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Thread: Bad Jointer Results - HELP!!

  1. #1

    Bad Jointer Results - HELP!!

    HELP!
    I am using a friends Jointer (which is older than me) and clearly Im doing something wrong. The first batch of boards I put through it came out fine but yesterdays boards are AwFUl. The boards are 5.75 wide by 4 1/2 feet long, the jointer is an OLD 6 1/8 wide Craftsman, and Im trying to joint (flatten) the wide face of some 4/4+ thick rough sawn boards. They are getting thin on the leading end but the trailing end isnt getting much of anything taken off. I'm basically making the worlds largest wedges. I think I know what the problem is but Id love to hear what guys think.

    Thank you,
    Don

  2. #2
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    Had you not had good results the first day I would have guessed that the jointer tables are not in the same plane; that the outfeed table is tipped down at the back. It's still worth putting a straightedge across both tables to confirm they are parallel. Assuming they are then the next possibility is that the knives are set higher than the outfeed table. That's easy to check as well by putting a couple of straight boards about 1 x 1 x 12" long on the outfeed table, one near each end of the cutter head and overhanging the cutter head an inch or so, then rotating the cutter head forward by hand. The blades should pull the two boards about an inch forward as each knife contacts them. If it pulls the boards several inches forward, however, the outfeed table is too low and you need to either move it higher or set the knives lower.

    If neither of the above is the problem, then the problem is your technique. But I'll bet you'll find it's related to one of the two issues above.

    John

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Lamothe View Post
    HELP!
    I am using a friends Jointer (which is older than me) and clearly Im doing something wrong. The first batch of boards I put through it came out fine but yesterdays boards are AwFUl. The boards are 5.75 wide by 4 1/2 feet long, the jointer is an OLD 6 1/8 wide Craftsman, and Im trying to joint (flatten) the wide face of some 4/4+ thick rough sawn boards. They are getting thin on the leading end but the trailing end isnt getting much of anything taken off. I'm basically making the worlds largest wedges. I think I know what the problem is but Id love to hear what guys think.

    Thank you,
    Don
    When I run into this it is usually my technique. I push down to hard on the leading edge as I pull the lumber through.

    Thanks.

    Brian
    Brian

  4. #4
    I'm guessing that it is an old fixed bed Craftsman, where you have to set the knives to the outfield table because the outfield table doesn't move. Typically most people get so frustrated doing this that they settle for "close enough" which for the most part usually works.

    My guess is, if you were able to get it to work before, is that the boards are slightly concave at the bottom and because the tables are so short on that machine, you are unintentionally following the curve at the beginning of the cut, and making wedges. Check the overall flatness of the board against a long straight edge like a 4 foot level or flat workbench top and see how flat overall the board is. You might need to do a rough face joint with a jack plane or similar to remove the high spots and pull out any twist. I used an undersized jointer for years, decades actually, and frequently did this.

    In general, when you joint edges and faces, you want to joint them with the boards as short as practical, so you don't follow along defects in the wood, like curves and twists, and also so you don't lose a lot of thickness to get flat faces. If you can rough cut your lumber shorter, that will help. If you need to do them long, then you will need to roughly straighten and flatten the wood before going through the jointer.
    Last edited by Andrew Seemann; 03-05-2021 at 11:53 AM.

  5. #5
    Gentlemen, thank you for your input. In response to John, I was thinking the same thing that the outfeed table might be tipped down away from the blades. This would cause the back of the work piece to tip up and away from the blades as it is pushed across the outfeed table. I will check that next. My board started out at 4/4+ thick. It is now 1/2" thick on the leading edge and still 4/4 thick on the trailing end. I now have 4 foot long wedges if anyone needs them. Yes, both tables are adjustable and the outfeed table appeared to be in line with the blades.

  6. #6
    Have you heard of the Wood Whisperer on youtube? Mark does a great job walking you through the setup on a jointer. I believe he has videos on technique too. I know you frustration. I have a Jet 6" and it's been love/hate with the machine. I can get it dialed in perfectly but I'm never really 100% sure how I do it. If I'm milling a lot of rough cut material my technique improves a lot.....if I don't use it for awhile I lose it.

    This is what I do. It may be wrong.....if so the experts can correct me and maybe help both of us. Anyway, I approach the machine armed with a square, a ruler and a straight edge. The three tools help me decide where the most pressure goes....infeed or outfeed. Grain dictates the feed.....determining that a skill in itself. If the leading edge say 1/16 thinner the pressure goes on the rear edge hoping the higher lead edge will pass over (higher with not cut) than the blade removing only material from the rear of the board where it needs to come off. I get there using this method, but it takes awhile and I make sure I have extra stock.
    Thanks,
    Fred

  7. #7
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    Fred, your jointer shouldn't be going out of alignment. If it is then something's wrong. I do check the fence on mine to make sure it's square to the tables when doing critical work. But the tables I check maybe once a year and have never found them to be out.

    So if you have stock you want to remove more on the back end than the front then the better way to do that is to put most of the board on the outfeed table and only joint the last little bit on the back end. Repeat that starting with more of the board on the infeed table with each pass until you are satisfied. This is exactly how you would do it with a hand plane. Remove material where it's fatest, and keep moving towards the thinner end until your last pass is full length.

    John

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    Fred, your jointer shouldn't be going out of alignment. If it is then something's wrong. I do check the fence on mine to make sure it's square to the tables when doing critical work. But the tables I check maybe once a year and have never found them to be out.

    So if you have stock you want to remove more on the back end than the front then the better way to do that is to put most of the board on the outfeed table and only joint the last little bit on the back end. Repeat that starting with more of the board on the infeed table with each pass until you are satisfied. This is exactly how you would do it with a hand plane. Remove material where it's fatest, and keep moving towards the thinner end until your last pass is full length.

    John
    Thanks John. Hope this is not seen as hijacking the OP but maybe this will help too. To clarify, I get it dialed in with a dial indicator (the Oneway Multi Gauge) but it won't last a year. I took the tables off for the first time and found what may be an issue but I will start my own thread to get some opinions.

    If I understand you correctly you would start on the outfeed table?
    Thanks,
    Fred

  9. #9
    You might have hit ....a small piece of grit. Are you seeing any small thin raised lines in the newly cut surface? If so the out feed table is
    now too high . All it takes is a couple thou of that added height of skinny wood.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fred everett View Post
    Thanks John. Hope this is not seen as hijacking the OP but maybe this will help too. To clarify, I get it dialed in with a dial indicator (the Oneway Multi Gauge) but it won't last a year. I took the tables off for the first time and found what may be an issue but I will start my own thread to get some opinions.

    If I understand you correctly you would start on the outfeed table?
    Yes, put the board on the outfeed table with just a couple of inches hanging over the infeed table. Lower the piece into the knives and push it forward in the normal way. Repeat with progressively more of the board over the infeed table. When the thickness is nearly uniform over the entire length take one or two complete pass starting on the infeed table, in the normal way. If the piece is still not of uniform thickness after the first pass of overlapping cuts, repeat until it is, just as you would when face jointing a board with a hand plane.

    John

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    Yes, put the board on the outfeed table with just a couple of inches hanging over the infeed table. Lower the piece into the knives and push it forward in the normal way. Repeat with progressively more of the board over the infeed table. When the thickness is nearly uniform over the entire length take one or two complete pass starting on the infeed table, in the normal way. If the piece is still not of uniform thickness after the first pass of overlapping cuts, repeat until it is, just as you would when face jointing a board with a hand plane.

    John
    I don't think I've ever attempted this. To be clear we're only talking about face jointing with this technique. Correct?
    Thanks,
    Fred

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fred everett View Post
    I don't think I've ever attempted this. To be clear we're only talking about face jointing with this technique. Correct?
    That's what we're talking about but it's just as easily done edge jointing when the grain requires that orientation. Once you try it it's pretty obvious how it works. Think of how you would flatten a board or straighten an edge with a hand plane. It's the same concept.

    John

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    That's what we're talking about but it's just as easily done edge jointing when the grain requires that orientation. Once you try it it's pretty obvious how it works. Think of how you would flatten a board or straighten an edge with a hand plane. It's the same concept.

    John
    It does make sense. I probably never tried it thinking it wouldn't be safe.
    Thanks,
    Fred

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