people).

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Aj2

3344 posts in 2652 days


#3 posted 01-13-2020 03:26 AM

What exactly is the problem Nick. A jointer will make a square edge to a flat face but not two parallel sides.
So it’s not for making wood a consistent thickness.

-- Aj

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nickbatz

599 posts in 934 days


#4 posted 01-13-2020 04:02 AM

I’m just trying to give some wood a shave, Aj. The thickness doesn’t matter.

Will take some pictures tomorrow.

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Aj2

3344 posts in 2652 days


#5 posted 01-13-2020 04:46 AM

Do you have a good understanding of how to set the outfeed table height?
The obvious part of how a jointer is the infeed determines how much wood the blades are going to scoop away from the wood.
Share a pic of you knives if they have too much projection out of the cutter head you’ll have issues even if they are all set at the same height.
I can help if you can share some pics and info.
I would like to recommend this teacher for using a jointer. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ob3V5SVrqAw&t=333s

-- Aj

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nickbatz

599 posts in 934 days


#6 posted 01-13-2020 08:02 PM

Thanks, yeah, the outfeed is even with the blades.

For sure it’s a technique issue – I’m not shifting the weight properly to the outfeed side. Part of that is that it’s not all that easy, since this is a big hunk of wood rather than a board, and the other part is that I’m just getting the feel of using the jointer.

I guess my real question is whether other people had unpredictable results from a jointer when they first started using them, or I’m just a dope.

That’s a set-up. Please leave it alone.

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SMP

2481 posts in 759 days


#7 posted 01-13-2020 08:28 PM

Do you have a hand plane? I sometimes will hand plane a piece of wood to get it “flatter” before running through the machines. Especially stuff thats really rough. Firewood-esque wood especially benefits from this. Otherwise you are just chasing your tail.

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nickbatz

599 posts in 934 days


#8 posted 01-13-2020 10:12 PM

I wouldn’t call it firewood-esque or really rough, but if I can’t get the jointer to shave it then I’ll just use a belt sander.

It doesn’t need to be square, it just needs cleaning up before I slice it like a loaf of bread.

I’m going to try lowering the infeed table to see whether that does more of what I want. So far I’ve been pretty conservative about that.

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

576 posts in 1932 days


#9 posted 01-13-2020 11:41 PM

1/8” seems to be a pretty big bite !

-- "PLUMBER'S BUTT! Get over it, everybody has one"

View kyngfish's profile

kyngfish

115 posts in 943 days


#10 posted 01-14-2020 12:28 AM

I JUST got a jointer and I ran into a similar problem with rough cut lumber. I got significantly better results by taking a tiny bit off the face with a planer just to get everything a bit smoother, then running that same face through the jointer, then jointing the edges, then planing the other face.

This was on a 6 inch powermatic 50 with brand new knives and my outfeed and infeed tables and knives adjusted. Not gonna make any claims about my overall skill :)

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Aj2

3344 posts in 2652 days


#11 posted 01-14-2020 01:55 AM

A 5×5 beam really doesn’t take any special technique. Just push the wood from right to left just the weight should help hold it down.
Unless your knives are really dull or not set right.
I think the belt sander is a great idea.
I wouldn’t want you to get injured the jointer isn’t a machine you want to learn the hard way.

-- Aj

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

6206 posts in 3667 days


#12 posted 01-14-2020 02:19 AM

Using a jointer is 90% setup and 10% technique.

Just don’t expect four square / parallel faces if you’re only using a jointer. A jointer dresses two adjacent surfaces. The planer takes it to S3S.
The tablesaw establishes the fourth surface.

The problem with your post is you didn’t really say what specific problem you’re having.

A 1/8” cut is way too heavy in my opinion. Keep the cuts light. The sound of the motor says a lot. If the RPM is dropping much, it’s too heavy of a cut.

Wax the beds to let the wood slide.

If the wood is bowed, put the concave side down. Otherwise, you’ll spend all your time chasing a flat surface. Then again, since you don’t have a planer, you are likely going to face a situation where the convex side is down. That never works well.

Think about getting a planer. Many benchtop planers will handle 6” material.

Best of luck.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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controlfreak

1238 posts in 455 days


#13 posted 01-14-2020 11:43 AM

I learned the hard way, if you are not using a gauge to set the knives to the thousands of an inch you are probably off. I got a pair off 123 blocks and a Harbor freight dial gauge to set mine. After that it was perfect. When I was eyeballing it no luck.

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nickbatz

599 posts in 934 days


#14 posted 01-14-2020 07:04 PM

“The problem with your post is you didn’t really say what specific problem you’re having.”

I know, I know. The fingers went ahead of the brain.

Again, in this case I’m not trying to get a flat surface, I’m trying to plane off the surface to get at the good stuff underneath. That’s off-label use, but… well, a jointer is basically a downside-up power planer.

“Think about getting a planer. Many benchtop planers will handle 6” material”

I plan to, in fact I was given a gift certificate at Grizzly for Christmas that I’d planned to apply toward one… except the one I wanted is out of stock until April, so I used it for a recipro (which I’m not 100% crazy about – it was too cheap).

By the way, all the planers I’ve seen handle 6” wood.

“I wouldn’t want you to get injured the jointer isn’t a machine you want to learn the hard way.”

Well, I did run a bunch of scraps through it to get the feel. And I’m new to the jointer, but only a little bit of an idiot, not as big a one as you think.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

3604 posts in 2348 days


#15 posted 01-14-2020 08:03 PM

+1 rough lumber on jointer is perplexing at times. :-)

The challenge is the jointer is only cutting a small portion of the cutoff amount from the highest spots; which makes it look like it’s doing nothing for 1st 4-6 passes. You can get same effect jointing with hand plane.

As others mentioned, if you take off the highest spots with another tool first; jointer is more productive.

Finding the high spots, it helps to get personal with the board, IMHO.
Try dragging a card scraper across the surface, and watch for light underneath. You will see spots that need more scraping/planning/sanding for removal. Mark these spots with colored chalk or crayon. Then either remove the highest spots separately, or watch those areas as jointer does the work. You won’t feel as useless as you watch the marked areas slowly disappear after half dozen passes.

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

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