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WillieOsgood

How does a wood jointer work?

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Hi all, 

I am in the process of setting up my workshop and have most of the tools I need with the last thing being a jointer. Let me know how does wood jointer work. Give me some suggestion about wood jointer. I found some blog about the jointer. But I need more details about the jointer.

Advance thanks. 

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A jointer has a revolving cutting head, which will have several knives. Jointers have longer tables than a planer/thicknesser and are intended for accurate planing of board edges to be joined together.

If you don’t know what a jointer does, why do you think you need one?

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A jointer is good for flattening a wood surface, but it leaves slight ripples in the surface.  Hand planing produces a better gluing surface because there are no ripples.  If you are trying to get a very precisely fitting glue joint, such as center joints for violin tops and backs, and you want to save some work, you could use the jointer to flatten the surfaces then follow with one or two clean hand plane passes to remove the ripples.

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The jointer has a feed table and an out table, with the rotating cutter head in between. Both tables are parallel. The out table is set at the same level as the cutter head. The feed table is set lower that the out table and cutter head. This is difference determines how much of a cut you are taking. Once set up properly, they work very well, but as was noted, they do leave a tiny ripple to the surface.

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1 hour ago, FiddleDoug said:

Once set up properly, they work very well...

If you intend to just make smooth-ish boards, that's one thing, but if you intend to make very flat surfaces for glue joints and the like, then you need to know how to adjust the machine (assuming it has the capability for adjustment) to get the tables parallel and level with the cutter head.  And then, there is no guarantee that the table surfaces are even flat enough to do precision work.  I have spent many, many hours hand-scraping jointer tables to take out the warp and twist of the castings.

Adjusting the cutters of the cutter head to get them flat and level is another tedious task.

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On 3/20/2019 at 5:28 AM, WillieOsgood said:

Hi all, 

I am in the process of setting up my workshop and have most of the tools I need with the last thing being a jointer. Let me know how does wood jointer work. Give me some suggestion about wood jointer. I found some blog about the jointer. But I need more details about the jointer.

Advance thanks. 

IMHO, power tools that cut wood generally sacrifice an amount of accuracy for speed.  All of them I've ever messed with exhibit some periodic rotary "chatter", which may not be removable by adjustment.  Increased accuracy you'll pay for.   If you're opening a commercial cabinet shop, jointers, sufacers, and their trim-carving kin are a Godsend to keep your volume up.  You'll also need tool grinders and precision measuring tools to keep them maintained, BTW. 

For low-volume, high accuracy applications, I find that a variety of hand planes are better.  FWIW, the only strictly woodworking bench or floor-mounted power tool that I find much use for is a bandsaw.  :)

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22 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

IMHO, power tools that cut wood generally sacrifice an amount of accuracy for speed.  All of them I've ever messed with exhibit some periodic rotary "chatter", which may not be removable by adjustment.  Increased accuracy you'll pay for.   If you're opening a commercial cabinet shop, jointers, sufacers, and their trim-carving kin are a Godsend to keep your volume up.  You'll also need tool grinders and precision measuring tools to keep them maintained, BTW. 

For low-volume, high accuracy applications, I find that a variety of hand planes are better.  FWIW, the only strictly woodworking bench or floor-mounted power tool that I find much use for is a bandsaw.  :)

No drill press?

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2 hours ago, Jim Bress said:

No drill press?

Of course, but not primarily for woodworking.  I don't count my grinders, either.  I'm also a gunsmith and a blacksmith. :)

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8 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

Of course, but not primarily for woodworking.  I don't count my grinders, either.  I'm also a gunsmith and a blacksmith. :)

Well aren't you a hotty! :)

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1 minute ago, David Burgess said:

Well aren't you a hotty! :)

That too........  :lol:

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 I use a jointer with spiral cutting blades. It does an excellent job even on hard curly maple.

The down side is they are very expensive. I am fortunate to have access to my sons jointer  at his  cabinet shop.

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I recently upgraded my 6" Grizzly knife jointer to a Grizzly 6" spiral head jointer after Mike Molnar's post on his bench thread. Glad I did because I have 30 bolts of spruce to process and the spiral cutterhead is way above the old knife jointer in terms of a smooth finish.

https://www.grizzly.com/products/Grizzly-6-x-30-Benchtop-Jointer-with-Spiral-Cutterhead/G0821

https://www.grizzly.com/products/Grizzly-6-Indexable-Spiral-Cutterhead/H7653

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I used to have a straight-knife jointer, and with freshly sharpened blades, I got a finish better than with the spiral insert jointer I have now.  But the knives lost their sharpness very quickly, and re-sharpening and adjusting was a huge pain.  Plus the knives created a deafening racket, while the spiral ones are very quiet.

The spiral insert type heads are not perfect... machining tolerances end up giving slight waviness across the grain.  I resorted to shimming each insert individually to improve the flatness.

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30 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

I used to have a straight-knife jointer, and with freshly sharpened blades, I got a finish better than with the spiral insert jointer I have now.  But the knives lost their sharpness very quickly, and re-sharpening and adjusting was a huge pain.  Plus the knives created a deafening racket, while the spiral ones are very quiet.

The spiral insert type heads are not perfect... machining tolerances end up giving slight waviness across the grain.  I resorted to shimming each insert individually to improve the flatness.

Good info Don. The old machine was crazy loud. I absolutely had to wear ear muffs when using it. I did joint a lot of wood through it though. This new machine is so much quieter. When doing center seams I'll joint the edges and finish with a LN62.  The new machine is pretty handy when processing bolts too. 

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Just for fun, my last joint for a viola da gamba back has been done... with a TS55 Festool circular saw and I think with flat back, it's easyer than with a jointer.

If you can set your jointer in a very accurate manner, you can joint wood in a few minutes.

 

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35 minutes ago, Borisravel said:

Just for fun, my last joint for a viola da gamba back has been done... with a TS55 Festool circular saw and I think with flat back, it's easyer than with a jointer.

If you can set your jointer in a very accurate manner, you can joint wood in a few minutes.

 

 

You can do most anything in a few minutes. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, MeyerFittings said:

You can do most anything in a few minutes. 

 

 

Long set-up, but fast work ;)

About Shelix spiral head, it seems to be a good option. But it's expensive and here in France, we must add custom taxes. Maybe in a few year, there will be a chinese copy.

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Tersa cutterhead/blades have some advantage with super easy changing and a nice clean cut.  I have a 12 inch Minimax with this cutter head that I got before making violins when I made furniture and I love it.  The size of the machine is overkill for violin work though.  The change of blades take lass then a minute per blade and no adjustment needed.  I would 100% agree that if you do not even know what the machine is used for, it is probably not the time to get one.  There are important safety and use considerations that you need to get some experience with before using (and probably deciding on) such a machine.  You might consider investing in a decent (and well set up) jointer (longer body) hand plane and get experience using it first.   

 

Also I read your link and the one thing that I would strongly disagree with is using gloves while jointing a board.  I see absolutely no advantage to this and it seems potentially quite dangerous.  If the glove were to make contact with the spinning cutterhead, it could pull your hand into the spinning blades.   If I have on longsleeves, I roll then up as a precaution. Get a practical hands on safety instruction from someone who is very familiar with the machine and understands it's dangers and develop good practical and safe working habits. ... Good luck.

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Do you need all this expensive electrical \ mechanical stuff to make a violin ?

Would not a sharp plane and a shooting board do the same thing ?

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11 minutes ago, Delabo said:

Do you need all this expensive electrical \ mechanical stuff to make a violin ?

Would not a sharp plane and a shooting board do the same thing ?

no.  Yes, a well setup plane will work just fine.  The mechanical stuff is a time saver like getting a neck block trued up / flat / square before layout etc.   Also hand tools require more (or at least different) skills. Workmanship of risk vs workmanship of certainty continuum- David Pye. 

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