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Thread: How do I remove bow from board using jointer?

  1. #1
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    How do I remove bow from board using jointer?

    OK, shop is finally stocked with lots of wonderful Grizzly tools: G0690 TS, G0490 8" jointer, G0453Z planer. Now I need to figure out how to use them to make cabinets. My first challange is removing about 1/16" bow from a 4' length of S2S 13/16" stock which will be used for door stile/rails. The finished flat board must be 3/4" thick. What is the best approach? Also, I'm now wondering why I purchased the planer if I'm going to be using the jointer to remove bow from 13/16" stock. Seems that the process of removing bow on the jointer is going to leave me, if I'm lucky, a 3/4" thick board. So where does the planer come into play? Should I have not bought the planer for my cabinet making projet?

    Any advice on how to remove the bow from the board is appreciated.

    Thanks-
    Scott Vroom

    If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    Bernard Baruch

  2. The planer comes into play for facing the other side... You'll want to run the board with the bow facing DOWN over the jointer (bows make you frown... keep the board the same way).. Once the bowed edges are knocked down and the one face is flat, you then run it through the planer to knock the remaining hump out of it and finish it to final thickness.

    This is a pretty good rundown of working with rough cut lumber. Also applies to finish milling lumber before use.

    http://all-wood-working-plans.com/mi...re-lumber.html
    Last edited by Scott Hildenbrand; 11-17-2009 at 5:39 PM.

  3. #3
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    bow

    Quote Originally Posted by scott vroom View Post
    OK, shop is finally stocked with lots of wonderful Grizzly tools: G0690 TS, G0490 8" jointer, G0453Z planer. Now I need to figure out how to use them to make cabinets. My first challange is removing about 1/16" bow from a 4' length of S2S 13/16" stock which will be used for door stile/rails. The finished flat board must be 3/4" thick. What is the best approach? Also, I'm now wondering why I purchased the planer if I'm going to be using the jointer to remove bow from 13/16" stock. Seems that the process of removing bow on the jointer is going to leave me, if I'm lucky, a 3/4" thick board. So where does the planer come into play? Should I have not bought the planer for my cabinet making projet?

    Any advice on how to remove the bow from the board is appreciated.

    Thanks-
    Scott H's advice is dead on. The challenge will be if you ned to remove more than 1/16" to remove the bow. If so, your final board thickness will be less than the 3/4" you want.

    This is one of the benefits of buying rough lumber. Not only will you save a few dollars by not having your supplier surface two or even three sides for you, but you'll have extra wood available to remove to make it flat and square.

    Rough 4/4 stock is typically 15/16 or so. Even if your lumber yard doesn't carry rough stock, they can often get it for you. I always buy rough when I can get it.

    Regards,

    John

  4. #4
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    You stand a better chance of preserving more thickness if there's anything yo can do to cut down to shorter lengths before jointing/planing.
    Use the fence Luke

  5. This is true... Unless you're doing huge doors, you could cut it down.. Or use that board strictly for the rails and pick a better one for the stiles. Else you'll end up taking off an 8th of an inch (given the bow is 1/16th.. That's a 16th per side milled) and won't be able to stay within the 3/4" mark.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Harden View Post
    Rough 4/4 stock is typically 15/16 or so.
    ??? Not where I am. If it's rough and sold as 4/4, it has to be an honest 4/4. Most of the common domestic species are often sawn "heavy" and will actually measure an extra 1/16th. Walnut seems to be an exception, it's usually spot on. I believe most states weights and measures regulations cover this, and since so much lumber is shipped across state lines, there are federal laws or regs concerning it, also. Dimensioned lumber is another story.

  7. #7
    First, cut your stock close to final dimension.
    Then it should be easier to true the smaller boards.
    If a board is bowed, I run one end into the jointer until I hear that the blades aren't hitting. I repeat from the same end a few time, until the blades stop hitting about 1/3 of the way down the board. Then I turn the board end for end and repeat with the other end. You should now have two flats that will help the board ride nicely. Run the board completely through until you hear that the knives surfaced the entire face of the board.
    You can also inspect by leaving the board on the outfeed table of the jointer. If there are no visible gaps, you are done.
    Go to planer and surface the other side.
    Return to jointer and square and edge by running the face up against the fence.
    Go to tablesaw and rip your fourth side square. I tend to rip this over size and cleanup at the jointer.

    If the board is twisted, life gets more interesting. You have to hold the board at the same orientation as you pass it through so that you end up with two parallel flats on either end of the board. You can't rock the board as you joint it. Sometimes I will use a small shim on the end of the board to keep it from rocking and only joint the front for a few passes. Then once I have a good size flat at the front, I can use that flat to register the board and keep it from rocking.

    Make sure you don't push down on the board too hard and change it's shape. In an ideal world the board would have no downward force as it passes over the jointer blades. Just glide it over, but you have to have enough of a handle on it so that it doesn't get tossed off the jointer.

    I have push pads that I use and I usually hook one over the end of the board to keep it moving forward. I use the front hand to just keep the board on the table, but no pushing down very much at all.

    Once a good amount of the board is on the outfeed table, if there is a flat to register on, I will transfer all my pushing to the outfeed side. If the board is registered nicely on the outfeed, you can push down pretty hard there as you won't change the shape of the board.

    As you can see I frequently work the two ends of the board separately. I found this was the best way to keep from ending up with a board that was severely tapered and then when you go to the planer you end up with 3/32" instead of 3/4". You just have to think it through and make a plan.

    Maybe practice on some 2x6 junk before you go at with the good hardwood.

    Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
    Last edited by Robert Reece; 11-17-2009 at 8:47 PM.

  8. #8
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    I just tried the method of face jointing the ends (cup facing down until I've achieved blade contact the entire length of the board.....the result is a very flat board! I then planed the hump out of the top and voila, a 4-square board.

    I called MacBeth Hardwoods in San Francisco this afternoon and it turns out they're a major supplier in the Bay Area of rough 4/4 wood (15/16"). Their price for red oak is $2.24/bd ft 6-10" wide stock and $3.06/bd ft for Maple 4-6" wide stock.

    Thanks again for sharing your ideas....there's no substitute for the real life experience of folks willing to share! That's what makes this forum so awesome. I'm about to become a contributor and donate....money well spent.
    Scott Vroom

    If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    Bernard Baruch

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by scott vroom View Post
    I just tried the method of face jointing the ends (cup facing down until I've achieved blade contact the entire length of the board.....the result is a very flat board! I then planed the hump out of the top and voila, a 4-square board.
    Excellent. You are about to begin taking a whole new approach to how you choose "pieces" of your project. Once I got on the jointer/planer trail I found I could now find the figure I was after somewhere in a board and mill the shape I wanted regardless of where the mill put the straight edges.

    http://www.finewoodworking.com/subsc....aspx?id=30040
    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -- George Orwell


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott vroom View Post
    I just tried the method of face jointing the ends (cup facing down until I've achieved blade contact the entire length of the board.....the result is a very flat board! I then planed the hump out of the top and voila, a 4-square board.

    I called MacBeth Hardwoods in San Francisco this afternoon and it turns out they're a major supplier in the Bay Area of rough 4/4 wood (15/16"). Their price for red oak is $2.24/bd ft 6-10" wide stock and $3.06/bd ft for Maple 4-6" wide stock.

    Thanks again for sharing your ideas....there's no substitute for the real life experience of folks willing to share! That's what makes this forum so awesome. I'm about to become a contributor and donate....money well spent.
    Scott,

    Years ago in my wood shop class in JR. High and HS wood shop class my teacher made us memorize these steps before we could touch anything, we worked with nothing but rough cut lumber.

    1. Smooth the first face (jointer)
    2. Smooth the first edge (jointer)
    3. rip to width + 1/16" (table saw)
    4. smooth second edge (jointer)
    5. smooth second face, planing to thickness (planer)
    6. cut about 1/8" off one end squaring end (table saw)
    7. cut second end to length (table saw)

    30 years later, it still works perfectly for a perfect 4 square board..Hope this helps.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Willard View Post
    ??? Not where I am. If it's rough and sold as 4/4, it has to be an honest 4/4. Most of the common domestic species are often sawn "heavy" and will actually measure an extra 1/16th. Walnut seems to be an exception, it's usually spot on. I believe most states weights and measures regulations cover this, and since so much lumber is shipped across state lines, there are federal laws or regs concerning it, also. Dimensioned lumber is another story.
    Jeff, I think one will find that this practice varies widely. Most of the sawmills that I buy from sell their wood locally and probably do not feel constrained by any regulations - particularly if the word "government" is associated with it! 4/4 means whatever it says on my tape measure. I always measure the wood, and do not rely on representations.

    I think, and I could be wrong, that the term "4/4" actually comes from the original cut, and the dried lumber will often measure 15/16.

    Most of what I buy in the rough (green) is usually cut oversize by 1/16 - 1/8" and measures 1 1/16 - 1 1/8".
    Last edited by John Keeton; 11-18-2009 at 8:03 AM.

  12. #12
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    Several comments were made about cutting the board close to final length. This is true, but if your planer does any sniping, be sure to leave several inches extra on each end. I know this sounds obvious, and it is, but often the obvious is overlooked.
    "Non illegitimis corborundum"

  13. #13
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    Scott,

    This board is a great resource for all sorts of questions regarding woodworking, but I get the sense that you bought a shop full of equipment before having a basic grounding in the craft (hey, we all start out not knowing anything.)

    Consider enrolling in a local woodworking class, or finding a more experienced woodworker you can volunteer with a couple of days a week, to develop some familiarity with shop practice and tools. This machinery, after all, is powerful and is more dangerous if you're not comfortable with it.

  14. #14
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    I agree with Frank, if your uncomfortable with using or do not understand how to properly operate anything, please enroll in a woodworking class. Like in my earler post I have been doing this since Jr. High school I am now in my 40's and still learning new things everyday. After I graduated HS and did not have my own home or money to put a shop together, I was lucky that my local HS had "night school" classes I could attend 3 days a week for woodworking. I did this for almost 5 years until I was lucky enough to build my own shop. Check with your local High school and find out if they offer woodworking as an optional night class. If not, I know places like Woodcraft offer woodworking classes, but IMHO they seem a little steep in price, thats why I have never enrolled in one of their classes, but it is an option. Just remember God gave you 8 fingers and two thumbs for a reason, just don't lose em' because just like my dad hair "it doesn't grow back!" LOL

  15. #15
    If you joint a board with the bow going up (frown), the board will gradually change its angle of attack as the tail end rides up onto the infeed table. This will result in a curved face. Jointing with the bow down (smile) allows the board to remain at what ever angle of attack you start the board in.

    To get the most thickness out of a board without cutting it down to shorter lengths, your board should start out balanced on the crown of the bow. Your first pass will flatten the middle of the board. Each successive pass will lengthen the flattened area towards both ends of the board simultaneously.

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