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."