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Thread: Jointer and planer knives setting jig.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    99

    Jointer and planer knives setting jig.

    I'm trying to decide which planer and jointer knives setting jigs to buy. Any recommendations?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Cockeysville, Md
    Posts
    1,787
    I use a 12" straight edge for the jointer and the guide that came with my planer (Bridgewood 15")

    Brian
    The significant problems we encounter cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

    The penalty for inaccuracy is more work

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Douglasville, GA
    Posts
    776
    I recently installed new knives in my 1948 Boice-Crane 6" jointer. This was a first time effort for me. The knife setting article by Robert Vaughn on OWWM.com came in very handy and answered all my questions. There's even a video you can download for more specific instruction. I'm gettting smooth and even results.

    Also, a google will get you several alternative methods using shop made devices.

    So, to answer your question you may not need to buy a jig to change/set your knives.

    Good Luck. Tom
    Chapel Hills Turning Studio
    Douglasville, GA

    Hoosier by birth, Georgian by choice!

    Have blanks, will trade.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    334
    I purchased and then returned a magnetic jointer knife setting jig. I was able to get within .001" using a straightedge (cheap combination square). I was only able to get within .010" using the jig. I used a dial indicator to get a feel for just how far the knife should move the straightedge when set properly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    American Fork, Utah
    Posts
    9

    Jointer Knife Technique - Not Mine

    I copied this from another site. The poster swears by it and I copied it for next time I need to do my jointer. If it works...great. If it doesn't...sorry.

    Well here is how I do jointer knives:

    get a piece of straight hardwood about 3/4 x2x14" long . make sure it is straight as it is a reference for all the operations that follow. The stick is always used off the outfeed table, it is the reference table .



    1.If you do not have a top dead center mark on your fence you can find TDC by setting the stick on the outfeed table. Make a reference mark on the stick right at the edge of the outfeed table on the stick. Now with the jointer unplugged, hold down the stick with gentle pressure and rotate the jointer head by hand. As you do the knife will catch on the knife and move toward the infeed table. Let it do so and when it stops moving forward make another reference mark on the stick. This distance represents the distance that the knife is set above the outfeed table in an arc which makes it appear to be much more than the .001 or .002" is really is above the table. This clearance is necessary so that when you joint board the end doesn't catch on the outfeed table as you push the stock across the jointer. Now make a third mark on the board halfway between the two existing marks. This is going to represent the TDC of the cutter arc and so you should try and get as close to the center as you can. Set the stick back on the outfeed table and align the mark with the outfeed edge of the table. Once again using the same knife as you did to find the length and in about the same position on the knife rotate the knife until the center mark is aligned with the edge of the outfeed table. Stop the rotation and hold the cutter head in this position. Now make a vertical mark on the fence that aligns the edge of the knife to the fence. I actually scribed a line on my fence with a scribe so I always have this reference to work off of anytime I have to change knives. This is the reference point that determines all future work in changing knives.


    Pull out ONE knife and mark the cutterhead as # 1. Clean out the slot and clean up the gib and the screws so that foregn material has no effect on the gib and the knife. If the head uses springs to lift the knife make sure they are all still there. They are small and get lost occsionally so it pays to look.
    Now I set one fresh knife in the slot and put the gib in to and run the screws out just for enough to just touch the knife. Roughly set the knife so it aligns with the witness mark on the fence Tighten the screws a little at a time working form the center outward. Tighten a little move to the next screw, tighten, move,tighten move etc.
    After you have the screws all tightened down, put your stick back on the outfeed table. I usually start with the stick near the fence. Make a new reference mark on the stick perferablly on a different side of the stick. One thing to remember here is that these marks are the ones you are going to use to set the other knives and so make sure they are accurately located. Once again, rotate the knife head and when the stick stops make another mark. Now, move the stick across the width of the jointer and align the first mark with the out feed table and using the same light pressure on the board rotate the knife again.
    If the board stops at the second line then the knife is parallel ACROSS the width of the blade and probably does not need any more adjustment. You can check the knife in a couple of more places and I would on jointers wider than 8" to make sure the knife is not being forced higher or lower by the gib screws.
    If the marks do not align then the distance the mark is from the second line will tell you what is wrong with the alignment ( if the board does not reach the line the knife is set too low , if it goes past it, it is set too high)loosen up the knife and reset it.
    Once you get the first knife aligned go through the process again with knife #2 . After you get to the knife set and tightened in then put the stick on the outfeed table again over toward the fence and rotate the head as before. If the knife pulls the board to the second lineagainst the fence and on the outside then the #1 and #2 knives are in the same plane and you can move on to the #3 knife
    Once again the same process and if all stays put because you have tighten all the gib screws equally and paid close attention to the stick you should be able to confidently straighten and flatten boards with no or very little ripple
    I usually run two boards at this point to assure that all the work I have done is indeed right.



    I just spent 30 minutes describing the process outlined here and I can set jointer knives using the above method on a 20 " jointer in about the same time. I consistantly change out knives on 6 and 8" jointers in about 15 minutes. I have been doing it on a regular basis for about 15 years now following this procedure and I think I have had to go back an reset knives maybe twice in that time (once because a knife slipped after I installed it due to sawdust between the gib and the knife and once because I didn't do it right





    Other posters agree that this system works well and is fast.
    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    490
    Liem:

    I use the Mini Planer Pals on my 12" Delta planer, and it does a great job. Makes knife changes fast and accurate, and they're fairly inexpensive.

    I liked it so much that I bought the Jointer Pals. Unfortunately, they're not nearly as good, and I stopped using them.
    Sam/Atlanta

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    21,416
    Blog Entries
    1
    My jointer has cam bolts that allow height adjustment. Those along a straight-edge work fine for my 6", a larger machine may be more involved.
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    21,416
    Blog Entries
    1
    My jointer has cam bolts that allow height adjustment. Those along a straight-edge work fine for my 6", a larger machine may be more involved.
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Barberton,OH
    Posts
    100

    knife setting

    I have a 16" Wadkins jointer with a modern clamshell head with shewd knives. A dial indicator is the only way to get them dead on. My knives have a little slot at each end for the jackscrew to fit into so you can adjust up and down with ease. I have tried Magna Set and straight edges on other jointers and have always gone back to the dial indicator. My planer has a Terminus head so no setting is required.

    Jeff Singleton

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Healy
    I copied this from another site. The poster swears by it and I copied it for next time I need to do my jointer. If it works...great. If it doesn't...sorry.

    Well here is how I do jointer knives:

    get a piece of straight hardwood about 3/4 x2x14" long . make sure it is straight as it is a reference for all the operations that follow. The stick is always used off the outfeed table, it is the reference table .



    1.If you do not have a top dead center mark on your fence you can find TDC by setting the stick on the outfeed table. Make a reference mark on the stick right at the edge of the outfeed table on the stick. Now with the jointer unplugged, hold down the stick with gentle pressure and rotate the jointer head by hand. As you do the knife will catch on the knife and move toward the infeed table. Let it do so and when it stops moving forward make another reference mark on the stick. This distance represents the distance that the knife is set above the outfeed table in an arc which makes it appear to be much more than the .001 or .002" is really is above the table. This clearance is necessary so that when you joint board the end doesn't catch on the outfeed table as you push the stock across the jointer. Now make a third mark on the board halfway between the two existing marks. This is going to represent the TDC of the cutter arc and so you should try and get as close to the center as you can. Set the stick back on the outfeed table and align the mark with the outfeed edge of the table. Once again using the same knife as you did to find the length and in about the same position on the knife rotate the knife until the center mark is aligned with the edge of the outfeed table. Stop the rotation and hold the cutter head in this position. Now make a vertical mark on the fence that aligns the edge of the knife to the fence. I actually scribed a line on my fence with a scribe so I always have this reference to work off of anytime I have to change knives. This is the reference point that determines all future work in changing knives.


    Pull out ONE knife and mark the cutterhead as # 1. Clean out the slot and clean up the gib and the screws so that foregn material has no effect on the gib and the knife. If the head uses springs to lift the knife make sure they are all still there. They are small and get lost occsionally so it pays to look.
    Now I set one fresh knife in the slot and put the gib in to and run the screws out just for enough to just touch the knife. Roughly set the knife so it aligns with the witness mark on the fence Tighten the screws a little at a time working form the center outward. Tighten a little move to the next screw, tighten, move,tighten move etc.
    After you have the screws all tightened down, put your stick back on the outfeed table. I usually start with the stick near the fence. Make a new reference mark on the stick perferablly on a different side of the stick. One thing to remember here is that these marks are the ones you are going to use to set the other knives and so make sure they are accurately located. Once again, rotate the knife head and when the stick stops make another mark. Now, move the stick across the width of the jointer and align the first mark with the out feed table and using the same light pressure on the board rotate the knife again.
    If the board stops at the second line then the knife is parallel ACROSS the width of the blade and probably does not need any more adjustment. You can check the knife in a couple of more places and I would on jointers wider than 8" to make sure the knife is not being forced higher or lower by the gib screws.
    If the marks do not align then the distance the mark is from the second line will tell you what is wrong with the alignment ( if the board does not reach the line the knife is set too low , if it goes past it, it is set too high)loosen up the knife and reset it.
    Once you get the first knife aligned go through the process again with knife #2 . After you get to the knife set and tightened in then put the stick on the outfeed table again over toward the fence and rotate the head as before. If the knife pulls the board to the second lineagainst the fence and on the outside then the #1 and #2 knives are in the same plane and you can move on to the #3 knife
    Once again the same process and if all stays put because you have tighten all the gib screws equally and paid close attention to the stick you should be able to confidently straighten and flatten boards with no or very little ripple
    I usually run two boards at this point to assure that all the work I have done is indeed right.



    I just spent 30 minutes describing the process outlined here and I can set jointer knives using the above method on a 20 " jointer in about the same time. I consistantly change out knives on 6 and 8" jointers in about 15 minutes. I have been doing it on a regular basis for about 15 years now following this procedure and I think I have had to go back an reset knives maybe twice in that time (once because a knife slipped after I installed it due to sawdust between the gib and the knife and once because I didn't do it right





    Other posters agree that this system works well and is fast.
    Good luck.
    It does work well I know the OP

  11. #11
    "all men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night....wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible."
    T.E. Lawrence

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    267
    Quote Originally Posted by Per Swenson
    This might help some.....
    Per,

    Why that's just way too simple, to adjust them knives don't you need digital dial indicators, a 48" starrett straight edge, and a laser leveling system to do it?

    I thank you for your great idea. Glass and magnets, who'd thunk it...

    Larry

  13. #13
    Brilliant idea, Per. Even though might not have come up with it yourself, I'll always consider it your trick when I use it. Thanks for passing it on.

    - Vaughn

  14. #14

    question?

    How do you repeat TDC with the glass?

  15. #15
    I am not a tech writer.

    Uncomplicated version.

    TDC is always going to be about the cutter head.

    Not the tables. You need to find it only once.

    Then scribe a mark on the bearing housing.

    Corresponding marks on the head.

    It should be one of the first things you do on intial setup

    of a brand new Jointer. My father marked this one in 1964

    when I was 6 years old. Never changes.

    Per
    "all men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night....wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible."
    T.E. Lawrence

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