LumberJocks

Rough Lumber Milling Process

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by lblankenship posted 05-18-2018 11:37 PM 764 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View lblankenship's profile

lblankenship

14 posts in 421 days


05-18-2018 11:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer planer milling rough lumber hand plane plane question

I currently have an 8” benchtop jointer along with a planer and table saw to do my milling. However I have constantly had issues with squaring my boards using the jointer. I’m rather new with this machine and have gone through and checked the setup and everything and have come to the conclusion I am just doing something wrong. I am planning on taking a class at my local makerspace on dimensioning lumber to try and get some in person help however I am also considering getting rid of the jointer altogether. This is what I was thinking and I wanted to hear your opinions.

I would use a planer sled to mill flat faces on my rough boards. Then using a jointer plane square up one edge to the faces and rip the final edge with my table saw.

In addition to this, I will eventually want to be milling boards anywhere from 6’ – 10’ long and I know that will be nearly impossible on my benchtop jointer. But at the same time I am struggling squaring up a 2’ 2×4. I want to give this class a shot to see if I can figure some things out with someone that knows what they are doing before just giving up on it. I know there are numerous ways you can mill lumber and people have milled lumber long before jointers existed but I just am wanting to see if the process I mentioned with a planer sled and a jointer plane was uncommon for milling among other woodworkers.

Thanks for your time, I greatly appreciate it!


9 replies so far

View Rich's profile

Rich

3663 posts in 736 days


#1 posted 05-19-2018 12:44 AM

With in feed and out feed support you can do long boards on your jointer. A good process is to flatten one face, joint an edge with that face flat against the fence, so you get a 90º corner there. Go to the planer and plane it to your desired thickness and then rip the final edge parallel to the first on the table saw. Some folks like to do the planing before the edge jointing so they have more control over grain direction to get a smoother cut.

The trick to jointing is to keep the pressure on the out feed side. Otherwise you risk pressing the board flat and not getting a flat face on it, since it will spring back when you release it. The face will be smooth but not flat.

I’m sure you’ll get lots more tips on this.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1725 posts in 1945 days


#2 posted 05-19-2018 01:54 AM

Not all jointer models are considered equal.Makings straight flat boards is easy when you have a quality machine. Tables need to be flat and coplane with good high speed steel knives.
Then it’s just a matter of passing the wood over the head when its running.

-- Aj

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

345 posts in 1249 days


#3 posted 05-19-2018 03:32 PM

I first must ask if you really need to straighten/flatten boards that are 10’ long? If you can break them down some, it will always be easier to do your milling and you will end up taking off less wood in the process. I have milled a lot of crooked lumber using a sled with my thickness planer, but rarely over 6’ long. With the proper sled setup, the process you outline should work just fine. If you simply must mill longer pieces, the best process for using the thickness planer is probably to install a long well supported auxiliary bed for the sled to slide on. Or, use auxiliary support for your jointer as Rich said.

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 3795 days


#4 posted 05-19-2018 03:49 PM

If you take some time cutting edges with
a jointer plane you’ll gain some insight into
how to approach them on the jointer.

With a hand plane I usually plane the belly
out of an edge first, with a powered jointer
I do the opposite and work on the convave
edge first if possible. I find bellies trickier to
remove with the machine. You may have
some better luck on longer edges to start if
you straight-line rip them with whatever saws
you have available. I’ve usually snapped a
line and band sawed the excess or used
a track saw, but I also have a pair of these
that work too.

View lblankenship's profile

lblankenship

14 posts in 421 days


#5 posted 05-19-2018 06:35 PM

Thanks for the responses guys. My problem is that I always end up with a slight twist in my boards when jointing the face. Now they do start out with a twist but I am never able to fully get rid of it. I’m a perfectionist and will try to get the twist out entirely but usually after awhile I end up making the twist worse again. When edge jointing I have an issue where the edge doesn’t contact the cutter head all the way through. I work on the concave edge and will get partially through and then the board stops contacting the cutter head leaving a peak on the edge. I’ve watched just about every video I can find on the web about tips on the jointer and most of them mention it should only take a few passes to square up a face and edge however I find myself spending a ton of time and many passes to get it “almost square”.


Not all jointer models are considered equal.Makings straight flat boards is easy when you have a quality machine. Tables need to be flat and coplane with good high speed steel knives.
Then it s just a matter of passing the wood over the head when its running.

- Aj2

I have a Cutech 8” benchtop jointer, it does have slide out supports however it doesn’t increase the support by that much and they sit slightly lower than the tables so I don’t see much benefit from them. Thinking about getting some standalone out feed rollers to use.


I first must ask if you really need to straighten/flatten boards that are 10 long? If you can break them down some, it will always be easier to do your milling and you will end up taking off less wood in the process. I have milled a lot of crooked lumber using a sled with my thickness planer, but rarely over 6 long. With the proper sled setup, the process you outline should work just fine. If you simply must mill longer pieces, the best process for using the thickness planer is probably to install a long well supported auxiliary bed for the sled to slide on. Or, use auxiliary support for your jointer as Rich said.

- bilyo

I have a few larger tables on my project list that I plan on building so that is why I would be using longer boards. I enjoy building furniture mainly and try to focus most of my time on projects such as that.


If you take some time cutting edges with
a jointer plane you ll gain some insight into
how to approach them on the jointer.

With a hand plane I usually plane the belly
out of an edge first, with a powered jointer
I do the opposite and work on the convave
edge first if possible. I find bellies trickier to
remove with the machine. You may have
some better luck on longer edges to start if
you straight-line rip them with whatever saws
you have available. I ve usually snapped a
line and band sawed the excess or used
a track saw, but I also have a pair of these
that work too.

- Loren

Thanks for the link! I originally had made a jointer sled with toggle clamps but it only worked for 4’ boards. I may have to give those a try though!

View jmos's profile

jmos

868 posts in 2516 days


#6 posted 05-19-2018 07:25 PM

There is a learning curve on a jointer. I made a lot of wedges before finally getting the hang of it.

If you can’t get the face flat, either your tables are not co-planer, or it’s a technique issue. I would also check that the outfeed table is at the same height at the blades at top dead center, or a hair lower. If it’s much lower, you’ll have the issue you describe with edge jointing.

Assuming you’ve checked for co-planer, a couple tips on technique.

As was mentioned, don’t joint a board longer than you need to; cut to rough length first.

Put the flattest face down. If you can put it down so it does not rock, you should easily be able to joint the face. If you can’t make that work, I’d recheck the set-up.

When feeding the board, push it through until enough is on the outfeed side that you can get your push pads on it, then transfer your pads to the outfeed table and pull the rest of the board through.

If the board is thinner, be careful how hard you’re pushing down. You can push a bow out of the board, take a cut on the whole board, and have the bow spring back when your done, getting a thinner, but still bowed, board.

If the board does rock on the infeed table, you can take a hand plane, knock of the high spots, until it doesn’t and then joint.

Or, if it rocks, I’ll often take a single push pad in the middle of the board, try to hold the board so that the rocking corners are about equally off the table, and push it through in one motion, keeping the pad in the same place and orientation. That pretty much does the same as the hand plane; knocking of the high spots. A pass or two like that will establish enough of a face so that it no longer rocks.

For edge jointing (if the outfeed height is good), it sounds like a support issue, where the board is dipping below the outfeed table surface as you feed it. You’re only talking thousandths here, so it can be really hard to tell you’re letting it dip. I’d practice with shorter boards until you’ve got it down, then work your way up to longer boards.

I kinda hate to say it, but if you’re building larger projects, you may really want to consider a jointer with longer beds. Even a 6” with longer beds may work better for you, and they’re fairly inexpensive on the Craig’s List market.

-- John

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

1959 posts in 2176 days


#7 posted 05-20-2018 01:00 AM

I used to have a 6” jointer (Rockwell) with small infeed/outfeed tables. I too, always had issues with getting 90 degree corners on long boards.
I snagged a 8” GeTech long bed jointer and all problems solved. Same techniques, same knowledge. Only difference was longer infeed/outfeed tables. Yes, they make the difference in controlling a board.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

View Tony_S's profile

Tony_S

924 posts in 3230 days


#8 posted 05-20-2018 09:46 AM


When edge jointing I have an issue where the edge doesn t contact the cutter head all the way through. I work on the concave edge and will get partially through and then the board stops contacting the cutter head leaving a peak on the edge.

- lblankenship

If you’re confident that your blades are sharp and set properly, then this is a classic example of having your outfeed table set too high.
Here’s a quick and simple way to set the outfeed table to the proper height.
https://www.highlandwoodworking.com/settingjointerknives.aspx
There is a learning curve to using a jointer properly, particularly with a small jointer, but regardless of size, the most critical step before you can even begin to learn is to make sure the tables and blades are set properly. If they’re not, you’re just chasing your tail.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1866 posts in 2136 days


#9 posted 05-20-2018 12:38 PM

I would use a planer sled to mill flat faces on my rough boards. Then using a jointer plane square up one edge to the faces and rip the final edge with my table saw.

I use this method (no room for a proper long bed jointer). Im sure it takes longer vs a jointer, but it works very well. You can always use a handplane to straighten up what isnt right off your jointer.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com