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Any tips on Truing boards wider than your Jointer?


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#1 Andy6601

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 05:48 AM

I have a 12" Grizzly thickness planer and I have a little dinky 4 1/8 Craftsman jointer and I was wondering if anyone had any tips or tricks they use to true up rough boards that they have. Other than cutting them to the size that there jointer will except and running them though and then regluing them back together? Any thoughts on this would be great.

#2 RenaissanceWW

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:27 AM

I'm assuming you don't want a smart ass "use a handplane" answer here so I shock the world and give a power tool answer. First let me say that this method does involve taking the blade guard off your jointer so be very very careful and if that makes you nervous don't do it. Once you remove the guard you can joint the wide board essentially creating a flat rabbet the width of your jointer knife. Then put that rabbeted face down on a piece of flat stock or preferably something like ply or mdf and double stick tape it. Now run the whole deal through the planer with the ply/mdf on the bottom. This will generate a flat and parallel face to the rabbeted face. Now remove the board from the mdf, flip it and run through to remove the rabbet.
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#3 John Fitz

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:32 AM

Andy - there are a handful of approaches you can take...
.
- Get a larger jointer :)

- Joint half of one face, then flip the piece arount then face joint the other half of that face. I have never done this and it seems tricky to me, but many people do this successfully.

- Build a planer sled. This is essentially a carrier you run through your planer, to which you (loosely) attach your board so that it doesn't rock or move. The bottom of the sled is a planar (flat) surface, and your planer will create a surface that parallels the sled onto the board as it is carried through. I have done this before - I built an 8' sled and a 4' sled, and it is effective but tedious. There are many plans and videos online for different sled designs. Some are fairly complicated with wedges and adjustable supports, and others are as simple as a flat piece of material (MDF, Melamine, etc) and some hot glue to attach the board to be face jointed onto the sled.


- Use a router and a large jig - basically, you put (attach) the board into a larger stationary jig (think of it as another carrier or 'sled') which has flat and parallel rails, and then you use your router in a carrier to ride over the rails on the main jig - and thus, also the board - to create a flat surface. Marc has some info on this in one of his videos - it's a jig he made to use a router to true the surface of his bench. I just can't recall which video....

- Another option I have read about also uses your router to create flat and coplanar dados or grooves along one face of your board, and then insert flat runners of some type into these grooves; flip the board over, and run it through your planer. The coplanar grooves and flat runners create the flat reference which your planer will mimic as it planes the other side. This is done with a setup similar to the previous method, but instead of routing the entire surface you just route the grooves.

Edited by John Fitz, 24 February 2012 - 07:29 AM.

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#4 Tito

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:41 AM

I agree with renaissanceww a good'ol no 7 or even a no 6. Also it helps to refine ur hand tool skills.

#5 Canadian Bear

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:05 AM

To me, depends on how many you are looking at. If you are only looking at a few planks, I'd break out a handplane. Remember, you don't need to get the board perfect, just close (so it doesn't rock), then use your planer to get it perfect..

If you are looking at a larger number (for me, beyond 3 or 4 planks), the time investment to build a good sled is worth it, and produces a great result.

I've used both methods successfully..

#6 John Fitz

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:25 AM

I'm assuming you don't want a smart ass "use a handplane" answer here so I shock the world and give a power tool answer. First let me say that this method does involve taking the blade guard off your jointer so be very very careful and if that makes you nervous don't do it. Once you remove the guard you can joint the wide board essentially creating a flat rabbet the width of your jointer knife. Then put that rabbeted face down on a piece of flat stock or preferably something like ply or mdf and double stick tape it. Now run the whole deal through the planer with the ply/mdf on the bottom. This will generate a flat and parallel face to the rabbeted face. Now remove the board from the mdf, flip it and run through to remove the rabbet.


I like this. This is a simpler approach to my last option (above), instead of creating some sort of monster router jig.

#7 Particle Board

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:00 AM

I'm with Renaissance ww. Give me a hand plan and I'd have a big pile of shavings and the worlds most expensive tooth pick.

Don

#8 CessnaPilotBarry

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:05 AM

With power, I skip the jointer all together and go straight to a 5 minute planer sled. The sled is simply a piece of 3/4" MDF, with a strip of 1/2 ply or scrap screwed to one end as a cleat.

I put the board on the sled with one end against the cleat, insert builders shims as wedges under the board, and hot glue the shims in place. Taking light cuts, send the whole thing through the planer, cleat last. Once you hit enough of the top surface to allow the board to support itself, ditch the sled, flip the board, and plane as usual. Once you've got two supported surfaces, keep flipping end to end until you have two flat, parallel surfaces.

If you use plastic builder's shims, available at any home center, you can peel them off the glue and use them over and over.

The whole deal is easiest if you start with the concave side of the board down, just like machine jointing. Light cuts will prevent the planer from pressing the board flat and making a potato chip with parallel faces. The first pass, or three, may not hit the whole board, so you may need to push it through.

The same idea works with 22" boards through my drum sander.
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#9 Andy6601

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:55 AM

Does anyone have any plans or pictures of their "sleds" I think I would like to try and build one. I do use hand tools but if I am trying to do a lot of boards, that is where the machines can help out a lot. Thanks for all of the great ideas!

#10 Paul-Marcel

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:09 AM

Shannon's (RenaissanceWW) idea works well if you can remove the guard. I also like his idea because he managed to answer with a power tool solution! That was awesome! :lol: (j/k Shannon!)

Planer sled is something you'll use over and over again in these situations so maybe consider making one.

#11 Ends of the World

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:58 AM

I don't own a jointer and I built a planer sled out of plans I found, but not crazy about the wedge system as it took too much adjusting and could not get the wood to perfectly stay straight on it no matter how it was adjusted. I might like to take a crack and improve the design sometime, but for something quick and dirty without a built sled, what I do is hotglue the edges of the board (NOT the underside) to a flat piece of hardboard or MDF and run it through the planer until the top is flat. Afterwards, carefully pry off the wood and take all the glue off with a straight razor (makes quick work of it), then flip it and run it the other way as you would with any other technique on here.

This would be tedious on large boards or running many boards, but to get simple things out, it works fine for me.

#12 JohnnyNoName

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 11:13 AM

Does anyone have any plans or pictures of their "sleds" I think I would like to try and build one. I do use hand tools but if I am trying to do a lot of boards, that is where the machines can help out a lot. Thanks for all of the great ideas!


Finewoodworking has a fancy one. But i just use a simple one with wedges like was suggested.

Jonathan

#13 John Fitz

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 11:19 AM

I don't own a jointer and I built a planer sled out of plans I found, but not crazy about the wedge system as it took too much adjusting and could not get the wood to perfectly stay straight on it no matter how it was adjusted..


I built that sled, and promptly changed it after the first time I used it, because one of the wedge screws (the screws that hold the wedges in place) fell out and got dragged under the sled - putting a big gouge in my planer's bed. I replace it with a set-screw system, where the set screws could be adjusted to adjust the height of the suport pieces. It works OK now - but I think I'll probably punt even that, and just go to the hot-melt glue system.

#14 CessnaPilotBarry

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 11:45 AM

BTW... Carpet tape also works great on the shims if a glue gun is not available.

#15 RenaissanceWW

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 01:09 PM

Shannon's (RenaissanceWW) idea works well if you can remove the guard. I also like his idea because he managed to answer with a power tool solution! That was awesome! :lol: (j/k Shannon!)

Planer sled is something you'll use over and over again in these situations so maybe consider making one.

I like the element of surprise to keep people guessing. Also to be fair, I learned this trick from Chuck Bender so I can't claim it as my idea. Then again who can really claim anything to be theirs in this ancient craft.
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#16 the pirate

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:57 AM

With power, I skip the jointer all together and go straight to a 5 minute planer sled. The sled is simply a piece of 3/4" MDF, with a strip of 1/2 ply or scrap screwed to one end as a cleat.

I put the board on the sled with one end against the cleat, insert builders shims as wedges under the board, and hot glue the shims in place. Taking light cuts, send the whole thing through the planer, cleat last. Once you hit enough of the top surface to allow the board to support itself, ditch the sled, flip the board, and plane as usual. Once you've got two supported surfaces, keep flipping end to end until you have two flat, parallel surfaces.

If you use plastic builder's shims, available at any home center, you can peel them off the glue and use them over and over.

The whole deal is easiest if you start with the concave side of the board down, just like machine jointing. Light cuts will prevent the planer from pressing the board flat and making a potato chip with parallel faces. The first pass, or three, may not hit the whole board, so you may need to push it through.

The same idea works with 22" boards through my drum sander.

The whole deal is easiest if you start with the concave side of the board down, just like machine jointing. Light cuts will prevent the planer from pressing the board flat and making a potato chip with parallel faces. The first pass, or three, may not hit the whole board, so you may need to push it through.


Just curious, how you support the center of the concave side of the board, if you have this side down?
Seems the feed rollers would press the board down, if not supported. I have done it, by putting the right thickness shim, under the concave area, and hot glueing the board down.

I've thought of trying to plane a cupped board, concave side down, by, backing off the feed roller pressure, and taking a few light cuts, to see if it wouldn't flatten the board and produce the potato chip cut.

#17 Particle Board

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 09:19 AM

I find it easier to just use mdf and carpet tape. Example: I have a 12" jointer and a 20" planer so about 19.5 is the max, thats 7.5" extra. First face joint half the board. Then edge joint the same side, the rabbet should be tall enough to clear the fence in most cases. Carpet tape on a piece of 3/4" mdf to fit the giant rabbet. Install a 3/4+ dado blade in the table saw, set the height to exactly the same as the mdf. Now just cut as if you were making long dados 8 or nine passes and it matches the jointed side. Take it apart and run it throught the planer or drum sander. It works out to be quicker than messing with shims and hot melt glue. If you want to do it in a single pass just cut a single dado and stick a piece of mdf in it with carpet tape and go straight to the planer without the board tipping. (this is best for little jointer and real wide boards).

You can also use your jointer to make a cheater surface to do things like thick slab tables. There is no need to make any fancy leveling jigs.

Don

#18 wdwerker

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 07:31 AM

I find it easier to just use mdf and carpet tape. Example: I have a 12" jointer and a 20" planer so about 19.5 is the max, thats 7.5" extra. First face joint half the board. Then edge joint the same side, the rabbet should be tall enough to clear the fence in most cases. Carpet tape on a piece of 3/4" mdf to fit the giant rabbet. Install a 3/4+ dado blade in the table saw, set the height to exactly the same as the mdf. Now just cut as if you were making long dados 8 or nine passes and it matches the jointed side. Take it apart and run it throught the planer or drum sander. It works out to be quicker than messing with shims and hot melt glue. If you want to do it in a single pass just cut a single dado and stick a piece of mdf in it with carpet tape and go straight to the planer without the board tipping. (this is best for little jointer and real wide boards).

You can also use your jointer to make a cheater surface to do things like thick slab tables. There is no need to make any fancy leveling jigs.

Don


Thanks dwacker! That is an improvement on the planer sled approach. I have flattened some wide live edge walnut slabs using a planer sled/wedges with my 16/32 drum sander. 36 grit sandpaper puts out clouds of dust,Dust Deputy worked like a charm!

#19 franklin pug

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 12:27 PM

Here is another approach - I have used this approach many times.

If I have a board that is only slightly bigger than my jointer (1/2" to 3'4" over size) I run the board over the jointer the way I normally would. This leaves a ridge, as it is over the maximum capacity of the jointer. I then take a #4 smoother and plane off the ridge. Then I flatten again, and plane off the ridge a 2nd time. Normally this is flat enough to begin power planing
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#20 Particle Board

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 01:11 PM

Here is one i did this morning with jointer and dado. Turned out pretty good.
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