How to use a jointer.

Anybody got a inch by inch explanation for using a jointer?
I seem to get either concaveor convex and never straight.
I try to balance the force on the incomming until there is enough on the out and then transfer to that.
Ideas?
--
Garry Collins
Remove the spamno from my eamill address.
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That's right. Now, are you primed for failure because you don't sight the board and take off the worst first?
Since your results are inconsistent, it doesn't sound as if the machine's improperly set.

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To expand on George a bit. From your description I can envision you applying fairly hard pressure for the full length of an uneven board. You might actually be bending part of the board down onto the table and cutters. This can make bad worse because by bending the board you can actually cut into areas that are already low, as well as the high spots.
Try making you first pass or two with just enough down pressure to glide the board across table and knives. You will get hit and miss planing that should improve with subsequent passes. Keep the blades adjustments shallow so each pass shaves, not cuts (1/32" suggested in previous post is good). If you try to go deeper and push too hard it will get worse fast.
As big and noisy as the jointer is, it is a finesse tool. Don't try to manhandle it.

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On 10 Oct 2004 11:01:32 GMT, Garry Collins
Sounds like this could be a setup and adjustment problem, as much as operator technique.

UNPLUG !
How's the adjustment of the outfeed table ?
Check that the table is adjustable - ie the things that move, move, and the things that shouldn't wobble don't.
Check that the tables are coplanar. Wind both tables up above the cutter head and then adjust until they're at an equal height. Using the biggest and heaviest straightedge you can muster, they should then be perfectly flat relative to each other (you'll need to get the height spot on).
Using a dial gauge on a magnetic stand, check the cutter head adjustment. Check they're equal in height along their length, and between knives. Also check that the head axis is parallel to the table surface - this is sometimes best measured by measuring from the head, not the knives.
If you don't have a dial gauge, you can set the knives up with just a straightedge. It's hard to check the cutter axis / table alignment though.
Then (and this is probably your problem), set the outfeed table to be exactly level with the knives.
Set the infeed table level with the knives, and adjust the datum pointer (if you have one). Set it a bit lower and try some trial cuts.

Not a bad start. Remember the safety stuff about never passing a hand over the cutter head too.
An hour or two sawing plywood into push blocks wouldn't be wasted. I find that thin polythene foam sheet (laminate floor underlay) makes a good friction surface for underneath. Unlike the black neoprene foam, it doesn't wear and shed black dust.
--
Smert' spamionam

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snipped-for-privacy@optusnet.com.au says...

Before you start tearing up the machine lets assume it is set up properly.
First thing, you don't use any more "force" then is necessary to keep the board moving across the cutters and against the fence.
Try starting the stock with both hands on the stock on the infeed side. Just hold it against the fence and with you right hand start to slide the board forward with the smallest amount of pressure. Just let the left hand follow. When the left transitions to the out feed side stop it a couple of inches past the cutters then just allow it to keep the stock against the fence and not lifting as the board slide under it. Don't push down.
Do not attempt to take off a lot of material at once. I consider anything over around 1/32" in a pass too much.
General rule for jointing a board without some preliminary work is 1 1/2 times the bed length. Longer then that and the board will try to cam on you and give you problems.
Good Luck.
--
MikeG
Heirloom Woods
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MikeG wrote:

<good stuff snipped>
As my woodworking guru told me repeatedly. "Let the tool do the work." Whether it's a hand or a power tool newbies almost always try to use too much force. At best it produces poor results. At worst (say a coping saw) you break something.
Try taking light cuts and holding the board with just enough force to keep it in contact with the table.
--RC
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Recently acquired an 8" jointer myself, and have made quite a few tapered boards. Most of them have resulted from trying to following the accepted method from various books I have, and a couple of videos I have seen. Tranfering the downward pressure from the infeed table to the outfeed table is problematic for me.
Last spring I took a basic woodworking class from a 30 year vetern with all of his fingers, the jointer got a piece years ago, but it is still there. He advocated and the 9 newbies in the group were able to do it, using your front hand to push on the side of the board keeping it tight to the fence.
Your rear hand would use 1 finger to push the board along, this causes the weight of the board to work for you. Using this method my stock is MUCH more likely to line up for panel joints.
Alan
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If you are unfamiliar with a joiner, always get a lesson from someone who knows.
First, with face jointing, get somethign like Grrrippers, which are very good paddles. Take light cuts. Move slower than you think. If the paddles are too tough, then a quick lick on your fingers will give some traction. If the jointer is set properly, you rteally need to push forward from the back edge for most of the cut (but go slow, becasue you want to make sure your fingers are nowhere near the cutter head. Pull whenever possible, it's much safer.
If you are squaring up stock, you are already only taking a light cut, since the face on the fence is already jointed, or both faces are. I don't buy the notion the fence need only be square on the outfeed side. The tables need to be square to each other or they are not aligned anyway.
When jointing small pieces (by that I mean narrow, not short, never joint short pieeces), use the fence. It's a right handed instrument, expecially then. Place your right pinkie draped over the fence, and guide the piece with your left hand. WHen you are 6" or so from the cutterhead, swing your left arm AROUND the guard and keep pushing, then lift your right hand up and place it, pinkie first back on the fence past the guard. There has never been a piece of wood worth a hand.
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