Jointer update.. the saga continues

I started it up last night. The belt is a few sizes too big so I am going to have to fix that. I was a little disappointed. I rand the edge of a board through. The board was junping up and down while I was holding it as it was hitting the blades. It put "ripples" in the bottom of he board. Not sure exactly what this means. Maybe the blades need sharpened? Maybe the cutterhead needs to turn faster? I took the blades off this mornign and plan to have them sharpened somewhere. I plan to adjust the tables and everything this weekend. I think the blades should be adjusted so they are level with the rear table, right? The old manual I have says the front table but that has got to be a misprint. I have never heard that before. The manual also says somethign about adjusting the front tbale but elsewhere it says there is no adjustment.
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stryped wrote:

If the belt were "a few sizes" too long, it would be unlikely to have enough tension to turn the knives at all under load. A half-inch in length in a belt can make all the difference in the world. First look at the motor mounting and see what is there for tensioning and use that. I think I recall you saying this was a homebrew stand--if so, probably simple enough to make whatever modifications needed. If the belt is indeed too large or small in cross section for the pulleys, that is different and you should get one that does fit properly.
First, if as you indicate you could actually feel and/or see the board "jumping", it's likely that one knife in particular is way out of adjustment in height relative to the others--it's important all are precisely the same height. Secondly, if the knives are dull they will hammer rather than slice so that's also a problem. Thirdly, once I even saw a case where the knives had been installed backwards on a machine in an estate auction!
The "ripples" indicate several possibilities and are related to the above plus some other things. Again, knives not on the same cutting circle (height), dull knives make it hard to cut cleanly. If the cutterhead is actually slipping, then speed of cut would be slow and compared to the speed of passing the material over the cutterhead can contribute. It is a 3450 rpm motor, isn't it? The pulleys should be sized so the cutterhead turns in the general neighborhood of 5,000 rpm or so.
Unless the knives are in really bad shape you should be able to hone them yourself good enough to set up the machine. I grind knives on a simple homemade jig and a white wheel. All you really need is a base to hold the knife at the proper distance and angle and to be able to run it in a straight line across the wheel. You just don't want to end up w/ a non-straight edge.
Yes, the knives should be set to be right at or just a tiny amount above the outfeed table. A recent thread suggested the magnet trick--that or a dial indicator work well. There should be an indexing hole in the end of the cutterhead at each knife location to allow you to lock the head in place so each knife is, respectively, at TDC while doing the adjustments. If you're lucky, this cutterhead will include the height adjusting set screws which are so helpful in keeping the knife from moving as you tighten the gib screws.
Depending on the model, the front table may or may not be "tunable". The old Craftsman I had the rear table was mounted on three large bolts and that allowed for front-rear and side-side compensation/alignment w/ the front table. Very time-consuming initially, but worked quite well once done. I've forgotten the exact way the front table was mounted, sorry.
HTH. While not the easiest things to set up, my experience w/ a very old Craftsman was that once it was, it did quite nice work and was, in my opinion, preferable overall to many of the newer, inexpensive ones as it was heavier and more solid overall.
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You got excellent advice from dpb.
I'd like to add one more: please, please, please learn do a Google search once in a while. ALL of these questions have been answered in this group before, and more than once.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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