Using a 6" Jointer

Have been using a 6" Reliant jointer ( rarely use it, so better more expensive one not on my list) to smooth edges in order to glue two boards together. It seems the boards are not as smooth as I would expect when butting the boards next to each other. As I stated rarely use it but each time I can never get the edges perfect. Seems like one or both edge is off a bit. I checked the alignment procedure in the manual and tables seem aligned correctly. Maybe I may not be feeding it through the jointer the right way. What can I be doing wrong ? What is the correct way to feed a board edge through a feeder. Do you push from rear or both front and rear?
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dteckie said:

Proper joining on a power machine is a matter of personal technique. But it is also dependant on the machine having proper setup, and that the blades be sharp and aligned. I'm not familiar with that jointer, what is the bed length? How long are the pieces you are trying to join? There is disagreement on this point, and again, it depends on your technique, but a rule of thumb is that you cannot properly join boards longer than twice the length of the jointer bed.
When you mention that "the edges are not smooth", does that mean they are not straight, or that the surface finish is rough? These two symptoms have different remedies.
When you sight the edge of the board, are there large gaps between the boards that suggest an incomplete joining job, or are they bowed end to end - suggesting improper machine setup or possibly feed technique?
Or is the finish rough, with stray fibers of wood interfering with the glue joint? This is more likely a result of dull blades or their improper height settings, or characteristics of the wood and/or it's grain direction, or even possibly feed speed. Are there chatter marks or blade marks clearly visible on the edges?
Never remove more than 1/32" to 1/16" of wood on each pass through the machine. Exactly how much depends on the type of wood and it's hardness and propensity to tear out. If you still get tear-out, inspect the grain pattern, sometimes running it through the jointer in the opposite direction reduces or eliminates that tear-out.
Make certain you ultimately remove enough wood that the edges are truly straight. One pass is seldom enough, unless some previous work has been done to the edges.
When you feed the board, apply only moderate pressure downward, keep it pressed against the fence tightly, and make sure the fences is set at exactly the desired angle, probably 90 degrees. Get a good square or micrometer type protractor to check this. A $10 square from Harbor Freight or the Borg is probably NOT accurate. Starrett, Incra and Veritas make good, accurate squares - with my nod going to the first.
Go slow enough that the blades do their job - you can sort of tell by the sound the blades make - and experience plays a role here. Going TOO slow results in impacting the wood fibers.
When passing the wood over the cutting head, remember that the outfeed table is the one to keep the most downward pressure on. The cut has been made, and keeping the leveled portion flat here ensures that the remainder of the board is planed flat. Don't press so hard at both ends that you actually bend the board over the cutting head. This will result in a dished edge that bows inwards in the center.
I probably missed something here, but my suggestion would be to get some metal free scrap and practice your technique on it rather than on the material you have destined for a project.
FWIW,
Greg G.
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On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 08:05:32 -0400, Greg G. wrote:

Yeah - I've found, for just about everything on the jointer and the planer, the lighter cuts I take, the less pressure I apply -- the better things turn out.
Also - saw this "tiplet" from DJM - when doing edge to edge glue ups, for Board A, put "up" side against fence. For Board B, put "down" side against fence. (If I recall correctly).
That way if fence is not perpendicular to table, the difference cancels out.
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"patrick conroy" wrote in message

When you do your layout for your glue-up, and after you've used your "cabinet maker's mark" of choice to mark the order of the boards, put an "I" on one side, and an "O" on the other side, of each joint with a piece of chalk/pencil.
"I" (inside) means that face goes against the jointer fence.
"O" (outside) means that face goes away from the jointer fence.
In addition, when stacking your boards next to the jointer in preparation for jointing, stack them so that when you pick them up they will fall in this order naturally.
This will go a long way to insuring you take advantage of complementary angles without getting mixed up, and will speed the process tremendously.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 10/04/04
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Another way to remember this is to always lead with ends from the same end of the glueup.
Cheers, Wayne
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Greg G. wrote in message

Wow lots of advice and different techniques. Much appreciated!!!

The boards have a very slight minute gap (line). The machine is setup properly as best as I can following manual and online procedures for aligning the blades to outfeed table, and fence squared. That is why I'm suspecting it's my feed technique.

I have table set for approx 1/16 removal . I do apply pressure against fence. When beginning to cut say a small piece 8" - 12 " long, aside from applying pressure against the fence do you apply downward pressure at the front of board, middle or rear of board ???? I usually apply light pressure constant downward pressure on the cutter with left hand and right hand apply pressure against the fence.

Thanks I thinks I will try outfeed table pressure, I think that may be my problem too much pressure causing a slight bow. Thanks Greg.

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Greg G. wrote in message

Wow lots of advice and different techniques. Much appreciated!!!

The boards have a very slight minute gap (line). The machine is setup properly as best as I can following manual and online procedures for aligning the blades to outfeed table, and fence squared. That is why I'm suspecting it's my feed technique.

I have table set for approx 1/16 removal . I do apply pressure against fence. When beginning to cut say a small piece 8" - 12 " long, aside from applying pressure against the fence do you apply downward pressure at the front of board, middle or rear of board ???? I usually apply light pressure constant downward pressure on the cutter with left hand and right hand apply pressure against the fence.

Thanks I thinks I will try outfeed table pressure, I think that may be my problem too much pressure causing a slight bow. Thanks Greg.

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dteckie said:

Hope it helped - despite it being of "many words..." Good Luck on polishing your technique.

Another thing which may help is that after performing major stock removal, a touch-up pass at 1/32 or less often smooths up the finish for glue-ups.

Another thing to watch for - with all that pushing and shoving, especially with the short stock you mentioned - be VERY careful not to let the stock be pulled from your grip by the cutterheads - you could end up planing your fingers from your hand. It's easy to forget how sharp and dangerous these blades can be, and I would definitely recommend using a couple of push blocks. I'd hate to be addressing you as nubby... ;-)
FWIW,
Greg G.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (dteckie) wrote in <snip>

Boards this short should probably be jointed with a hand plane, rather than a power jointer.
Almost any hand plane will be much safer, and suffice.
Patriarch
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I don't usually indulge in "me too" posts but I do have too here. Very accurate, concise and clearly stated post.
--
MikeG
Heirloom Woods
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MikeG said:

Why, Thank You! <blush...> :-)
Greg G.
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Lots of words from Greg, but I think the key is to hold from the side, so that the piece is flat against the fence, pressed to the table.
Sight the board first, taking incomplete passes to remove high spots. Most of the time it means taking a bit off of each end - easiest, anyway - by bridging the knives , sliding the guard aside, then feeding through. When things are close, make the money pass by holding flat to the fence (LH), down to the table (RH) about 6-8" short of the knives. Once you have about 8" on the outfeed, hold down tight with the Left, about 4" ahead of the knives, and slide forward while maintaining pressure against the fence with the Right.
Everything beyond 8-10" either side of the knives is merely support.

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...interesting technique to make "incomplete passes"...usually find that gives me all kinds of trouble on succeeding passes but maybe I've gone too far along the edge.
Follow-up question that may get to the OP's original question...say that in the jointing process a board becomes slightly wider on one end than the other (it seems to happen even with a perfectly aligned machine...only talking about 32nds, usually at one or both ends that tell be I have introduced or reintroduced a "bow" but still noticable since I added more light to the shop!) Do succeeding passes go wide-end first into the cutter or narrow-end in an effort to bring them back into alignment? Or is the correct answer to reduce the amount of light in the shop where I don't notice?

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I believe the solution to your problem is to run the board thru the table saw to the two sides parallel.

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Still the standard approach in texts I've seen.
Remember, in toward the middle of the board you're taking nothing, only at the ends, which are high.
Working with center high is a bit dicier, but can be done. High ends are best, and that's the sapwood side anyway.

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Are you flattening the face before jointing the edges? If the faces are flat, then use the tip for complementary angles and it should be better.
--
Mac Cool

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