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(Part 2 of 2)

After Sharpening

Put the springs, tension bar, and first knife in place in the cutterhead. Tighten the bolts on the tension bar so that there is no slop in the knife but not tight enough to prevent the knife from floating up and down on the springs.

Place the ruler against the fence on the infeed table and in contact with the magnetic jig or clamp. Rotate the cutterhead so that there is 1/8" between the front of the knife and the ruler. Place a hardwood strip against the fence on the outfeed table leaving a ½" space between the edge of the strip and the opening in the table where the cutterhead is located (photo 6).

Place the piece of Lucite against the hardwood strip and lower the right edge onto the tip of the knife. While pressing the knife into the cutterhead, slowly move the Lucite toward the ruler until contact is made (photo 7). Put a good portion of your weight on the Lucite as you begin to tighten the tension bolts. Start with the center bolt and work your way outward (photo 8). To prevent the knife from "creeping" do not tighten each bolt in one pass. I prefer to tighten each bolt with 4 passes of increasing pressure (again, always working from the center).

Check For Creep

This section will help you determine if the knife crept while the tension bolts were tightened. Though the photo's only show my left hand, this part requires both hands (I had to snap the picture with the other hand).

While holding the cutterhead firmly against the ruler, hold the Lucite at a 45 degree angle to the jointer bed and slide it across the outer most part of the knife edge (the side closest to you) as shown in photo 9. Look for a tiny peeling of Lucite coming from the knife edge. Now, flip the Lucite piece over and slide it (at 45 degrees) along the inner most part of the knife edge. Again, look at the peeling (photo 10). If the two peelings are remotely close in thickness (not length) you have successfully set the first knife. On the other hand, if one side has a heavy peeling and the other side has a light peeling (or none at all), the knife has crept and you will need to loosen the tension bolts and start over. The only two causes of creeping are

  • tightening the bolts with too few passes or
  • failure to keep the knife against the ruler while tightening the tension bolts

If you have achieved even peelings on both sides of the knife, remove the ruler and continue on to the next knife. If you follow the directions carefully, you should get the knife properly set the first time around.

Click any picture to enlarge

Photo 6

Photo 7

Photo 8

Photo 9

Photo 10

Adjust the Outfeed Table

When all of the knives are set, remove the ruler and place the Lucite on its edge in the middle of the outfeed table and just over the cutterhead (photo 11). Rotate the cutterhead to see if the knife moves the Lucite. If the outfeed table height is correct, the knife will contact the Lucite but will not move it. Use the outfeed table height adjustment if necessary to bring the table to the correct height.

At this point, the knife setting process is complete. This is a great time to apply a coat of paste wax to the infeed and outfeed table as well as the face of the fence.

Replace the cutterhead guard and plug in the jointer. Remove all tools from the surrounding area. Check the fence for 90 degrees and adjust as necessary.

If you are still wondering about step #1

The reason why the Lucite is "jointed" first is two-fold.

  1. You need a somewhat straight edge when running the Lucite across the fresh knives when you look for the peelings. If the edge is already beveled from previous testing, the peelings may be difficult to get.
  2. Since the Lucite may be a bit abrasive on the jointer knives, the edges of the Lucite should be trued up before the knives are sharpened. This is assuming that the knives are not horribly dull to begin with.

Turn on the jointer and try a few boards. You're done!

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Photo 11







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