If you read part one of our jointer tips series, you learned how to spot errors in your fence and how to eliminate ripples. In part two, you’ll learn more specific tricks that help make your jointer work more efficiently.
Making Tight Butt Joints
Butt joints are one of the most commonly used type of joints, but they can be difficult to make tight. Follow this simple process to make tight butt joints every time:
- Lay the two boards on your bench, end-to-end.
- Attach a few scrap pieces of wood to the boards with brads to hold them together temporarily.
- Run the connected edges through a table saw blade to even them out.
- Now, run your boards through your jointer. They should fit snugly.
Tears are probably the most annoying problem you’ll face when running a jointer. They’ll completely ruin your boards and make them unusable. Thankfully, there is a simple process that you can use to soften the fibers in your boards and prevent tears:
- Place your boards on a flat surface in your garage.
- Dust them off to remove dirt and wood debris.
- Dampen a cloth and wipe it across the surface of the board.
- Wait a few moments to let the water soak into the fibers.
- Now, run your boards through the jointer. The soften fibers will be more pliable and less prone to tears.
Fixing Improperly Fitted Joints
So, you’ve done everything right and your joint just doesn’t fit. The only thing you can do now is take apart your joint and find the problem. This is a highly frustrating process, but can be streamlined by looking for a “shine” on the jointed edges of your wood.
This spot is usually the problem: that “shine” is created by the boards rubbing together improperly. Thankfully, you should be able to plane or sand it down to help it fit properly in your joint.
Hopefully, this series answered most of your jointer questions. While we plan on moving on to new tools over the next few weeks, don’t be surprised if more jointer tips pop up down the line.