Popular Woodworking 2001-10 № 124, страница 38

Popular Woodworking 2001-10 № 124, страница 38

jointers ]—

Some people say you don't need a jointer. Don't believe them. A jointer will ensure all your stock is square and true, the first step to tight joints and square projects.

If your woodworking involves solid

lumber, you need a jointer. Don't let anyone tell you different. As lumber becomes harder to find in widths greater than 6", your woodworking will continue to require more glued-up panels. To make these correctly you need a jointer.

Need more proof? A jointer will pay for itself because you'll be able to buy rough-sawn lumber at a discount and surface it yourself. Even if you do buy expensive surfaced lumber you still need a jointer. Surfaced lumber can be as cupped, twisted or bowed as rough stuff. Add to all this the fact that the jointer can cut rabbets, tapers, bevels and chamfers and a jointer becomes a necessity.

Jointers can be divided into three categories: benchtop models, 6" and 8" floor models and floor models that are 12" and wider. The size is the width of the cutterhead. We consider benchtop models to be too limited in performance, and 12" models are a luxury. Anything wider than 8" is for commercial shops.

Benchtop Jointers

Benchtop jointers frequently use universal motors, making them somewhat underpowered for the task. The fences and tables are shorter than

on floor models, making accuracy more difficult. In short, we find them limited in application. If space is driving you to a benchtop, buy a 6" model and build outfeed and infeed tables. If it's a money thing, save your pennies to buy a floor model.

There are situations where a smaller benchtop jointer is appropriate. If your woodworking involves smaller pieces such as jewelry boxes, humidors or intarsia, a benchtop jointer can adequately do the job for under $300.

Floor Model Jointers

For the great majority of woodworkers we recommend a floor model jointer. Six-inch-width jointers are the most popular machine, providing reasonable capacity and price. If you have the means to purchase an 8" machine, we highly recommend it. The greater width can be a real advantage, allowing you to use wider lumber. Plus the bigger machines have longer tables.

Six-inch jointers are available with either an open-frame base or an enclosed cabinet. The open frame will usually save you a few bucks, but the enclosed base offers superior dust collection and a more stable machine. Costing between $325 and

SHOPPING GUIDELINES

for jointers

• Buy at least a 6" machine; an 8" is the better choice.

• Longer beds handle longer boards. Get the longest you can afford.

• Make sure the fence is true. If it's not, return it.

• Look for jackscrew adjustments for the knives. This will save time and effort.

• The more knives, the better the cut.

$750, the 6" models offer 3/4 or 1 hp motors and bed lengths ranging from 42" to 66".

Eight-inch jointers all include enclosed bases and cost between $675 and $2,400. Bed lengths range from 64" to 86", while motor sizes fall between IV2 and 2 hp.

The Case for Handwheels

One critical feature on jointers is how you adjust the infeed table, which determines the depth of cut. Most every jointer uses either levers or hand wheels. Hand wheels are a more precise method, allowing the user to expect that a half-turn on the wheel will increase the depth of cut by V64". Levers are more subjective but are faster and can provide smoother adjustment on heavier in-feed tables. Some personal preference is involved in choosing an adjustment mechanism. Many woodworkers don't consider the accuracy of depth of cut on a jointer very important. The idea is to put a straight edge or flat face on the board. Sizing the board is the responsibility of a planer or table saw.

Knives: More is Better

Jointer cutterheads have two, three or four knives, depending primarily on the width of the machine. Generally, the more knives, the smoother the cut. Having more knives increases the life span between sharp-enings and pretty much makes it easier to put a nice surface on the board. The rpms involved will also affect the smoothness of cut (the higher the rpms, the smoother the cut).

Benchtop models are the only

10 Popular Woodworking October 2001

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