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Jack of too many trades..
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I picked up my first jointer on Saturday. It's a 1983 ENCO 150-5100 6" jointer. Solid cast steel construction, adjustments work, 1 hp motor runs great, and got it for less than $100 because the knives were missing (already ordered replacements). It cleaned up very well. Light surface rust only, and only one *tiny* little pit on the outfeed table. I painted the guard to improve the visibility, but otherwise it's ready to go (once it has cutters).




The 150-5100 model was discontinued a few years back; however, my research indicated that there was a Harbor Freight model that was a near clone of this machine which enjoyed above-average quality. There's also an older Grizzy Jointer that's almost identical to this model.

The difference that I can see is that the 1983 model has a different fence setup from the later models and clones. The fence is secured and adjusted in the middle of the machine (rather than on the in-feed side).

The only problem so far is this - in my clean up and tune up, I noticed that the fence is slightly bowed on the longitudinal axis.

Laying a straight-edge along the fence, I can see that the center is bowed between 1/32nd and 1/16th of an inch. This measure is approximate, as the framing square is shorter than the fence and that ruler's marks have about had it. Regardless you can see the the fence is bowed.



Initially I though about taking the fence to a machine shop and having it planed smooth. I was a little concerned about loss of rigidity if too much metal was removed.

Here's where I'd really appreciate some advice... After squaring up fence to the table, I recalled that the really important thing about any jointer (aside from the cutter blade setup) is that the infeed and outfeed are parallel and that the fence stays 90 (or 45) degrees perpendicular to the table. The fence doesn't necessarily have to be perfectly straight, and long as it's perfectly square to the table. Unless I'm making a dado or rabbet on the edge of the board.

Am I thinking right here? It's been about 20 years since I've had regular access to a jointer, so I might be missing something here...



Note that the tables checked out as parallel during cleanup and adjustment. The fence locks at 90 (or 45) degrees along the entire length.
 

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I have the same jointer labeled Foley-Belsaw, the fence is bowed the same way, 90 degrees to the tables, I haven't had any problem with it. I don't want to take a chance of having to find another if the machine shop screws up.
 

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This should work fine as you stated, except for rabbits and dados.

I agree it may be risky for a machine shop to flatten. However, if you did want the surface flat, just glue on a piece of plywood, MDF, or UHMW and then take a hand plane and flatten the face.
 

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Pickup a copy of the book care and repair of shop machines. I found a copy at my local library and it has a great section on jointers. It even talks about straighting warped cast iron by setting it on blocks and lightly jumping on it to shock it back into alignment.

I haven't ever tried it but according to the author it works more times than you would think and was even the recommended procedure by one jointer manufactor.

I found the book very helpful this weekend when I went through and set my jointer up.
 

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Nice buy at $100. Looks a lot like an older Griz 1182, Jet, PM54, Sunhill, etc.

You can always build an aux fence for it if you're concerned about the bowing....

 

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Jack of too many trades..
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks for the comments. I wasn't feeling bad about the purchase, but I feel even better now. The jointer was actually only $80 and it came from someone who seems to know wood, and wanted it gone w/o "giving" it away. It feels like a good deal, even with missing blades and slight fence warp.

I was thinking... I upgraded by table saw fence to a VSCtools.com T-square fence. It's really nice and uses an aluminum extrusion for a fence. I also used an extra piece of the extrusion for my Incra Miter gauge... so maybe I could use one of those extrusions in place of my stock fence. 'though it wouldn't be good for 45 degree angle cut
 

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Okay as an x aerospace machinist one option that an fix a lot of problems is Plasma coating and machining. I have no idea asto today's cost for this process but if you gave a quality machine it is probably worth the Money quick lesson for those that don't know, coating is basically molten metal blasted on to a prepared surface then machined to a finish this means not a loss of material but an increase.
 

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where's my table saw?
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I wouldn't jump on this idea

. It even talks about straighting warped cast iron by setting it on blocks and lightly jumping on it to shock it back into alignment.
I finally see the difference between the framing square and the fence. :eek:
Looks like you need to run your fence through a jointer, for cast iron. :laughing: A machine shop would charge by the hour and that could get expensive.... but you never know without asking.

If it were mine, I would get a new 14" bastard file and start on each end, working toward the center with a "draw filing" technique. You can't make it any worse. You could also use a 6 X 48" stationary belt sander with an out board support, IF you wanted a real challenge. With a 36 grit belt it wouldn't take much to reduce the ends by the small amount needed to flatten it. I use mine for grinding all the time, as well as sanding on the rare occasion. You will need a much better straight edge for any home shop flatness/accuracy checking.

Apparently this is a common problem with cast iron machine tables:
http://wiki.vintagemachinery.org/Flattening%20Cast%20Iron%20Surfaces.ashx

http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Grinding_a_Warped_CastIron.html

see post 17: http://www.practicalmachinist.com/v...s-lathes/can-you-bend-warped-bp-table-168577/
 

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It even talks about straighting warped cast iron by setting it on blocks and lightly jumping on it to shock it back into alignment.
I don't think I'd be jumping on a cast iron fence. It's brittle and can break easily. I would just add a fence as mentioned earlier, and make it a bit longer.




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Jack of too many trades..
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Got my blades and new gibs today. Feeling a bit excited, I set the blade by sight and ran a warped piece of oak through the jointer.

Results are mixed. I get some bad sniping on the end, but it cuts okay. The 6" grizzly blade fit well. I'll do a proper adjustment tomorrow and try again. Too little time on a weekday to really play around.
 
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