Help with Jointer Setup

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Hiya, I'm having some issues with my jointer and was hoping for some help. I'm getting a tapered board with the front of the board narrower than the trailing end (I'm edge jointing). I understand this could be due to the tables not being parallel or the cutter head is too low. I checked the tables and they seem fine. I did lower the outfeed table slightly to where if I put a board on it and manually spin the cutter, it moves the board about 1/2" or so backwards. But now I'm getting snipe. In the past, I've fixed that by setting the outfeed table to be just below the top of the cutters. Am I to assume that there is a very, very fine line between snipe and taper here or is there something else I should be addressing? I believe my technique is fine (hasn't changed in the 10-15 years since I've been using a jointer with no problems). Cheers, cc
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If the outfeed were high you would get the taper on the trailing portion. You'd also hit the leading edge on the table, because the cutterhead had not removed enough material. If the outfeed is low, you get the snipe you induced by lowering. The symptom you report is a characteristic of outfeed droop or not feeding with even pressure.
Recheck parallel, make sure your stock is not bowed in the middle causing misfeed, and try again.
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The outfeed table should be at the same height as the blades. If it's not, as you found out, snipe results.

on
is
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Ok, so it seems that a hair high gives me snipe and a hair low gives me taper. I'll have to take a look at it again tomorrow and run some wood through it at different heights to see if I can eliminate both! Cheers, cc
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Keep in mind also that a "slight" taper result is common on all jointers. Jointers are not used to create parallel surfaces, only straight and flat surfaces. The TS should be used to make the opposite edge smooth and parallel.
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Not on mine.

Only to take it out of parallel at the jointer??

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Stoutman wrote:

Possibly.
There is no parallel reference on a jointer. Jointers make a face flat, and/or one face an exact angle to another, based on the setting of the fence.
Parallel edges or faces obtained on a jointer are based on luck. <G>
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Really? I thought the cutters took off a measured amount all along the length, based on their height. If you started parallel, you should get parallel, less the equal amount removed by the cutters. I can't measure the difference.
Assuming you set the outfeed properly, of course.
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George wrote:

I'll simply credit you with superior jointer skills.
All of my training involved not expecting opposite faces to remain parallel off the jointer, so I'll agree to disagree.
Maybe my faces are parallel, but since I don't expect them to be, I don't check.
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I'm confused. If you guys aren't getting parallel faces at the jointer than why do people drop all that dough on those fancy Besseimer TS fences? I guess I will stick with my $15 delta stock fence. <g>
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Stoutman wrote:

My typical method of preparing stock:
- Cut the board to rough length with a hand or jigsaw.
- Possibly rip to rough width with the band saw. I don't always work from a sawmill edge. If I'm not, I'd now create a roughly rectangular board at the band saw, based on figure preference.
- Joint a face flat enough so I can thickness plane the other side. This may leave hollows in the center of the board, as I'm not looking for a perfect face yet.
- Thickness plane the non-jointed side flat, then flip the board to totally flatten it and ensure both faces are parallel.
- Choose an edge and joint it 90 degrees to a face
- Rip the other edge to width, creating a second edge parallel to the jointed edge.
This works great for me, others may prefer their own methods.
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Yeah a bit confused. ;~) The fancy Bess fences give us the parallel surfaces and with a great blade usually a surface that is smoother than what the typical jointer will leave and the correct width.
Seriously, talk to some one that teaches proper use of a jointer, you may be enlightened.
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Have to second that Leon - that's the way I always learned - joint the edge flat and rip it parallel. I've had the RARE occasion of parallel edges after jointing but I attribute it to pure luck.
Vic
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Stoutman,
I don't know why this is irritating me tonight, but it seems like you're overlooking some pretty important things again.
Things have to be done correctly, in the correct order, with the proper tools. It's your shop, and I'm glad you're happy with it- but you're going through a lot of extra work and probably frustration by apparently trying to make silk purses out of sows' ears.
So here goes, a few tips you're sure to ignore.
You've got a jointer, so I'll include that in the process- nothing wrong with the tool, and you already have it.
When you get your stock, joint one face... if it needs it.
When it is flat, joint one edge, if it needs it, by putting the jointed face against the fence.
If it needs it, plane the board to final thickness with the planer. This insures that the two faces are parallel, which the jointer does not do. If you do not own a planer, your next step involves a hand plane and winding sticks, which can be fun to use as well- but going back to the jointer will not help you unless you are doing a lot of stock removal and just need to do some hogging off the thickness before truing the piece by hand. You could also use a router with a pair of "rails" on either side of the stock to adjust the thickness, then sand or handplane the routed face- this will insure parallel faces if done correctly.
After planing, rip the stock to width using your table saw, with the jointed edge against the fence. This insures that both edges are parallel, which the jointer does not do. Rip the piece to final thickness- if you re-hit it with the jointer, you risk tapering it, tearout, or leaving mill marks that are very difficult to sand out if you feed too quickly, and will show up in your finish.
A good fence on the table saw is parallel to the blade without excessive fiddling, is sturdy enough to prevent deflection when ripping, and has an accurate indicator to allow for repeatable setups. This will result in a glue-ready edge provided that you have a good, clean, sharp blade, and have carefully set up your saw.
Then, crosscut the board to finished length. Occasionally, it will make sense to route or rip dadoes down an entire length before crosscutting, or route a profile on an edge, but we're just talking about a simple rectangle here.
There you have it. It's a simple, time tested method for preparing stock. All the gadgets and gizmos in the world will not do a better job if you ignore the process. You can get your jointer to micrometric precision, but if the fence on your table saw is out by a sixteenth, it isn't going to matter. Nor will it matter if your table saw is set to within one-tenth of a second of 90* if you are not cutting a final edge with it, or if the ass end of the fence is sliding out of adjustment when you're ripping (which happens fairly frequently with your $15 Delta stock fence, if mine was anything to go by.)
Once again, there is no magic bullet. There is no substitute for thought, care and practice. A gadget will help you in some cases, but you are losing something very important in the long run. If you're not willing to discover what that is, there is no way for me to explain it to you.
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Thanks for the chuckle professor!
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"George" wrote in message

the
Theorectically possible, providing you start with stock that is both parallel AND perfectly "flat", but if your stock is already flat and parallel there are much better ways to dimension it than running it over a jointer.
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Yes really.
Unlike a TS, a thickness planer, a thickness sander, or a RAS the jointer has no fixed reference to insure exact width or thickness. On paper the jointer should give you parallel edges if you started with parallel edges but with the jointer you enter the human factor that controlls the reference.
I thought the cutters took off a measured amount all along the

With a single pass, perhaps but if you want a board 1/2" narrower the accumilated error will probably be measurable. Better to have the TS set up properly and there would be no reason to revisit the jointer.
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I have to question this. What is it about a jointer that would cause it to produce a piece that is tapered? Properly set up infeed/outfeed/cutterhead relationships should indeed provide a non-tapered result. Do you expect your router to leave a tapered piece? What's the difference between what the router is doing and what the jointer is doing? I think you've been settling for too little in your jointer setup. Or - am I out to lunch?
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"Mike Marlow" wrote in message

to
It doesn't have to be the jointer that causes the taper ... it can be the stock, or even poor technique, or a combination of the two.

Providing that the stock is flat, the faces/edges are parallel start with, and the technique is a practised one, yes. But getting stock to that point is not going to be done by the jointer alone, unless you're lucky. ;)
I was under the impression that was Barry's point.
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A non fixed opposite reference that insures exact results of the piece being processed. Ask this question, what is it about a TS WITH OUT a fence that would cause it to produce a cut that is tapered?
Properly set up infeed/outfeed/cutterhead

That all looks good on paper but the human element is not ever properly set up. The human element is the reference point and it is very in consistent.
Do you expect

Yes, if I used it as a jointer to trim the entire edge of a board over and over to achiece the desired width.
What's the difference between what

Typically a router used free hand and in a table does not have two different parallel surfaces that the wood is being processed on like that of a jointer.
I think you've been

A jointer can produce good results but not as good as those done on the proper machine. I don't think you have been out to lunch so much as not having been trained by a person that really knows what he is talking about.
You hear a lot of complaints about jointers, the reason is often because too much is expected of them.
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