Face Jointing a long board

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Forum topic by CharlesA posted 11-18-2014 02:55 PM 1533 views 1 time favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3312 posts in 1764 days

11-18-2014 02:55 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question jointer

I’m relatively new to using a jointer. I mostly love it. I learned a lot by using hand planes to do my face and edge jointing for a couple of years, but I am amazed at how much more quickly I can do the job with a jointer. Now, of course, I want an 8+” model, but that’s another issue.

I was having a bit of a problem with snipe, but I realized that i was pressing down to hard on the boards. Now with fairly light pressure, I get good results. The problem I’m having now is one that is purely technique, I am sure. I use two push pads with the jointer. With boards over 4’ or so, I end up with slight irregularities in the cut that apparently comes from when I relocate the pads as the board goes through, ending up with, perhaps, a slight difference in pressure or just the fact that the board moves the slightest bit when I relocate the pads.

I usually cut boards down before jointing, but for my next project I need to joint a couple of 72+ inch boards. My bed is 62” long.

Thanks, Charles

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

11 replies so far

View CharlesNeil's profile (online now)


2388 posts in 3837 days

#1 posted 11-18-2014 03:01 PM


If your getting snipe your not lined up correctly (coplaner) , here is an old video that may help forgive the long intro thing

You can do 72 ” on a 62 ” bed no problem

View CharlesA's profile


3312 posts in 1764 days

#2 posted 11-18-2014 03:10 PM

Charles, I think I solved the snipe (on the ends) problem—I was worried about it not being coplaner, but it turned out that I was just pressing down too hard.

Now I’m just dealing with little inconsistencies in the middle of long boards that I think is tied to the way I am feeding the stock. I’m looking for tips on how you feed long stock through the jointer.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View tyvekboy's profile


1746 posts in 2980 days

#3 posted 11-18-2014 03:27 PM

Charles—I watched the suggested video. It’s good. However, there are a few things that I try not to do. One is to pass my hand directly over the blade area. Also, as mentioned in the video, use push sticks whenever possible.

As far as pressure:

When starting the jointing, I put pressure on the INFEED side. as I get about a FOOT to 18 inches on the OUTFEED table, I transfer the pressure all to the OUTFEED side of the board. That will eliminate the tendency to push down on the INFEED side of the board. When you are pushing down on the OUTFEED side of the board, you can use as much pressure as you want, You shouldn’t get any snipe.

There are times that I have a long board to joint. What I do is set up support rollers on both ends to help support the work. You just have to adjust them so they are near level with your IN & OUT feed tables.

Another trick that may be helpful … before you start taking off wood, take a pencil and put pencil marks on the surface to be jointed. I usually use diagonal lines about 1/2 inch apart … sometimes I will cross hatch the lines. What this does is give you a visual as to how much more wood you have to take off to make that surface flat. When all the lines are gone, your surface should be flat.

Hope this helps.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View CharlesA's profile


3312 posts in 1764 days

#4 posted 11-18-2014 03:45 PM

I checked out the video. I thought the part about doing the ends of a bowed piece was particularly helpful. Thanks.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View ADHDan's profile


800 posts in 2075 days

#5 posted 11-18-2014 03:58 PM

If the issue does have to do with inconsistent pressure when you swap hands, is that something that could be fixed with vertical featherboards – say, a couple of Mag-Switches on the outfeed side?

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5622 posts in 2780 days

#6 posted 11-18-2014 04:57 PM

How bad are the irregularities? I see tiny marks where I pause to reset my paddles, but that all comes out in the wash (at the planer).
There are some really nice jointer paddles available now. The small standard push paddles don’t offer enough friction.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View CharlesA's profile


3312 posts in 1764 days

#7 posted 01-01-2015 03:48 PM

Thanks again everyone, a long time later.

Two things I have learned:
1) despite my efforts to adjust my jointer carefully, my outfeed table was a hair too low. I was trying to compensate by how I fed the board through—any unevenness with the amount of pressure I was using etc., led to irregularities. Now that it is adjusted correctly, I can control the board much more easily.
2) I have to constantly remember to feed the stock slowly and let the jointer work. The surface turns out much, much better. This goes against my every instinct.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Bogeyguy's profile


548 posts in 2035 days

#8 posted 01-01-2015 04:05 PM

Charles, you answered your own questiion. Pressure is not the answer when flattening out the face on a board. Let the joiner do the work as you feed the wood across the cutters. Feed it so it doesn’t start to chatter or jump across the cutters. Your working to take the bow out of the length and the crown off the width, It sometimes takes several passes. Take your time. A small amount with each pass.

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

View Loren's profile


10269 posts in 3615 days

#9 posted 01-01-2015 05:52 PM

I use a 78” level to assess the state of the board. Then
I work from both ends. The board usually does not need
to be perfectly faced because the planer bed will
compensate if the board is reasonably flat. The board
does need to be free of twist on the jointed face

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1647 days

#10 posted 01-01-2015 06:06 PM

I don’t tend to use a power jointer to make a finish face surface only one that is flat enough to reference on a planner bed. Is the unevenness so bad it’s transferring though the board when planning? If not just reference that jointed surface down on the planner bed make a flat surface than flip it over and clean up that unevenness on the planner.

I often hand flatten wider boards than my jointer can take before sending them though the planner and for me flat enough to get a flat opposite face doesn’t have to be perfect especially in thicker pieces of stock. You want it to sit firmly on the bed with no rock but the planner will clean up a lot of small areas of imperfection well.

All in all though i would say either you are being to picky about flat or it’s technique. A jointer especially with longer boards does take a bit of practice getting use to and it’s all about transferring pressure from the infeed to outfeed side as you move though the cut smoothly.

View baldric's profile


10 posts in 1227 days

#11 posted 01-01-2015 06:27 PM

a brilliant video, I learnt a lot from it, just have to practice now.

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