Bench top jointer makes boards worse - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 10-08-2018, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Bench top jointer makes boards worse

I bought a used bench top jointer today. It seems to do an adequate job edge jointing boards but when face jointing boards it seems to make them thinner at each end and leaves them thick in the middle. I notice that the adjustment moves the infeed table up and down NOT the blade. This seems like a stupid design. Are you supposed to hold the board flat on the infeed side or on the outfeed side? If you hold the whole board flat it sends the board through at an angle. I regret this purchase so far.

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post #2 of 19 Old 10-08-2018, 08:01 PM
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Your blades should be set the same height as the out feed table, both tables need to be parallel to one another, seems you may have to do a bit of tuning.

When set up properly you hold the boards down on both tables.

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post #3 of 19 Old 10-08-2018, 08:07 PM
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Keep light pressure on the infeed side.



Are you using push BLOCKS, your hands or push sticks. The rectangular blocks are best.


George
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post #4 of 19 Old 10-08-2018, 08:17 PM
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Frank's dead on the money; your machine needs a tuneup. The tables are not parallel. Most all jointers work by changing the elevation of the infeed table. Blades don't move during operation, but must be adjusted to exactly to the height of the outfeed table. Also remember that you are removing a LOT more material when face jointing verses edge jointing. It becomes some harder to keep everything pressed tight against both tables.

Your machine is probably fine.

Another $000,000,000.02 worth of advice,
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post #5 of 19 Old 10-08-2018, 08:20 PM
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It's possible the rear table may be a little high. This would cause the board to raise up so it would take more off the ends. Since it works alright edge jointing it's more likely you are putting more pressure on the ends when surfacing it. Try it again with care to put uniform pressure on the board from one end to the other.
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post #6 of 19 Old 10-09-2018, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks everyone. I will try tomorrow to adjust the outfeed table level with the blade If it isn't already. If I level the infeed side with the outfeed side I don't see how that will take off any material, but I'll message with it some more tomorrow and check back.

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post #7 of 19 Old 10-09-2018, 01:48 AM
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Think of it this way ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoff93 View Post
Ok thanks everyone. I will try tomorrow to adjust the outfeed table level with the blade If it isn't already. If I level the infeed side with the outfeed side I don't see how that will take off any material, but I'll message with it some more tomorrow and check back.

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The rear table or outfeed is a support. The front table is the depth of cut. The more you lower the front table, the deeper the cut. Make them both level across and nothing will happen, it won't cut. The outfeed should be dead level with the blades rotated to the top. That's because it's the support. If the outfeed is in any way tilted front to back, or side to side, it will screw up the cuts. Both tables must be parallel to each other like a stack of paper, just at different heights.

Now you know what to look for.
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post #8 of 19 Old 10-09-2018, 01:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thoff93 View Post
Ok thanks everyone. I will try tomorrow to adjust the outfeed table level with the blade If it isn't already. If I level the infeed side with the outfeed side I don't see how that will take off any material, but I'll message with it some more tomorrow and check back.

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Okay, the tables have to be parallel to each other, this is determined by laying a straight edge across the two of them, rotate the knife so they are out of the way. Get the tables level, parallel or what ever you want to call it, there should be an adjustment to accomplish this.

Now you have to set the knives the same height as the out feed table, this is a fiddly process and the make of jointer may determine how to do it and how difficult it is.

Once the knives are set you lower the indeed table and try a cut. As the wood passes through the knives material is removed and the new surface of the board will be the same height as the out feed table so it makes no difference if pressure is put on the in feed table or outfeed table, the board will still be laying flat, just thinner where it has passed the knives.

How all this is done is shown on many videos, probably best to search for your particular brand of jointer.
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post #9 of 19 Old 10-09-2018, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shop_Rat View Post
Frank's dead on the money; your machine needs a tuneup. The tables are not parallel. Most all jointers work by changing the elevation of the infeed table. Blades don't move during operation, but must be adjusted to exactly to the height of the outfeed table. Also remember that you are removing a LOT more material when face jointing verses edge jointing. It becomes some harder to keep everything pressed tight against both tables.

Your machine is probably fine.

Blades should really be adjusted to what the manual states. The manual for my jointer states that the blades should be one paper thickness ABOVE the table.


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post #10 of 19 Old 10-09-2018, 08:23 AM
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I think a picture would help here.
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post #11 of 19 Old 10-09-2018, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
Blades should really be adjusted to what the manual states. The manual for my jointer states that the blades should be one paper thickness ABOVE the table.


George
This. Just a couple thousandths of an inch, and exactly the same height across the width of the table.

For feed techniques, it's recommended that you start with downward pressure on the infeed table then transfer your weight to the outfeed side. The outfeed table is the reference, the work should be held flat against that. I think a jointer has the steepest learning curve of any woodworking machine.

Dave in CT, USA
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post #12 of 19 Old 10-09-2018, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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This thing is a piece of junk. I shimmed up one side of the infeed table to get them in plane with each other and it's literally making round boards. It begins cutting and I hold the board flat on the outfeed side the knives don't make contact with the wood. If I keep pressure on the infeed side the other side is smaller. Either way you get a wider middle. Back on Craigslist it goes. I should have bought a planer instead because I can just make a sled for my table saw to square up my boards.

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post #13 of 19 Old 10-09-2018, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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I think that this thing was designed wrong. the tables should be fixed and the blade should be the thing that is adjusted up and down. I don't see how you can straighten a board with the tables not level with each other. One end will always be narrower depending on which side you put the Pressure on and it leaves a bow in the middle.

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post #14 of 19 Old 10-09-2018, 03:27 PM
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That won't work.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
The rear table or outfeed is a support. The front table is the depth of cut. The more you lower the front table, the deeper the cut. Make them both level across and nothing will happen, it won't cut. The outfeed should be dead level with the blades rotated to the top. That's because it's the support. If the outfeed is in any way tilted front to back, or side to side, it will screw up the cuts. Both tables must be parallel to each other like a stack of paper, just at different heights.

Now you know what to look for.
If you understand the above, then you will see why your proposal below won't work. The tables need to be offset to remove the material. Jointers are not made the way you propose for good reasons. Steve's diagram shows exactly how the cut is made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoff93 View Post
I think that this thing was designed wrong. the tables should be fixed and the blade should be the thing that is adjusted up and down. I don't see how you can straighten a board with the tables not level with each other. One end will always be narrower depending on which side you put the Pressure on and it leaves a bow in the middle.

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Best advice is to watch some You Tubes on jointer use.


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)

Last edited by woodnthings; 10-09-2018 at 03:35 PM.
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post #15 of 19 Old 10-09-2018, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
If you understand the above, then you will see why your proposal below won't work. The tables need to be offset to remove the material. Jointers are not made the way you propose for good reasons. Steve's diagram shows exactly how the cut is made.



Best advice is to watch some You Tubes on jointer use.

What Does a Jointer Do? - Ask Matt #13 - YouTube
I watched the video and I think I have made a mistake buying a jointer first. I didn't realize that you need to run a board through a planer to get uniform thickness AFTER using the jointer. So my boards are thicker in the middle because the jointer took out the cup, bow, twist etc. But now that they are flat on one side they need to be planed? The end bit about buying a planer first makes sense because you can always hand plane the high spots or use a sled.

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post #16 of 19 Old 10-09-2018, 04:58 PM
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Yes, joint/flatten first then plane

You need a flat surface on the planer bed to start with. That flat surface then becomes the reference to make the top surface a uniform thickness.
If the surface on the planer bed is not flat, you will get a duplicate on the top surface in the thickness planer. The jointer and planer work in conjunction with each other. There are ways around if you don't have both, but it's more time consuming.

The planer makes a better jointer than vice versa, since there is no reference surface for parallel uniformity on the jointer. You can joint both sides of a plank, but there is no guarantee the sides will end up parallel and of uniform thickness.

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)

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post #17 of 19 Old 10-09-2018, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thoff93 View Post
I think that this thing was designed wrong. the tables should be fixed and the blade should be the thing that is adjusted up and down. I don't see how you can straighten a board with the tables not level with each other. One end will always be narrower depending on which side you put the Pressure on and it leaves a bow in the middle.

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You won't find a jointer made by anyone that the blades adjust. Every jointer for more than a 100 years has been made with table adjustments. The only exception is some jointers have a fixed rear table and you install the knives level with the rear table so the only thing that is adjusted is the front table. Now, for it to work right if you raised the front table up level with the rear table both tables would have to be straight from one end to the other. If one or both of the tables were angled even the slightest it could affect the cut. If they are straight with each other then the only thing left that might need adjustments is the knives. All of the knives from left to right have to be level with the rear table. A person can install knives in some jointers where they might be level on one side and be too high or too low on the other side. For the narrow edge it might not matter so much but to face a board it would because part of the board would be running across an area where the knives are incorrectly set. Unless you buy a jointer which everything is already set you will have to make these adjustments on any jointer you buy. Even then eventually the knives will have to be sharpened and you would have to do this anyway so getting rid of the jointer isn't going to save you. A jointer is an important part of any shop so try to have a little patience.
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post #18 of 19 Old 10-10-2018, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thoff93 View Post
I watched the video and I think I have made a mistake buying a jointer first. I didn't realize that you need to run a board through a planer to get uniform thickness AFTER using the jointer. So my boards are thicker in the middle because the jointer took out the cup, bow, twist etc. But now that they are flat on one side they need to be planed? The end bit about buying a planer first makes sense because you can always hand plane the high spots or use a sled.

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It's true with a jointer it's more difficult to achieve a uniform thickness but if the jointer is set up right and tuned properly a person paying attention to what they are doing can surface wood on a jointer. The problem develops from the operator not providing uniform pressure on the wood as it is ran over the jointer. If not enough pressure is used the board can lift up off the table while it is being run. With most people this usually makes a board thinner on one side than the other. If you see it happen and measure the thickness as you go you can put additional pressure on the thick side bringing it back to a uniform thickness. I made a push block similar to this one to help control the pressure. It makes the procedure easier and safer.
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post #19 of 19 Old 10-10-2018, 04:16 PM
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A jointer is an electric powered substitute for a hand plane. It will make the boards flat and smooth with the edge square to the face. For thickness and parallel faces you need a planer.

To set up a jointer, there are two critical steps:
1 ~ Every knife must be exactly at the height of the out feed table. Some prefer that the knives be a few thousandths high, my preference is exactly even with the outfeed.
2 ~ The infeed table must be co-planar with the outfeed table. If this is not followed you will not be able to get a flat face on your board.

The height of the infeed (My preference) is between 1/64 and 1/32 lower than the outfeed. This setting probably will never be changed. I tend to be a lot closer to 1/64.

To use the jointer, with push pads, feed the board through using light pressure. As you pass the board through transfer your downward pressure from infeed to outfeed. It would not be unusual for your jointer to trim only the leading edge and trailing edge of the board. As you make more passes, the jointer will be flattening more and more of the board. You DO NOT want to flex the board and force it into the cutting knives. Your objective is to get the board flat.

There is one other possible problem. The infeed and outfeed tables could be warped. This is exceptionally rare and even with Chinese made junk, this problem is not seen very often. You can check this with a framing square from the home center. Just make sure that the framing square is straight.
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