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  • Jointer Operations

    Hi I am just finally starting up my machinery and the bandsaw I had running already, now I have the jointer powered up.  The jointer I noticed when I passed wood over it, it was creating a bit of a wavy surface.  My understanding is the surface should be flat once the pass is completed.  What are the keys to ensuring a proper finish after a jointer pass?  I am also not sure about the infeed depth setting, it shows on the scale you can make a pretty big pass but is it a good idea to make a big pass?  Any information anyone can share with me regarding the operation of a jointer would be great (also talk about wood species with regards to the process would probably be great too)
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  • #2

    Re: Jointer Operations

    first, a jointer is not a finishing machine, it's for flattening a board.  you will want to remove enough material from the surface so that the board will not be flattened by the feed rollers in the planer.
    shallow cuts will give far better results than heavy cuts.
    the outfeed table must be level with the top of the knife tips and the infeed table slightly lower, 1/32 to 1/16 at most, sometimes less
    Merv in Regina likes this.
    my shop is a beaver lodge
    steve, sarnia, ont




    1940's Craftmaster Lathe

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    • #3

      Re: Jointer Operations

      I think what you are describing may be the result of pushing the board over the jointer too fast. A jointer is going to deliver the best surface if it is A: set up properly, and B: the strikes per foot is higher. IE; the slower you push your board over the cutter head, the more strikes of the knives you will have per foot of your material. Every jointer will run at a slightly different rpm, and depending on the wood you are surfacing, you can get vastly different results pushing that wood across your cutting circle in exactly the same way and the same speed each time. Slow your feed speed, and you will get a better surface.
      As far as set-up, make sure all your knives are set at the exact same height as the top of your out feed table. If you don’t have a gauge to measure accurately, you can use the “drag method” using a straight edge or a piece of wood. As you rotate the cutter head by hand, it should drag the straight edge forward the same amount with each end of each jointer knife. It’s not a perfect way to set your knives, but it’s still pretty good. Once you have your knives set properly, like Steve says, more shallow cuts are better than one heavy cut. Don’t overpower your machine and bog it down, and only you will know when that is happening. Listen to the sound of your motor.
      Wood Grower likes this.

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      • #4

        Re: Jointer Operations

        Insure the jointer is set up properly is the first step. ( Sharp Knives ) As mentioned, lighter cuts work better than heavy cuts. The infeed rate should be slower the deeper the cut. Even down pressure on the board is also required.  ( if flattening a bowed board the downforce may be varied. )

        practice on scrap lumber to observe the effects of different methods. You will soon find what works best. 

        Sharp knives can not be stressed enough.
        Wood Grower likes this.
        Egon
        from
        The South Shore, Nova Scotia

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        • #5

          Re: Jointer Operations

          Also... for technique.  Once the board has started to cross onto the outfeed table your down pressure (slight) should be on the outfeed table side.  Down pressure on the outfeed side and sideways pressure to keep the face of the board snug to the fence.  Also, you do not want a lot of down pressure as this potentially straightens a bowed board but it will go back bowed once your pressure is released.
          Bryan @ Woodstock likes this.

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          • #6

            Re: Jointer Operations

            As Glenn says, down pressure on the outfeed side, but I’ll go a slightly different route. I use zero down pressure for the first couple of passes. I push from the back of the board using a dedicated push block. Once I have made a few passes and I start to get a flat surface, I will then transition to pushing from the back until I have 1/3-1/2 of my board on the outfeed table, then start to put slight pressure on the outfeed side of the board until it is entirely across the cutting surface. I don’t care if the board is against the fence, only that the entire width of it is being surfaced by the jointer. The fence is for squaring up the edge of the board after it has a flat face.
            Wally in Calgary likes this.

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            • #7

              Re: Jointer Operations

              So are you saying get it flattened enough to plane then plane opposite side then flip on planer and pass again?

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              • #8

                Re: Jointer Operations

                Originally posted by gdtrfg View Post
                I think what you are describing may be the result of pushing the board over the jointer too fast. A jointer is going to deliver the best surface if it is A: set up properly, and B: the strikes per foot is higher. IE; the slower you push your board over the cutter head, the more strikes of the knives you will have per foot of your material. Every jointer will run at a slightly different rpm, and depending on the wood you are surfacing, you can get vastly different results pushing that wood across your cutting circle in exactly the same way and the same speed each time. Slow your feed speed, and you will get a better surface.
                As far as set-up, make sure all your knives are set at the exact same height as the top of your out feed table. If you don’t have a gauge to measure accurately, you can use the “drag method” using a straight edge or a piece of wood. As you rotate the cutter head by hand, it should drag the straight edge forward the same amount with each end of each jointer knife. It’s not a perfect way to set your knives, but it’s still pretty good. Once you have your knives set properly, like Steve says, more shallow cuts are better than one heavy cut. Don’t overpower your machine and bog it down, and only you will know when that is happening. Listen to the sound of your motor.
                What gauge are you suggesting for setup?  I gave some tools but I am new with setup and operation of this machine.....


                would it make sense to have a feed roller motor hooked up for this process for consistent results?

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                • #9

                  Re: Jointer Operations

                  Originally posted by Egon View Post
                  Sharp knives can not be stressed enough.
                  Yes I am building my wife an easy plant stand project.  I want a piece flat and square 3 sides then cutout along one side to make “feet” and make it sit better on floor than if floor isn’t perfect and having 30” plus of straight wood containing the floor.  

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                  • #10

                    Re: Jointer Operations

                    Originally posted by Egon View Post
                    Sharp knives can not be stressed enough.
                    I will probably source out some new blades.  Then I Can sharpen these later.  The blades haven’t been used 20 to 30 years....

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                    • #11

                      Re: Jointer Operations

                      Yes I noticed I was doing this and machine read 0 degrees however it wasn’t and I had to adjust the set screw and needle pointer to actual 0.  Was maybe 5 to 10 degrees roughly out of square.  Its good now though.

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                      • #12

                        Re: Jointer Operations

                        Originally posted by gdtrfg View Post
                        As Glenn says, down pressure on the outfeed side, but I’ll go a slightly different route. I use zero down pressure for the first couple of passes. I push from the back of the board using a dedicated push block. Once I have made a few passes and I start to get a flat surface, I will then transition to pushing from the back until I have 1/3-1/2 of my board on the outfeed table, then start to put slight pressure on the outfeed side of the board until it is entirely across the cutting surface. I don’t care if the board is against the fence, only that the entire width of it is being surfaced by the jointer. The fence is for squaring up the edge of the board after it has a flat face.
                        Your boards are good and square like this I can assume?

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                        • #13

                          Re: Jointer Operations

                          Keep the down pressure even on both feeds. The infeed down pressure is most important as that side is where the cut is coming from. When getting near the end of the cut evenly transfer all pressure on the outfeed. Thinner boards have more reaction to down pressure than thick ones. Again practice to ensure this all happens smoothly.
                          Egon
                          from
                          The South Shore, Nova Scotia

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                          • #14

                            Re: Jointer Operations

                            Just get the blades sharpened.  It's only a couple of bucks to get it done by somebody and depending on how much you use your jointer it could be good for years.
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                            • #15

                              Re: Jointer Operations

                              As for the set up... I put my infeed table all the way down and use a straight edge on my out feed table.  I raise the blades until they move the straight edge and then lower it until they barelly touch it.  I check the entire length of the blade for the same and then move to the next blade.

                              then I adjust the fence with a digital angle finder to a 90 to the out feed table.

                              After that I move the infeed table to it's top position and then lower it by 1/64 until the wood hits the blades and call that my starting position... Move the indicater on the cutting gauge to zero.  

                              If I have a heavy bow or twist I might take as much as 1/16 from there but I will take it down to the minimum to really get that straightest cut possible and slow right down to get the best possible cut.  Totally understanding that I will need to sand it down but I will worry about that once the joinery is cut.
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