Struggling with edge jointing - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 09-10-2016, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Struggling with edge jointing

Hello,

I don't have the funds for a jointer or planer, so I have assembled a jointer jig for my table saw, similar to this: http://www.rockler.com/e-z-jointer-clamp-kit

I have a couple of questions:

1) It doesn't seem like the edges are coming out perfectly "joinable". There is a visible gap between the boards, even if I run the jointed edge against the rip fence on the table saw. I've gone over the pieces 2-3 times now, and can't seem to get the gap to go away.

2) How does one ensure they have a perfectly level surface for jointing two pieces together? I know that the pieces I'm trying to join are not perfectly straight, but trying to do this atop my saw table seems to be exacerbating the problem.
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post #2 of 22 Old 09-10-2016, 09:04 PM
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The jig is only as good as the board it's clamped to. If the board you are using as a straight edge has the slightest curve in it the gap between the board will be doubled. Also with that device it helps if you use a really sharp blade. Any deflection of the blade can also show up in the joint.

I realize you are short of funds but there isn't really a substitute for a jointer for what you are doing. Need to save for one.
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post #3 of 22 Old 09-10-2016, 09:20 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Jointers are overrated ...

A short bed jointer won't give you the best results and long bed jointers are expensive. So, when I have many boards to straight line rip I made my own jig based on others I has seen:

depending on how many pieces...
I needed to straight line many, actually dozens of pieces, so I made a "jig" rather than scab on strips each time, which is way too time consuming for me.... "snap on" then rip and "snap off'"...next piece...
I made two sizes,one long enough for 8 footers and a 54" for shorter boards. I used 1/4" hardboard for the bottom and a 1 X 3" piece of Oak for the toggles to mount on. It looks like this:



Used the straight edge of a piece of Masonite to register against the fence, added a Oak 1 X 2 1/2" for support and some hold downs and off I went.....




Once I had one edge straight lined, I ripped the other edge parallel just using the fence alone. I worked great.
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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 #4 of 22 Old 09-10-2016, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Hey woodnthings,

That's almost exactly what I built, using vertical toggle clamps. I "jointed" one edge of a piece of wood, flipped it horizontally, then ripped it against the fence. Didn't seem to give me a good lineup with another piece treated in the same manner. Can't figure out where it's going wrong!
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post #5 of 22 Old 09-11-2016, 07:32 AM
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First you need to describe the type of "gap" that you are seeing.

Is it consistent from end to end? With the boards on a flat surface is the gap the same on the top and bottom? Without knowing what is the problem it is difficult to answer your question.

A sketch or photograph of the problem would go a long way.

George
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post #6 of 22 Old 09-11-2016, 07:59 AM
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Have you considered doing the edge jointing on a router table?
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post #7 of 22 Old 09-11-2016, 09:55 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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Do I have to show up over there...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by West North West View Post
Hey woodnthings,

That's almost exactly what I built, using vertical toggle clamps. I "jointed" one edge of a piece of wood, flipped it horizontally, then ripped it against the fence. Didn't seem to give me a good lineup with another piece treated in the same manner. Can't figure out where it's going wrong!
:smile3:
Your edge will only be as straight as the edge on the jig. The longer the fence the more registration you have against the fence and the longer the jig the better your results will be. Don't count on a jointed edge to be straight without checking it with the longest "straight" edge you have in the shop... a factory edge plywood or hardboard panel, or a 48" aluminum level. A table saw won't cut a straight edge off a curved edge board. :frown2:

You fence must be parallel to the miter slot and the blade must be parallel to the miter slot, therefore they will be parallel to each other... It's the first rule in setting up and tuning your table saw!

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 #8 of 22 Old 09-11-2016, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by West North West View Post
Hello,

I don't have the funds for a jointer or planer, so I have assembled a jointer jig for my table saw, similar to this: http://www.rockler.com/e-z-jointer-clamp-kit

I have a couple of questions:

1) It doesn't seem like the edges are coming out perfectly "joinable". There is a visible gap between the boards, even if I run the jointed edge against the rip fence on the table saw. I've gone over the pieces 2-3 times now, and can't seem to get the gap to go away.

2) How does one ensure they have a perfectly level surface for jointing two pieces together? I know that the pieces I'm trying to join are not perfectly straight, but trying to do this atop my saw table seems to be exacerbating the problem.
As others have said, knowing what the gap looks like will help diagnose the problem. Without that, here are a few things to check on...

1) Is the board you're using as a reference (the one against the table saw's fence) perfectly straight? If not, you're not going to get a straight edge out of it!

2) Are the clamps supporting the board adequately? The board you're cutting could be flexing as you push it through the saw, if not.

3) Is your saw blade flat? I had a terrible time with the blade that was in my radial arm saw back when I had one, until I realized the blade had warped slightly. Not enough to be visible to a casual glance, but it made a lot of difference when it was making a long cut!

4) Is your saw blade vertical? This could make it look like there was a gap, just because one piece of the edge would touch and the other wouldn't.


This should certainly be fixable. Just give us a little more information!
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post #9 of 22 Old 09-11-2016, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by West North West View Post
Hello,

I don't have the funds for a jointer or planer, so I have assembled a jointer jig for my table saw, similar to this: http://www.rockler.com/e-z-jointer-clamp-kit

I have a couple of questions:

1) It doesn't seem like the edges are coming out perfectly "joinable". There is a visible gap between the boards, even if I run the jointed edge against the rip fence on the table saw. I've gone over the pieces 2-3 times now, and can't seem to get the gap to go away.

2) How does one ensure they have a perfectly level surface for jointing two pieces together? I know that the pieces I'm trying to join are not perfectly straight, but trying to do this atop my saw table seems to be exacerbating the problem.
1) If you can't slip a piece of paper in the gap, the edge is still joinable, but if you're joining many boards into a panel you should correct your problem. Seems like you'd be better off with a jig that rides in the table slot. If that won't cut a jointable edge then your saw is borked, which leads me to:

2) Your saw top should be perfectly level and flat. If you can't do a flat glue-up on it, either it's warped or your boards have a twist.
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post #10 of 22 Old 09-11-2016, 11:36 AM
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couple things I learned....

- the "fence" needs to protrude (ideally) the length of your workpc in front and behind - the saw blade
note the length of woodnthings jig - I use a 10' length of alum angle iron clamped to the fence
going thru the saw with a wiggle does not work....

- you need (absolute) outfeed support, even for 3-4 ft pcs; infeed support needed for longer pcs
struggling with holding+aligning+pushing = wiggles

- take very light cuts to finish - I aim for half a kerf
this requires very little effort to push thru the cut - the workpc just glides thru - no binding no sticking no hiccups . . .

for thicker pcs (2x6 thru 2x10's for my bench tops....) I tack battens at the ends across two boards, run the kerf down the joint (with minimal blade height.) if no nail holes are allowed in the finished surface, work "upside down" or start with longer pcs. I like the longer pc routine - then when I cross cut them I get a 'perfect' aka even/straight end as well..
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post #11 of 22 Old 09-11-2016, 12:32 PM
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Substitute for a Jointer

[QUOTE=Steve Neul;1468730

I realize you are short of funds but there isn't really a substitute for a jointer for what you are doing. Need to save for one.[/QUOTE]

A hand plane is your substitute, but that's another skill set.
A good used $25 hand plane can do the job in the hands of someone experienced.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #12 of 22 Old 09-11-2016, 12:46 PM
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Woodworking is not easy, you can't throw money at it to solve problems. Much of it comes down to operator experience and practice, a jointer will not solve your problem, only create more until you learn how to use it.

Take the advice you have got from a couple very experienced guys and get your saw set up to make a straight cut both with a jig for the first cut and along the fence for the second cut.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #13 of 22 Old 09-11-2016, 01:04 PM
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Rigid used to have a video showing a circular saw with a guide rail which would allow two boards to be joined. I'll have a look for it.
Could not find the original, but this shows what can be done with just a cirtcular saw.


johnep

Last edited by johnep; 09-11-2016 at 01:09 PM.
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post #14 of 22 Old 09-11-2016, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
A hand plane is your substitute, but that's another skill set.
A good used $25 hand plane can do the job in the hands of someone experienced.
I didn't want to be the one to suggest it, but yeah... a 24-30" jointer plane will let you do the job, but it's definitely a question of learning the skill to use it correctly. I've been working on it, and I'm mostly reliable, but it's always a little iffy how wide the board will be when I'm done.

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Originally Posted by johnep1934 View Post
Rigid used to have a video showing a circular saw with a guide rail which would allow two boards to be joined. I'll have a look for it.
johnep
That's a thought. A standard trick with hand planes is to clamp the two boards together and edge-joint them at the same time. That way you're more likely to get edges that match, even if they're not exactly square. You could probably do something similar with a tablesaw or a circular saw.
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post #15 of 22 Old 09-11-2016, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnep1934 View Post
Rigid used to have a video showing a circular saw with a guide rail which would allow two boards to be joined. I'll have a look for it.
johnep
Cutting down the edges of two boards with them butted together is a solution, if you can make a good clean cut with a circular saw, something that also takes practice.

Routers are also used in the same manner, though this method has its faults unless the cut is perfectly straight.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #16 of 22 Old 09-11-2016, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankC View Post
Woodworking is not easy, you can't throw money at it to solve problems. Much of it comes down to operator experience and practice, a jointer will not solve your problem, only create more until you learn how to use it.

Take the advice you have got from a couple very experienced guys and get your saw set up to make a straight cut both with a jig for the first cut and along the fence for the second cut.
I had the OP's exact same problem a few months ago. I've got decades of experiance and am good with joining using a hand plane, last year I got, as part of a larger buy, a high quality Felder Austrian joiner, massive thing, big motor. Never learned how to use or adjust those. So when using that new joiner to join the boards for my dining table project I get three days of total frustration watching the boards get narrower and narrower and the joints worse and worse.
Then I tried the table saw, no luck.
Next, a 1/4" router bit in my dinky little Festool router running against a straight-edge.
Perfect.

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post #17 of 22 Old 09-11-2016, 05:28 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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what did do on the table saw?

No luck on the table saw? What was your method.. a straight line jig?

My theory is simple, Large pieces? .. move the saw. Smaller pieces? ... move the piece. Ripping long, straight pieces "can" be done but it requires a long straight edge and a long fence. I have a 10 ft long 2" square aluminum extrusion from a long past project and it's the straightest long reference I own. If you use a circular saw and a straight edge guide, you can rip most long boards faily accurately. The trick about track saws is that the saw is "locked" onto the track so there are no side to side variations in the cut. A dedicated base, or a removable one on your circular saw will turn it into a track saw in about 20 minutes....


Most woodworking projects do not require lengths much over 7 ft, so an 8 ft long jig will suffice for all but the longest boards. A 6 ft aluminum level is another very reasonable straight edge.... between $30.00 and $60.00 depending on the quality.

If you were to make a jig like showed above, you will be amazed how easy it is to use and so much faster than a jointer on curved edges...! :smile3: Very little waste this way and you can see exactly what's coming off. That way you can work around knots and other bad spots.

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 #18 of 22 Old 09-12-2016, 01:54 AM
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Well of course, our kitchen worktops are jointed together using a router and template. So, all in all, I would plump for the router if you have one.
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post #19 of 22 Old 09-14-2016, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
A hand plane is your substitute, but that's another skill set.
A good used $25 hand plane can do the job in the hands of someone experienced.
There is a reason folks gave that up in the nineteenth century. It's the biggest pain in the a of anything I've ever done in woodworking.
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post #20 of 22 Old 11-02-2016, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thought I'd follow up here, sorry it's nearly 2 months later. I decided that my table saw jointer jig was just fine. I ended up with a cupped tabletop, though, which led me down another path. I got a hand plane, went to town on the table top, but the grain on the 2 pieces of joined wood was not symmetrical, and I ended up with quite a bit of tearout. I finally decided that I needed a planer, and bought a Grizzly G0505. With that, I planed 2 more sheets of pine and jointed them with my table saw, and the table top came out looking pretty good.

I'm moving on now, but hand planing is wizardry that I only began to skim the surface of (no pun intended). I ended up with a shop full of shavings and never got rid of the unevenness of the surface. If you looked at the amount of shavings I had created, you'd think I had planed down a large piece of pine completely, just to make shavings.
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