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8i Jointer and handling long boards

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Forum topic by Floyd Hall posted 11-29-2017 05:42 AM 653 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Floyd Hall

37 posts in 111 days


11-29-2017 05:42 AM

Hi,

I’m frustrated with my ability to handle longer pieces given my rather modest ‘Craigs List’ workshop. Right now I’m working with 1) A Powermatic Contractor’s saw which has a good top, a good fence and is in pretty good alignment but still leaves burn marks, 2) An older, but decent Taiwanese 6i jointer with a 42i bed and a good 3/4 hp motor, 3) A small, but decent 14i Rikon bandsaw, 4) A Delta ‘lunchbox’ planer, in good working order and 5) A fairly new full-scale Delta drill press (the only tool I purchased new).

Like I said, I’m having trouble with longer boards. The contractor’s saw is what it is. It cuts pretty straight, but struggles under load with longer, thicker pieces. Now a older 8i Delta ‘Crescent’ jointer with a 60i+ bed has come up for a fair price. It runs on a newer 2 hp motor and looks to be in excellent shape.

My question: How much more capability would this 8i jointer give me? Would it fix my long-board problem? The only good suggestion I’ve gotten so far is to either tape long boards together to edge-joint them through the planer or build a long sled for the planer. I’m told my 6i jointer will only effectively joint a board twice the length of the outfeed table—or 40i—while the 8i jointer should effective joint 60i.

Will the jointer compensate for an under-powered contractor’s saw?

Floyd


32 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4771 posts in 2333 days


#1 posted 11-29-2017 11:48 AM

My 8” has a 66” bed and I wish it was a little longer, the basic rule is you can joint a work piece twice as long as the tables. It doesn’t work quite that way for me, though I think if I had infeed/outfeed support it might. But with a 60” bed (if you believe the rule) you can joint 10’ long boards…how often will you do that? I think you wold find that Delta a welcome addition and a great upgrade to what you have ….but don’t expect it to compensate for the under powered saw (not quite sure what you mean there). The burning might be due to some other issues, maybe check fence alignment, or a different blade (thin kerf).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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johnstoneb

2643 posts in 2013 days


#2 posted 11-29-2017 12:51 PM

Burn marks are cause by the side of the blade or cutters making contact with the wood. Clean the blade, check the alignment of the blade to the miter slot on the table, check the alignment of the fence to the blade.
I had a sears 113 contractor saw with 1HP motor for years and once I put a T2 fence on it and realigned everything. No more burn marks and I lost my strong justification for a bigger cabinet saw.
The first thing I would do is check and realign everything, pretty good isn’t close enough .

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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Dustin

409 posts in 581 days


#3 posted 11-29-2017 12:57 PM

Floyd,

What HP is your contractor’s saw? I ask because I’m using the Delta 36-725, which is no beast itself. I had been relying very heavily on my Freud combo blade up until a couple months ago when I got a dedicated rip blade. As I assume ripping is the operation giving you trouble, this is worth looking into. A great quality blade can be had for $40-$50, and I was able to rip 8/4 cherry with no problems and no burning. It’s an impressive enough improvement on both ease and quality of cut that I much prefer taking the time to change the blade for the better operation/result.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

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sawdustdad

335 posts in 725 days


#4 posted 11-29-2017 01:49 PM

Here’s a suggestion. Clamp a longer fence to your existing TS fence. Run your long boards and rip a bit off one edge. Turn it over and put that edge against the long fence. Run it through the saw a couple times, flipping it each time, taking just a bit off the edges. That will effectively straighten the board so you can go to the jointer and clean up the edge.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

View msinc's profile

msinc

108 posts in 344 days


#5 posted 11-29-2017 02:02 PM

I agree with the previous posts that all say to realign everything on the saw. The saw is what it is and if you are running cut lumber on the joiner that is what should make them straight. That aid, it’s always good to start out with boards that are cut as straight as they can be. Maybe if you are doing boards this long {you don’t really say how long} you might need some portable extensions on the table saw to help run them thru.
Going to a wider cutter head on the joiner will not necessarily make boards any straighter, by and of itself. The table on the joiner needs to be longer. You can make up some wooden “extensions” to sit on either end of the joiner you have to see if it helps. This can be done with reasonable accuracy and cheap enough to let you know if it helps the issue. I’d make them so you can see if 60” of table is going to get it or not. If it does then maybe think about the bigger joiner…if not then maybe it’s time to look at some other issue. I have a Powermatic joiner with a 6” cutter head, but it does have a 67” table length…I have zero problems getting boards straight. It does leave milling lines on the edge though, a little worse than what I’d like to see. Maybe a spiral cutter head is in order.

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rwe2156

2719 posts in 1321 days


#6 posted 11-29-2017 02:49 PM

What works best for me on long boards is to first establish a reasonably straight edge prior to jointing. This can be accomplished with either a circular saw and guide, track saw, or a straightening jig on the table saw (like what sawdustdad is talking about).

I prefer the table saw method using a good quality glue line rip blade. Pay close attention to the board after its cut because sometimes you need to make another pass.

Once this is done, you have less error to joint out and will get much better results.

When gluing up a table top or long panel, more often than not, I have to tune up the edges with my #7 jointer plane.

As for the burn marks, this is usually caused by

1. dull blade
2. misaligned fence
3. inadequate power
4. combination of any of the above.

I would check the fence alignment first. A splitter helps, too. A thin kerf blade helps on motors <2HP.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Floyd Hall's profile

Floyd Hall

37 posts in 111 days


#7 posted 11-29-2017 07:31 PM

Hi folks,

Thanks for getting back to me. The boards I have been cutting are 5/4 and 4/4 hickory, from 2’ to 6’ long. I know this is a heavy cut of the saw. I don’t cut this type of wood very often, but when I do I need the cuts to be good. Lately here I’ve been trying to figure out if there is a way to use these machines (listed above) in tandem rather than going out and buying another machine. But this jointer just came up and I need to give the guy an answer.

The alignment on the saw has been checked rigorously and I found two problems. There was a smudge of hard gunk on the flange about the size of a pencil eraser and the fence that has some wear problems—i.e., the fence is aligned and straight but the soft material on the face has developed some wear spots. The saw is a Powermatic 64A. The blades are brand new—two thin-kerf Freud “Industrial” blades, a 50T combo and a 30T glue line rip—and I bought a Forrest stiffener to support them. I also bought some splitters, which I haven’t installed yet, because the problem seems to happen mostly on the back of the blade, like the wood is expanding as it goes past the blade and pinches a bit in the back, just enough to burn. Anyway, we ‘opened’ the fence a bit to stop the pinching in the back, but I haven’t had a chance to use the saw much yet, mostly because I’m sanding out burn marks. Right?

I’m asking all this now because I promised the guy with the jointer an answer. I’m sure with a little more work the TS cuts will be decent, but not great because the primary problem seems to be that the motor is just not big enough (it’s 1.5 hp wired for 220v). I like the saw and want to keep it, but I’m considering buying a 3 hp motor for it. I need the mobility and, like I said, the table top and Biesemeyer-type fence are good. What I’m wondering is will the jointer eliminate the burn marks under any circumstances? In other words, if I rip a board, say 1/8” wider than I need on the contractor’s saw (or even on the bandsaw), can I reliably joint it down to the proper width with the jointer? Will a bigger motor on the contractors saw help? I’ve already been looking at a 3 hp Leeson that turns at the same RPMs (3450) and I could wire for 220v. So maybe I should stick with my 6i jointer—perhaps with an extended bed like suggested above—which does a pretty good job and try to fix the problem with a bigger motor on the contractor’s saw. It seems like I need more of something, either jointer or table saw.

Thanks in advance,

Floyd

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builtinbkyn

1924 posts in 781 days


#8 posted 11-29-2017 07:42 PM

Floyd, if you have them use them – hand planes and scrapers. The issues you’re explaining here are the very reason they are still used in professional shops. You can clean up saw marks and burns with them in a more controlled way, than by sanding. The two machines – planer and table saw are to get you close. I’m certainly no expert cabinet maker, but I’m almost certain that’s how the pros would tackle this. Hand tools are for refining the results we get from out power equipment.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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Aj2

1179 posts in 1638 days


#9 posted 11-29-2017 07:45 PM

Floyd I don’t think you should count on a jointer to sneak up to your final width. I look to a jointer to create a flat face and a square edge. I buy mostly rough lumber. There are exceptions for instance if I’m laying up boards for a table top I don’t really care about the exact width. So I run the boards along the fence till they fit together.
My jointer is very accurate more so then my tablesaw but it will not make parts the same width.
Good luck

-- Aj

View pontic's profile

pontic

505 posts in 449 days


#10 posted 11-29-2017 08:32 PM



Floyd I don t think you should count on a jointer to sneak up to your final width. I look to a jointer to create a flat face and a square edge. I buy mostly rough lumber. There are exceptions for instance if I m laying up boards for a table top I don t really care about the exact width. So I run the boards along the fence till they fit together.
My jointer is very accurate more so then my tablesaw but it will not make parts the same width.
Good luck

- Aj2

I agree.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

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Sawdustonmyshoulder

446 posts in 3468 days


#11 posted 11-29-2017 08:49 PM

Here is how I have solved the long board jointing issues when building a big table:

http://lumberjocks.com/Sawdustonmyshoulder/blog/5344

Hope this helps.

-- The more skilled you are at something, the worse you are at it when someone is watching.

View Floyd Hall's profile

Floyd Hall

37 posts in 111 days


#12 posted 11-29-2017 09:14 PM

Thanks guys. You’re being a big help. I’ve been toying with building some sort track saw or ripping jig, but Sawdust’s router idea might work better, at least for one side. And I believe you on the jointer—that I probably won’t get even cuts to width. Frankly I’m not that familiar with jointers and I know mine can’t do it, but I was wondering if a bigger, better one might work. In the past, when I worked in a couple cabinet shops, we just used big Powermatic 66 table saws, which were well-tuned with sharp blades. Never had to worry about jointing.

Bill, what kind of hand planes/scrapers would you recommend?

Floyd

View eflanders's profile

eflanders

219 posts in 1691 days


#13 posted 11-29-2017 11:36 PM

We have a Powermatic 6” jointer in our school shop. We teach the kids to rip a sixteenth over-size and then joint to finish size. Our jointer is usually set to cut 1/16” deep. We cut & joint nearly every kind of wood there is. We buy rough sawn lumber that is often 12 feet or more long. A single person can joint these long boards on a 6” jointer if they use proper technique. Most jointer use issues arise in two areas: applying pressure at the wrong places on the board and in using too much downward pressure as you feed the stock into the jointer. (We wax the infeed table and fence regularly to aid in proper infeed pressure.) We tell them to make sure that they apply downward pressure to the infeed table and fence only. Proper jointer technique takes some practice and itthe jounter is not a very easy tool to learn about without guidance.
The other folks have commented on saw burns and how best to avoid them. Our kids use the jointer to remove saw marks every day as it is extremely hard to maintain proper saw alignment with over 100 kids using these saws 8 hours a day. It is also very hard to keep our cutting tools and blades sharp with them! You have the tools to do the job, you just need to learn the proper technique to avoid further issues.

View Floyd Hall's profile

Floyd Hall

37 posts in 111 days


#14 posted 11-30-2017 12:08 AM

I understand. My problem right now is I’m spending far more time learning how to align and set these tools up than actually using them. Looking around, I could easily spend $200-300 on alignment tools for the table saw and jointer and only get modest increases in performance. In fact, I’ve spent just over $200 just to upgrade the performance of the saw alone and I could easily spend $700-800 more for a bigger motor, new link-belt system and pulleys, Incra jig (which I could use in conjunction with a router insert), whatever. That’s why I asked about this jointer, which admittedly I know little about. I never had to use one before. The one I got does a pretty good job all in all. I was just wondering how much better performance I’d get out of a bigger, better one. Plus it’s a pretty cool tool. I’d love to own it just for the sake of owning it. :)

Anyway, it looks like I’ll pass on the 8i jointer and work with what I have for now. Next step looks to be a bigger motor for the saw if I’m still having trouble getting the cuts I need.

I appreciate everybody’s help.

Floyd

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

1924 posts in 781 days


#15 posted 11-30-2017 01:28 AM

Floyd you shouldn’t feel alone in this. It seems you may be somewhat new to woodworking as pretty much everyone here once was. I’m no exception and am still learning too. Even things I’ve done before in woodworking, are still not second nature and often times require me to refresh my memory on how to achieve what it is I’m trying to do. So I go back to reading and looking at YT videos of how others did what I’m trying to do. Sometimes I tell myself I’m overthinking things, but you can’t overthink things, especially where safety is concerned. Oh and when you really don’t want to ruin that great piece of figured walnut ;)

I can tell you a few things from experience. There is no magic tool. Every tool you may have in your arsenal, from power tools to hand tools, require skill to use and that comes from experience and repetitive use. A jointer of any size requires the hand skills and knowhow to get good results and won’t magically make things better. I too fell into the belief that “If I just had ‘xyz’, then I could do things better.” But that was never the case. Sure, better quality tools usually yield better results, but sometimes when watching a video on YT of someone that has great skills, I see what they’re working with and wonder how they achieved such excellent results with such a crummy setup. It really isn’t a wonder. It’s their skill and not the tool or equipment that yielded the result. It was obviously their ability in the craft.

All I can suggest is (you have a good start here in reading and participating on LJs) to read as much as you can, watch online videos and ask questions, as you have done. The other obvious choice would be to take some classes. The rest is like anything else, practice and repetition.

As for good planes and scrapers, well that could start a whole debate lol There are certainly tools that can be considered as essential to start off with when outfitting your arsenal. Rob Cosman has a video on what he suggests his students should purchase first and then how to build from there. I’m sure there are others as well and I’m equally sure people here are willing to share their suggestions ;)

I sense your exasperation and rest assured many of us were there and sometimes are still feeling it. I know I do. But then I also know I’m still very much a novice and may always be.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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