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Thread: Jointer Safety

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    I rarely if even ever use push blocks on a jointer, with proper technique you don't need them, I would be more prone to use one on a jointer with a porkchop guard, with a euro guard I have never felt the need.


    Quote Originally Posted by lowell holmes View Post
    I always use push blocks when running the jointer.

    https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...31.WQHvxXwUbJA

  2. #32
    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?
    For me I think the most dangerous aspect of a jointer is the push blocks they give you when you buy a new jointer. I tried them for about an hour with the purchase of a new jointer and found they slip way too easily and promptly threw them in the trash. I then fabricated a push block which looks like a hand plane with a block on the black end of it you can hook on the end of the board.

  3. #33
    i would put a vote in for lubricating the bed and fence, routinely, so the wood slides easily. the times when i've felt the most concerned for my safety is when i have to overcome a lot of friction - a well-waxed bed and fence means less pressure and force.

    that said, my push blocks are chunks of 2x6s with black pipe handles and drywall screws to catch the surface. no chance of them tipping or leaving the material surface.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    MA
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    1,752
    +1 on minimal pressure and sharp knives (this is similar to pocket knife safety, the easier it cuts the less built up energy to go the wrong way).

    I have girls. Hair tied back. But I like to wear long sleeve shirts, and around the jointer in particular I always check to be sure they are buttoned tight at the wrist (or more often I remove the shirt when jointing)

    I keep hearing about the Gripper.... I am going to have to try one, do not know if I love them or hate them (seems to be bipolar on this topic).

    My guard is off. As a combo machine it makes it a little more frustrating to keep the guard on because the top surface is also the TS and Shaper table. So a guard gets in the way there. And sharp knives, even stationary, can cause knicks. The fence has to be put on/off. One time I ran the jointer without the fence because was just facing the board. I think that is a bad idea, having that extra guide helps stabilize things.

    Agree on using the outfeed table as the reference plane, so your hands are after the blades as much as possible (the accidents I know of personally were ones where the board kicked out/slipped but the downward pressure/momentum of the operator meant their hand went into the cutter head). Give a mental thought to where the trajectory of things would be if something did go wrong, plan for that with technique.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Prairie Village, KS
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    371
    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beckett View Post
    +1 on minimal pressure and sharp knives (this is similar to pocket knife safety, the easier it cuts the less built up energy to go the wrong way).

    I have girls. Hair tied back. But I like to wear long sleeve shirts, and around the jointer in particular I always check to be sure they are buttoned tight at the wrist (or more often I remove the shirt when jointing)

    I keep hearing about the Gripper.... I am going to have to try one, do not know if I love them or hate them (seems to be bipolar on this topic).

    My guard is off. As a combo machine it makes it a little more frustrating to keep the guard on because the top surface is also the TS and Shaper table. So a guard gets in the way there. And sharp knives, even stationary, can cause knicks. The fence has to be put on/off. One time I ran the jointer without the fence because was just facing the board. I think that is a bad idea, having that extra guide helps stabilize things.

    Agree on using the outfeed table as the reference plane, so your hands are after the blades as much as possible (the accidents I know of personally were ones where the board kicked out/slipped but the downward pressure/momentum of the operator meant their hand went into the cutter head). Give a mental thought to where the trajectory of things would be if something did go wrong, plan for that with technique.
    I always use the Gripper push pad on the rear. It has retractable hooks that can drop down and hook behind the piece.

  6. #36
    This has been covered pretty well. But you forgot one thing! For some ,especially employees, using a jointer is just
    pushing a piece of wood. That makes them zone out. I face with bow down . That often causes the board itself to
    straighten. Some think that is dangerous. The real danger is not understanding that you have to think when you work.
    Employees who think it's boring are usually not happy with the excitement of the emergency room either.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    I do the same as Mel, for the same reason. It helps to straighten the board if you work with the bowed side down.

    I actually cut a very light hollow into long boards (1/64" over 8' or so) so that they straighten perfectly after being planed.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beckett View Post
    I keep hearing about the Gripper.... I am going to have to try one, do not know if I love them or hate them (seems to be bipolar on this topic).
    I've got a Grrripper, it's a great $20 tool with a $60 price tag.

    That having been said I've got a couple of push blocks that came with the jointer, and John Heitz style push stick. I use the blocks on the front to hold down the wood, and the push stick in the back, where it can hook onto the back edge of the board. I like these sorts of push blocks since they completely cover my hands in hard plastic, and I'd need to push them over to expose flesh. Since they're very stable it's hard to do.

    I feel the Grripper is really at it's best on the table saw, where it can be used to push on both sides of the cut at once. On the jointer there is no such need.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    Prairie Village, KS
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    371
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew More View Post
    I've got a Grrripper, it's a great $20 tool with a $60 price tag.

    That having been said I've got a couple of push blocks that came with the jointer, and John Heitz style push stick. I use the blocks on the front to hold down the wood, and the push stick in the back, where it can hook onto the back edge of the board. I like these sorts of push blocks since they completely cover my hands in hard plastic, and I'd need to push them over to expose flesh. Since they're very stable it's hard to do.

    I feel the Grripper is really at it's best on the table saw, where it can be used to push on both sides of the cut at once. On the jointer there is no such need.
    This is the one I use on my jointer.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DNX3N7S...ing=UTF8&psc=1

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    I do the same as Mel, for the same reason. It helps to straighten the board if you work with the bowed side down.

    I actually cut a very light hollow into long boards (1/64" over 8' or so) so that they straighten perfectly after being planed.
    Hmmm, you mention 8' boards. I find that the "focus" (for want of a better word) of the bow or a kink _often_ tends to be related to a knot or some kind of discontinuity or grain reversal or some other subtle stress on the tree. To this end, before surfacing, I like to simply separate the stressed parts (i.e. cut into rough components well in advance of any other work.) I work with "full-sized" furniture, and it's rare that I surface anything even close to 8'.

    Safety-related: don't work with boards bigger than you have to.

    Of course this originated with having used hand planes for most of my surfacing in the past. You can imagine why.

  11. #41
    I'm not clear on what folks mean by "bowed side down" -- does that mean the convex face or the concave face is down?

    Agree on sharp knives, slick tables, and light pressure. If you have to use a lot of pressure, then one of the first two probably isn't true.

    Not sure anyone has mentioned looking out for major knots or other defects that create short grain (grain angled significantly to the face). Likely source of blowouts or kickback if the grain starts to separate.

    Another thing is taking care with pieces that have a crook near the end that, if you have concave face down, can "fall into" the cutterhead as the leading edge comes off the infeed table, causing a much deeper than planned cut and forces that could create kickback. If you have that situation, safer (IMHO) to do a couple quick passes starting with the bulk of the board on the outfeed table and only the "protruding" end on the infeed table, then just drag the trailing end across. Flip end for end and repeat if both ends are a problem. Once you have a few inches flat, go to a normal feed. A "dragging" cut can still overfeed and want to grab, but if it does, the board is being pulled backward away from you instead of being thrown toward you. Of course, the even safer approach is to do some initial flattening with another tool so it's not an issue.

    Best,

    Dave

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Inkerman, Ontario, Canada
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    475
    People zone out using the jointer... wow, never would have thought that. to me the jointer is the most engaging and enjoyable operation that you can do; Eyeballing the lumber, making decisions on how and where to cut to get the maximum yield out of a stick, varying the pressure, balancing the twisted ones, and snipping a bit of opposing corners, flipping the boards, all of the decisions and control required to get the best results.....altogether a fun and rewarding job.

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Huntington, Vermont
    Posts
    930
    "bowed side down" for me means convex side down- I don't know why, but like Mel and Brian I find I have better luck straightening out bowed pieces that way.

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    Hmmm, you mention 8' boards. I find that the "focus" (for want of a better word) of the bow or a kink _often_ tends to be related to a knot or some kind of discontinuity or grain reversal or some other subtle stress on the tree. To this end, before surfacing, I like to simply separate the stressed parts (i.e. cut into rough components well in advance of any other work.) I work with "full-sized" furniture, and it's rare that I surface anything even close to 8'.

    Safety-related: don't work with boards bigger than you have to.

    Of course this originated with having used hand planes for most of my surfacing in the past. You can imagine why.
    My first three years in business I dimensioned every piece of stock by hand, joint and thickness.

    I don’t disagree with your process but I’m not sure what you’re implying with respect to my length callout? I assume you mean to suggest that I joint boards before turning them into parts, if that is the case it is incorrect. I work long material for table tops, bookcase sides, door stiles, etc. I rough cut into smaller when the parts are smaller.

    Not sure where long long boards are unsafe in my shop, I have 16’ of support, they are in fact safer because I’m never near the cutter when working longer boards.

    I’m making a 54” wide 7’ long table top today, last month I had a 42” x 9’.

    I work with mainly quartersawn and rift. As example, making 8’ long shoji screens which require 1.5” x 1.25” perfectly straight stiles. It is no easy task.
    Last edited by Brian Holcombe; 10-18-2019 at 5:19 PM.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  15. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mount View Post
    I'm not clear on what folks mean by "bowed side down" -- does that mean the convex face or the concave face is down?

    Agree on sharp knives, slick tables, and light pressure. If you have to use a lot of pressure, then one of the first two probably isn't true.

    Not sure anyone has mentioned looking out for major knots or other defects that create short grain (grain angled significantly to the face). Likely source of blowouts or kickback if the grain starts to separate.

    Another thing is taking care with pieces that have a crook near the end that, if you have concave face down, can "fall into" the cutterhead as the leading edge comes off the infeed table, causing a much deeper than planned cut and forces that could create kickback. If you have that situation, safer (IMHO) to do a couple quick passes starting with the bulk of the board on the outfeed table and only the "protruding" end on the infeed table, then just drag the trailing end across. Flip end for end and repeat if both ends are a problem. Once you have a few inches flat, go to a normal feed. A "dragging" cut can still overfeed and want to grab, but if it does, the board is being pulled backward away from you instead of being thrown toward you. Of course, the even safer approach is to do some initial flattening with another tool so it's not an issue.
    Boards are always cut straight at the mill, and bow afterwards (particularly after drying.) That much we can all agree on. Compression wood shrinks a lot more when it dries, causing it to bow towards the direction of compression, i.e. in the concave direction. Shaving off the _opposite_ side (the convex side) can somewhat relieve this stress that causes the wood to deform its shape (bow), particularly when focussed on the apex of the bow.

    Re your last paragraph, a scrub plane or a power planer is helpful.

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