legenddc

Jointer bed length

Recommended Posts

I'm curious, is there a rough rule of thumb for jointer bed length to how long of a piece you can typically flatten? I know everyone says avoid the benchtop ones but they have to work up to a certain length. I'm a long way off from getting one soon unless a great deal falls in my lap but want to be prepared ahead of time.

If a benchtop jointer has a 28" bed and a freestanding 6" jointer has a 48" bed or 72" bed what size materials can you work with?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw that where he had it upside down. I'm not looking to get a benchtop jointer was just trying to figure out the differences.

My dad has a 6" jointer with a 45" bed and once my community woodshop opens back up after the pandemic I'll have access to a 12"(?) one if I'm working on something really big.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Tom King said:

Length of board is not limited by the length of the jointer bed.  Longer bed just makes it easier.

A LOT easier, when the boards are really big and heavy. I don't know about the deflection that @Chestnut mentioned, but if a board is twice as long as either the infeed or the outfeed table of my little benchtop jointer, balancing the board as it starts and finishes begins to get sketchy. I feel like that sketchiness goes up exponentially as the difference between the board and bed length increases. Not to mention that the fences on these little jointers are pretty flimsy and small. Honestly, I was more comfortable running mine upside-down along that big oak slab than running a 8' pine 2x4 across it right-side up.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Tom King said:

Length of board is not limited by the length of the jointer bed.  Longer bed just makes it easier.

True. And if it gets hard to handle the long stuff, bed extensions are easy to make & very effective

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless one is building something very long or very tall, where a single stretcher section is required .... and I believe that this is extremely rare ... then a shorter jointer is more likely to be the appropriate machine.

Fact: wood moves, and twists and cups, especially through the drying process.

Flattening long sections will require the removal of more wood than flattening short sections. Solution: always cut the wood into the sections to use, and then flatten them. Do not attempt to flatten the full length of the rough cut stock.

A benchtop jointer would work well for someone building small pieces.

Regards from Perth

Derek  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you think about it, obviously any stock that is not fully supported by the tables or outboard supports will most likely not mill correctly.  A jointer cutterhead does not change plane.  If your material does during the feed you will foul the cut.  Although I wouldn't want to, one could joint long material on a benchtop with adequate outboard supports.  I have a fairly long set of beds on mine and still use supports for anything that is not fully supported on the tables.

579722759_jointlongstock(1).jpg.a89715d2bfd329da5fcaa50c34134437.jpg

2031986098_jointlongstock(2).jpg.662f4dd1706c3d19a7fb8fe488186f43.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent illustration, @gee-dub. The stock should be fully supported alng its entire length and in plane with the beds to achieve a proper cut. Single-point support, like rollers or the extension bars some benchtops have, just don't do the trick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gee-dub

I am curious whether you plan to use that length board, or will cut it up? If cut it up, why not do so before jointing?

Regards from Perth

Derek

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I have a long, heavy board to joint, I use my smallest jointer.  The way the wheels are on it put them closer to the center of gravity.  Not being able to get the extra rollers exactly the right height, I set the roller a little below the outfeed table height, and let the jointer slowly tip over until the board barely touches the roller.  I have a strong helper for this job though.  He helps steady the tail end until I can handle it.

This is sitting with the jointer tipped up.  This was a piece of old Heart Cypress, and heavier than it looks.  I needed 92" pieces out of it, so this is probably just slightly less than 8' long.

My first jointer was an old 3' long 6" Delta.  We jointed 16' long 2x12's on it using a similar method, but that jointer was so small that it didn't need wheels.  We just tipped it on the open stand legs.

 

 

 

CIMG2039.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a long 8" delta that is long enough for me to do what's needed. On the rare occasion I cant manage alone, I have a well trained neighbor that I like better than my roller. I find the roller must be properly aligned to avoid pulling or pushing the wood away from the fence. For me the neighbor is the better tool than the roller.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, curlyoak said:

I have a long 8" delta that is long enough for me to do what's needed. On the rare occasion I cant manage alone, I have a well trained neighbor that I like better than my roller. I find the roller must be properly aligned to avoid pulling or pushing the wood away from the fence. For me the neighbor is the better tool than the roller.

Does your neighbor know you call him a tool behind his back? :lol:

I agree about the roller stands. They're just too fussy to get lined up properly. I made bed extensions for my jointer & that works well.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm blessed with good neighbors. We replace an old fence on the line we share. In a convenient out of the way spot, we installed a gate. A sign of a good neighbor is a gate in the fence that separates us. And you both use the gate. And he really got the knack to hold and receive on the jointer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, drzaius said:

 I made bed extensions for my jointer & that works well.

Happen to have any pics? I'd love to see how you set them up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

Happen to have any pics? I'd love to see how you set them up.

I don't & am at work now, but they are just a length of MDF with reinforcing ribs on the back. One end is secured to the end of the bed, the other end is supported by an adjustable roller stand (with the roller removed) so I can get it perfectly in line with the bed.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.