I am trying to dress some 4/4 kiln dried birch. I have a 6" jointer and I
put new blades in it and set them even with the outfeed table. A lot of
little chipping is happening whatever that is technically called. I tried
different feed rates, depth of cut from practically nothing up to 3/32",
flipping stock end for end all with no help. Would dust collectionn help? Is
birch just very hard to dress? Carbide blades (but they are 170 bucks for 3
and HSS are 15). Thanks for any tips.
HSS can actually be honed to a sharper edge, they just do not stay that way
for as long. Is it really chipping or is it tearing out or scaloping? When
you are done are there chips stuck to your blades? If yes to the last
question I would suspect your blades are not sharp,
Dull blades (even if new, they're not necessarily sharp), and/or excessive
depth of cut. Perhaps your definition of "practically nothing" is different
from mine? Certainly 3/32 is a *very* heavy cut in birch. Try raising the
infeed table until there is no cut at all, then lower it a hair -- just enough
that the jointer begins to just shave the board -- and see what the cut is
like then. If you still are seeing a lot of tearout, then I think your blades
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Birch is famous for grain reversals. It's not so much chips, like you see
with hard maple, but sort of lighter-colored asterisk-looking spots on the
surface. That's pretty common. Fortunately they don't go very deep, like
only one scrape with your cabinet scraper. If it's appearance you're
after, do that.
1) Are you getting the chipping only with the birch? Try a
test piece of scrap of a different type of wood.
2) How sure are you that you got both ends of each blade
exactly the same height and exactly level with the outfeed
table? Did you check the blades with a dial indicator?
If there is any question about getting the blades just right,
search the archive of this group (google groups advanced
group search) for some very good discussions of how to
I had the same thing happen to me, and an old-timer woodworker told me to
first lightly wet the wood with a sponge, then run it through while still
damp. That took care of my problem, and was much easier than re-sharpening
my brand new knives.
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