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"non-adjustable" DIY jointer?

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Forum topic by JeffP posted 04-13-2015 02:31 AM 941 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JeffP

573 posts in 857 days


04-13-2015 02:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer

Something has been bouncing around in the back of my brain for about a week now.

While reading this, keep in mind that I’m a newbie, and the one major “piece of iron” I haven’t acquired yet is a jointer. In fact, it would be very fair to say that my ensemble of equipment far outstrips my skills at present.

There was another thread going around a week or so ago about big jointers. Somebody mentioned that they “almost never adjusted the depth of cut” of their jointer. I thought about that, and could imagine how that might be a common theme with a jointer. Get it all set just perfect….then just “adjust” to different board quality more by number of passes rather than by fiddling with the depth adjustment.

I got to thinking that if one actually designed a DIY “wide jointer using parts from a planer” (as is common on the youtube video circuit)...but started from the notion that you wanted to be able to get it all adjusted just right for a “reasonable” depth of cut, and then never mess with it. Well, let’s just say that such a beast would be extremely easy to design and build.

I can imagine such a beast with maybe thick slabs of “leftover” granite counter top material for the table pieces. That could sit on top of a heavy duty but simple structure that had nothing more than some set screws for adjusting level and height. The heavy slabs could be “attached” via gravity. No need for some fancy arrangement of parallelogram lever arms with all of the mechanical precision issues that would no doubt plague such a design.

The main problem with this whole notion is that, as stated above, I’m a newbie. In fact, a veritable jointer virgin. I had a little bench-top jointer maybe 30 years ago, but didn’t use it much and don’t remember much about the validity of my “set it and forget it” idea for depth adjustment.

So to those of you who have a “real” jointer and have used it a lot…does this idea have any legs? Is it silly, or is it one of those things where fancy jointers have fancy depth adjustment…that rarely gets used?

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.


6 replies so far

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

1102 posts in 1511 days


#1 posted 04-13-2015 03:48 AM

Your idea has been done with a different execution.

-- paxorion

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 951 days


#2 posted 04-13-2015 03:59 AM

You can do it. But by the end, you might’ve wished you just bought one. I say go for it. It’s definitely within the realm of reason and doable.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View splatman's profile

splatman

562 posts in 864 days


#3 posted 04-13-2015 05:03 AM

I have a 6” no-name jointer, and I adjusted the cutting depth a few times the last time I used it. Greater depth for hogging away high spots, lesser depth for sneaking up on a straight, clean edge.

If I build a jointer of any size, I will definitely use countertop granite for the tables. Actually, not granite, but quartz (Silestone, Vicostone, Caeserstone, etc), as that stuff is usually stronger, plus its hardness due to its high quartz content (95+%) is a plus. Most countertop shops give away their offcuts, as it’s garbage to them.
I have a bunch of countertop stone scraps (both natural and quartz) that I got for free from local countertop shops, so I’m already that close.

Cutting granite/quartz is easy enough with the right tools. The main item needed is a diamond stone-cutting blade. Web-search “how to cut countertop granite?”. Or you can have the shop cut the stone for you. Then you can have them polish the edges, too. Ask about prices up-front, as fabrication costs can add up Vegas-style. Some stone, both natural and man-made, can have a slight warp, so keep a straightedge handy when selecting stone.

You could epoxy 2 or more layers of stone together for more stiffness. Plus, you’ll have vibration resistance by virtue of sheer mass. If using natural stone, add fiberglass cloth between the layers for added strength (think rebar-reinforced concrete). Actual reinforced concrete is another possible contender.

Suggestions: Put the outfeed table on adjustment screws, like you mentioned. Or build it one with the base, and make the cutterhead height-adjustable.
Put the infeed table on something that will let you change the depth on the fly. Maybe a system like on a planer, 4 screws connected by a chain and you raise/lower it by turning a handwheel.

View JeffP's profile

JeffP

573 posts in 857 days


#4 posted 04-13-2015 12:20 PM

Thanks all.

One part of what I was proposing seems to have not been quite made clear by my original post.

I’m wondering if it is practical to NOT have any depth adjustment at all once the machine is built and tuned.

This would make a HUGE difference in the complexity of the build. Not a small change, a huge one.

Another thought I had, somewhat along the lines of splatman’s post, would be to make the in feed table out of multiple layers of countertop material. Height could be adjusted by not cementing the layers together, and placing a variable number of thin sheets of steel between the two layers to adjust the height (on those rare occasions when just making an extra pass or two won’t cut it).

Maybe make the in feed out of three sheets of counter top and glue the top two together for extra weight. Carefully adjust the bottom layer to parallel with the out feed table just once and then forget about it. Put the height adjustment shims between the bottom piece and the top two.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View splatman's profile

splatman

562 posts in 864 days


#5 posted 04-13-2015 09:36 PM



Maybe make the in feed out of three sheets of counter top and glue the top two together for extra weight. Carefully adjust the bottom layer to parallel with the out feed table just once and then forget about it. Put the height adjustment shims between the bottom piece and the top two.

- JeffP


In the name of simplicity, that sound like the way to go. Just be sure to have a way to keep the top from moving around. Maybe (make?) a special hinge along one edge, that allows the table to move freely up and down about 1/4” (to allow the shims), but keeps the table stationary in all other directions.

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1146 days


#6 posted 04-13-2015 09:50 PM

A planner with a sled designed to hold the board flat would accomplish the same thing and not destroy the planner right?

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