'Tis the season to align power tools

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Forum topic by Holbs posted 06-18-2014 01:38 AM 895 views 0 times favorited 0 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1843 posts in 1997 days

06-18-2014 01:38 AM

First.. the pieces coming off my jointer were cupped enough to rock a piece left & right. I have had an ongoing issue with my jointer, blaming my technique for all the faults (except knowing my fence is not 100% 90degree, leaving a 1/32nd gap at one end). I busted out my newly acquired magnetic base and dial indicator to find out all 3 blades closest to the fence were 0.005” under the outfeed, while at the other end were 0.025” over the outfeed table: hence, creating slight “V” shaped pieces enough to rock. I did the moving of a steel ruler forward of the blades 1/8” trick before winter set in. I guess, I messed up somewhere or didnt pay attention. I took the 3 knives out and I looked at them closely to what other knife pictures I’ve seen. Mine did not look right, as in grain / sharpening direction and also some ‘humps’. I measured the knives standing 90 degrees, and found a 0.040” difference along all 3 blades. So off to researching sharpening knives where I found out about the WorkSharp 3000 (as of Monday, I have one in my possession). I took the 3 knives to my local saw works place. $19 to sharpen the knives on a HUGE 8’ machine made for such (it looked rather impressive). Took a week and I just picked them up today: perfect edging, highly sharp. While at the saw shop, I purchased 3 Freud 6” jointer knives for $20 as future spares.
This got me to thinking of other machines in my shop: table saw and router table. I did the combo-square in the miter slot trick on my table saw (one day, I’ll make dedicated jig for using my dial indicator). Found a 1/16” difference from the front of the blade to the rear and fixed that (first time, adjusting this measurement on my bosch 4100 table saw). Next, router table. This is a machine I have never used but did buy because I knew one day I would use it. Proceeded to do some rabbet cuts on 18mm Baltic Birch, with my router bit raised to 9mm and the fence 9mm behind (thank goodness, I bought the wixey digital height gauge). Found out, my Bosch RA1181 router table has the #1 flaw that others have: a slight dip around the middle. So my rabbet cuts were actually 10mm, not 9mm. This causes a noticeable gap when you butt up 2 rabbet joints. I took the table insert to a friend who runs a sheet metal / aluminum shop. This table insert is cast aluminum, or as they called it Pot Metal. Ewwww. They will attempt to heat it up in their industrial oven to flatted it. I’ll find out the results tomorrow. If it fails, guess I’ll be looking for a new table insert (woodpecker, maybe).
This leaves my 10” Delta drill press, Rigid 13” lunchbox planer, rockwell lathe, and 14” taiwan “american woodworkng” bandsaw to tackle later on.

I just wanted to share my experience with need to align your power tools with precision measurements. For longest time, I just eye-balled it. And this was my error.

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

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