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  • New Jointer Alignment

    Hello All,

    After struggling with warped and cupped lumber, I decided to buy a jointer, and bought the latest Ridgid jointer. I found the instructions lacking a bit in how to ensure proper alignment, though I took my time in setting the in and out-feed tables, fence, etc... However, I cannot seem to get a perfectly flat cut when face-jointing. When I lay the cut surface flat, there is a very slight arch in the cut along the length of the board. I re-read the instructions many times, and spent hours with a straight-edge, micro-adjusting the outfeed table with the knives, making a cut, adjusting, cutting. I did not mess with the cutter, though I'm beginning to think that they were not perfectly aligned at the factory. I have the depth of cut less than 1/16 of an inch. Also, if I run a board across several times, the thickness of the board tapers, like it's cutting more at the beginning of the cut than at the end.

    It's also possible that I'm doing something wrong with the feed pressure? I try to keep even pressure. The boards I'm testing with are only about two feet long, and I'm using pine and birch.

    I'm really getting frustrated and don't know anyone with expertise in this area. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Dennis

  • #2
    Welcome...
    A few things to check
    All 3 blades need to be dead even with the top of the outfeed table all the way across. If one knife is high or skewed you will never get a flat board. When the knives are slightly proud ( we are talking 1000ths here ) of the outfeed table you will get what you are describing. You could try raising the outfeed table ever so slightly. When I changed my first set of knives on my delta it drove me nuts, spent hours and could not get a flat board. I when out and bought the Jointer Pal and in 15 minutes my boards we flat. When the knives are set right your taper problem will lessen but never go away. If you run a board through the jointer in the same direction it will alway become thinner on the leading edge.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the information. I guess I'll have to adjust the blades after all. I'll see if I can find the Jointer Pal. I've also seen some alternative methods.

      I'm glad you mentioned the taper issue; I thought I was doing something drastically wrong. Is this just an issues with jointers in general that you have to be aware of?

      Thanks again.

      Dennis

      Comment


      • #4
        Hello All,

        Well, I found a local retailer that had the Jointer Pal, and bought it, though after I set the knives with it, I still get the same result - a slight arch instead of a flat surface. I will try to set the knives again in case I didn't do it right the first time, though if anyone has any suggestions as to what I may be doing wrong, I would appreciate the input.

        Thanks,

        Dennis

        Comment


        • #5
          It sounds like you may be feeding your stock incorrectly. Re-read the instructions on feeding stock. Using and maintaining equal pressure with the push blocks is critical in preventing an arch along the length.
          www.TheWoodCellar.com

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          • #6
            MAke sure you are setting the knives at the top of their arc. You now have all the knives at the same height but your out feed table may still be too low. Try raising the outfeed table

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            • #7
              You seem to be struggling and I suspect there may be a simpler problem. Have you checked the alignment of the infeed and outfeed tables? They may not be perfectly parallel. Lift the infeed table up to match the outfeed and check with a long straightedge. If it rocks, you have a bad machine. Check both sides to be sure the tables aren't twisted with respect to each other or warped. These are serious problems and you should return or exchange it.

              I have a Bosch portable planer with a "ramped" infeed (apparently an intended feature since every one I looked at was the same). You can dig quite a hole with it. That's handy if you are trying to scribe some trim to a wavy surface, but its worthless for leveling.

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              • #8
                I'm not sure what WBrooks is trying to say about the taper problem, but on your jointer, I'd say you have the outfeed table lower than the knives. That is about the only thing that will cause an arch like you describe.

                Also, when you feed stock through, keep pressure on the infeed side and against the fence only as long as it tkaes the stock to reach the end of the outfeed fence. (a reference point) then move the pressure to the outfeed side. It is very iomportant that you keep pressure on the outfeed side so that it does not move at all. Remember, the outfeed side is going to be what you want flat, so keeping poressure on the infeed side will allow the wood to move around on the outfeed side. (confusing answer?)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hello Everyone,

                  I appreciate all of the feedback and suggestions. I will check to ensure that the tables are flat and parrallel with each other, reset the knives again, then keep experimenting with feeding the piece through until I get it right.

                  Mike3206 - Some interesting points on feed pressure. Other examples and tips I have seen have all of the pressure on the infeed table, behind the cutters. It seems to me that keeping all of the pressure on the infeed would allow the piece to raise up when it touches the blades, then move around on the outfeed table. But, how would you keep pressure on the outfeed side for a long board? If feed pressure is that critical, it seems a bit odd to me that they don't make these with the ability to add featherboards.

                  Thanks,

                  Dennis

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A jointer is the type of tool that requires a little practice to get good results. As other members have stated firm downward pressure must be exerted on the workpiece on the outfeed table. As soon as possible use the push blocks included with the jointer to "leap-frog" your hands over each other on the outfeed table. The outfeed table is tangent with the blades and is the guiding surface that ensures a flat surface.

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                    • #11
                      This may seem silly, but how good is your standard that you are gauging your work with?

                      What have you used or how have you verified your straightedge is in fact straight?

                      Is it brand new so assumed to be accurate?

                      Hang a plumb bob from a piece of fine wire and check your 'straight edge' against it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Dennis: Some good jointer info here, best to check them all out as it really helped me when i got my new jointer .
                        http://home.usmo.com/~rfwoodworking/tips_jigs.html
                        Ross

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          i struggled with this problem for several months (i am not mechanically inclined at all). turned out one of my blades was cracked horizontally with the surface......ridgid replaced the blades no proble. i then once again followed the directions to the letter and once i thought i had it set perfect, snipe was a problem. i bought (and wasted) money on a jointer pal.

                          i have a friend who is very good mechanically. he caome over looked at my situation, removed the blades....replaced each one of them snugging them up, and then rotated the drum while checking witha precision straight edge off the outfeed table. this way no matter where your outfeed table is, the blades are 100%. he then sungged the jack screws on the blades once aligned and i have not had problem one to this day. and that was over 2 yrs ago and involved a cross country move. now granted i have not had the opportunity to play with my shop as much as i would have liked to, but my jointer blades are to this day dead on, and i am out 30 bucks for a jointer pal!
                          \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL

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                          • #14
                            Thanks to everyone for their input. Thanks for the link, Ross J, as it looks like there are some good tips for troubleshooting and aligning a jointer.

                            Also, excellent points from everyone about ensuring the accuracy of the calibration tools, and feed pressure. I probably won't be able to spend time with the jointer until the weekend, and will let you know how it goes.

                            Thanks again,

                            Dennis

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Greetings! Been away for awhile.

                              Re your new Jointer: I am not being sarcastic when I say that if all else fails and you still can't the results you should, consider perhaps that the infeed and/or outfeed table is warped.

                              Such was my problem and it'll drive you batty. I suspected as much and had two experienced woodworkers check and confirm for me that it was indeed the problem.

                              Back it went. I've yet to get another since I now can't see having a Jointer without a Planer and at this time cannot afford both. :-/

                              Good luck!

                              [ 10-06-2004, 10:42 PM: Message edited by: lgldsr ]

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