Squaring up lumber

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Old 02-16-05, 07:38 PM
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Angry Squaring up lumber

Maybe I am expecting to much but..... I have a power planer and a planer jointer and I still can not seem to be able to make a perfectly square piece of wood. The joint between the pieces of wood are still not as tight as I would like. Is there a set step by step procedure that seems to work best?

Not totally square in Houston.
 
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Old 02-16-05, 08:26 PM
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Hard to say exactly what the problem is. basically, your jointer should be giving you the edge you need in order to clamp and glue successfully. If you aren't getting a tight joint, then there's something wrong with your jointer fence or you need to sharpen and align your blades. Something isn't true.

I'd start with giving the jointer a tuneup.

Are the jointer knives sharp? Are they horizontally true with the table? Is the outfeed table level with the entire cutting edge of each cutting knife? Is the fence square and true?

I'd be willing to bet that's the problem. Either that, or you need more bar clamps!
 
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Old 02-17-05, 10:06 AM
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square up

Depending on what you cut this with, it may just be your fence on the table saw. Keeping a square saw makes all the difference. If the pieces are large and you get a skewed cut, check the deflection on the far end of the fence. Make sure the distance is the same at the front of the blade as it is in the back. Also use a machinest square to make sure your blade is at a 90 degerr from the table. These 2 things will give you a square cut no matter what.

The Jointer only cleans the edge for glue. It doesn't square anthing but the surface to the sides. That is if your jointer is square to begin with. You might check that to owith the machinist square. Less than $5.00 at HD.
 
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Old 02-20-05, 10:36 PM
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Did you check to see if your square is square? You may be checking to see if something is square with a tool that isn't square
 
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Old 02-20-05, 10:38 PM
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You also noted that the joint isn't as tight as you'd like it to be.

Is it tight in either the middle or at the ends? If so and there's a space on either of them, it means your infeed outfeed table isn't sitting right. One is either higher or lower than it should be. When the tables are at 0, they should NOT be even with one another. The outfeed table should be slightly higher. Read your manual for the exact calibration.
 
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Old 02-21-05, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Sawdustguy
You also noted that the joint isn't as tight as you'd like it to be.

Is it tight in either the middle or at the ends? If so and there's a space on either of them, it means your infeed outfeed table isn't sitting right. One is either higher or lower than it should be. When the tables are at 0, they should NOT be even with one another. The outfeed table should be slightly higher. Read your manual for the exact calibration.
It probably means that the infeed table is not parallel with the outfeed table, the actual height difference between the two has more of an impact on how deep a bite the jointer takes. A quick way to check it is to take a four foot level and lay it across both tables and then use feeler gauges to measure if the front and back of the infeed table are the same distance from the bottom of the level.
 
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Old 02-21-05, 11:44 AM
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Blizard,

When BOTH tables are sitting at 0, the outfeed table should be a bit higher than the cutter head. If they're both at the same height, it will rock the piece and cause you not to have a tight seam. I unfortunately went through this about a year ago when I first bought mine.

You can take a metal straight edge on it and when you turn the cutter with your hand, it should barely grab the metal straight edge. MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT HAVE IT PLUGED IN WHEN DOING THIS!
 
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Old 02-21-05, 12:40 PM
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True, but more often than not, with lower price jointers, especially with Sears/Craftsman 6" jointers, the tables go out of parallel very easily. My old jointer was even slightly out of parallel when I got it.
 
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Old 02-21-05, 10:18 PM
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squaring up lumber

I have checked and everything seems square.....except my lumber. I noticed that when I looked at one end of it, it was wider on one end than the other. Naturally when you put what you thought to be a board of same thickness up against the jointer fence it will cut the side facing the blades in reference to it. I had planed the boards in a surface planer but the board is probably kicking up as it is squeezed between the bottom of the planer and the rollers on top. Is this making sense?
 
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Old 02-22-05, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by daveishere
I have checked and everything seems square.....except my lumber. I noticed that when I looked at one end of it, it was wider on one end than the other. Naturally when you put what you thought to be a board of same thickness up against the jointer fence it will cut the side facing the blades in reference to it. I had planed the boards in a surface planer but the board is probably kicking up as it is squeezed between the bottom of the planer and the rollers on top. Is this making sense?
I don't know if I understand what you are saying. Are you running all four sides through the jointer?

What you sound like you are describing in the planer is known as "snipe" - where the blades take a slightly deeper cut on the end of a board as you feed it or remove it from a jointer or planer. But this is a noticeable difference and is confined to the first/last inch or two of the board.

It seems like you are describing a more uniform change in thickness across the entire board. Is that right?

The planer should give you a piece of wood that is uniform thickness, it maybe racked or warped, but it will still be uniform thickness. If a piece of wood is coming out of the planer with one side thicker than the other, the blades are probably not all parallel to the bed (or maybe the cutter head isn't) - one side is probably taking a little deeper cut. When you feed a piece through the planer, try to make an even number of passes and alternate between the top and bottom. That should help minimize a problem like that.

Does that make sense or did I totally misunderstand what you were saying?
 
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Old 02-22-05, 07:22 AM
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If that's the case then... When making a boar square, you run one side on the jointer, then flip so the jointed edge is now against the fence. Run the piece so that jointed edge is sitting flat against the fence. Then mark both sides that you jointed.

Now you'll have two sides that are rough or not jointed. Go to your thickness planer and with the jointed edge down, run it through. Then flip it so the other jointed edge is down and run that while leaving it at the same hight.

Before you run your piece through the planer, you need two good edges that are square with one another.
 
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