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Thread: Advice on sagging Jointer table (MM FS41ES)

  1. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Loza View Post
    Derek, is your shop climate controlled at this point? There's a particular reason I'm asking this question.

    Erik
    Yeah, I installed HVAC and a commercial dehumidifier. It's nicer in there then it is in my house

  2. #47
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    I have an FS31, about 30 years old. I could joint perfectly straight and flat edges; it seems ridiculous that the factory would set up a jointer to cut spring joints, thankfully mine was nut. But then one day I was cutting spring joints and not by desire, they were just coming out that way no matter what I did technique wise. What the heck? So with my less than perfect straight edge I found that the infeed table was sagging at least 0.005" at the inlet. I first verified the knives were parallel with the outfeed table and about 0.002" above. So the infeed table needed to be shimmed. The cuts told me so and the straight edge confirmed it.

    I had removed the tables to get the J/P down into my basement shop when I bought it 5 years ago. Removing the hinge bolts was not easy. Warning. I was afraid I was going to snap them when I did it but, fortunately, none broke. Anyway, there were no shims under the hinges, so I knew that I had to add one or more now. I ended up adding a 0.004 shim under the first hinge bolt, the one closest to the beginning of the infeed table, in order for the straightedge to look flat across both tables. Happily, that was it, and I was back to cutting straight, flat edges again.

    Nice tools are nice, but modest ones will do if you let the results guide you. Woodworking machines for the most part are pretty simple devices. Good luck.

    John

  3. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    I have an FS31, about 30 years old. I could joint perfectly straight and flat edges; it seems ridiculous that the factory would set up a jointer to cut spring joints, thankfully mine was nut. But then one day I was cutting spring joints and not by desire, they were just coming out that way no matter what I did technique wise. What the heck? So with my less than perfect straight edge I found that the infeed table was sagging at least 0.005" at the inlet. I first verified the knives were parallel with the outfeed table and about 0.002" above. So the infeed table needed to be shimmed. The cuts told me so and the straight edge confirmed it.

    I had removed the tables to get the J/P down into my basement shop when I bought it 5 years ago. Removing the hinge bolts was not easy. Warning. I was afraid I was going to snap them when I did it but, fortunately, none broke. Anyway, there were no shims under the hinges, so I knew that I had to add one or more now. I ended up adding a 0.004 shim under the first hinge bolt, the one closest to the beginning of the infeed table, in order for the straightedge to look flat across both tables. Happily, that was it, and I was back to cutting straight, flat edges again.

    Nice tools are nice, but modest ones will do if you let the results guide you. Woodworking machines for the most part are pretty simple devices. Good luck.

    John
    Hi Jon,

    I think you posted about this in another thread right? You said the bolts had some perma-never-move stuff like red Loctite? I'm just hoping it requires as little adjustment as possible. It will take a solid week before I can take more accurate measurements to see the actual situation.
    Last edited by derek labian; 01-17-2022 at 1:37 PM.

  4. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by derek labian View Post
    Yeah, I installed HVAC and a commercial dehumidifier. It's nicer in there then it is in my house
    That's good and will help. Reason I asked is that "if" in non-climate controlled shop, there is so much unsupported cast iron hanging out past the parallelograms that I could envision a tech calibrating the machine one day, then the table moving around on the next hot or cold day. I've seen this with nesting routers that use aluminum rather than phenolic tables.

    Erik
    Ex-SCM and Felder rep

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by derek labian View Post
    Hi Jon,

    I think you posted about this in another thread right? You said the bolts had some perma-never-move stuff like red Loctite? I'm just hoping it requires as little adjustment as possible. It will take a solid week before I can take more accurate measurements to see the actual situation.
    Good memory Derek; yes, I did post about that some time ago. It was more like green epoxy but, no matter, they were pretty hard bonded in the holes. I count myself very lucky that they came out without breaking. I used a hex drive in a 1/2" socket wrench and leaned on it hard to avoid stripping out the socket head. When I reinstalled the bolts I used blue Loctite. When I had to shim the infeed table recently it was a stress-free job to loosen the bolts.

    John

  6. #51
    I used red Loctite once by mistake and was able to weaken the bond with heat. The same goes for most epoxies.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by derek labian View Post
    Thats why I originally didn't buy a Starrett strait edge, I had read the quality went down, people weren't getting strait edges. The problem though is, if I get it, and its my reference, how will I know if its not strait :P I'd have to buy two, and put them back to back to see if they are perfect. What do you mean "use a level" to verify accuracy?



    Thats what Erik was saying as well. I guess I'll see when I get the strait edge.
    First thing to do is to understand how to verify flat & straight!

    Two reference straightedges back to back wont verify straight!

    You need three straightedges to verify.
    Use reference surface on straightedge A to check reference surface on Straightedge B & C.
    Then check B & C against each other.

    Checking B &C against A, will only tell you that they are a complimentary fit.
    For instance if A is convex, and B&C are concave they could still show a perfect fit when placed against A, albeit a false positive.
    The error will only be seen when you check B against C

    You don't need an expensive straight edge. You need to understand the principles.
    You can make straightedges out of wood.
    Take a three pieces of 1" x 6" x 6' Joint them the best you can then handplane them to a precise fit, and verify they are flat as explained above, then use them to check your jointer table alignment. You should be able to get within a thou or two.

  8. #53
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    Didn't go through all replies. I have a 14" version and if the tables are totally flat it's only a matter of speding enough time and back and forth to adjust the tables (with shims if needed). Note that each table has a limited amount of adjustments and you can NOT adjust one and be done with it and move on to the other table! You may have to go back and adjust the other table (e.g. outfeed) if needed. Yes, you can start at the outfeed and make that good with the cutter head but depending on where the far edge of the outfeed table is now you may never be able to adjust the infeed enough to get a truely flat surface (e.g. the far end edge of the outfeed table might be too low and you cannot raise the front edge of the infeed to make it in the same line as that edge and cutter head). I have taken apart my machine a few times and put it back together (moving) and it takes a good couple of hours to dial it to perfection each time.

  9. #54
    Hi Mark,

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hennebury View Post
    Two reference straightedges back to back wont verify straight!
    I thought about this before I made the original post, however, I think you can verify a strait edge is strait with only two strait edges. If they are back to back and perfectly aligned, but not strait, it would have to be complimentary errors in alignment. Since they are complementary, you could simply reverse the direction of one of the two strait edges showing its not strait. Even if they were complimentary in a way that showed them being strait in both directions, you could offset the strait edges. This wouldn't tell you which reference edge is strait, but it would indicate you have a problem.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hennebury View Post
    You don't need an expensive straight edge. You need to understand the principles. You can make straightedges out of wood.
    I guess that depends on your application. I thought my $80 Woodpecker strait edge was more than sufficient until multiple people in this thread told me it was not. I don't think its bad to have a steel strait edge that is a universal reference and won't expand and contract (much). I did actually make a strait edge out of the 2x6 I mentioned earlier in this thread. It was actually very handy. It of course won't stay strait, which is why that steel strict edge is nice.

    I don't think being perfectly flat is that important in many cases. My SawStop PCS does not have a perfectly flat table, but its not going to impact, in any meaningful way, what I'm doing. Especially since the wood will probably shift more than the tolerance on that table pretty soon after the cut anyway.

    Whats a little less clear is the tolerances that are acceptable on a jointer. When I'm doing edge jointing for a glue up, I do need those edges to be strait. Thats the issue I was running into. I did get those joints close enough to finish my glue up, but I still want a final answer on if the tables need adjustment or not. I'm not going to be able to do that with a piece of wood if I can't get it strait in the first place when the jointer is the tool I would use for that. I can't even be sure the wood is strait without a reference (I was sure the 2x6 I sued was strait because I used the jointer tables as a reference, but they aren't that long). All this becomes easier if you have a reference strait edge. I'm not going to buy another strait edge just to verify, I'll do my best to verify the Starrett with what I have, and then move on.

  10. #55
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    Derek, I too try to dial machines to as close to perfect as possible, but what matters at the end is the end result (i.e. wood product) you get off of the machine.
    If you join two pieces of wood and the two edges mate perfectly to your eye (i.e. no visible gap that requires clamp pressure to close) then it is good enough, even if your machine isn't dialed in "perfectly" or if your strait edge tolerances isn't that great.
    I use a 36" cheap straight edge and also (sometimes) a 48" ruler which by no means is a machine setup equipment. I set up the machine using these and check the end result. If you don't have a reason to doubt your straight edge then go ahead and try to adjust your tables using that. If each table is flat by itself (which is the most important part) then you should be able to get the two tables and the cutter block co-planar. You have a single line (knife edges) and two planes (tables) that all need to be co-planar. I have never needed to adjust the cutter block (but that too is doable if needed). Start by making the outfeed table co-planar with the cutter block. Note that at this point the far end of the outfeed table has infinitely many position you can choose from (going up/down). Try to pick a middle point.
    Then try to adjust the in-feed table. If you see your tables with the cutter block make a V and there is no way to adjust the in-feed any further then you need the drop the far end of the out-feed table a little and start over. If you see a /\ and you can't adjust the infeed anymore to fix then you need to raise the outfeed end higher. There are bolts/clamps at the front end of the tables (bolt can be used to adjust) and then you can shim the two sides of each hinge for the tables....

  11. Quote Originally Posted by derek labian View Post
    I thought my $80 Woodpecker strait edge was more than sufficient until multiple people in this thread told me it was not.
    The issue with jointers is the error is cumulative with each pass. Hence jointers are more frustrating to adjust near perfect so that over multiple passes any cumulative error is still within the tolerance of your project. Also even when setup near perfect there's still the human operator error factor. Feeding stock through the jointer requires a bit of practice, even pressure, even feed rate. I think I'm back to why I dislike jointers. lol

  12. #57
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    Using two straightedges.

    Top set: Reference edges fit perfectly together,
    Second set down; Flip the lower one 180 , they fit perfectly.
    Third set down; Both face forward but lower one offset to the left, both fit perfectly.
    Fourth set down; Both face forward but lower one offset to the right, both fit perfectly.
    Fifth set down: Lower one face backwards, offset to the left, both fit perfectly.
    Sixth set down; Lower one face backwards, offset to the right, both fit perfectly.

    Fit together perfectly. no errors, but not straight!

    Striaghtedge comparrison.jpg

  13. #58
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    Using three;

    Reference edge one and two fit.
    Reference edges one and three fit;
    Reference edges two and three show the error.

    straightedge 3.jpg

  14. #59
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    You should be able to finish plane joints with a handplane to within a 0.001" fit
    They don't have to be straight, they have to be a complimentary fit.
    As has been said, a lot of jointer accuracy is about feed, pressure and control........practice.

  15. #60
    I received the Starrett strait edge. It's much heavier than I expected as someone mentioned at that length. I compared my Woodpecker 36" I used at the beginning of the test. The Woodpecker is off by a solid .010 at the far end thus invalidating my readings. I hadn't really expected that to be possible with the tolerances on the website and the fact that it had no damage. For the few of you that pointed out I needed a more reliable strait edge before deciding the unit was out of plane, thank you. The in-feed is not out of plane.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hennebury View Post
    As has been said, a lot of jointer accuracy is about feed, pressure and control........practice.
    Isn't that the truth.

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