I have a new jointer. I never used on before. Not surprisingly, I'm
trying to mill some rough stock to make glued up panels. The stock
isn't that rough. I joint one edge straight, then put that edge
against the fence and do the faces of the board. Then I cut the other
edge on the table saw and joint that too. My problem is that the board
is not square when I'm done. The faces of the board are not exactly
parallel. In other words, one edge is slightly thicker than the other.
(I don't have a planer or I would use that.) I have checked the fence
with 3 different squares and it appears to be exactly at 90 degrees.
What am I doing wrong?
Nothing. You need a planer to get the faces parallel. That's because a
planer references the first (and only) face that you've run through the
jointer. the jointed face goes against the table of the planer. That's
why it's the machine to use AFTER making ONE edge and ONE face flat (and
perpendicular to each other) on the jointer.
Wouldn't it be easier to joint one face first, and then hold that face
against the jointer fence to make the first edge perpendicular to that
face? ie I can't feature trying to hold a thin edge against the fence
in order to assure the first face will be jointed correctly. Maybe
you've got some technique I've never mastered.
I don't see why this is the case.
Joint one side of the board flat. Using your properly aligned
fence, joint the adjoining side to be exactly perpendicular.
Now use THAT side to reference the next adjoining side to be
exactly perpendicular. Then you can use that to make the final
side perpendicular. Thus, all opposite sides would be
parallel to each other, just like a planer would do.
Of course if the edges are significantly smaller than the
other surfaces, this could be difficult to do. Conversely,
if you're using fairly square stock, I don't see why you
shouldn't be able to get parallel opposite sides with just
Chuck Taylor wrote:
This just ensures that each corner along the edge is 90 degrees when
measured perpendicular to the edge. It doesn't ensure that the corners
along each *end* are also 90 degrees.
Thus, the board can taper from one end to the other, like a wedge.
If you get parallel faces by that method it will be because you were
lucky and not because you were good. A board could be shaped like a
pyramid and still have all 4 faces perpendicular to each other.
"Even an old blind hog finds an acorn every now and then."
You "can" get parallel faces without a planer, but it requires more
skill than most of us have and more work than the rest are willing to
put out. Once you have a planer you'll wonder how you ever got along
"Don't ever wrestle with a pig. You'll both get muddy, but the pig
"Fairly square stock"? let's just skip all the jointing then! <g>
Mike, a jointer does not produce parallel faces except by luck. A
planer uses the flat face as a reference to plane the second, and
opposite, face parallel to the first one.
You might check to see if the knives are parrallel with the table(s).
It's possible that the knives are higher on one end of the spindle.
If you have a dial indicator you can just check the blade height in
relationship to the table.
If not, you can just make a quick (not so scientific) check with a
scrap of wood.
With the machine unplugged, try taking a pretty straight piece of
scrap and lay it on the out-feed table against the fence and let it
hang over the spindle. Turn the spindle (or pulley) by hand until the
knife touches the wood. Now raise the out-feed table until the blade
barely nicks the wood....almost not touching. Now just slide the
piece of wood over to the outside of the spindle (away from the fence)
and see if the blade barely nicks the wood on that side of the table.
If the blade touches on one side and not the other or barley nicks on
one side and raises the scrap on the other, then it's time to re-set
I believe what he said is that the faces are not parallel after
jointing both faces.
I did assume that they probably were when he started. While I agree
that a planer might be better suited to his needs, knives that are not
installed properly on a joiner can cause just the problem he
describes. I also did not say it WAS his problem I said he might
want to check his knives for proper installation.
There is a definite sequence of steps to square and
true a workpiece. Each step requires a certain kind of
equipment and produces part of the solution, e.g. a jointer
by itself will give you one flat face and one straight
edge square to the flat face. But, in general, you cannot
produce two flat faces and two straight edges, with everything
perpendicular and parallel, using only a jointer.
If you are getting the second edge straight by using a table
saw, then all you need is to plane the second face parallel
to the first one. A planer will do it but if you have the
desire to learn it, you could do the planing by hand. You'd
have to acquire a couple of good hand planes (total cost
could be around that of a power planer) and it takes longer
but there are advantages to being able to do the planing
by hand. Many of us just like doing the planing by hand.
You can find some good lessons on how to "true up" stock either
in a book on woodworking techniques or by searching around
on the web.
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