Straight edge for setting up a jointer - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 25 Old 11-30-2015, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
GISer3546's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 504
View GISer3546's Photo Album My Photos
Straight edge for setting up a jointer

I should be getting a new (to me) jointer soonish. Its previous owner is not a serious woodworker and actually refereed to it as a planer so I'd be willing to bet it wasn't set up quite to the usual standards. I have seen some short videos on how to tune up and use a jointer and most seem to specifically require a straight edge, and not a regular metal ruler. I have looked at the straight edges at my local woodcraft but not surprisingly they are far from cheap. I'm wondering if there is something I can get for cheaper that would get me the same kind of reliable straightness with tolerances tight enough to get this thing set up well, or is $60 straight edge really worth it?
GISer3546 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 25 Old 11-30-2015, 11:38 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Maurice, LA
Posts: 489
View tvman44's Photo Album My Photos
Not in my book. The aluminum straight edge I use was just a few bucks.

Bob making sawdust in SW Louisiana
with a EX-21
tvman44 is offline  
post #3 of 25 Old 11-30-2015, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
GISer3546's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 504
View GISer3546's Photo Album My Photos
Where'd you get it?
GISer3546 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 25 Old 11-30-2015, 01:09 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Belden, Mississippi
Posts: 629
View Bill White's Photo Album My Photos
I have an Empire 4' aluminum scale which is quite accurate for long surfaces. At least good enough for wood working machines. That, and my drafting square has served me well.
Bill
Bill White is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Bill White For This Useful Post:
Alchymist (11-30-2015), FrankC (11-30-2015)
post #5 of 25 Old 11-30-2015, 02:31 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 4,984
View FrankC's Photo Album My Photos
Don't get carried away with with precision, any straight rule will work. Lay it on a reasonably straight surface and check for gaps, flip it over and check other side, if gaps are the same rule is straight enough for what you are doing.
Thousands of woodworkers spend time building things in their shop, a few hundred sweat the details and fiddle with machinery instead, your choice.

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
― Marcus Aurelius
FrankC
http://sawdustmaking.com
FrankC is offline  
post #6 of 25 Old 11-30-2015, 02:55 PM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 25,451
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
use a level

I use a 48" aluminum level because it won't tip over when you remove your hands to make adjustments unlike a straight edge... and still plenty accurate.
Also useful around the shop and home.

http://www.sears.com/search=craftsma...uminum%20level

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
woodnthings is online now  
post #7 of 25 Old 11-30-2015, 03:22 PM
Wood machinist
 
difalkner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NW Louisiana
Posts: 3,288
View difalkner's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
I use a 48" aluminum level because it won't tip over when you remove your hands to make adjustments unlike a straight edge... and still plenty accurate.
Also useful around the shop and home.

http://www.sears.com/search=craftsma...uminum%20level
Ditto - 48" level but mine came from HF. I went through the rack and tested several against each other and found them all to be very flat. Then I tested the one I bought on my table saw when I got home and found it to be plenty good enough. I also tested it against my Starrett 24" rule and the level seems good all the way on both sides. Seems like it was in the $10 - $15 range, not sure, but it wasn't expensive.

The most important thing on setting up the jointer is making sure the outfeed table is at the same height as the knives. Second most important is probably coplanar beds and that's where the level or straight edge comes into play.

David

Curly Wood Shop on Etsy
David Falkner - Woodworking YouTube channel
Our music at church - current videos Airline Baptist BC Facebook Live
Romans 3:23
difalkner is offline  
post #8 of 25 Old 11-30-2015, 03:55 PM
Senior Member
 
NickDIY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 435
View NickDIY's Photo Album My Photos
Pretty much just agreeing with what's already been said:
Aligning beds to each other: 6' magnetic box level
Aligning knives to outfeed: Combination square (held upside down) or knife alignment jig
Aligning fence 90' to bed: Combination square

You can always check a straightedge by just drawing a line with it and flipping the edge over to the other side of the line. If the line still matches, the edge is straight.
NickDIY is offline  
post #9 of 25 Old 11-30-2015, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
GISer3546's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 504
View GISer3546's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks guys, I'll be visiting my local HF very soon for an aluminum level. And thanks for verifying my assumption of what all needs to be checked before I take this thing home. It seems like even if the tables are out of alignment with each other that can be fixed through adjustment and the only deal breaker would be a table that wasn't flat.
GISer3546 is offline  
post #10 of 25 Old 11-30-2015, 04:55 PM
Village Idiot
 
epicfail48's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Springfield MO
Posts: 4,571
View epicfail48's Photo Album My Photos
If you have a metal supplier nearby it'd be worth it to check and see if they have any extruded aluminium tubing. That stuff is remarkably straight. Not machine shop levels of course, but good enough for woodworking

I need cheaper hobby
etsy.com/shop/projectepicfail
epicfail48 is online now  
post #11 of 25 Old 11-30-2015, 06:47 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 11,646
View GeorgeC's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by GISer3546 View Post
I should be getting a new (to me) jointer soonish. Its previous owner is not a serious woodworker and actually refereed to it as a planer so I'd be willing to bet it wasn't set up quite to the usual standards. I have seen some short videos on how to tune up and use a jointer and most seem to specifically require a straight edge, and not a regular metal ruler. I have looked at the straight edges at my local woodcraft but not surprisingly they are far from cheap. I'm wondering if there is something I can get for cheaper that would get me the same kind of reliable straightness with tolerances tight enough to get this thing set up well, or is $60 straight edge really worth it?
Most metal "rulers" qualify as a straight edge. You also probably have a carpenters framing square. The 2' end on that is a good straight edge. You probably have more straight edges in your house.

George
GeorgeC is offline  
post #12 of 25 Old 11-30-2015, 06:48 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 11,646
View GeorgeC's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
I use a 48" aluminum level because it won't tip over when you remove your hands to make adjustments unlike a straight edge... and still plenty accurate.
Also useful around the shop and home.

http://www.sears.com/search=craftsma...uminum%20level
Very good suggestion. I had forgotten about that.

George
GeorgeC is offline  
post #13 of 25 Old 11-30-2015, 09:06 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Maurice, LA
Posts: 489
View tvman44's Photo Album My Photos
Don't remember where I got mine. Have had it abt. 30 years. Sears maybe.

Bob making sawdust in SW Louisiana
with a EX-21
tvman44 is offline  
post #14 of 25 Old 11-30-2015, 09:18 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 13
View Gonzalex's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
Ditto - 48" level but mine came from HF. I went through the rack and tested several against each other and found them all to be very flat. Then I tested the one I bought on my table saw when I got home and found it to be plenty good enough. I also tested it against my Starrett 24" rule and the level seems good all the way on both sides. Seems like it was in the $10 - $15 range, not sure, but it wasn't expensive.

The most important thing on setting up the jointer is making sure the outfeed table is at the same height as the knives. Second most important is probably coplanar beds and that's where the level or straight edge comes into play.

I love HF, but I would not suggest their squares, levels, or straight edges to anyone. You might find a decent one in the batch, but a common Empire or Johnson would be a much safer bet is your not looking to spend to much money.
Gonzalex is offline  
post #15 of 25 Old 11-30-2015, 09:37 PM
Wood machinist
 
difalkner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NW Louisiana
Posts: 3,288
View difalkner's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzalex View Post
I love HF, but I would not suggest their squares, levels, or straight edges to anyone. You might find a decent one in the batch, but a common Empire or Johnson would be a much safer bet is your not looking to spend to much money.
Can't disagree but I happened to be near the store and stopped in during one of their many sales. The 48" levels were priced way too good to pass up so I compared level to level and straight edge to level, all their products, and found this batch to be very good for straight edges (holding up to the light 'cause that's all I could go by). And I probably spent 20 minutes taking things off the rack, holding them up to the light, and putting them back before I picked one to take home.

But I would not under any circumstance just go by and pick one off the rack thinking it was very close. I got lucky, I guess, because using it against my 24" Starrett in any given section that size on the HF level it is no more than 0.001" out.

My PM66 shows 0.002" dip in the center when I test with my Starrett in line corner to corner. The HF level, which actually reaches corner to corner, shows 0.003" dip in the center. That's probably more accurate given the distance and close enough for most woodworking we all do.

David

Curly Wood Shop on Etsy
David Falkner - Woodworking YouTube channel
Our music at church - current videos Airline Baptist BC Facebook Live
Romans 3:23
difalkner is offline  
post #16 of 25 Old 12-01-2015, 10:45 AM
Tool Fanactic
 
WarnerConstInc.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Auburn, In
Posts: 1,898
View WarnerConstInc.'s Photo Album My Photos
I always heard that fluorescent light bulbs were very straight.
WarnerConstInc. is offline  
post #17 of 25 Old 12-01-2015, 11:18 AM
Wood machinist
 
difalkner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NW Louisiana
Posts: 3,288
View difalkner's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarnerConstInc. View Post
I always heard that fluorescent light bulbs were very straight.
At least within a couple thousandths! LOL!

David

Curly Wood Shop on Etsy
David Falkner - Woodworking YouTube channel
Our music at church - current videos Airline Baptist BC Facebook Live
Romans 3:23
difalkner is offline  
post #18 of 25 Old 12-01-2015, 11:39 AM
Tool Fanactic
 
WarnerConstInc.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Auburn, In
Posts: 1,898
View WarnerConstInc.'s Photo Album My Photos
I know guys that set up jointers with 8 foot bulbs.

My tables are 8 feet in length. I can't afford or pick up a precision straight edge that long.

There is also the 3 board 4 screw method.
WarnerConstInc. is offline  
post #19 of 25 Old 12-01-2015, 12:22 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Milwaukee WI
Posts: 53
View Seubs070's Photo Album My Photos
Straight edge for setting up a jointer

I used the method in this book of creating a master bar with mdf and screws. Works great. The book goes into very good detail how to setup common woodworking machines including a jointer.

https://books.google.com/books?id=dS...%20bar&f=false
Seubs070 is offline  
post #20 of 25 Old 12-01-2015, 04:04 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 325
View jdonhowe's Photo Album My Photos
+1 on John White's book, "Care and Repair of Shop Machines"- a gem of practical info.
jdonhowe is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Recreating an edge treatment with maple paulg342 Wood Finishing 2 11-18-2015 01:28 PM
Are straight edges mythical??? bcurrey Joinery 23 11-13-2015 09:05 PM
Craftsman Jointer Problem Zilbub Power Tools & Machinery 9 10-26-2015 04:55 PM
Jointer woes Froglips Power Tools & Machinery 37 09-19-2015 09:13 AM
Hand Power Jointer or Planer for Shaving Door Edges engelstine Power Tools & Machinery 18 08-21-2015 03:58 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome