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Thread: I've got a problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Richmond, MI near Port Huron

    I've got a problem

    I have some rough cut lumber. I started milling it by jointing one edge. So far so good. Next I started to clean up one face. All seemed well. There appeared to be a small bow to this 40" piece. I cut a little then there was air followed by some cutting at the end. As I looked over the face I could see near one edge the surface wasn't planed. by the time the whole face was surfaced I had a wedge 3/4 on one side 4/4 on the other. What might I have done wrong or could that piece of lumber been that bad?

    I thought I had good hand pressure in the center of the out feed.

    This was my first attempt to work rough lumber. Suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    First a comment; jointing an edge first gains you nothing in my opinion. The edge is not adequate to work as a reference surface for the ensuing operation. That being said, jointing removes irregularities by the nature of the operation. The difference between the highest and lowest spot on the surface will be the amount removed. There are a number of ways to minimize the amount removed or the time to do so. If the material is close to the finished size required, all irregular material will need to be removed. This can be quite wasteful and so I select the least irregular piece that will meet my needs for size and appearance.

    If the piece is too irregular to handle effectively I will mount "runners" to the sides to allow me to better control the material.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    These runners being nearly true can be quickly milled on the jointer. I will sometimes use these runners to rest against the bandsaw fence to resaw off the lion's share of the waste before tasking my jointer with the balance of the work. If the piece is not too bad I will simply resaw by eye if I can end up with a flatter surface than I am starting with. Once the bulk of the waste is removed, I take the work to the jointer and proceed as normal.

    If the blank will be made into smaller parts, I would break it down into oversized pieces first. This lessens the length and width of the parts and therefor minimizes the irregularities per specific piece. The smaller (or the already prepared larger piece can then follow these steps (some variations in order exist per the individual):
    1. joint one face.
    2. joint one edge perpendicular to that face.
    3. plane to thickness.
    4. rip to width.
    5. crosscut to length.

    For a piece longer than your infeed table it is critical that the material be supported as if the table were long enough to support it (roller stands, whatever). If you try to joint material that hangs below the plane of the infeed table, therefor climbs up the infeed table edge as it travels through the feed path and then drops lower than the outfeed table once it has passed that point of support, you'll never get a flat board. The jointer tries to make irregularities match a constant reference surface in the feed path. If that reference surface is not constant, the machine is incapable of reacting to that or correcting for it.

    All in all a simple machine but, because of this simplicity, it expects certain things to be a forgone conclusion. Assuming a properly aligned machine, proper feed path is probably priority 1 with feed technique a close 2nd ;-)
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 01-19-2015 at 08:18 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Thomasville, GA
    As Glenn said, the purpose of jointing is to remove irregularities such as you described. Using additional pressure would have defeated the purpose of jointing. The process of jointing a face, then an edge begins the shaping. Next, one would run the piece through a planer with the jointed face down to make the faces parallel to each other. The final edge is finished by cutting the piece to the width you need.

    Before I start any of those processes on rough lumber, I make initial over-sized cuts to reduce the length as much as possible. Any distortions in the wood are then minimized by having a shorter length. Then, I face-joint, edge-joint, then plane. Even then, I leave everything a small amount over-sized and let it rest at least overnight before milling to final dimensions.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  4. #4
    Welcome to the wood of using rough cut lumber. Yes 4/4 netting 3/4 is typically in most conditions. If it is longer and twists it may go from 5/4 to 3/4.

    You must flatten one face first to remove mill marks from the bandsaw mill blade and to remove the twist/bow from the drying operation. Do not press down super hard while jointing the first surface. I needs to be flat.

    Things to consider:
    - Make sure the wood has time to acclimate to your shop before milling.
    - Rough Cut the board to the length(s) needed before milling. (If you have a 6' long board but the end project only needs 24" long pieces, cut the piece down first. )
    - Joint one face first
    - Use the Jointed face against the fence and edge joint the first edge
    - Run it through a planer to get the second face parallel to the first jointed face.
    - Rip it on a table saw

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Yorktown, Virginia
    When there is a bow in the wood I usually start by just doing the ends....not running the entire board through the jointer, starting in the middle (air) and planing just the end, then switching end for end, until I gradually plane the two ends down enough to run the entire board through. If you are getting a lateral wedge first examine your pushing technique, which you have done, then check blade height relative to the out feed table to make sure the blade(s) are all at the same height relative to the table. Beyond that, I dunno...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    I don't have a jointer in my shop, so I've been using an auxiliary bed with my planer. I place the work on the table and add shims to fill voids under the piece. The auxiliary bed is smooth enough it pulls the work and shims through together, but usually I tape them in place to make feeding it through over and over easier. Once I have a flat side I'll flip it and plane the other side (without the shims ).

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Cape Cod, Ma.
    As Bill said, cut your lumber to within a few inches of your final length, it will reduce your waste. Sight down the edge of the board, which way is it curved? Is it twisted? Also, which way is the grain running? These are all details that will affect your final piece. Do not push down on the board feeding I through. The purpose is to get a flat face not a smooth face in the same shape it came out of the pile. Run it with the curve up so that the ends are down on the bed. Let the planer do the work, do not push down with any more force than is necessary to hold the piece onto the table. Run it with the grain to reduce tear out. If the board is twisted hold it down on the front and only guide it from the back. This will give you a start and end on the same "plane", then its just a matter of feeding through that way until the piece is flat.
    Jointing the edge isn't overly necessary until or unless you need to rip to rough then final width. For example, I have a 6 inch jointer. if I am making raised panels and my stock exceeds 6 inches I will joint one edge then rip it to about 5-7/8. If I am going to be making cabinet doors Ill joint then rip to approximately 2-3/4 and flatten each piece.
    Also, especially on doors, after jointing the face I will check for flatness periodically while planning. As internal stress can cause it to start curling again. I will set my jointer very shallow and as I am nearing final thickness will go back to the jointer to make any necessary adjustments to the board before final pass.
    After they are all flattened ill go back and joint an edge then rip to an eighth over final width.

    Hope this helps
    He who laughs last, thinks slowest

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