I just read an article by Glen D Huey of Popular Woodworking and he advises
not using push stick or pads when using ht jointer. He advises to use
rubber coated gloves. While I partially subscribe to not using push stick
and or pads when using the jointer to straighten the "edge" of a wide board,
the photographs show him wearing rubber coated cloves while surfacing the
face of a board on the jointer. He claims it gives him more feel for
knowing when the knives are hitting high spots. Personally I use my ears
and push pads.
What feel is he going to have after the board he is surfacing, shatters?
IMHO this is just plain stupid. I do not care who you are and what safety
measures you take, the odds are against you and sooner or later you can or
will have an accident. While he does warn of certain dangerous practices
while wearing gloves, those concerns are a moot point if you are using a
One of my supplier's reps has the first joints of three fingers on one hand
basically nonexistent from just such an accident on a jointer (aptly named
in this unfortunate instance).
The "thickness" of the work piece, regardless of how thick when 'face
jointing', is something I personally NEVER rely upon to protect me from the
jointer blades. That specific task on the jointer is one of the reason why I
own two, count'em - 2, Grrrippers ... and use them.
PW, although having some good stuff between its pages, is just another
example of not believing/taking at face value what you read, see, or hear in
this, the age of the idiocracy.
IIRC, Sam Maloof had a similar accident with a jointer that resulted
in the loss of several fingertips to the joint. Although watching him
work, would have guessed the accident occurred at the bandsaw.
What;'s "freehanding" ? Wiggling a line in plywood is one thing, but
Maloof is doing it in three dimensions. That means you've little support
under the workpiece, and support you do have is some distance (i.e. a
lever arm) away from the blade. Have the blade catch, and the work
slams downwards, bending a crimp into the blade.
I do this, but I can't say I enjoy it. I also lose blades by doing it.
The trick is to have a _big_ bandsaw, which just never catches.
If it's cupped then you can flatten it in the thickness planer if you
know what you're about, but if it's bowed or twisted going into the
thicknesser it will still be bowed or twisted coming out of the
thicknesser. For some purposes this is acceptable, for others it
... strictly for the benefit of those unsure of the difference between the
Two machines/operations with very different purposes: one used to flatten an
edge or face (jointer); the other to mill opposite surfaces parallel
A jointer won't necessarily mill opposite faces/edges parallel; and a planer
won't necessarily mill stock flat.
Both machines, used in conjunction, in a methodical manner, and in the
proper order (along with other tools like table saws/hand planes) will allow
a woodworker to mill straight, flat, and dimensioned, project stock from
For flat parallel sides, I go from rough cut to planer, to jointer
(edge) to table saw (opposite edge). Feel free to expound the virtues
of face jointing. I've never had a need. Unless we're dealing with
conceptual differences. I have jointed right angles on stock cut for
legs, then finished it to size on the jointer. A piece like that would
have finished at 1-1/2 x 1-1/2. I suppose technically I face jointed
although it felt like I jointed two edges.
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