I'm looking for some help with a problem I've been having. Through the
years I've managed to acquire a planer (ridid 13") and jointer (Delta
DJ-20). I've been working with oak lately which I've been buying rough
from a good hardwood supplier. To surface the stock I've been cutting it
to rough width and legnth. Then I fact joint one surface until it's flat
against the jointer bed. The next step, from what I understand is to run
the board through the planer, flat side against the bed (down) and plane the
board to desired thickness, in this case 3/4". For some reason after I
plane it, i put the board down on the jointer bed again and I find that
neither surface is flat. For the life of me I can't figure out how this
can happen. From what I've read the jointer, and your form, is the biggest
source of problems, but once i've found the face to be flat, it should be
fine. It doesn't make sense to me how the planer could bow the stock.
I've checked the planer and found it to be set up properly (so I think), but
even if not, it should only affect the surface being planed, not the other
Now, the bow is minor, and with a little pressure i can easily hold the
board flat, but I am thinking that it still shouldn't be this way. The
only thing I can think of is the board reacting to internal stresses as the
supporting wood is planed off, but it keeps on happening across several
I've taken up this hobby to relax me, but at times like this is is anything
but. Can anyone shed any light?
Sounds like the wood is reacting to internal stresses. If it is bowing
immediatley, then it has to be stresses in the wood. Is it flatsawn stock?
I have found flatsawn wood which is more from the center of the tree to be
highly prone to wander around like this. Why don't you try some quartersawn
and see what happens. Some folks recommend taking equal amounts of stock
off of each face to balance out any moisture in the wood. I usually don't
do this. What is the moisture content of the wood? Is it kiln dried or air
So, maybe it's technique.
Once you get side one face jointed, it becomes the reference face for the
planer operation. Run the board through the planer until the side opposite
the reference face is smooth. It may not yet be to thickness, but the two
faces are parallel.
This is a good place to let the board take a rest. Maybe for a couple of
hours, or maybe a couple of days. Stickered, with air flow, in the shop
environment. Let it adjust to being something less than it was before the
machining. (Sit down, and watch those TiVo recordings of Olympic Synchro
Diving, if you must...;-)
When the wood has adjusted, and all of you stock is milled to rough size,
then complete the process. This time, turn the boards as they go through
the planer, taking approximately equal amounts from each face, taking into
account cleaning up tear out, or color, or whatever. With oak, it's also a
good thing to maybe turn those TP1300 blades over first, and get a nice
You CAN beat the wood into submission. It just won't be happy about it,
and will subtly try to ruin your enjoyment of your time in the shop. Those
nice tenons won't fit like Norm's do, on TV, and the mortises will be ever
so slightly in the wrong place. But then, you don't likely have a team of
production assistants making sure everything is just so, either.
The good news is that woodworking is so much less stressful without a
producer and camera crew watching everything you do. And nobody is
recording the 'magic words' invoked to get things to fit, either.
Enjoy your shop. The time there is precious.
I've just been dealing with jointer/planer adjustment
frustrations. The height of the outfeed table, after a week of cursing
at my jointer, was my biggest challenge regarding flattening the wood.
I'm not sure which way it goes, but a high outfeed table causes a
convex or a concave board. A low outfeed table causes the opposite
either way. If the infeed/outfeed tables have a sag, even if it's very
small, it can be very, very frustrating to get a straight board.
Jointers are tricky to use at first, there is more technique than I
imagined. I have been practicing with cheep 2x4 fir/pine, it's easier
to joint and nicer on the blades, watch for staples, pebbles etc. A
good book by John White is "Care and Repair of Shop Machines." So far,
with a few modifications on his techniques, its been a great book.
Keep us posted, and let us know of your solution.
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