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What You Can Do With Jointers

Aug 18, 2007
When there's some stock that has to be cut, the tool that usually comes into mind is a saw. But you can go wrong when thinking that. A saw and any other tool at that will not work unless one of the stock's edges is flat. Thus, you must have a jointer to easily help flatten the surfaces.

How a jointer works

A jointer is known as a long carpenter's plane used to shape the edges of boards so they fit together. It works just like a cutter head that can rotate with at most three blades in the middle of two flat tables. The first table is an infeed while the second is an outfeed. The stock is forced to the first table, past the cutting head and then onto the outfeed table. As you can see, the outfeed table has an equal height of the cutting head's top. However, the height of the infeed table should be adjusted according to how much of the material had to be trimmed off. To aid in the placement of a square edge, the jointer comes with a fence.

Jointer's Safety Precautions

Jointers' cutting heads may have covers over them; however you must not take these things for granted. You must always ensure that any part of your body especially your hands and your clothes as well are kept far from the cutting heads. For your added safety, use a push-stick or a paddle in jointing stocks that are too thin. Always read and follow the safety rules found in instruction manuals accompanying the jointers. Wear the necessary hearing protection and safety glasses. When using a jointer, always wait for its motor to go into full speed. Do not begin cutting unless the motor is at full speed.

How to operate a jointer

Apply a downward pressure lightly to the stock upon feeding it to the cutting head. Then after the stock has passed through the cutting head, stir so that your weight is put forward and with your left hand, put the stock in the outfeed while letting the board move ahead. As the end of the stock nears the cutting head, move out the right hand and place it on the stock in the outfeed table making sure that the hand is nowhere near the blades. Just keep the board moving until everything passes through the cutter. Then finally, bring up the stock safely and back to starting position again for the second or more passes.
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