At class last night we kind of got the fence squared and tried jerryrigging
some clamps to keep it in place. So I tried jointing some boards (set the
jointer at just under 1/16"). I noticed that when I ran the edge through
that on some boards I would have gaps where the jointer wasn't cutting any
wood, then it would cut, then might not at the end. Other times it would
cut the entire length.
So my question is - what is the meaning of the gaps of no cutting? Is that
to say the middle of the board was wider than the ends - to where the ends
weren't coming in contact with the blades (gap of no cutting) but the middle
did hit the blades? If this is the case, should you continue running the
board through the jointer until you get a cut the entire length of the board
to indicate square?
Assuming your jointer is set up right, it is supposed to give you a flat
surface. If the board is not flat, the recesses won't cut until the high
points have been removed. When it cuts 100% of the board, it it flat.
I don't mean to be sarcastic, but what did you think a jointer was for?
Yeah...that's what the "class" would be for. I don't think it's an
unreasonable assumption to make that someone in a woodworking class would
have been briefed on the purpose of a machine prior to its use.
Give the guy a break, he wanted to know and was willing to ask here.
Maybe they mentioned it and he didn't corrolate it in his head, or
forgot. Last thing he needs is a blast of shit for asking about
something he didn't know. Isn't that what this forum is all about, or
is it strictly for those with $3000 joiners and $5000 lathes?
True; but it would be interesting (and maybe useful) to know what kind of
class and if anybody is teaching it. IOW, if they have little idea of what
they're trying to do and how, then they probably know even less about safety.
I understood/understand the concept of a jointer and what it is supposed to
do. But there is a difference between theory and practice. I had not read
anything describing the actual use of a jointer and when/how to know when an
edge is flat. The verbiage always just says "run your board through the
jointer to get a flat edge". I never see any explanation of how you know.
So I just ran it through.
Too bad I thought of this question today instead of last night. I don't
recall if I ran all edges through until I got a continuous cut. I think I
was worried about taking too much off one board to where the sides wouldn't
be equal width.
Live and learn...
The question of the jointer and or jointer vs planer comes up often. The
following is a synopsis I keep on hand for those times.
It isn't the only way but it is the most straight forward way to true
your stock without having to dick around with jigs or super light cuts
on a planer.
One additional note to what I have below. Only apply enough do ward
pressure, on stock moving through the jointer, to keep it moving, do not
press down hard. Let the weight of the stock do the job.
Absolutely necessary. A flat face to work from.
Joint (make flat and straight) one face (reference face) so you have
something to true (reference) the remaining three sides to. Not to be
on a planer because the feed rollers will push out any warp and it will
reappear as the stock exits the planer. For the same reason use very
down force when jointing.
Joint one edge with the reference face against the jointers fence. This
give you a straight edge that is at 90 degrees to the reference face.
an edge to reference the next edge.,
Rip a second edge on the table saw with the reference face against the
and the reference edge against the fence. Try to do it on the jointer
will give you a straight edge but not one necessarily parallel to the
Now you can plane the piece to a proper thickness with the reference
flat down on the planers feed table. Since the reference face is flat
planer has no warp to press out so the face being planed will be not
flat but parallel to the reference face.
The jointer performs the two most critical steps in the process (the
reference face and edge) but, with sufficient dicking around, there are
arounds. but, without the dicking around, the planer will not perform
functions of a jointer and the jointer will not perform the functions of
Assuming the jointer is properly setup, then yes, you would continue to run
the board until you get a continuous cut down the length. The result
depends on the technique and how pressure is applied to the board as you run
You do need to continue jointing the board until it makes a full, clean
pass. At that point that side of the board is flat. Note that doesn't mean
it is square, as that implies four right angles. The jointer has at this
point made one side of the board flat without reference to the opposite
side. Making the opposite side flat and parallel to the jointed side is
the job of your planer.
On Sat, 25 Sep 2004 01:41:00 +0000, Corey wrote:
Except that the OP is talking about edge jointing. Then the job of making
the other side parallel is usually that of the table saw. I'm sure you're
aware of this, but I wanted to be clear for the OP.
Yes, I realize it is flat and not square. I know if the fence isn't square
to the bed that the edge won't be square to the face. I don't always use
the correct terms as a newbie.
I know I should try for making both edges parallel to each other. But do I
really need to for combining boards to make a panel. I have read/saw that
your edge doesn't need to be perfectly square to the face as long as you
flip flop the boards' edges you are edging to one another. So if the edge
is slightly off on board one (91 degrees to the face), as long as you run
board two through inverse (making the edge 89 degrees to the face) - board's
one slightly off (91 degrees) will match/correspond to the slightly off of
board 2 (89 degrees) to where your'll have a tight fit between the two.
Does that sound right?
You are right. You can get the same effect by jointing two boards held
tightly together at the same time. Or by clamping two boards together and
using a hand plane to joint the edges simultaneously. The imperfect angles
cancel each other out.
Of course, the closer you are to 90 degrees on both, the easier your
glue-ups are. The farther away from 90 degrees, the more the boards want
to shift under pressure during glue-up.
On Fri, 24 Sep 2004 23:09:37 -0400, WoodMangler
This is a crude but effective method, but not what you want to do in
When iI worked as a carpenters helper, we sometimes needed to join 2
boards... this was before power hand planers, etc...
The carpenters would clamp the two 8 or 10' boards together at the
edge to be jointed, clamp a 2x4 along the joint, offsetting it the
distance between the blade and fence of their skill saw, and cut a new
edge between the boards... they then HAVE to join well, even if you
don't cut straight..
I think you are mixing up two things - parallel and square. A jointer can
make an edge square to a face. But there is no way it can make two edges or
two faces parallel to each other - period. You can have a board with two
square edges but it might be shaped like a trapezoid. I learned this when I
was squaring both edges of a two by four with a jointer, instead of using a
table saw for the second edge. The board ended up 3 1/2 inches wide on one
end and 3 inches wide on the other! But the edges were square! Try gluing
up a few of these in a panel and see what you get.
A - personal opinion, 1/16" cuts are way too deep. Nothing more then
1/32". It takes more cuts but is easier on the machine and blades, is
less likely to cause tear out, and less likely to give you heavy tooling
B - You are trying to make a straight edge on the board. If it isn't
cutting the full length of the board the board isn't straight yet. If it
isn't cutting the full width it isn't at the proper angle yet.
C - Make squiggly marks or lines across the width of the stock side to
be milled and for it's whole length. Pass the stock over the jointer
until all of the lines are gone. When they are the board is straight,
flat, and at the angle the fence is set too.
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