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Thread: Jointer Safety

  1. #1
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    Jointer Safety

    I've been milling up a lot of white oak the past two nights. While I was using my jointer I started to ponder safety. For something like the table saw there are a lot of common safety procedures/dos/donts. A lot more than a jointer which makes sense as there are a lot more variables with the table saw than the jointer.

    For the jointer it seems like it all just comes down to not letting your hand get into the cutter head. Simple enough but am wondering if there are some dos/donts you all have for working on the jointer. I always use push blocks when face jointing and edge jointing smaller stock and I only take off 1/32 per pass regardless of how much I have to mill. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim M Tuttle View Post
    I've been milling up a lot of white oak the past two nights. While I was using my jointer I started to ponder safety. For something like the table saw there are a lot of common safety procedures/dos/donts. A lot more than a jointer which makes sense as there are a lot more variables with the table saw than the jointer.

    For the jointer it seems like it all just comes down to not letting your hand get into the cutter head. Simple enough but am wondering if there are some dos/donts you all have for working on the jointer. I always use push blocks when face jointing and edge jointing smaller stock and I only take off 1/32 per pass regardless of how much I have to mill. Thoughts?

    1) Don't be trippin' when you're jointing. The blades are not as fascinating as you think they are.
    2) Don't lift the jointer up by its ears. It hates that.
    3) Always make sure the travel path of your feet is clear of any objects.
    4) Never wear gloves.
    5) If you're going to fall, fall backwards not forwards (so wear a helmet.)

    That is all.

  3. #3
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    U are gona get alot of blow back on #4, lol...

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    1) Don't be trippin' when you're jointing. The blades are not as fascinating as you think they are.
    2) Don't lift the jointer up by its ears. It hates that.
    3) Always make sure the travel path of your feet is clear of any objects.
    4) Never wear gloves.
    5) If you're going to fall, fall backwards not forwards (so wear a helmet.)

    That is all.

  4. #4
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    Never joint anything shorter than about 10". Use a hand plane for those.

    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Tim,

    Most safety measures are as simple as you put it. Being safe around a table saw is as simple as "dont put your hand in the spinning blade". As far as the jointer, if you use push blocks for all face jointing, then you are most of the way there. I think the majority of jointer accidents involve people putting the heel of their right hand into the cutterhead as they push the end of the board through the cut. For the most part, if you keep your hands on the outfeed table you are out of harm's way. For edging, Ive seen it taught where you constantly reposition your hands a foot above and over the cutterhead in an arc as you feed the board. In this case, i would suggest minding your pinky. Dont hang it out there like you are drinking tea with the queen. I always keep my thumb on the top o the board if i can to keep my hand from falling down. You want to push into the fence and forward and not so much downward into the table/cutterhead.

    What guard do you have? I like a euro bridge guard for edging. You can set it low and very tight to the fence to make it all but impossible to injure yourself.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Kane View Post
    Tim,

    Most safety measures are as simple as you put it. Being safe around a table saw is as simple as "dont put your hand in the spinning blade". As far as the jointer, if you use push blocks for all face jointing, then you are most of the way there. I think the majority of jointer accidents involve people putting the heel of their right hand into the cutterhead as they push the end of the board through the cut. For the most part, if you keep your hands on the outfeed table you are out of harm's way. For edging, Ive seen it taught where you constantly reposition your hands a foot above and over the cutterhead in an arc as you feed the board. In this case, i would suggest minding your pinky. Dont hang it out there like you are drinking tea with the queen. I always keep my thumb on the top o the board if i can to keep my hand from falling down. You want to push into the fence and forward and not so much downward into the table/cutterhead.

    What guard do you have? I like a euro bridge guard for edging. You can set it low and very tight to the fence to make it all but impossible to injure yourself.
    I just have the stock guard that came with my jointer (Steelex ST1101, same as Grizzly G0490X).

    I don't think table saw safety is as simple as put it because that doesnt account for kickback. But that's for another thread I guess

  7. #7
    I don't use a guard on my 30" jointer, I use gloves sometimes.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim M Tuttle View Post
    I just have the stock guard that came with my jointer (Steelex ST1101, same as Grizzly G0490X).

    I don't think table saw safety is as simple as put it because that doesnt account for kickback. But that's for another thread I guess
    Speaking of which, does anyone know of a replacement guard for a Powermatic 882? The standard guard kind of sucks, I have cardboard taped to mine, etc. It's by far the cheesiest part of an otherwise good machine.

    Another safety rule:

    6) Familiarize yourself with (and picture in your mind beforehand) the weaknesses and potential failings of the guard on your jointer, and do NOT react "in the moment" to something that doesn't look like it's going as planned. This might require some stamina.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    For me it’s just keep the knifes sharp.
    When the feed pressure goes up I start thinking about when to swap them out. Most of the time I sit in a chair in front of my machine and pass wood over the head. Long boards I stand up .
    I don’t like helical heads with the 30 degree facebevel on the Carbide inserts. Because it’s takes too much downward and push pressure.
    I also have my guard set aside it just gets in the way.
    Good Luck
    Aj

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Hughes View Post
    For me itís just keep the knifes sharp.
    When the feed pressure goes up I start thinking about when to swap them out. Most of the time I sit in a chair in front of my machine and pass wood over the head. Long boards I stand up .
    I donít like helical heads with the 30 degree facebevel on the Carbide inserts. Because itís takes too much downward and push pressure.
    I also have my guard set aside it just gets in the way.
    May I introduce

    7) Don't throw away the guard.

    7a) (Corollary) If it feels unsafe, it probably is. (Perhaps the most general theorem in power tooldom.)

  11. #11
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    No worries Doug I wouldnít throw away the guard.
    Itís the original to the machine Made in Grand Rapids Michigan.
    Itís really a really long PorkChop.

    Good Luck
    Aj

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Hughes View Post
    No worries Doug I wouldnít throw away the guard.
    Itís the original to the machine Made in Grand Rapids Michigan.
    Itís really a really long PorkChop.
    It's good that you mentioned sitting in a chair (although I've never tried that, personally.) There is a certain balletic motion that goes into feeding the stock (face anyway.) IOW, applying pressure to "deform" the stock to conform with the beds is not always productive, if you want to remove the minimal amount of stock to get the job done.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy Warner View Post
    I don't use a guard on my 30" jointer, I use gloves sometimes.
    I thought the OP was asking about safe working practices.

    John

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    I thought the OP was asking about safe working practices.

    John
    It's how I feel safe using a 30" machine.

  15. #15
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    Somewhere I heard jointers are one of the leading sources of injuries in WW, probably because people aren't as careful around them as around spinning saw blades.

    One thing I always think about is kickback, and where my (pushing) hands would go if the workpiece suddenly disappeared...

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