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Day long joiner tuning... Ugh!

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Blog entry by EPJartisan posted 05-12-2010 09:21 PM 1344 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Yesterday I jumped on the joiner for a task of running about 30ct ~ 42”L ~ 1/8”w boards. Should have been a simple job maybe an hour or so. NOPE. Last week one of shop users said he could not get his board to not have a 1/64” curve.. I ran the single board for him, and it turned out perfect and we overviewed using the joiner in detail, so I thought nothing more about it.

So, here I am, having a wonderful and productive day, but the first board I ran was not flat.. I tried many more times, and each turned out exactly what my student said happened to him. So I checked it all and the beds were out of parallel. UGH!! I hate getting bogged down in the middle of a project by studio maintenance.. but nothing else to do but fix it. 5 hours yesterday… took the whole thing apart, fine tuned the slide and the gears… sanded the beds flat again (2 hours by hand) and tried shims of every sort every where to get them balanced. Even had to make a new guide to check for level and parallel settings… which was annoying since I use my joiner to make flat edges. by 8pm last night I was in full frustration mode. I was on a decline of… this tool sucks.. to I suck.. why can’t i fix this. Hands stained, I was covered in metal polish and oil, my hands hurt from sanding the beds flat and using allen wrenches. I was beaten and gave up in anger.. intending on buying a new machine.. hopefully. Ruined the whole evening.. and my partner gets leery when I come home upset.

Suddenly I woke up this morning realizing I end up tuning the joiner every spring since i moved into my new space. The only difference from a month ago to today is the temperature. I love working in the cold and keep my studio about 45-50 degrees, but spring means it has been 65-70 now. and DUH metal moves as much as wood. So today I took all the shims out, loosened it all and discovered I had missed one thumb screw in the back side that was keeping the beds warped and on an angle… So I took all back apart and tightened it back together with patience and gentle maneuvering… and discovered I only needed one shim on the back side outfeed bed. Suddenly it is perfect. so here I am today 24 hours later and I finished the boards in 20 minutes. My assistant watched my over her shoulder the whole time and was there to make sure I didn’t take a hammer to the darn thing. She is always amused when I am troubled on a task.. and picked o me a bit. Why my students like seeing me in woodworking misery… I don’t know.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."



7 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16241 posts in 3679 days


#1 posted 05-12-2010 09:31 PM

Would it be inappropriate of me to laugh at this point? :-)

Been in similar situation…done similar things.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Chris 's profile

Chris

1879 posts in 3452 days


#2 posted 05-12-2010 10:06 PM

At least you realized the issue before you took the hammer to it! :)

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11806 posts in 3149 days


#3 posted 05-12-2010 11:10 PM

I think you’re talking about a Jointer here.
What are your beds made out of that you were able to “sand them flat again by hand ”? How do you know that you weren’t making them more out of parallel by sanding them ?
I’m thinking about bringing my Jointer to a machine shop so they can just grind the beds parallel , rather than mess around with shimming them.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View EPJartisan's profile

EPJartisan

1116 posts in 2586 days


#4 posted 05-13-2010 10:13 PM

OH is that what is it called.. LOL… How funny that I consistently misspelled it and never caught it after… um yes, of course, I meant Jointer.

I don’t mean to sound condescending (I really don’t), but I don’t know how else to say this. When sanding cast iron by hand it would take me days (and far less skill than I have) to sand enough out to put them out of parallel, we are talking less than .006 amount of metal was removed. Most of what I removed was from the center of each bed… a slight lengthwise bow, not across the bed. I guess I should have been clearer. I have done this most of my life, getting most of my tools from farm auctions and antique shops.. and removing the rust damage from when the ceiling rained in my studio. Diligence and patience and a lot of bengay afterwards. How do I know they were not put out of parallel by my flattening.. lets put this concisely: I know, I have experience… I have a machinist/engineer/gun smith for a father and I am really great with spacial geometry…. two flat surfaces with a rotating blade between them.. not rocket science… and I check and test it the whole time.

A shim (1/2”x1/4” piece of aluminum can) is a 2 second fix vs $$$$$$ and time lost waiting on other people/companies. In the end I KNOW what my machine is and does and I have the power, control, and knowledge to keep it doing what I want. Next winter the metal will move again, maybe even twist again and I won’t need a shim. Such is the life of a old metal tool.. such is life of a self reliant, money frugal, love to do this kind of stuff artisan. Besides the jointer was cleaned inside and out, fine tuned, sharpened, and paralleled.. and cuts perfect and like butter. So that’s how I really know. But if you want detail instruction just let me know.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View Karson's profile

Karson

35035 posts in 3861 days


#5 posted 05-14-2010 04:14 AM

I was a computer programmer and I cant remember how many times, a good sleep causes you to awaken to the answer. I think the mind keeps trying to solve the problems – without us getting frustrated -

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11806 posts in 3149 days


#6 posted 05-14-2010 06:13 AM

I guess that I just move my infeed table too often to worry about shimming it for each different depth of cut . That is why I had the tables “matched” at the Voc/Tech School machine shop : ) They did a great job and now no matter where I adjust them to , they are always parallel : ) Have a great day and keep on teaching .

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View EPJartisan's profile

EPJartisan

1116 posts in 2586 days


#7 posted 09-24-2010 06:05 PM

Funny how you can go back and read something you wrote and thought was done in an easy going manner… and realize.. I sound like a complete A$$”.. sorry. :)

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

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