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Proper use of a jointer

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Forum topic by lanwater posted 06-25-2010 10:40 PM 1836 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lanwater

3111 posts in 2394 days


06-25-2010 10:40 PM

I have always thought that the right way to flatten the edge of a board on the jointer is to start from the infeed table and and gradually shift the pressure to the outfeed table.
While doing this, one hand is pressing the board to the fence and the other puting pressure on the top down.
Of course move the hand position while progressing unless it’s a very small board.

I have seen many videos where people were pushing the board from the far right top edge of the board either with their hands or with a push stick.
Wouldn’t that tilt the board more toward the infeed wing up slightly from the outfeed wing and affect the flat edge since the outfeed and infeed wings are not on the same level?

Now that I got delivery of my jointer I need to use it properly after I assemble it.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA


15 replies so far

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PurpLev

8523 posts in 3109 days


#1 posted 06-25-2010 10:51 PM

1. I don’t put much pressure on either sides of the cutterhead (infeed or outfeed) since this can flex the board out of it’s cup and result in the jointer not fixing and flattening it out.

2. I don’t put any pressure on the infeed side when I start the cut – just hold it from lifting – I push the board from it’s back with a push pad/stick

3. after the board has passed a few inches over the outfeed table – I keep light pressure on the outfeed to keep it from lifting – but not enough to flex the board flat against the table – if it’s flat , it’ll stay flat against the table – if it’s not – than thats exactly what the jointer will eventually fix after several passes

I do push the boards from their back as you probably have seen in videos – that way I know that I’m not pushing DOWN on the board and undoing the twist

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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SnowyRiver

51452 posts in 2941 days


#2 posted 06-25-2010 11:16 PM

I do the same as PurpLev. I guide the board more than put pressure on it.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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Dusty56

11806 posts in 3148 days


#3 posted 06-25-2010 11:58 PM

Ditto : )

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

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tdv

1139 posts in 2530 days


#4 posted 06-26-2010 12:25 AM

I agree with everyone elses comments, just as a further info on jointers Marc Spagnuolo (The Wood Whisperer)has done a couple of good videos on setting up jointers from scratch & he gives some good background info which will help you achieve good results check it out

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

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jusfine

2405 posts in 2386 days


#5 posted 06-26-2010 02:01 AM

I believe you are asking about jointing an edge, if that is the case, I do keep pressure on the infeed side.

The outfeed table is slightly higher, taking up the amount you have just removed with the cutterhead, thus keeping the board down on both surfaces.

All the Best with your new jointer!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

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lanwater

3111 posts in 2394 days


#6 posted 06-26-2010 02:53 AM

Thanks for the good information.
I will assemble this weekend and hopefully I do not have to move the blades.
I will be watching mark’s videos tonight.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

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alnandy

15 posts in 2358 days


#7 posted 06-26-2010 04:30 AM

The most difficult job on a jointer is a board with twist. Assuming the twist is mild (if not, cut the board up into shorter pieces), you will need to put some downward pressure on the board, simply to keep it stable. The safest way to do this is with a mason’s sponge. These are 9” long, 3” wide, and have a handle; they are easier to use and safer on a jointer than a pushstick. For your right hand, a piece of 6” long 2×4 with a handle above and a 1/4” cleat below. You use the mason’s sponge in your left hand and the push stick in your right. Gently rock the board so you a “splitting the difference” on twist. This require coordinating with BOTH hands, which is why you need the large mason’s sponge for safety. Move the board over the cutterhead, stabilizing the wood with both hands. As the other folks mentioned, you don’t need a lot of downward pressure. The first pass if the most difficult. Once you get some flat spots, it’s much easier.

One last tip: Don’t every joint a short board (less than 12”). That’s how people lose finger tips.

-- Allan

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TomHintz

207 posts in 2858 days


#8 posted 06-26-2010 09:10 AM

The jointer looks so simple (it really is mechanically) but it is one of the most technique-dependent tools that we use in woodworking. I did a survey not long ago about how long it took people to feel comfortable using the jointer and the average time given was around 6 months but many thought that they never truely mastered the jointer and continue to learn as they use it.
I have a few jointer-related stories on my site, the most popular of which is on the basics of using this machine. See the link below if reading a bit more might help. Regardless of what you do, take your time and practice to get the feel of this machine!

Jointer Basics Story

-- Tom Hintz, www.newwoodworker.com

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Cato

693 posts in 2773 days


#9 posted 06-26-2010 01:41 PM

Lanwater, this is a good question and thread for me to follow, because as Tom notes there is a technique learning curve with the jointer and I am new to it also.

The responses here are interesting, as Wayne and Purplev use more of a push technique than I do.

They have a lot more experience on the jointer than I do, but I expect that if enough people chime in here we will find a bunch of different techniques that still yield good results.

I have been using pressure to hold the board to the table and fence on the infeed side only until enough of the board has cleared the cutter head and then I shift both hands and pressure to the outfeed side.
I hold the board down fairly firmly to the table and fence and basically drag the wood over the cutter head.

I do take very light passes just like when I run through the thickness planer, only taking about 1/32 a pass.

I’ll have to go back over some of the videos I watched from Charles Neil and Tom Hintz, because I thought I was following their techique correctly, but either I am not quite doing it right or as in a lot of woodworking there may be more than one way to skin the cat.

View Milo's profile

Milo

869 posts in 2779 days


#10 posted 06-26-2010 04:40 PM

Personally, I never did get jointing down until I started using the two handed method with two push blocks, keeping light pressure on both sides of the cutters.

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2535 days


#11 posted 06-26-2010 06:24 PM

The jointer probably scares me more than any other tool in the shop. I’m in the habit of always using push sticks and I have made a few custom push sticks for special applications on my jointer.

PLEASE – don’t let your hands get anywhere near those whirling blades.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View miles125's profile

miles125

2180 posts in 3466 days


#12 posted 06-26-2010 06:41 PM

Ideally a jointer would be at its best without any pressure besides gravity imposed on the board. Since that isn’t practical, keep as light a touch as possible.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Jiroma's profile

Jiroma

4 posts in 2372 days


#13 posted 06-26-2010 10:22 PM

Hi all, dont mean to hi-jack your post Lanwater, but I juat inherited a small jointer,only 23 inches long. The only adjustment on the machine is to raise or lower the infeed. I have played with it a bit and find that if I put pressure on the outfeed, as suggested above and in other places, I find that the cutter takes some from the front of the piece as it passes the blade and nothing off the back end of the piece. If I continue to run it through a few times the difference between front and back get more and more pronounced.
So my question is this, should I keep pressure on the piece on the infeed or is it a case of taking the time to get to know this tool and practise, practise, practise.

Jiroma

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Jiroma

4 posts in 2372 days


#14 posted 06-26-2010 10:31 PM

Hi all, dont mean to hi-jack your post Lanwater, but I juat inherited a small jointer,only 23 inches long. The only adjustment on the machine is to raise or lower the infeed. I have played with it a bit and find that if I put pressure on the outfeed, as suggested above and in other places, I find that the cutter takes some from the front of the piece as it passes the blade and nothing off the back end of the piece. If I continue to run it through a few times the difference between front and back get more and more pronounced.
So my question is this, should I keep some downward pressure on the piece on the infeed or is it a case of taking the time to get to know this tool and practise, practise, practise.

Jiroma

View lanwater's profile

lanwater

3111 posts in 2394 days


#15 posted 06-27-2010 06:47 AM

Jiroma, you are fine, it’s the same subject.

Well the link Tom hintz included in his post has the following (copy and past quote)
“Hand/Pressure Placement
Because some portion of the board on the outfeed table is already flat, that is where our hands should focus what pressure is being applied. We are forced to have our hands over the infeed table to get the piece started and to guide the piece until a large enough section at the leading edge is machined flat. However, as soon as there is enough wood flat on the outfeed table, your hands and the pressure they apply should focus there to keep the machined edge of the wood flat on the outfeed surface which forces the rest of the board to follow on the line

That’s what I have been reading in many books. That’s the way I was taught in the woodworking classes i took.

I guess there are different methods as suggested in this thread by Wayne and Purplev and others.

I think I will practice hard and find my footing.

I did assemble the jointer today (delta 37-275×6”). i will probably review this product.
After Watching the woodwisperer as suggested by tdv I checked the setting.
I was disapponited by the available setup options. But that’s a different subject.

I run through some oak board, they came out ok; no light shine through when I put the board vertical on my tablesaw top.

I will use a push pad to keep it flat against the fence.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

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