Rigid Jointer


tomwassmer
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Hello Everyone,

I have recently started doing some cabinet work for my brother. He lent me a bunch of his tools to use for this project. Among others, he gave me his jointer. It's the 6' rigid model that they sell at Home Depot. I've been having issues and like to see what you all think. When I run a board through the machine, it joints the first half of it fine and then stops cutting as I get further through the board. If I run it again, the same thing happens and continues to get worse and worse until the thinest part of the board is the end that I start with (I hope that makes sense) and the last part doesn't even come close to hitting the blades. I am suspicious that the infeed table is causing this problem but I don't see any way to adjust the table to be coplaner with the outfeed table. I am fairly new to jointers and am confused as to the cause and fix of this problem! Thanks!

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I also own a Rigid 6" jointer, and I couldn't find anyway to adjust the tables. I asked Rigid, and they said that I should bring it to an approved Rigid service center.

Various people have recommended using shims to adjust the tables, but you'll need a lot of patience for that.

I recommend starting by watching this video, to get an idea of what tools you'll need and what the issues are.

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I had the same problem with the same jointer, and it mostly went away the first time I replaced the knives. When I installed the new knives, I was (very) careful to get them aligned with the outfeed table, so I always assumed that the original problem was because the outfeed table was either too high or too low.

I never was completely sure about any of it, though. Apparently there's more to using a jointer than just shoving a board past the cutters, and I don't claim to have mastered it by any means. See the comments here by Chris Schwarz.

-- Russ

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Thanks for the ideas. Before I used the jointer, I adjusted the blades using a dial indicator similar to the one Marc used in his video (BTW, great video) and am very confident they are set almost perfectly. This experience has definitly showed me that when I am financially ready to purchase my own jointer, I'll make sure the tables are adjustable! I guess I'll start reasearching how to shim the table. I'm guessing the infeed table is sloped toward the blade judging by the way it's cutting. Chip, do you know if there are shims available for this specific purpose or will I have to improvise?

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I haven't done this, so I'm just repeating what I've heard. Someone suggested using feeler gauges as shims, or a set of stacked dado shims. When I realized what a pain it would be, I decided that my tables were close enough.

There are two or three other threads in this forum about the Rigid jointer, so you might want to look around for ideas.

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Tommy, I as well as many others here have had great luck with this jointer and I have never an an issue with it (other than wanting it to grow to 8") Did your brother have any issues with it before he gave it to you and were you guys carefull when you moved it? Did you get the jig for setting the knives with the jointer, because otherwise setting the knives can be a nightmare. As for checking tha tables for co-planer there was a great post about this a while back here http://woodtalkonline.com/topic/2566-jointer-setup-co-planer-trick/. I would recommend (even if you are positive that the knives are all set perfectly) laying a straight edge on the outfeed table and adjusting it so that the knives just catch the straight edge and move it a hair. Rotate your cutter head and make sure each knive does the same. This will check and make sure that the knives are all set the same and that they are set to the outfeed table. I have done this to mine everytime I change my knives for the past 12 years and have never had an issue so it is worth a try. Good luck, welcome aboard, and keep us posted on what you figure out.

Nate

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I have this jointer and started to have problems and kept checking for co-planer and level and sqaure and all that and everything was perfect yet the problem continued. Someone mentioned that it sounded like dull knives. I put some sharp ones in and voila!

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Tommy, i have the same jointer and had the same problem you are describing (cutting tapers). anyways, my problem was alleviated by adjusting the outfeed table. i literally adjusted it a few thousandths and it made all the difference in the world. the best way i have found to do this is to start with a piece of wood with at least one edge that you know is true and straight. place the wood on the outfeed table so just a little bit is hanging over the knives (maybe 4-6"). unplug ur power. rotate the cutterhead by hand. what you want is for the knives to just barely "kiss" the wood and advance it 1/8" or less towards the infeed table. be sure you are getting the same light "kiss" contact on all 3 knives. once you have achieved this, you should be in good shape with this model jointer. i pulled out plenty of hair with this same struggle.

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for all the suggestions. It's been a while since I've looked at this thread. Here's the deal...I redirected my plan to avoid the jointer for now. Yup, I chickened out! Actually, as the cold weather is approaching here in Denver, I decided I had better finish what I started. That being said, five of the 9 cabinets are completely done and delivered back to my brother's place. Now I have some more room in the shop (ok, it's just my garage) to move around and one of these days I'll have no other option but to face the jointer again when I get to the pantry cabinet doors which I know I'll need the jonter for. To be honest, I will say I went back and readjusted the blades using a digital dial indicator I had around. After doing that,I noticed the material feeds through much smoother now. I'm happy it helped, however it didn't fix the tapering problem. I have noticed in my little use of it since my first post that when I run shorter boards though, it works fine. But with boards maybe 3' and longer, I run into the tapering issue. I'll have to face the thunder one of these days!

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Thinking about this whole problem further makes me wonder what kind of jointer I would want for myself someday. I'm a "buy your last tool first" kind of guy. I think the #1 compaint I hear people mention about their 6 inch jointers is that it's not an 8 inch! So I'd be looking for an 8 incher with adustable tables. Of course after all this I'm not talking about adjustability up and down (which it would obviously have). I'm talking about being able to true up the tables up to each other so they are coplaner. I know the Powermatic that Marc has in his jointer adjustment video is adjustable. Does anyone know of any other brands that are able to be adjusted??? Unfortunately, it would probably be a long time before I could afford a Powermatic (if ever!). I'm thinking maybe a Grizzly-level tool???

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Does anyone know of any other brands that are able to be adjusted??? Unfortunately, it would probably be a long time before I could afford a Powermatic (if ever!). I'm thinking maybe a Grizzly-level tool???

I was considering he Grizzly G0490 when I bought my PM882 (the one from Marc's video). It got constant good reviews online and had the same base level features as the 882 (8" and parallelogram beds.) The parallelogram beds are what gives the 882 the easy adjustability.

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I know the old saying is “you get what you pay for”, so in what way(s) is the PJ882 roughly worth an extra $1,100-$1,200 dollars more than the G0490? I’m not counting the mobile base which would add another $230 to the difference. I’m just trying to learn something here. Please forgive my ignorance.

I was recommending the G0490 as a good cost conscious jointer.

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  • 4 months later...

I know it's been a while, but I'm bringing this thread alive again! I was just using the Rigid jointer earlier today and I'm beginning to think my problem is operator error. I'm wondering if I'm applying pressure in the wrong place(s). I've heard to put downward pressure on the workpiece when it gets to the outfeed table. When I ONLY apply pressure there, I get the tapering like I mentioned earlier in the thread. When I apply some pressure to the piece on the infeed table as well as the outfeed, there is no tapering but the board does not get straight. If I understand the way a jointer works, it makes sense to me that it wouldn't get straight, especially with a softwood that will bend, like pine (that is what I'm using) as I'm pushing it through. When I watch Marc use his jointer, it looks like at least a little pressure is applied on the infeed. I hope all that makes sense. I should also add that I don't have much trouble with edge jointing. The pieces I'm working on are a little over 4' long and I'm face jointing them. Please set me straight (ha ha)!

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  • 8 months later...

Tommy - it sounds like your tables are not coplanar. Since the leading edge of the board is being tapered, it could be that the end of the out feed table is too low - as you move the board across the cutter and apply pressure on the out feed side, the board would then tilt up and over the cutter - leading to the trailing edge not getting cut.

If you have a good straightedge, put it across both tables to check.

If you don't, you can use a fine string (fishing line works) strung from corner to corner or end to end to assess for flatness. Marc uses this technique in his video on how to flatten a bench - go to the 11:00 mark http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/videos/flattening-workbenches-and-wide-boards-with-a-router/

You can raise the string at each end or corner with identical pieces of something (a scrap, a feeler gauge, a nickel, etc) and you should then get the exact same gap along the entire length of string. Once you watch the video it might make more sense and give you and idea of what I mean.

I wouldn't count on the string method to complete the adjustments of the tables but it might give you a good indication as to whether or not they are really out of alignment.

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Here's an idea that might help. Take a board that's already straight, about four feet long. Measure the thickness of the board about every 6" and mark it on the board. Put a mark about halfway down the board.

Run it through the jointer face down. Only put pressure on the infeed side, until the mark is over the blades. Then, only put pressure on the outfeed side for the rest of the board.

Re-measure the thickness, and note how much wood was removed at each point.

Here's what I'm thinking:

  • If the tables are not coplaner, then each half be good (ie, the same amount removed at all points in that half), but the two halves will meet at an angle around where you switched from infeed to outfeed.
  • If the blades are too high, then the first half will be straight (when the pressure was on the infeed and the outfeed side was above the table), but the second half will be tapered.
  • If it's something else, then at least we have more clues.

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Ok. I thought we exhausted all possibilities to fix my problem. I was just browsing some threads and I had a thought that has led me to what is probably a REALLY stupid question. Here goes. Does jointing boards that are longer than the infeed table cause issues?

yes, this can up the difficulty quotient significantly. this is especially true if some of the board is hanging off the end of the out feed as you are running it over your knives. you want to run the board through in the smiley face orientation so that you are enlarging the flat spot created on the bottom with each pass. don't run it through as a frown because the ends won't contact the table at the same time since it's too long and this will throw off the entire process.

I( <----- run like this I) <-----not like this

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