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Discussion Starter #1
Question - I've always squared my stock as follows, and have never used a jointer. I've seen all sorts of crazy zigs that others use for use on a table saw, but can't seem to understand why they are needed. This has always seemed overly complicated to me, but I think I'm obviously misunderstanding a basic concept for needing a jointer and/or these semi-complex jigs.

I:

1. Plane stock
2. Hot glue boards together if multiple boards need cut to same size. Usually just use four small dots so it holds while sawing, but comes off easily when finished (sometimes I must replane).
3. Mark out my sides, and ensuring everything is properly squared.
4. Rip on my table saw using miter gauge clamped to wood, or cross cut on my radial arm saw.
5. Pop boards apart, lightly sand edges.

I now have identically sized, perfectly squared boards. (Although I may need to replane surface if the glue affected the surface.)

As long as care is taken laying everything out and making sure the blades are at a perfect 90* angle, I guess I don't understand the point of a jointer. What am I missing?
 

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where's my table saw?
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Here's some info

Picture a handsaw, crosscut or rip and a hand plane, a jack.
They do completly different things. A table saw doesn't necessarly make a straight cut that's parallel to the fence, so jigs are made to slide along the fence maintaining a constant distance from the fence to the blade....a board straighten jig or "joining jig. If you hold a slightly curved board against the fence you will get a cut with less curve than you started with, but not straight.
A jointer works differently and has 2 reference surfaces, the front/infeed table and the rear/outfeed table and the fence if you are edge joining. It can be used like a large hand plane when dealing with boards that have excess curve, twist or bow. Removing the "offensive" material a short pass at a time rather than trying to flatten the board all in one pass.
Jointers straighten and flatten boards, not so on the table saw.
If jointers weren't a necessary tool in the woodworking craft there wouldn't be so darn many in use.
Here's a good link with some videos: http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f5/jointer-what-am-i-doing-wrong-21758/
Jointers can straighten an edge and or flatten a surface.

This will help you , see post no. 5: http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f12/thinking-about-getting-jointer-22658/
 

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Using a planer doesn't ensure a flat surface on the board, it only makes one side parallel to the opposite side, whether it's twisted, bowed, warped, etc. So your first step leaves opportunity for deviation right from the get go unless you're using a planer sled to provide a flat reference surface. Without a true flat reference face, there's no guarantee that the attempted 90° edges are going to be truly 90°.

Here's how I dimension lumber:
1. flatten a face on the jointer
2. flip board up and add a 90° adjacent edge on the jointer
3. plane the opposite face of the board to thickness using the flat reference face obtained with the jointer to make the opposite face flat.
4. Rip to final width and cut to length.

There are certainly other ways to accomplish edge jointing and dimensioning, but none is faster or more effective than a jointer and planer in tandem, and most other work arounds don't provide a method to flatten a face....they address edge jointing only.
 

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Bill and Scott pretty much covered the issue. Many will buy dressed lumber at home centers, and edge jointing needed due to various reasons can be done with a jointer or on the table saw. It's nice to have the options.

You may find that very long stock machined on a jointer can be cumbersome to handle. Jointer use can be effective with it properly set up and proper operating procedures.










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Considering I just posted a big rant against them I probably shouldn't chime in - but that never stopped me before...

Another thing that wasn't mentioned so far as I remember is that RAS or tablesaw will remove far more material than a jointer which works in 1/16" or even less dimensions. This allows a superfine surface finish with minimal material loss perfect for a glue-edge
 

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klr,slight tangent.........you want to be careful taking real lite cuts with a jointer.Ya sorta need to get under the surface WRT depth of cut.Real lite cuts can dull the knives rather quickly as they're rubbing instead of cutting/shearing.Best,BW
 

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Well I'll keep my eyes open, but honestly I've never had problems before with the knives dulling quickly - the current set has a lot of board feet on it, mostly walnut and mahogany.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the thoughts, and sorry it took me so long to respond. First, let me clarify. I do agree with all comments, including the benefits of a jointer. I seem to see more experienced woodworkers than I suggesting that novices get a jointer before a surface planer. I guess I just feel that it is much easier to create true edges with a saw, square, and hand plane rather than plane a surface true without a planer. If I had to choose a planer or jointer, I think I would definitely choose the planer. It seems those more experienced than I suggest otherwise, and I wasn't sure what I was missing.

With that being said......

This weekend, I couldn't keep my RAS square for the life of me. I even got a laser, mounted it perpendicular to my fence, and adjusted the RAS so the laser hit the tooth at every position along the length of the arm. When I would cut though, I was never getting a 90* cut. There's some slop in that stupid thing and I couldn't figure it out for the life of me. This made it significantly harder to finish my edges before glue up. A lot of hand planing was needed.

So anyway, I just ordered a jointer online and will pick it up after work. Hopefully this will make my life easier, and allow me to see what I'm missing by actually using the product.

Thanks guys.
 

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Same problem

Hello folks

I have essentially every problem mentioned in this thread and it's probably all due to my lack of experience.

I have all the right equipment... a jointer, a thickness planner, a RAS and a table saw. My problem is that I just can't seam to get a good glue edge from my jointer. Even with relatively short pieces I always get a wobbly arc instead of a flat surface.

Am I correct in assuming that before attempting to flatten the glue edge surface that I should first run the piece through on the face side to create a reference surface? Sorry if that’s an inane question but I’m at a loss to explain why my jointer can’t make a decent glue edge.

Thanks


 

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jyuma the answer is yes

I always flatten the width before straghtening the edge. The face needs a true surface to bear against the fence when straightening the edge.
You should read the posts here on jointer operation including the 2 links in post no. 3 "Here's some info". This whole thing has been discussed here extensively. You Tube has good videos on jointer operation and setup search "thinz" for his. Also look here in Videos for additional sources. ;) bill
 

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I think I found the problem

Thanks’ Bill and everyone else who contributed to this excellent discussion. :thumbsup:

I went thru the setup steps as described in this thread and everything was perfect... except for one thing... my fence isn't flat! :eek:

I placed a good square on the out feed table and against the fence and holy crap... the fence has a bow in it along its entire length. How can that be? This is a massive cast iron fence with a front surface that was obviously machined flat (at one time) but it has a definite convex bow top to bottom with the center line proud of the overall plane. I can actually see the piece I am jointing (glue edge) rocking on this bow as I joint. No wonder I can't get a decent glue edge. :wallbash:

Can I replace just the fence? If so where would I get one? Or maybe I should take the fence to a machine shop and have it machined flat?

Is it just me or does this sound rather odd?
 

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Your Choices

Replacing the fence will be $$$pensive, if you can find one...what brand, size, model is it?

Depending on your experience, I'm a model maker, so I wouldn't hesitate to "cure" the issue my self....I would use a vertical/horizontal belt sander 6" x 48" in the horizontal position, to remove the crown....depending on the severity.
A 36 grit belt or 50 would make short work of it. Using a spray on marking dye and a steel straight edge you can remove the offending cast iron. You don't want to get it hot, so just proceed with caution.

You could use hand held tools, disc grinder, belt sander but considerably more skill is required.

Another option if you can locate one is a "edge" sander laid over to horizontal, they typically have a 60" long bed or greater. which would make everything easier.

The last option is having it machined, and that may/will also be $$$pensive. This is woodworking, not metal working so I'd feel comfortable if in the end it weren't "perfect" just pretty close. The fence needs to be vertical and flat, so when you get that condition along the length of the beds by checking with a true square, that should be fine. Any variation in vertical will be an issue, but since it's adjustable not a problem, but a slight variation, a few .000 in flat won't matter that much over a 30" length.
Now this is just an opinion, and it's worth what it cost to post it here. I know my capabilities and don't know yours, so good luck on this. ;) bill
 

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Can I replace just the fence? If so where would I get one? Or maybe I should take the fence to a machine shop and have it machined flat?

Is it just me or does this sound rather odd?

It's not odd. You could just order a replacement fence, or have it machined flat. If you can stand to lose the thickness of adding a flat fence, like a laminate covered plywood, and shim it so it stays flat, would be another option. Actually this would be your least expensive option.










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Fixed

Thanks for all the help.

I took the fence off and belt sanded it. That worked a lot easier than I would have thought, and it was flat in no time at all. Thanks for the suggestion. :thumbsup:

I also took the time to put a dial indicator on the knives and they were real close... only a few thousandths variation so I left well enough alone.

I also re-checked the in-feed and out-feed alignment and what I had originally thought was perfect was way out. The knife end of the in-feed (what I originally checked) was aligned pretty good (with the in-feed adjusted to flat with the out-feed) but the other end of the in-feed was down about .060 (60 thousandths). Unfortunately my jointer does not provide a very easy way to adjust the in-feed table plane (my out-feed is fixed) so I needed to take the dang thing apart and adjust two sets of set screws that adjust the far end of the in-feed by pushing against each other. Pretty lousy way of adjusting the table but after a bunch of attempts I got it right.

I'm now making perfect glue edges thanks to you guys. I really do appreciate all the help. :thumbsup:
 
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