Woodworking Essentials: Power Jointers


A Better Way to Work: Part 3
By Marc Adams
Pages: 41-56

From the February 2008 issue #167
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One of the very first lessons of working wood is how to “S4S” a board – surface it on all four sides. One small caveat to the process is that the board also be flat and true after the process. There are many ways to get from point A to point B in the S4S process, but in today’s shop you can bet that one of those ways will include the jointer. Edge-joining is the simplest and most common job performed on a jointer and serves both as a way to straighten edges before ripping and as a great way to remove saw marks after ripping to help create an inconspicuous glue line. But it is also an excellent machine to help flatten the face of boards in the beginning of the milling process. Jointers are terrific for removing twist, bow, cup and crook. They can also be used to cut rabbets, chamfers, tapers, spring joints and even tenons. A jointer is nothing more than a stationary version of the handplane, but it will do the job much faster and in most cases more accurately. I can’t imagine how much more energy grandpa put into the S4S milling process, but for me today it is much easier thanks to the jointer.

Now that we have established that the jointer is one of the most essential tools in the shop, it is important to understand that it is also one of the most dangerous tools as well. Everyone talks about how dangerous table saws are, but if a true hour-by-hour, usage-to-accident ratio were to exist between the two machines, I bet we would find that more people are injured on jointers per hour of usage than on table saws.

Marc Adams Rules for using the Jointer


From the February 2008 issue #167
Buy this issue now