Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 62

Thread: Jointer plane - skills?

  1. #1

    Jointer plane - skills?

    Hello All,

    I have been frustrated a little lately. I was trying to joint some cedar boards at about 40" long. First I tried my Lee Valley low angle jack (#5 I guess) and I could not get the edges straight (little bowed). Next, I tried a flush trim bit and the old trick of a slight offset of the router fence and that didn't work either. I really don't want to buy a cheap power jointer or have room for a nice heavy one (6"). Plus, you know what? I am getting more and more sick of the noise of power tools.

    So, if I bought a jointer like the Lee Valley low angle jointer or the Lie Nielsen #7 or #8, how much skill do I need to joint boards?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Chevy Chase, Maryland
    Posts
    2,484
    It is not a particularly steep learning curve. Matchplaning is particularly easy as it is so forgiving. Squaring one edge at a time is a bit more difficult and requires frequent checks (square / straightedge / mating board) of progress, especially when you are starting out.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    I think that demonstration is a little misleading. It works okay if your boards are not much longer than your plane, but that's not normally the case. If you're trying to join two boards that are eight feet long, that setup will NOT, by itself, assure and accurate fit. It's easy to end up with a hollw in the middle, which of course will then be exaggerated when the boards are joined together.

    You can do it two ways. One, you can have a perfectly straight edge to use as a reference, and such edges are not that hard to make by hand, as long as you make two at the same time.

    Two, you can use the two boards themselves to make one another perfectly straight, by getting them to mate well edge-to-edge, then turning one of them around and seeing if they still mate well. If so, they're both straight. If not, you can easily figure out what's too high and what's too low and correct it, then try again.

    I hope that makes sense. But the bottom-line answer to the original question is that it doesn't take a huge amount of skill to joint a straight edge, and you can most definitely do without a power jointer for this task.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Dugger, Indiana
    Posts
    101
    You should be able to get decent results from your jackplane for those boards. I'm not saying it would be my first choice, but it should work pretty well.

    Just remember to shave off the high spots first and then flatten. If you have a bump, you can plane a long, long time and still have a bump. If you have make a slight concave with a pass or two it will come out flat.

    Skill and the right plane for the job will make you a lot faster and a bit better, but it isn't hard to learn.

    Having a flat workbench is a tremendous aid. If the board bows under the planes pressure on a deficient work surface, you won't be successful.

    If you have a solid suface with a low spot, a carefully placed shim or shaving under your board might get you through.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    75
    You might try the David Charlesworth DVDs from Lie-Nielsen as well. If you buy a high quality plane I'm not sure if the first one would be useful (I haven't seen it), but I thought that the second DVD was quite good.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Roderick View Post
    I think that demonstration is a little misleading. It works okay if your boards are not much longer than your plane, but that's not normally the case. If you're trying to join two boards that are eight feet long, that setup will NOT, by itself, assure and accurate fit. It's easy to end up with a hollw in the middle, which of course will then be exaggerated when the boards are joined together.
    I agree Mark, but jointing an 8' edge joint is a very rare need in furniture making. I've done 4' joints this way and it works very well (and even joints this long are relatively rare unless you build a lot of secretaries or highboys). The boards in the link I posted above were almost 3' long which is a common length. For reference, the jointer plane in the sixth picture is 30" long. This is a benefit of a long plane and why I recommend anyone wanting to joint boards by hand get the longest jointer they can find. You can't have a jointer that's too long.

    The case sides pictured below were also done this way and the joint had zero gap. In my experience, it's much easier to plane out a hollow than it is to plane out a hump.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Clarksville, MD
    Posts
    262

    Jointing an Edge with a Hand Plane

    I'm glad to see this post as the concept of edge jointing, which seemed pretty simple, escaped me in practice. Despite my most careful efforts, resulted in a hump in the middle of the board. I use a variation of the below technique and can repeatably joint even 6'-8' edges.

    It should be noted that jointed to boards clamped together only works to solve any out of square iron across the width, as the two boards will be out of square in a complimentary fashion; i.e., 88 degrees/92 degrees.

    Recently I saw this in Chris Schwarz's Blog:
    How to Joint Edges With a Fence
    Just like with using a power jointer, there is some technique involved in using a jointer plane fence.

    Things to watch: The cutter has to be sticking out of the tool dead square. This is why I learned to use a curved iron in my jointer plane it's actually a more forgiving setup than using a straight iron.
    Second: Use your dominant hand to push the plane forward and your off-hand to control the fence. With your off-hand, use your thumb to push the toe down against the edge and use your fingers to push the fence against the face of your board.

    Third: What you have to understand about handplanes is that the tool's cutter sticks out below the sole of the tool. As a result, the tool takes a slightly heavier cut at the beginning of the pass when only part of the plane is on the edge.

    Last week I tried to measure this by edge jointing a 30"-long board and then measuring the shaving's thickness at five points along its length. At the beginning of the cut (toe engaged only) my cuts were consistently .0055" thick. In the middle and end of the cut the shaving was .005" thick.

    That is not much difference. But it can add up. After several strokes the edge develops a gentle curve to it. And that's no good for gluing.

    So here's what I do: First remove some of the middle section of the edge. I start the cut a few inches in from the end of the board, and I end the cut a few inches from the end. I'll usually take two passes like this. (This is similar to what David Charlesworth does, though I believe he continues to make passes until the plane stops cutting.)

    Then I take a pass all the way through the edge. If I get one perfect unbroken shaving, I'll test the edge with a straightedge or the board's mating edge. If the edge is perfect or is a little hollow in the middle, I'll get the glue and the clamps. If the edge still bulges, I'll remove another shaving in the middle.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    52
    This is an interesting thread. As it turns out, I was taught to plane the edges with a slight "belly" in the middle of the two boards starting a couple inches or so in from each end -- just enough so that the joint can be pulled together with clamps. The reason given was that the boards will tend to warp away from the center at the ends over time eventually leaving a gap. By pulling the center together, any warping would be against the stress created by the clamping. Haven't had much experience with either method yet, but it made sense to me. I'd love to hear any contrary argument.

    Rick Dohm

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Clarksville, MD
    Posts
    262
    Rick - I learned the same way. I believe it's called a "spring gap" or "spring joint".

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Rowe View Post
    Rick - I learned the same way. I believe it's called a "spring gap" or "spring joint".
    Yep, it's called a sprung joint. However, you can't use a rub joint with sprung edges. In order for the rub joint to work well, the two mating edges must be flat.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    52
    OK, now you got me -- what's a rub joint?

    Rick Dohm

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Posts
    28

    Jointing long boards

    Using a jointer plane and with the two boardboard face surfaces clamped together, their soon-to-be mating edges uppermost, I sight along the length and make sure there is no bump and take a few shaving to create a hollow, and then run a full shaving end to end. At that point check to see how they clamp together. In shorter work, David Charlesworth's approach is to run stop shaving until the plane stops cutting, and then one or two full-lenth shavings, leaving a very slight gap that easily clamps tight under moderate pressure. However, eight feet is too long for that technique because you can create too large a bow.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Yokohama, Japan/St. Petersburg, Russia
    Posts
    726
    Rubbed joint is a joint created by rubbing two surfaces together without using clamps. Using glue such as hide glue, brush or spread hide glue onto the gluing surface of the piece (just one side would suffice) and mate the pieces together, and move the piece in wiggling or rubbing motion until the glue grabs (hide glue has monstrous tack when it gels). Just leave it at that. The glue will take care of the rest, pulling the pieces together as it dries. For something like that to work, mating surfaces have to be perfectly flat (or conform to each other), so the surfaces will mate without gaps or create weak joint.

    This technique creates very strong joint without clamping force due to hide glue's tendency to pull pieces together. Some people argue that hide glue with gram strength of 192 (good grade with balance for strength and open time) is too 'watery' and not enough pull for rubbed joint, therefore not suitable, and advocate using higher gram strength glue, like 251 and up. Personally I think if gluing surfaces are flat, 192 strength hide glue is plenty adequate for rubbed joint.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Posts
    62

    The string theory

    Just an idea that has worked for me:
    When planing the edge of a long board, I will tack a string to the leading end( into the end grain.) I can then pull the string back the length of the board and check for flattness. This works very well if you have a belly in the edge. If you have a crown, it becomes more difficult as the string will contact the leading edge and lay along the whole length of the board. You have to slowly lay the string down and plane out the high spots as you contact them.
    By the way, don't give up on the jointer planes. Not only are they quieter and, therefore, more pleasant to use, they allow for more flexibility in a small shop with smaller machines and, once you get the hang of it, you will find yourself reaching for a sharp jointer plane before you lug a heavy long board over to the mechanical jointer.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •