Author Topic: Jointer Adjustment  (Read 1157 times)

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Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3354
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Jointer Adjustment
« on: December 20, 2020, 04:58 PM »
I recently made two coffee tables out of some highly figured walnut. The tables were 36" by 36". I milled the wood on my 8" Powermatic jointer and a Powermatic thicknesser.

Whe I was gluing up the tops and the lower levels, I noticed unsightly gaps in the middle of the boards which averaged 6" wide. I ran the boards back through the jointer and still got the gaps. I used my SawStop table saw and got perfect joints.

The boards that went through the jointer had a slight bow where they were a few thousandths thiner in the middle than at the ends. I knew I had a jointer issue.

I watched a video by the Wood Whisperer. He advised getting a 6' rule from Lee Valley to do the adjustments. Not available i the USA. Bought a Starrett 48" rule from Highland Woodworking. Very expensive. He also advised not touching the outfeed table and doing all adjustments on the indeed table.

I watched a number of other videos, but the Wood Whisperer was best for me. All the videos showed using feeler gages.

I rigged up the 48" straight edge and it showed the indeed table was high at the end forest from the cutter. I didn't
like using feeler gages so rigged up a way to use a dial indicator.

I read and reread the Powermatic manual 4-5 times (slow learner) and started making adjustments. The unit has 4 cams, one at each corner of the indeed table. Adjusting one affects the other 3 so the process has a lot of trial and error (mostly error).

After about 3 hours, I got the indeed table coplanar with the outfeed table within 1 thousandths at each corner. I think the use of a dial indicator works better than feelers because you can watch the effect of moving the cams as you move them.

I have included two pictures of the aids I made as I did't see them in any videos.


Birdhunter

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Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2395
Re: Jointer Adjustment
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2020, 06:49 PM »
Snip.
After about 3 hours,
Nice share.

Boy. How lucky am I that I've got rid of my jointer, and no longer have to worry about tuning it.

Offline Lincoln

  • Posts: 105
Re: Jointer Adjustment
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2020, 08:03 PM »
I recently made two coffee tables out of some highly figured walnut. The tables were 36" by 36". I milled the wood on my 8" Powermatic jointer and a Powermatic thicknesser.

Whe I was gluing up the tops and the lower levels, I noticed unsightly gaps in the middle of the boards which averaged 6" wide. I ran the boards back through the jointer and still got the gaps. I used my SawStop table saw and got perfect joints.

The boards that went through the jointer had a slight bow where they were a few thousandths thiner in the middle than at the ends. I knew I had a jointer issue.


I watched a video by the Wood Whisperer. He advised getting a 6' rule from Lee Valley to do the adjustments. Not available i the USA. Bought a Starrett 48" rule from Highland Woodworking. Very expensive. He also advised not touching the outfeed table and doing all adjustments on the indeed table.

I watched a number of other videos, but the Wood Whisperer was best for me. All the videos showed using feeler gages.

I rigged up the 48" straight edge and it showed the indeed table was high at the end forest from the cutter. I didn't
like using feeler gages so rigged up a way to use a dial indicator.

I read and reread the Powermatic manual 4-5 times (slow learner) and started making adjustments. The unit has 4 cams, one at each corner of the indeed table. Adjusting one affects the other 3 so the process has a lot of trial and error (mostly error).

After about 3 hours, I got the indeed table coplanar with the outfeed table within 1 thousandths at each corner. I think the use of a dial indicator works better than feelers because you can watch the effect of moving the cams as you move them.

I have included two pictures of the aids I made as I did't see them in any videos.

A tedious job, but very satisfying once completed. Once co-planar they shouldn't really move again. I've found the height of the cutters in relation to the outfeed table to be my most common adjustment, and luckily the easiest to address.


Offline Lincoln

  • Posts: 105
Re: Jointer Adjustment
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2020, 08:06 PM »
Snip.
After about 3 hours,
Nice share.

Boy. How lucky am I that I've got rid of my jointer, and no longer have to worry about tuning it.

How do you get straight material to work with, without a jointer?

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2395
Re: Jointer Adjustment
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2020, 08:08 PM »
I belong to the "Jointing with a thickness planer" camp:

Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 682
Re: Jointer Adjustment
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2020, 08:26 PM »
Several years ago I had heck of a time trying to set up my Grizzly parallelogram jointer. There was not enough travel in the eccentric adjusters. Must have spent hours if not days trying to adjust it. I sat back and thought about it and removed the cutter head. Sure enough there were shims under the pillow bearings. The factory did too much shimming. I removed the shims that would help my adjustment and problem solved. Later I was thinking it would be much easier to adjust the beds to each other and then shim the cutter head instead of chasing your tail.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3354
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Jointer Adjustment
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2020, 02:55 AM »
I was lucky enough to have bought the OneWay adjustment tool with the dial indicator back in the dark ages of my woodworking career. It’s got a dial indicator so bad that Harbor Freight would be embarrassed to sell it, but it’s adequate for this job. I used it to initially ascertain the out feed table, the helical cutter head, and the infeed table near the cutter head were all coplaner with the outfeed table. They were and that helped. I emphasize that using a dial indicator makes tool adjusting incredibly easier as you see in rear-time the effect of the adjustment. The best advise I got was leave the outfeed table alone if it’s coplaner with the cutter head. So, a mount for a dial indicator, a 48”or longer  truly straight edge, and a good manual and a large pot of patience are all you need to true up a big tool.

I expect to do this chore again so I made a better straight edge hold down and purchased a Mitutoyo dial indicator of thr OneWay Tool. I also too pics each step.

The test cuts are all straight. Big relief.
Birdhunter

Offline CeeJay

  • Posts: 251
Re: Jointer Adjustment
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2020, 05:29 AM »
Bird hunter - I had to do the exact sane exercise when I got my 8” Powermatic jointer. I got it used and it got pretty out of whack moving it to my shop.

I also used the Wood Whisperer method, and feeler gauges. Took me about 4 hours.

Anyway that was 2 years ago. It’s still in good shape.


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Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3354
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Jointer Adjustment
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2020, 06:18 AM »
I tried feeler gages and they worked, but seeing the table move exactly move 0.001 with a slight tug on the wrench gave me a sense of control I didn’t get with the feelers.

I use a dial indicator to check the alignment on my SawStop. Table-to-blade alignment is dead nuts perfect. I have a couple of thousandths out at the end of the fence.

I checked the runout on my old Delta drill press. I needs professional help!
Birdhunter

Offline cubevandude

  • Posts: 106
Re: Jointer Adjustment
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2020, 09:30 AM »


Boy. How lucky am I that I've got rid of my jointer, and no longer have to worry about tuning it.

How do you get straight material to work with, without a jointer?
[/quote]

There are two ways I know of.  1. Tracksaw and 2. a router, flush trim or pattern bit and straight edge.

Offline JD2720

  • Posts: 1186
Re: Jointer Adjustment
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2020, 09:53 AM »


Boy. How lucky am I that I've got rid of my jointer, and no longer have to worry about tuning it.

How do you get straight material to work with, without a jointer?

There are two ways I know of.  1. Tracksaw and 2. a router, flush trim or pattern bit and straight edge.
[/quote]

There is a third. A long hand plane

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2395
Re: Jointer Adjustment
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2020, 10:57 AM »
For edge jointing, I use my SawStop and a sled, and clean up the machine marks with a handplane (after cross cutting stock to length). Infeed and outfeed supports are used for long boards.

But one can also use the thickness planer with a jig to edge joint narrow boards. There're many different versions of jigs for that purpose, and here's one example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?t=93&v=rpq-Cb-UesM&feature=youtu.be
« Last Edit: December 24, 2020, 11:05 AM by ChuckM »

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5017
Re: Jointer Adjustment
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2020, 11:10 AM »


Boy. How lucky am I that I've got rid of my jointer, and no longer have to worry about tuning it.

How do you get straight material to work with, without a jointer?

There are two ways I know of.  1. Tracksaw and 2. a router, flush trim or pattern bit and straight edge.
[/quote]

A very long fence on a tablesaw also works.

It’s getting the stock flat that is difficult without a jointer.