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  1. #1
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    Talking Benchtop Jointer

    Hello all, FNG here with an age old beat to death question I'm sure. Little background, I am still somewhat new to woodworking, been on and off again between deployments for the last 3 years. I mostly do shadow boxes, sword cases, ect...box work. I have a small garage that my wife was nice enough to let me turn into my shop. I have a decent table saw (Delta Industrial) I recently purchased a little 6" porter cable benchtop jointer, no real space nor funds to get a grizzly just yet, and a planer to go with it. The wood I run through them is mostly red oak or poplar (readily available) and I keep getting wedged shaped boards. The wedge is always on the first part of the board that I feed through it. I've been over and over all the adjustments, read 500 forums. Some say that's just the nature of a jointer, but other people have no problem getting a nice flat even surface with no wedge. Are these jointers just no good, or is it my technique? I've tried just about everything. Can anyone offer up any good info? Thanks, good to be a part of the forum.

  2. #2
    I am assuming the "wedge" you are refering to is realy called "snipe".

    I don't have experience with a benchtop jointer, and I think it will be difficult to work with because on the "length" of the infeed table. It is not really going to allow you to hold the wood flat down as well as you really want to. Sooo - sake special care to hold the wood as flat as possible all through the cut.

    But, even more important than that is to have the tip of the cutter to be in perfect alignment or .002/.003 below the "outfeed" table. This is likely your biggest problem.

    Lastly - the infeed and the outfeed tables must be "coplaner" - or in other words - in alignment with each other.

  3. #3
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    Ok, thank you for the advice. I'm going to try to get my fingers on a dial indicator and try setting the blades just below the outfeed table and see if that helps anything. Right now they are dead even with it. What would you suggest for applied pressure?

  4. #4
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    If you are getting a straight cut the length of the board it is not snipe that is your problem, and there is not a lot you can do about it, that is just how jointers work, they straighten one surface of the board, a second straight surface 90 degrees to the first surface can also be achieved. The other two sides have to be finished with either a tablesaw or planer using the first two sides as references.
    Frank C

    Sawdust Making 101
    http://sawdustmaking.com

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies! I'm goin to do some adjustments and make a few cuts just try a few different things and see what i can come up with. Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Bean View Post
    Ok, thank you for the advice. I'm going to try to get my fingers on a dial indicator and try setting the blades just below the outfeed table and see if that helps anything. Right now they are dead even with it. What would you suggest for applied pressure?
    What I mean by pressure is how hard you press the board against the jointer. You should not be pressing very hard at all - just press enough to hold the board down, and move it through the cut. Use the push blocks, your fingers have a horrible tendency to dangle over the trailing edge of the board, and you could clip off the tip of a finger. Not a pretty sight.

    One more thing I will HIGHLY encourage you to do is to get some Johnsons paste wax or Butchers bowling alley wax. Wax and buff up the surfaces of the jointer. Might not sould like much - but trust me -- THAT, in itself is a HUGE help in moving the board through the cut. The board will slide a lot easier, thereby making it so much easier to push through the cut. In engineering terms, that lowers the coefficient of friction. In other words, the board will slide much more freely. When you need to push just to slide the board through the cut, you will have a tendency to push harder on the top of the board than you should.

    DO NOT use auto wax or wax with silicon in it. That will stain the wood.

    There is a lot of technique to using a jointer - but once you get it - it will be one of your favorite tools.

    BTW - you do not need an indicator to set the knives. I just use a straight edge (actually the combination square without the rule in it.), and set the knives so they "just" touch but do not drag the straight edge and I rotate the cutterhead by hand -- of course - the jointer is UNPLUGGED when you do that.

  7. #7
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    Thanks wood worker for the information. I'm going to definately get some wax and try that out. Now that i'm thinking about it, I've probably been pushing way to hard down on the wood i'm running through. I always use my push blocks when using my jointer, those blades rotating like that are enough to make me think twice about getting a finger anywhere near them! Thanks again! I'll let you know how it goes.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Bean View Post
    Thanks wood worker for the information. I'm going to definately get some wax and try that out. Now that i'm thinking about it, I've probably been pushing way to hard down on the wood i'm running through. I always use my push blocks when using my jointer, those blades rotating like that are enough to make me think twice about getting a finger anywhere near them! Thanks again! I'll let you know how it goes.
    You definately do not want to push so hard as to bend the wood in any way.

    FIRST - you want to "face" the board - to get the thing flat. To do that you put the board with the concave side down. That will have the jointer clip away a little at the beginning of the cut and a little at the end of the cut, and likely not touch in the middle. Don't push hard in the middle to "make" the jointer cut. Let the machine do it's job.

    After you get the face flat - then put that face against the fence and hold that face of the board flat against the fence - then run the board through the jointer to get the "edge" square, and straight.

    From there --- you get the other face by using a planer, and the other edge by using the table saw.

    I don't know if you mentioned if you had any other tools like a planer or table saw.
    Last edited by wood_worker; 07-11-2010 at 08:33 AM.

  9. #9
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    Ok i'll keep all that in mind, probably print all this out and hang it in my shop and read it before I go to joint anything LOL! I posted another question, didn't check to see if anyone responded yet. Most of my wood I get from home improvement stores cause that's mostly all that's around as far as wood supply. But when I look at some of that stuff, i can't find a side that i would consider concave. I can't really believe that the wood i'm buying is flat already. So how do I choose the side to put on the jointer if i can't determine which is the concave side? Also i do have a planer, did a little reading before i bought them and bought it the same time as the jointer, and i have a 10" Delta table saw. Also I ran out and bought some johnson's paste wax and that made a world of difference! Still don't think i'm getting too great a cut, but I could feel the difference that stuff made.

  10. #10
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    Sounds like a board that flat should go to the planer. I use the top of the table saw to check for flatness. It is the best surface in my shop.
    bmorto

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