Jointer usage question

I recently bought a used jointer so I don't have a lot of experience using a jointer yet. This is a "newbie" question.
I needed a little extra mahogany to make the legs of the third and final table in a set of stacking tables I am making. I had a left over mahogany 2x4 so I cut a 24" piece off of it. When I put it down on a flat surface I could see that there was a twist in the wider (3 1/2") side of the board. If I pushed on opposite corners at each end of the 24" piece it would rock. I thought I could flatten it with my jointer so I made a number of very fine passes. I had scribbled pencil marks on the side I was passing over the jointer knives so I could see when the knives had gotten everything. After awhile I saw that while I was flattening the wide piece of the board, it was not square to the thinner (1 1/2") edge. In fact one thinner edge was wider than the opposing edge. I'm guessing I was pushing down on the twist in different ways when I passed it through the jointer. Should I have ripped the 2x4 into separate smaller pieces so that the twist was not so dramatic? Then I could run each piece thru the jointer and glue them back up. I'm not sure what I should have done. Your help would be appreciated.
TIA.
Dick Snyder
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Dick Snyder wrote:

Twist is hard to deal with, and you *will* end up with a thinner board. To maximize your yield, you want to take equal amounts off each of the diagonal corners that touch the jointer tables.
This can be difficult to do by feel, but there is a trick that can make it easier. If your infeed table is long enough, rock the board back and forth until the two corners that don't touch the table are the same distance from the table, then put a shim under the rear raised corner. Now make one pass, taking off a reasonable amount of material. This will give you two flat spots, which should be enough to let you keep the stock level for successive passes.
Chris
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Chris Friesen wrote:

In this case yes, that's a good solution given that the entire board will probably fit on either the infeed or outfeed table of the jointer. For me it's a lot more fun to break out the Stanley/Bailey fore plane or jointer plane to knock down those opposing corners before taking it to the power jointer.
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Thanks Chris. That is a good trick that I will remember. I was finally able to end up with flat stock after planing but it was pretty disconcerting when I saw what I was doing on the jointer.
Dick
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I don't think you need to worry about your edges being different widths yet, because you still need to plane the non-jointed face. Ripping a twisted workpiece can be exciting on a tablesaw, less so on a bandsaw. The generally accepted method is to face-joint, then edge- joint with the newly jointed face against a 90 degree fence, plane the opposite face in your planer, then rip the remaining edge parallel to the jointed edge. There are other orders of work you might employ if the grain is wonky, e.g. face-joint, plane, edge-joint, rip. You'll get it. HTH Tom
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On Wed, 04 Feb 2009 16:41:44 GMT, "Dick Snyder"

Twist is about the worse thing to correct. Fasten the twisted board to a perfectly flat and true board to create a straight edge that can ride against the fence. You'll eventually end up with a smaller profile. Putting a twisted board through the table saw is not a good idea either. You could use a hand plane to get *some* of the twist out--that will make it both safer and easier on your jointer.
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If one side is flat, hold it against the fence to keep it from twisting while you feed.
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