Any good craftsman should have a woodworking jointer included in your arsenal of tools. As handy as this tool is, it can also be quite dangerous if mishandled, because it has rapidly spinning sharp blades. Therefore, getting all your safety information and instructions how to properly handle this tool is important. But once you have it all down, a woodworking jointer is a great tool that can be used to easily for beveling, chamfering and rabbeting.
When using a bench-top jointer, there are tips that you must learn and understand. This is in a bid to ensure that you get the best-finished output.
As your experience grows, one of the issues that you must consider is that you need is to stand on your own.
Produce quality lumber and you will have more return customers as your profitability increases.
You can only do this if you know the tricks to follow when using the benchtop, and some of them are explained here below.
Reading through the benchtop jointer reviews from the woodworkers who have used it will also give insights of how to use it well.
How to Use Benchtop Jointer
- Learn how to Place it when working – A benchtop jointer works well in a flat surface to flatten the boards as required. If you don’t have a permanent space to screw it while working, that is not a problem. You can store it and use it when need be. Ensure that you place it on a free-standing table so that your lumber finishes come out as planned.
- Understand the Machine – Understanding the machine, you are using is important for woodworkers. Some of the jointers provide convenient features such that you already know the outcome of the process even before you start working. You need to know how to adjust the depth, tension the drive, set the depth of the cut all in a bid to give you a unique outcome.
- Understand the Limitations of your stock – The best option is to set a lower limit on the board size. This is because the boundaries of the jointer are restricted by the length and width of its bends. To be able to know this, the manual explains the specifics making it easier for you to see the range at which you should use. The recommended size for the smallest range should be ½ thick x2’’ wide x12’’ long. Using smaller size than the mentioned will only call for breaking of the jointer, and its lifespan shortens.
- Setting the Depth of the Cut – An experienced woodworker will set the cut in such a way that as you start the process, the cut becomes noticeable. The motor will not be burdened when you carefully set the depth, and you will not only have less strain, but your machine will take longer.
- Ensure Coplanar Tables – One of the critical part of the jointer is tuning it as required. Ensure that the tables ate set in a parallel manner to achieve a perfect end product. Level the table with the straight end that you have. This will be the guiding point of getting quality output. If you are not sure on how to level the coplanar table, revise the manual since it has all the information about the adjustments.
- Square the Fence – A fence is a piece of aluminium that sits vertical to the machine’s tables just behind the cutter head. Set the fence well by use of digital angle gauge or the machinists’ square. To be able to get a perfect finish, adjust the angle between 45 degrees and 135 degrees. If you are experienced enough, you can go by eye, but care needs to be taken to avoid having angled edges.
- Limit the length of the Upper Limit – When it comes to quality, limiting the upper limit is more of an important factor than anything else. The best thing is to ensure that the length of the board is limited to at least twice the length of the in-feed table you have. If you need to join a board longer than what the benchtop jointer is capable of handling, then it is recommended that you use a router and a straight edge. In most cases, this is extra work, but for the sake of quality, it is worth the sacrifice.
- Face-Jointing – Ensure that one of the faces is flat before you square up the edges. This is for the sake of quality and not so much for safety. Test this by running the board, face-side down and ensure that the face panel is as flat as possible. This will be an assurance that you will get a perfect finish.
Safety Tips to Always Keep in Mind While Using Benchtop Jointer
Before operating a jointer, make a quick safety check to be certain that the cutting guard is safely secure in place. Also make sure that the blades are sharp and correctly adjusted to help avoid kick back or crooked excessive cutting.
Be sure that the fence is perpendicular to the table. This can be done with a square. Adjust the cutter head amount and adjust the in-feed table to the cutting depth necessary for your project. This is usually about 1/32 inch for hard wood and 1/16 inch for soft wood.
Fire up the jointer and wait for it to reach full speed before you begin to joint your wood pieces.
Always keep yourself to the left of the cutter knives and never to the right, and hold the stock against the fence firmly, using a hold down push block according to the size of the stock you are jointing. You should use a push block when working with stock of less than 1/2-inch thick or less than 3 inches wide to keep your hands safely away from the blades.
Hold the stock against the fence with your left hand and push the stock with your right hand. Never cut against the grain of the wood. Since you are only shaving a very tiny amount with every pass, this may take quite a few passes. Take your time and be patient.
When finished, turn the jointer off and do not leave it until it has completely stopped.
Always wear eye and ear protection and read your owner’s manual so that you are completely familiar with your model. always Use a push block or stick to feed the stock and keep your hands a full foot away from the cutter head. Never joint ends of stock less than 10 inches wide stock that is less than 12 inches long. Turn the jointer off and disconnect it from the power source, before adjusting cutter heads or servicing the jointer. Leave all safety guards in place unless your manual instructs you to remove them for a job, such as making rabbet joints.
If you are a woodworker with a passion, a benchtop jointer is not an option in a workshop.
You need to understand some tricks to have lifelong support and ensure that the jointer gives the value for it. Following up these hacks will reduce your stress as you tackle your day to day work.