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Thread: Tweaking My Jointer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Tweaking My Jointer

    My jointer is a used item I got off auction here in Japan, it is old, but works well, when tuned up. Recently I got the >> Veritas 50" Aluminum Straight Edge << from Lee Valley, with that I was able to set up my jointer tables as flat as I could make them. Using it I set up the knives as close as possible, but there certainly was room for improvement. I looked around at various other methods but finally decided to buy the >> OneWay Multi-Gauge << yes it is expensive, but boy is it easy to use and dead on accurate.

    Here it is....


    Here is how I set up the knives on my old school jointer, if you have a newer jointer, trust me, you are miles ahead of me.....


    My jointer only has two knives, they are held in place by three large bolts. I loosen the bolts about 1/8 of a turn and this gives me enough play to adjust the knives.


    I have each bolt marked on each blade, when I remove the blades for sharpening, this also makes sure that the same bolts are used in the same holes each time. I tape on a piece of paper on the infeed table and keep track of my readings there, I also put a piece of tape on the outfeed table to make sure I am putting the Multi-Gauge in the same spot, so it reads on the Top Dead Center (TDC) of the arc of the knives.


    If the blade is a bit high, I take a center punch and hit it with a hammer on the front corner of the blade, there is an indentation on the blade just for this purpose.


    If the blade is too low, I rotate the head and hit the back side of the blade, again there is an indentation for the punch to register on.


    Adjusting the knives with a punch and hammer, is kind of a black art, how hard you hit each time and how much you hit is tricky, I've gotten better with more practice. The Multi-Gauge really works well here, as I can check my progress, or not, easily. You can see I came out just a bit over a thousandth of an inch off from left to right, and one knife is about a thousandth of an inch higher than the other, brother, that is close enough for this guy!!


    After putting the board through my planer I had a few marks, left from slight chips in the planer blade (I need to swap out for the fresh ones I have!).....

    A couple of swipes with my #4 1/2 smoothing plane and this board is ready to be cut up for face frames.

    So how easy is your jointer to set up compared to mine?

    I have been toying with the idea of getting a spiral head for this jointer, all it costs is money........

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Thanks for the tutorial, Stu.
    I had a miserable little 6 inch Delta until I bought Mack Cameron's old 8 inch Rockwell a couple of years ago. The 6 inch was so hateful to set up I procrastinated far too long each time the blades needed changing. I haven't addressed the 8 incher's blades yet.
    I bet I'm not the only one to put off that task!
    Your method sure seems like a fool-proof system though.
    Peter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    NH
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    When I do mine I have a set of bridge magnets (It is a jig from some place) That you zero out the tables set the knife in put the jig on and tighten. Move to the next knife. Now I know that jig is out in the shop some place and some day I will find it and put in the sharp set.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  4. #4
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    How wide is your jointer, Stu? Judging by the wrench you're using to bolt the blades in place, I'm guessing it's somewhere in the 10" to 12" range? I happened to be at Bohnhoff Lumber yesterday when one of their guys was replacing the blades on their main planer, an old Powermatic somewhere in the 30" range. He was using a bridge magnet jig like Chuck was talking about. What caught my eye was the size of the wrench he was using to tighten the bolts. Pretty similar to the one you were using.

    As an aside, he told me the planer had a 25 hp motor on the cutterhead, and a 10 hp feed motor. (They also had a 7.5 hp Sawstop.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
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    I think the magnet jigs work well for jointers where you can loosen and then tighten the bolts holding the knives while the magnets keep them at a set height, you cannot do that on my jointer.

    Vaughn the jointer is 255mm wide, or the knives are that wide, that is right at 10"

    Some detailed pics of the cutter head....









    The cutter head is 95mm in diameter or 3 3/4"

    The bearings are NSK 6207.
    The bearing sizes are:
    OD 72mm
    ID 35mm
    Thickness 17mm

    If I could find a cutter head that was about the same diameter and had a shaft that as 35mm I could just about bolt it in place. You can see how I could shim the pillow blocks on either side and adjust the cutter head up or down to suit.

    I guess I'll be looking at some catalogs
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    ...If I could find a cutter head that was about the same diameter and had a shaft that as 35mm I could just about bolt it in place. You can see how I could shim the pillow blocks on either side and adjust the cutter head up or down to suit.

    I guess I'll be looking at some catalogs
    Good luck with finding a cutter head.

    Would the shaft have to be 35 mm if you could find bearings with a different ID, but the same 72mm OD? That might give you a little flexibility in your hunt.

    Another alternative might be to investigate the Esta blade setup. The newer style Esta's index off the outer diameter of the head, and just "drop in." I have them on my older Delta, and blade changes (3 blades) take about ten minutes - start to finish - now.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DeLaney View Post
    Good luck with finding a cutter head.

    Would the shaft have to be 35 mm if you could find bearings with a different ID, but the same 72mm OD? That might give you a little flexibility in your hunt.
    Yes, very possible, and that is what I'm hoping. I figure it is a long shot, but.... If not the jointer, then maybe I should see if they make a spiral cut head for my planer I kind of doubt it, as it was not a popular planer in the US etc, but maybe Makita used the same parts in my planer as the ones that were sold in the US....

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DeLaney
    Another alternative might be to investigate the Esta blade setup. The newer style Esta's index off the outer diameter of the head, and just "drop in." I have them on my older Delta, and blade changes (3 blades) take about ten minutes - start to finish - now.
    Thanks!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
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    Jim i dont have experience with the Esta knives but doesnt Stus method and the oneway or any other method that uses the outfeed table as a reference for knife height more accurately setup the knives uniformly across the width of the jointer.
    Would seem to me if there is any error in knife drum to table height across the width for whatever reason then their method would carry it through to final setting whereas what Stu is doing wont. I dunno just putting this thought out there.

    Sent from my MB860 using Tapatalk
    cheers

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Jim i dont have experience with the Esta knives but doesnt Stus method and the oneway or any other method that uses the outfeed table as a reference for knife height more accurately setup the knives uniformly across the width of the jointer.
    Would seem to me if there is any error in knife drum to table height across the width for whatever reason then their method would carry it through to final setting whereas what Stu is doing wont. I dunno just putting this thought out there.
    The Esta system pre-supposes that the precision machined outer surface of the head is parallel to the tables. That's true for both my jointer and my planer, and blade changes are easy, quick, and simple.

    Since the Esta system has been in use in both North America and Europe for quite a long time - like maybe forty years? - the parallelism must not be an issue.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

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