I am a noobie, so this may be one of those dumb questions.
How much warping and twisting is acceptable from my local wood
supplier? I certainly do not mind running it through the joiner and
planer a couple of times. It seems that if I buy 4/4 or 5/4 lumber,
at BEST I am getting 3/4" of good material.
I try to get the straightest pieces available, but still have to
joint/plane quite a few times. Usually 4-5 times on joiner, then at
least that many times on planer. I have Delta X5 joiner, Delta 13"
planer. Experiences with b.e. maple, h. maple and cherry. I joint
one edge and one flat side, rip to width, joint ripped edge and plane
other flat edge.
Is this par for the course and I am just whining, or should I look for
Drowning in sawdust, Dave
You should get 13/16", pretty near, from 4/4 stock, if you're paying premium
Jointing and planing with lightweight equipment can be a real boring chore.
I've had some wood so bad the ONLY way to get it jointed was to start with the
table saw and a jig, or cut it in half (crosscut) to reduce the arc. But
normally I buy green lumber and season it myself, so I can't complain too much.
Joint one edge but after you JOINT one side (if you can) to get it flat.
Really, you're planing it, but using the jointer to flatten it. Then you can
get a 90 degree square side. With fuzz and bumps, you can't.
Once that is done and the second side is planed parallel, I'd get a good 30
tooth rip blade and let the wood alone after that cut. A glue line blade will
give you all the edge you need. Jointing it again can through it out of
parallel with the already jointed edge.
"Telephone, n. An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages
of making a disagreeable person keep his distance." Ambrose Bierce
Depends on how big your lumber is, and how fussy you are.
It probably takes fewer passes to get a 2' piece flat than a 10' piece, so
maybe you can cut it rough size first.
Sometimes you can get away with planing the first face (or at least holding
it to 1 or 2 passes on the joiner), rather than joining it. It probably
won't be as flat, but might not matter.
4/4 can get down to 3/4" real fast, but 5/4 shouldn't.
Grade of lumber makes a difference. Less sapwood and knots in select or
better means less drying stress.
Cutting to rough length before jointing makes a difference. You can take
an 8-10' board with a lot of swoop or twist and make it a non-factor by
crosscutting your 2' pieces out of it, leaving the best boards for the long
Proper use of the jointer makes a difference. Sight your boards and
_carefully_ slide that guard out of the way so you can place a low spot on
the outfeed and trim a high. This is what people who use hand planes do,
and it really helps.
Finally, you don't need a finished surface to feed your thickness planer.
As long as the board will feed flat, run it. Then you can take advantage of
things like disregarding an unplaned edge if you don't need the width. In
any case, not screwing around looking for a surface on the jointer will give
you an extra pass in your planer.
Also helps to have a hand plane, winding sticks, and a bit of instruction on
how to use it, so you can knock off the worst before you even begin
surfacing on the jointer.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. Then why not just use a jack plane to quickly and safely get
it close enough for the jointer? One of my best pals from high school is an
EMT with more than a decade of experience. His least favorite calls (other
than injured children) were shop accidents. And amongst the shop accidents,
the most dreaded were those involving a jointer. A kickback from the
jointer (generally caused by defeating the guard) results in the board being
swifty ejected from your hands (they're being used for careful placement of
the board, if I'm understanding this correctly), and then your hand can
easily dive into the rotating cutter.
It happens in an instant, and according to my pal, there is a fine spray of
bone, blood, cartilage and flesh that decorates the shop. They really
dislike these accidents because there is nothing to take with them to the ER
for attempted reattachment. Every tool deserves a certain amount of respect
in the shop. The jointer is in a class all by itself. Though it is not #1
in the number of accident occurrences, a bad encounter with one is
unimaginably devastating. I would have to ponder alternate ideas for a
month before defeating a functioning guard on a jointer.
This is not some sky-is-falling, hand tool proselytizing flame, just some
thoughts on using the right tool for the job - safely. And George is
right - it works great!
BTW, an easy way to keep track of the high spots you're working on knocking
down is to scribble lightly with pencil, and then plane off the pencil
marks. You'll be amazed how fast it goes.
Sometimes the best thing going is a good hand job.
I don't think that would be "proper use of the jointer." When I've had occassion
to do things as George described, one hand is on the guard, and the other is
placing the board down on the jointer, on the infeed side well down from the
cutterhead. Thus, (geez, I'm sounding like a mathematician) if disaster stuck and
the board was kicked back, that hand would be pushed even farther from the
I've always thought one of the cardinal rules (if not *the* cardinal rule) of
using a jointer is to never have one's hands over the cutter head.
You don't fool me for a minute, you hand tool proselytizer, you. ;)
The From: header above is wrong on purpose
Don't assume that your hand will be pushed back. As a rather dumb
know-it-all teen-ager (yeah, I know, that's redundant) I made the mistake
of trying to joint a too short piece of wood. Too much pressure on the
front led to immediate kickback. The board flew out of my hand, but my
hand kept moving forward; after all I HAD been pushing the board forward.
The result--I've been a half finger short for the last 30 years.
ps. By the way, stubby fingers don't impress the women.
Redundancy, all right. Short pieces need those two-handed pushblocks. If
only the kids would use 'em.
Last kid I kicked out was on his third dangerous attempt before I lost my
patience. I do both IA and EMS, but I don't really care to mix 'em. If you
can't help others because some moron is bound and determined to hurt
firstname.lastname@example.org (David E. Penner) writes:
Reread what I wrote. I'm not pushing the board forward, so yes, my
hand would be pushed back if the board kicked back when placing
it on the jointer.
As another poster mentioned, one should use pushblocks when face
jointing. Once the board is
on the jointer, you can grab your pushblocks and use them. In
other words, once you're pushing the board forward, you're using
The point I was trying to make is that it is possible to safely
place the board on the jointer when doing as George described.
Patrick, maybe I'm dense, but I'm trying to understand your point about the
Do you really mean that the kickback is *caused* by the guard not being
used? Or that the hand diving into the cutter is because the guard's off?
Assuming it's the latter, I'm also wondering if most blade guards on
jointers return fast enough to protect in that situation. If you were
pushing with your leading hand say 6 inches from the cutterhead, and the
board kicked backward out of your hands, your hands continue moving forward
of their own momentum....... is the guard going to close before your hand
reaches the cutterhead?
I know mine is nowhere near that fast. Could be that I need to pre-tension
the spring more.
You're not dense. I just didn't offer a decent illustration ;).
Two typical ways to lose fingers in a jointer -
1. You're holding the guard open to lower a board onto it, and you're
leaning a bit towards the cutter with the rear hand (most likely right).
The board kicks back, and since you haven't let go of the guard yet, the
hand that was once holding the board goes into the exposed cutter head.
2. You're jointing a short board, and it won't quite work with push blocks
and the guard, so you eschew the push blocks. Board kicks back and
disappears behind you while your hand goes into the cutter head.
Pretty much short boards and a power jointer don't go well together. Plus,
it's really easy to flatten a small board with a hand plane, irrespective of
one's view on Zen and the art of hand tools.
On Thu, 20 Nov 2003 11:36:32 -0800, "Patrick Olguin"
I'm still lost. <G>
Lower a board onto a jointer? Why? I always slide the board across
the infeed table, across the spinning blades, right onto the outfeed
table. This is always done with push blocks, unless I'm edge
jointing. When edge jointing it's quite easy to keep a good, safe
grip on the work, but even then I never lower a board onto the cutter
If it's too short for blocks, it's too small for the tool.
Do people do this stuff on purpose? Is there some technique I'm
On Thu, 20 Nov 2003 20:28:39 GMT, B a r r y B u r k e J r .
If you have a longish sorta board with a big crook in it, the leading
edge of the board may come at the cutter at too steep an angle to run
the board through all at once. If you ran it through you might chunk
out the leading part of the board.
You may have to set the board down with the cutter beneath the mid
point of the concavity of the board's edge and joint down the trailing
part of the board first.
Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker
Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania
I've done this to taper a leg such as in a shaker style sofa table. It
is a common practice. The first time might seem scary but once you've
passed that it's really easy. Begin with a light cut, once that's made
you can increase the cut until you're ready to make the final light cut.
You're just establishing an angle with the first cut.
An unkind remark is like a killing frost. No matter how much it warms
up later, the damage remains.
However, with any semblance of intelligence, you lay the board on top of the
guard, then, while holding the part of the board which will rest on the
outfeed table lightly to same with your block, you slide the guard out of
the way from under it, never revealing the cutters.
For jointing short stock, or even surfacing, a two-handed push block (like a
plane with a heel to hook the aft edge) will allow full control of both
direction and, as it is able to butt into it, the guard.
wrote in message >
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