I got a Powermatic 54A 6" jointer for X-mas. After using a straight edge
and a router for a few years to edge joint stock this is going to be a
My question is how much wood should I take off with each pass for edge and
well that kinda depends on what your doing. for fast takedown your
jointer may go as high as 1/4" but that wont be the best way to go! i
generaly leave mine around 1/32 - 1/16" and get a good edge. YMMV.
I'm not a seasoned, grizzled woodworker, but I can give you some idea. I
have a 54A, too. I usually start at less than 1/32" for the first pass or
two. I may increase it to 1/16" if things are not straightening out fast
enough. I rarely go deeper than 1/16" at a time. If I am dealing with some
really cupped or twisted stock, I may get aggressive and selectively pass
parts of the wood across the jointer to knock off the corners and high spots
of the twists and cupping.
It took me a while to really get the feel for using the jointer. Now that
I feel I've got the hang of it, I really can flatten a face and square up an
adjacent edge in a hurry.
Enjoy it! You'll find its a zillion times faster than using a router. The
longer bed of the 54a will also give you more consistent results.
I set mine to take as little as possible. I guess somewhere around 1/32 for
the final pass. For edge glueing, I like to joint one edge with the good
face against the fence and the next board with the good face out. This way
if your fence isn't exactly 90 degrees, your joint will still be perfect.
Thanks for all the input!
I have never used a jointer until I bought my Powermatic. I just knew I
needed one really bad.
I was wondering if that was standard practice to flip one face of your stock
away from the fence when edge jointing. That is a good suggestion. I was
forced to do that when i would use my router and clamp-straight edge to edge
joint because my router bit was never 90 degrees from the router table.
Thanks to everyone for all their suggestions!
IMO, whatever you want, depending on the situation... :)
For the final gluing joint, a thin cut at a fairly slow feed rate will
leave the smoothest finish.
If OTOH, you're roughing out stock, a fairly good whack initially can
speed up the straightening process significantly.
For face surfacing you'll probably want a thinner cut simply because
it's easy to start taking off a whole lot of material in a single pass
Be sure to find the grain direction and joint for final cuts with the
grain...a cracking noise is a sure clue you're against the grain.
Particularly important w/ some woods such as cherry, for example. There
thinner is almost always better.
As for the alternating faces, it should be possible to align the fence
and the stops dead on vertical. I normally don't bother w/ that,
concentrating more on grain direction to ensure cleanest, tearout free
BTW, just in case haven't thought of it and are unfamiliar w/ jointer
usage, while roughing out stock I see many "how to"s that recommend
starting w/ the high side in the middle...I find it much easier to start
on the other side and alternate taking a pretty good whack off each end
(here I'm not concerned yet w/ some tearout) until get near being able
to take the full swipe. Once you've got the roughly straight edge you
can then rip and finish...
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