I have been having all kinds of problems attempting to join some 8
foot long oak boards together. My joiner is a Delta, with about 2
feet of infeed and 2 feet of outfeed tables.
What I generally find when I think the boards are completely flat is
that are not! When I put them together, I find that they touch only
at the ends, and have a gap that gradually gets wider toward the
I think this happens because my table is not long enough to hold my
stock, but would appreciate some ideas.
Is it possible my technique is wrong?
What can I do to fix this?
I discovered that very same problem early on with my small jointer.
Nowadays I use a Freud glue edge blade in my table saw to joint the boards.
Also, it has been mentioned here on the WrecK that you can use a straight
cutting bit with your router. Clamp the boards edge together(like they
would be on the table top), establish some sort of straight fence and route
along the crack between the boards. Even if the router cuts a little off,
the joint will be tight, so we are told. I gave my POS jointer to Habitat
Larry's reply is a good idea - use a glue line rip blade on the table saw.
Alternatively, I've been able to get good results using a carefully aligned
roller stand on the outfeed side of the jointer. You have to make very
certain that the stand is at the exact same height as the outfeed table. If
you accomplish this, it makes jointing longer boards feasible.
IME, accurate jointing with a jointer is a combination of both technique and
ratio of table length to board length. If your infeed an outfeed tables are
each long enough to hold the entire piece, then your chances of accuracy are
increased and the need for well practiced technique may be diminished
accordingly, the reverse is also true
IOW, the longer the tables, the longer the boards that can be _easily_
jointed. The general CW rule-of-thumb is that you can joint up to twice the
table length, but good technique can make up for increased table length to a
point, and bad technique can mitigate longer tables.
Light and continuous hand-over-hand pressure (and sometimes NO downward
pressure as the middle of the board approaches the cutters), on the outfeed
side only, may help the bowing on longer boards for the particular problem
you are noting, but you may find that you need another pair of hands to hold
the board to the fence on the infeed side when edge jointing.
Short of perfecting your technique with lots of practice on the jointer (and
wasted wood), the best solution is longer tables, or joint shorter pieces
that can be easily accommodated by your jointer.
You can also use a well setup table saw effectively on longer boards.A
Google search will get you some ideas on how to do this, as well as some
neander methods of jointing with hand planes.
Practicing and carefully analyzing the results, then making changes, is the
only way to effectively improve technique.
Ditto the comments on using the glue edge or very sharp cabinet blade. In
addition to well adjusted roller stands, feather boards won't hurt. Also,
make sure the stand rollers are aligned perpendicular to the blade and
fence. They have a tendency of trying to guide a heavier piece of stock
away from the fence - exactly what you don't need in this case.
I understand your pain. I have had a 1957 vintage 4" Craftsman jointer for
about 20 years. It was manufactured back in the days when Craftsman
machinery was built like a fire plug. Unfortunately, I became attached to
it even though the table lengths are totally inadequate for anything larger
than small projects - a lot of mine are not. I am currently trying to sell
my baby and want to move up to a larger machine. My son-in-law just took
delivery on a Griz G0500 and it is very nice. Ya know - the young'uns
aren't supposed to have that kind of equipment before we old guys do. Are
On 15 Jul 2004 06:20:08 -0700, email@example.com (heyscott)
|I have been having all kinds of problems attempting to join some 8
|foot long oak boards together. My joiner is a Delta, with about 2
|feet of infeed and 2 feet of outfeed tables.
|What I generally find when I think the boards are completely flat is
|that are not! When I put them together, I find that they touch only
|at the ends, and have a gap that gradually gets wider toward the
|I think this happens because my table is not long enough to hold my
|stock, but would appreciate some ideas.
Have you verified that the tables are parallel? See:
Once this is done, make sure that the outfeed table is at *exactly*
the same height as the cutterhead.
|Is it possible my technique is wrong?
Maybe. Here's what works for me.
When you introduce the leading edge of the work piece to the infeed
table, you should hold it really tight to the table. You're going to
have 6' of board cantilevered off the rear of the table; you need to
push down with enough force to overcome this, otherwise your cut will
be light at the leading end, get heavier as the work settles onto the
table and then lighten up again as the opposite occurs on the outfeed
At the beginning of the cut, stand next to the infeed table and manage
the piece. As the work moves through the middle stay there and guide
it through until the work is about to exit the infeed table and then
shift your weight forward to really push the work tightly down on the
outfeed side. If the far end droops, the cut will lighten up and you
have your problem.
A fresh coat of wax or Topcoat will help overcome the friction that
you should be developing in holding the work down.
If you think your tables are too short consider that the longest
jointer planes are less than 2' long.
Had a 4" Rockwell for years. You need prior planning and a strong arm, but
First, sight the edge. If you have a high spot or two, take it off.
Normally you'll curve toward the sapwood, so you can take both ends off the
sapwood side by setting the piece on top of the guard somewhere near the
middle and touching the infeed. Slide the guard aside and let the board
contact the table, join off the end. Reverse and work until you're within a
cut thickness of straight, then feed as normal, paying special attention
that on the initial 6-8" you're flat to the infeed. Thereafter, keep all
but guiding pressure downward on the first 8" of outfeed.
I have my jointer lower, so that I can pass things over the tablesaw and
they will clear the jointer fence, so it's a bit easier for me to work a
board than if the jointer was up higher.
The rule of thumb is a board maximum of one and one half times the
length of the table. In exceeding that length what happens is that the
board cams over the ends of the table as you feed it through the cutters
resulting in the condition you are having.
Too he good suggestions you've had already let me add that the fastest
way I have found to get the job done is to remove the high end of the
bows at the ends with a hand plane then feed the board through the
jointer to clean things up and establish the 90 degree edge too face
Only touching at the ends? I'm no expert but, did you edge the planks before
jointing with the TS? If you have a crooked board that long the jointer
might not fix it by just running it through. You have to edge it first with
a good TS blade or I have seen people joint a few feet then turn the board
around and joint other side.
Well, I read all the responses in this thread and not one of you
Norm wannabees mentioned a hand plane :-).
For the original poster: clamp the two boards bottom to bottom
and use a hand plane to joint them. You won't get it perfect,
but it won't matter because the two will be complementary.
And there's NO length limit.
BTW, a very slight concavity, a few thousandths of an inch, is
suggested by some woodworkers as a way to put extra pressure on
the ends so they won't separate over time. Are they right? I
don't know. If you do it, take a single pass when you're done
with the blade set so the shaving is almost tranparent. Just
skip a few inches at each end.
It seems to me that your planing errors will be complimentary but not such
that they will cancel each other out and fit - the opposite would be true.
Take two sheets of paper, scissor cut a wavy line across the overlaid pair,
now separate and mate the scissor cut edges - don't work does it.
Greetings and Salutations..
On Thu, 15 Jul 2004 13:01:23 -0400, "David Radlin"
What you say is true enough...but not relevant. THe
complementary angle is across the thickness of the board. You are
talking about waviness along the LENGTH of the board. The whole
point of planing is to remove waviness along the length. Not having
to worry about keeping the edge plane at exactly 90 degress to the
face of the board is just gravy, and makes the process less painful.
Of course, it is best to get practiced enough, or jig the
plane, so it IS a good, 90 degree angle. Makes things much simpler.
A "lot" of folks don't own the correct plane or
have any idea of how to use it to joint a board of
"any" length perfectly flat and straight. While it
sounds great, your suggestion is much harder.
A table saw and a piece of plywood as a carrier will
get much quicker and staighter results.
Larry Blanchard wrote:
YES!! I thought I was going to have to say it!
This is one place a RAS shines. I have an 8' table and when I use an 8'
carrier I get good results. The fence and carrier must both be straight, of
course. I use the factory edge of a piece of 3/8-3/4 plywood for my
carrier. ABout a foot wide is good for most things. I screw up through the
carrier with a sheetrock screw into the BACK of the workpiece. You can get
fancy and make clamps to hold the work to the carrie if you can't allow the
two little screw holes.
No one mentioned it, but you CAN do this with a CS, IF you can find a good
enough straight edge.
On Thu, 15 Jul 2004 09:39:23 -0700, Larry Blanchard
|Well, I read all the responses in this thread and not one of you
|Norm wannabees mentioned a hand plane :-).
Sure did. I said:
"If you think your tables are too short consider that the longest
jointer planes are less than 2' long." :-)
Problem with me is I have had no one to teach me the correct way to work
with handtools. Hand tools to me are the ones you grab with your hands like
a router, jigsaw, etc. hehe.
Don't know if you idea is the normite solution but I will defintely log it
in the ol' noggin for my future reference.
Just be aware that the results with this method may not be quite as
"excellent" in practice as it sounds is theory - particularly when doing
edge jointing on long boards - and the technique likely requires as much
practice with a hand plane, if not more, as when using a jointer.
As with the jointer, should you put a bow in the boards with either method,
in either direction, you compound the error by a factor of two when the two
edges are put together. If you are going to use this method with a hand
plane, and on boards as long as were mentioned, it helps greatly to use a
"shooting board" of some type, or edge guide, for the sole of the plane to
Also, the only "complementary" component mentioned with this method will be
in any angle deviation from 90 degrees between the two adjacent edges and
the faces when joined.
When edge joining boards destined for glue ups with a jointer, you can get
the same "complementary" angle of the faces and edges of two adjacetn boards
by simply alternating the faces which go against the fence of the jointer
... IOW, alternate the top face of one board, and bottom face of the
adjacent board, against the fence.
After you've done your initial grain match with the boards, and have them
oriented the way you want them, you can make this easy to remember by
marking each adjacent face on top with a pencil or chalk with an "I" for the
face that goes into against the fence, and an "O" for the face that goes
out/away from the fence.
... with either method, and as bridger said, practice, practice, practice.
There are some, who rather than answer the question posed, prefer to further
their own agenda.
Glad you got it to work, and you can use a hand plane to get the high spots
knocked down before running either face or edge on the jointer. I demo the
full board making process with hand planes periodically, but wouldn't do it
for a project.
On 15 Jul 2004 06:20:08 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (heyscott)
lay your board flat on the table and lay a straight edge on top of it.
line up the straight edge and mark a line where you want your cut edge
to end up. take the board to the jointer. note that you don't have to
pass the whole board over the blades every pass.
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