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Thread: Changing jointer blades

  1. #1
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    Changing jointer blades

    I have to change out the knives in my jointer. It started making hockey sticks and I like to never figured out why.

    What do I need to watch out for? Any tips?
    If you don't take pride in your work, life get's pretty boring.

    Rule of thumb is if you donít know what tool to buy next, then you probably donít need it yet.

  2. #2
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    Everything you need to know from the throbbing brain of Bob Vaughn. He maintained school shop machines for many, many years. The man has forgotten more than I will probably every know!

    Bob Vaughn video
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  3. #3
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    Some things, I'm either too dumb to understand.
    Or too smart to need help. That's not likely.
    When mine needed changing I (unplugged first) just took out old and put in new.
    All is well. Wats the deal? Did I get lucky?
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  4. #4
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    That is what I was thinking Frank. I know a lot of folks work on setting with dial indicators and such. That is why I was asking, if it was such a big deal to just swap the dang things out. I understand some folks are making aerospace parts with their woodworking tools.
    If you don't take pride in your work, life get's pretty boring.

    Rule of thumb is if you donít know what tool to buy next, then you probably donít need it yet.

  5. #5
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    I have a piece of plexi glass and a magnet. Take the old one out, put plexi glass on the outfeed , use the magnet to hold the blades against the blexiglass tighten the bolts and I am done take just a few minutes.
    "Thereís a lot of work being done today that doesnít have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesnít have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    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 Frank Fusco View Post
    Some things, I'm either too dumb to understand.
    Or too smart to need help. That's not likely.
    When mine needed changing I (unplugged first) just took out old and put in new.
    All is well. Wats the deal? Did I get lucky?
    By most accounts you were very lucky or have indexed knives. After sharpening, knives can be different sized to a degree that disallows a good result when jointing. The Bob Vaughn video is great. Even if you don't use his method, he gives you a deep look into just why some folks may have one or another issue during the process. Like Don, I used a piece of glass with magnets on the surface opposite the knives. The magnets hold the knives up and the glass prevents them climbing any higher as the tightening is done. Eeezee-peezee.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  7. #7
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    The only place I use a dial indicator is setting up joiner and planer blades. Let's say you have a 3 blade head and it's an older one where you actually have to set the blade height. I assume some of the new ones have a way around this, mine don't. I just drop in the blades and tighten them up I have going to have mess. If you have a three blade head and you don't get them all the same height your going to have one blade doing all the work. It only has to be a couple of thousandths of inch higher than the others to be the only one cutting.

    More likely they are going to be slightly crocked and the first one will cutting the left side of the board, the next is a little low and it's not doing anything, then the third one is just cutting on the right side of the board and you are not getting a flat board. All three blades are not doing the work so why have a 3 blade head??

    Is a dial indicator the only way? Or course not, there are other methods that I am sure work close enough. This is the one place I prefer to know 100% where they are so I don't have to wonder if my problem is blades or something else. Once you get past the small learning curve it's pretty quick and painless.

    And no, I do not line up my table saw with a dial indicator, I have never put in on the blade to check it's run out. I use a combination square to line up my fence to the bade. Then I look at the quality of the cut and if it OK then I run with it. Multi-bladed heads however need something with some accuracy to set then up right. You may get one like mine to work by eyeballing it, but you not going to get really good results like you should.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  8. #8
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    I've got one of these little magnetic jigs. Makes the whole thing pretty easy.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
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  9. #9
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    Steve,
    If, by "hockey sticks" you mean that you're getting snipe on the ends, then your problem is misaligned tables, not the blades. It's usually caused by the outfeed table being too low.

    If you do need blades, you might wanna check into the Esta Dispozablades. You put them into a holder, and just drop them into the head and tighten the gibs. Knife changes take less than ten minutes. Kinda pricey for for the initial setup, but after that the replacement blades (two sided) cost about the same as getting them sharpened. Right now, they have a 'special' going on thru the Wood Central forums. Mention Wood Central and you'll get an extra set of knives with your order. Overall, thet's the equivalent of four sharpenings.

    BTW, I have the Estas in my jointer, and also in my 15" planer. Love 'em!
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  10. #10
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    What is was doing was making a V shape, for lack of a better words. Almost dead center of the piece. A 48" piece would be around 1/4" high in the middle. When I looked at the blades the part I normally use, up by the fence was pretty rough. I moved the fence out and the problem went away. I can't really figure out what else it would be, as the thing never moves. I don't even adjust the cut depth.
    If you don't take pride in your work, life get's pretty boring.

    Rule of thumb is if you donít know what tool to buy next, then you probably donít need it yet.

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