Need instructions on how to use my thingy - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-26-2008, 04:36 AM Thread Starter
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Post Need instructions on how to use my thingy

Hi,

I'm new to woodworking and the most complex piece of machinery I've ever used is a Bosch edger!
I'm thinking of buying a thickness planer or something similar but have absolutely no idea how to use one or what type I should buy.

Before you guys throw suggestions at me of specific brands, I must tell you that I'm in Indonesia and we simply DON'T usually have access to the same brands. Well, I suppose I could get it imported but it'd cost me the price plus 100% or more for import duties, so it'll probably be one made in Asia..... yes, even China!

What I'd like from you guys is the pros and cons of the basic machine types and what they can/can't do.

I have my eye on a machine -- it's a bench-type planer where the wood is moved over the cutting edges atop the machine. It also "appears" to have the function of passing a piece of timber through the machine, under the bench top, but with my poor level of Indonesian and the shop assistants complete lack of knowledge -- I'm not certain if I am right in my guesswork.

I'll be using it for tidying up rough timbers for general furniture... nothing too big... maybe 4x6'' or a tad bigger on occasion(?)

Love to hear your input... or even links to websites that describe how to use these types of machines.

J

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post #2 of 12 Old 01-26-2008, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnathan Wilkinson View Post
. . . I have my eye on a machine -- it's a bench-type planer where the wood is moved over the cutting edges atop the machine. It also "appears" to have the function of passing a piece of timber through the machine, under the bench top, but with my poor level of Indonesian and the shop assistants complete lack of knowledge -- I'm not certain if I am right in my guesswork. . . .
Do you have a link to a website/picture for this machine?
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-26-2008, 04:41 PM
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Hi Johnathan
That is a pretty big question, one that might take a lot of time. I’ll answer briefly. If you are interested in buying a thickness planer, then you must, I will assume, have a table saw of some kind already. This is not the OWWM site, so it is ok to talk about Asian made tools. Having spent a lot of time in Asia myself, there are an abundance of decent tools over there. I would say that for stationary power tools I would ONLY buy an Asian made tool there, as the cost will be prohibitive otherwise. Most of the better known ones are out of Taiwan, but there are also some coming out of China, and perhaps even out of Indonesia. First, lets be clear of what a thickness planer does. It planes wood to a decent surface, co planar with the other side of the board. That means that if you feed in a warped board, of uneven thickness, it comes out warped, but of an even thickness. How do you get rid of the warp? usually with a jointer. A jointer is a machine that has the cutter-head spinning (2 to 4 knives) between the in-feed and the out-feed table. An operator can send a warped board thru and the cutter-head planes the board to a planar surface. Then you send that same board thru the planer, with the recently jointed face against the rollers on the bottom, then the planer cutterhead planes the top surface, and now you have a board come out that is hopefully flat and straight. Of course it is thinner. With practice you figure out how to plane with the least amount of wastage, often cutting longer boards down to shorter lengths that you can still use.
you may well have seen a machine that can do both. It might help to know the brand of the machine, but we might not recognize it either. Maybe the company has a website though. If you are looking at a stationary planer/jointer combination machine, say that is 12" wide, then you must certainly be looking at at least a 2 HP motor. I assume what you are dealing with is 220/240, much more common over there than 110. I doubt that you will be seeing much 3 phase. That is better for you.
hope this helps.
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-26-2008, 05:35 PM
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even some of the big name machine may be made in Asia even thou the big corp. come from America.

For example [this is small poatoes] candy like M&M's are made in America but I have seen in China [ yes I've been there -2 weeks] the same product using Chinese words and made in China. On the back it says Mars & Mars or something to that effect and the logo is simply used to ID the true product. Same with Coke and Pepsi.
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-26-2008, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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My thingy

Hey, Nine fingers,

The name brand of the machine is Oscar. I've looked on line for a website and I can't find one at all. I've seen some pictures on the net of very large Oscar circular saws and what not but not this piece. These other machines look like forestry and farm machinery.

As for a picture..... I didn't take my camera. But I found this picture of a similar looking machine.
This machine in the picture is far cleaner and more presentable than the one I've got my eye on (which is mostly bare metal and exposed cogs & wheels -- will need a decent cover for safety)
I've also discovered that Americans call this a jointer, while Brits call it a planer.
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-27-2008, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Paul K,

Thanks a million. That's exactly what I needed. I was worried that I would end up buying a machine that could only plane one side and then need to go through a thickness planer (more expense for a second machine!). Your description has allowed me to see that, after enough practice, I should be able to square-up a length of rough timber all the way round. No more hours and hours of elbow grease with a hand plane, square and rods!

Anywho.... Logically, It seems that an opperator would need to straighten a warped board by very slowly feeding a board over the cutting edges to remove the twist -- first from one corner and then from the the opposite corner of the other end of the board. Is that right?
It sounds dangerous. Do opperators need to clamp the piece in some kind of jig when removing a twist?
How about kickback? Sounds like I'll need a set of cricket nets to catch the boards that bite into the cutters!

You guys are a great help,
Thanks

J

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post #7 of 12 Old 01-27-2008, 08:09 PM
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Well, you DO actually need both machines to do the job right. Yes, you can probably do it pretty well with only the jointer, but it is tough, But the machine you are showing us in the photo at least is what I think to be a combination jointer/planer. I believe Sheppach is a UK brand. Such combination machines are more popular in Europe than in the USA, as often there is not as much room in the shop. I would suspect that the same thing is true in Asia. Most of the Combination tools take some set up time usually between the two modes and thus are slightly less desirable than a dedicated one purpose machine, IF you have the space and money. However there are some that are pretty quick to change back and forth. Jet makes one I believe that might well be similar to the machine you are looking at. You might look at the Jet website for their combination jointer/planer. Usually to use as a planer, one of the tables, possibly the in-feed, and the wood is fed in and references off one surface while passing under the cutter head. I don’t have any experience with such machines, but they are basically similar to the stand alone machines.
to answer your question, no, it is not exactly as you say. And while jointers are dangerous machines, and should be treated with respect, they can be used safely, when operated in a safe manner.
First, understand that you have a flat surface to feed the twisted or cupped, or bowed board in on. If you have a long board, with a lot of bow, then it is obviously nicer to have a long bed jointer, but you can also cut the board shorter, closer to the finished length of the piece you want to cut from it. Then you place the piece of wood flat on the in feed table. You feed that piece, by pushing it slowly across the cutter head. If you have a stable surface, that is, if the board doesn’t rock as you start pushing it thru, then for at least a bit, you are cutting a flat planar surface coming out on the other side of the cutter head, right? if you kept cutting with downward pressure on the in feed, eventually you would be cutting off whatever points the board is riding on and you would start getting a board that was not planar coming out of the other side. But if you instead, after feeding thru a foot or more past the cutter head, start applying more and more downward pressure on the OUT FEED table, then you are now referencing the flat, planar part of the board that has just been cut along the flat planar out feed table. Then, even though you are cutting off the points and ridges that you were originally referencing from, you still end up with a planar cut. Is this clear? I could describe the process a bit more, but maybe it is clear? That is, what I consider to be a common mistake of folks using the jointer. They think that all the pressure is on the infeed table. If you always apply all the downward force on that side, you will not get a flat planar face. But if you apply the downward pressure on the outfeed end, as soon as you get some amount on that side, you do. To that end, on my larger jointer, a 12” old Crescent, I use a stock feeder to apply the downward pressure and actually pull the board thru. This results in a great cut, as there are no stop/start marks which are common with a lot of jointer work, where the feeder is less than perfect in keeping the force downward and the forward feed consistent in pressure and speed. Obviously when you think about it, different types of problems, twist, cupping, warping and bowing all have a bit different methods of handling them. And you want to cut a board that has flat grain such that the grain is not being chipped out. All those things you learn as you cut wood. It is not hard to figure out, and actually the part of figuring out how to do some job is half the fun.

best
Paul
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-28-2008, 09:21 AM
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Thanks for that Paul. I also am contemplating what to get. One thing I don't quite get is the difference between a jointer and a jointer/planer. Is the combo just a wider blade? Do planers have material feeders usually?
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-28-2008, 12:00 PM
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Hi nine fingers. We all have things to learn, that’s why we’re here. A jointer/planer combination machine is a special machine, one where one has something looking like a traditional jointer in one set up, and then when you flip a table, it slightly resembles in looks, and IS a Thickness planer. A thickness planer has to have a cutter-head that is opposed by some other surface, usually feed rollers, that feed the work thru, and since they are a set distance (varied by the operator with some sort of crank or screw mechanism) they produce a plank of a "set" thickness. A truly cupped board will usually come out considerably flatter and straighter than when it went in. The problem is that there is considerable pressure between the feed rollers and the other side, (where the cutter-head is) and this is necessary to keep the thickness consistent, but it also will bend or temporarily straighten a board while it is going thru. But once the pressure is released, it goes back to it's original form. If you put a piece of wrinkled paper thru rollers, (like thru a fax machine) it flattens them while going thru, but it comes out still wrinkled.
The jointer does NOT have an opposing reference surface. It's reference surface are the in-feed and out-feed tables, that are parallel with each other, but not in the same plane. The out-feed table is set such that the “plane” of that table is just “kissing” the top of the rotating cutter-head, while the in-feed table is adjusted up and down in height (remember, parallel to the out-feed, the adjustment mechanism automatically lowers or raises it to be parallel) depending on how deep a cut you are making. Because there is no opposing reference plane, just you, the operator pushing the board thru, it doesn’t warp the board, or “press” out the wrinkles. Some might be able to “face joint” a board and make it a consistent thickness. This is tougher than most might think. It is not like with a hand plane, where you take off shavings on the board where you find it to need stock removal, remember, the jointer takes off, at least in theory, a consistent amount, (depending on the depth of cut) across the whole face of the board. So, you need both devices to do the job with efficiency. So YES, a planer does have a mechanism to feed the stock thru. This are usually rollers, (segmented or solid or rubber) that are turning to pull the stock thru. They are usually driving by a geared mechanism that feeds off the main motor, or by a separate feed motor in larger machines. A jointer does not commonly have such a feeder, but such can be added to some jointers. A combination machine again, is a special machine that is able, like the kids “transformers” to be two machines in one. Jet makes one, Inca, Felder, etc (and of course the old Shopsmith machines did some of this, though can’t remember if they had planer setups too)
best
Paul
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-28-2008, 12:35 PM
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Now it makes more sense. Thanks again! :)
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post #11 of 12 Old 01-28-2008, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Paul,

That's excellent info. And yes, I can see how you'd need to put pressure on the outfeed of the board - same principle as using an electric hand plane. You keep the pressure on the front to keep the blades at an even cut-depth.

As for the thicknessing (passing the board backwards, under the cutters) I can see that THAT will deffinitely take some practice.

All in all, looks like this "thingy" is going to speed up my production -- even if I do need to spend time setting it up for different cuts.
Something I really need as I only have a few hours every other weekend to bang around in my workshop/garage.

I'll check out those other brands you mentioned but the shop in Surabaya often seems to have only one machine or one type available. Maybe I can source directly for future machines :)

Once again. A big thanks.

J

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post #12 of 12 Old 01-29-2008, 03:01 PM
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glad it was useful. couple more comments, I suspect that you can have a machine shipped to you, if you want, from somewhere in Asia. I would be surprised for instance if Jet didn't have an outlet in Indonesia, at least somewhere in Jakarta? You could email Jet and ask them. As to thickness planning, actually it is the easiest. you don't pass it "backwards" over the cutters. You just change the machine's configuration and then you just put the board in and it grabs the board and feeds itself. The only real operator work is figuring out which way the grain is and which way you want thus to feed it in. Have fun.
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