…when the infeed table is wider than the cutter head
So, first off, I was awarded a grant to purchase a thickness planer, a major piece of equipment that most shops have from the start. I have been barely getting by without one, and am so happy to have it delivered already and put to use! Thanks to the Toe River Arts Council, Madison Arts Council, Asheville area Arts Council, and Avery County and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources for this grant!
Next, I was very excited to be able to work with wider boards than I have in the past. This planer is 15″ wide, and this speeds up my working time by allowing me to use wider lumber. I watched a very good video about how to joint boards that are wider than your jointer, found here:
Very good video, and if you haven’t seen it this post might not make sense. But I noticed that this person’s jointer had an infeed and outfeed table that were the same width. My infeed table is wider than my cutter head, and wider than the outfeed table. So when I try to joint a wide board, creating a rabbet, the result is a diagonal face that does not sit straight on the jointer. Here’s what it looks like:
The edge that is not hit by the cutter head is always propped up on the outside edge of the jointer, which creates this diagonal cut where one side gets smaller and smaller. Doesn’t seem good, right? Well, I found out what to do about this, and if you don’t want to read the whole post, here’s the answer:
It does not matter! You can stop reading here. Just watch Jay’s video.
The face is flat enough that you can use the bed riser as seen in Jay’s video just as you would if the rabbet created were 90 degrees. I found this out after trying to create another bed riser for my jointer, following the same principle as with the planer. But I realized that this step was not necessary, and you end up removing about 1/8″ less material by skipping the jointer-riser bed step.
If you are interested, here’s what I did at first to overcome this diagonal cut. I had planned to post about this before I realized the shortcut, so I documented it with photos.
Step one-half- need to adjust my beds. And remove the blade guard. Be careful!
I had previously shimmed my infeed table to make the beds parallel. Since I will have to move the infeed table up and down to use this method, I decided to shim the outfeed table instead. There are many videos about this, but here’s a quick recap of what I did. First, loosen the gib screw and the locking screw on the outfeed table.
Next, use a straight edge and feeler guages to measure the beds, making sure they are within .002″ thickness. I basically measure all different places on the infeed table to make sure it is within .002″
If needed, you can insert shims under the bed to raise the back of the table, making it parallel. I needed to shim .017″. Lock everything back tight and you are good to go.
Step one: creating a raised bed to joint a board wider than your jointer
I cut a strip of luan board that was about 1/4″ more narrow than my cutter head. This board is about 1/8″ thick, allowing me to plane up to 1/8″ of material. I would have preferred a board closer to 1/4″ but this is what I had that was flat and smooth. I simply clamped it to the infeed table at the far end.
Next, you must lower the infeed table to account for the luan. I usually plane about 3/32 at a time, so I just moved the dial 3/32 past the 1/8″ mark, or 7/32″
Step 2: Joint the board, creating a rabbet
With the blade guard removed, run the board through the jointer as normal, sliding it on the luan. You will soon create a rabbet edge with a 90 degree cut in it. Keep jointing until you have most of the face flat. You don’t really need to get it completely flat, especially if the board is way out of true. You will be limited to the depth of the riser bed, in my case, 1/8″. Here’s the rabbet created:
Step 3: set up the riser bed on the planer.
I just screwed a scrap piece of wood to the bottom of a 5/8″ shelf material. This material is slippery and really flat. It does have some give, but it will be supported by the planer beds. I had to sand the edges a bit to remove little raised burrs. Here it is sitting in the planer. It needs to be more narrow than the planer to allow the rabbet edge to sit over the side of it.
Step 4: run the board through the planer with rabbet over the side.
I ran the board through until the entire face was flat. Didn’t take too long.
Step 5: run the board through the planer with the rabbet side up
This will remove the rabbet and create your 2 parallel faces. I also ran it back through with the other side up again, just to be sure it was all flat.
The final result was a flat board, but I lost about 3/8″ of material. What I found was that I could skip the riser board on the jointer, and just create a rabbet that was at a diagonal angle. I could still run it over the riser board in the planer with the rabbet over the edge, and it all worked out the same. But without using the riser on the jointer, I removed less material in the end. You can also avoid moving the infeed table around by skipping the use of the riser on the jointer.
Joint the edges
If you didn’t use the riser on the jointer, you will end up with a wedge shaped board in the end. Not a big deal for me, I just ran it through the jointer at the end and got 90 degree corners all around.
You can effectively joint a board wider than your planer by removing the blade guard, running it through the jointer to create a flat surface that looks diagonal, then running it through the planer using a riser bed with the rabbet over the edge of the bed. Finish it off by running it through the planer again on the flat surface you created. Then joint our edges and you’re done! If there is a problem with that first face being diagonal at first, I was not able to measure any differences in the final product that might suggest a problem. If you can think of any issues with this method, please post them below! Have fun!