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leveling a jointer

 
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guzziguy



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 798
Location: Western NC

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:32 am    Post subject: leveling a jointer Reply with quote

anybody out there have tips on getting the beds level on an oliver jointer?

I got myself a 6' straight edge a stool and am ready to go.

j
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nektai



Joined: 17 Dec 2004
Posts: 1019
Location: Long Island, NY

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no direct oliver experience but I imagine you would start the usual way...Level the cutterhead, level the frame and make sure the machine is sitting on all of its feet. In other words make sure the machine is level and stress free before you move on to the beds.
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swparish



Joined: 11 Sep 2007
Posts: 35
Location: Ft. Worth TX

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea I got a 166 and itís a bitch. I did what Nico said with a Hilger & Watts level accurate to .001 in 10 in. There were many things that contributed to it not working. The most detrimental was that the place it was setting wasnít even close to level and for various reasons I didnít want to make it so. So, I jacked it up until the head was level planning on adjusting the tables and then just lowering it back down. Yea, right. My level didnít have an attachment to allow it to set on a round surface, so with my shop made jig I wasnít sure if it was indeed level, but I figured ďHey .001 in 10 itíll be close Ďnuf.Ē Anyway, long story short, it didnít work. Iím pretty sure the thing twisted when I set it back down, and it was bad . One side cut zero and the other side cut 1/8Ē. But with 16 inches, no need to move the infeed up and down, just slide the fence over to adjust depth of cut. And once you got used to itÖ.. Who am I kidding, it sucked. Square was a dubious concept and I had to keep flipping the board just so one edge wouldnít taper to nothing, hoping the tearout wouldnít be so bad this time.

But now Iím new and improved. I forgot about level. The only thing that really matters is that the knives and the tables are in parallel planes. I decided to make the outfeed closest to the knives my reference plane and everything else is set to that. I set the knives and then got out the laser. The laser I have is a cheap Craftsmen that shoots a horizontal beam. The beam is huge for this but I just tried to find the center. Anyway, laser on a stool and adjust it until it hits the same spot on the combo Starrett setting on either side of the outfeed by the knives. Then adjust the wedges at the end of the out feed until they hit the same spot. Jack up the infeed until one corner hits the spot and adjust the other wedges. Itís just that simple. Not really. Some pointers: you may have to adjust the wedges under your reference point, because when you start messing with the others your reference may not be your reference anymore. Whatever you do donít bump the stool the laser is setting on or youíll have to start all over. Turn the Starrett so the laser just hits the edge. Thatís a lot of light reflecting back at your eyes and it starts to vibrate making it hard to tell where it is. Make sure you start out with the level close to the height of the tables or youíll be adjusting things way up in the air or towards the ground.

Anyway, it works now. It may not be perfect, but Iíll never know. I donít make endless passes over my jointer and very rarely am I using all 16 inches. As for Nicoís stress free thing; How do you know? Can you ask it? Or do you have to roll a fattie and put on some new age music?

Hope this helps or at least was amusing.

Stephen
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nektai



Joined: 17 Dec 2004
Posts: 1019
Location: Long Island, NY

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could use a good de stressing myself!! I agree with your point...How do you know when it is stress free.

I am VERY curious about this laser technique. Could you post a link to your craftsman or post specs so I can have an idea about the accuracy vs real world performance.

Finally, I think I once heard a story about a guy in Texas who used abrasive powder to lap the machined parts on his Oliver Jointer. Any truth to that story?
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crzypete



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 1691
Location: New York State

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have adjusted the beds to a number of oliver 166 jointers. I am a fan of the straight edge, but you will need a decent level as well.

Step 1. Turn power off to the machine. Pull the tables away from the cutterhead and make sure there is no twist in the body of the machine. You do this by placing a level across the body. It does not have to be level, just make sure both sides are giving you the same reading. This is most important as I have seen a twisted machine which was aligned perfectly with a straight edge with the tables up, but when the infeed was lowered to cutting position is was following the twist and thus was no longer cutting true. The only way to adjust this is by shimming the feet from the floor. Hopefully you need no adjustment. Slide the beds back into position once you are done with this step

Step 2 is setting the outfeed table true to the cutterhead. I like to have the table set to its normal height so I use a feeler gage of appropriate thickness to get it right. Front to back doesn't matter in this case, you just want to get it right side to side and make sure there is no twist. You check twist by putting your level diagonally across the table, It should sit flat.

Step 3. Set the front table. At this point I try not to adjust the outfeed table. I bring the infeed up to it's level using a very short straight edge near the cutterhead and I begin adjsuting the gibs until it is correct. The best trick I have found is to use small squares of paper under the straightedge at four contact points. The paper squares are much easier to read than trying to sight light underneath the straight edge. they have a feel to them and make judging things easy. Dial the front table to the back and make sure there is no twist.

Step 4. Set the knives using the outfeed table as reference. Make sure the knives are set well and they clear the tables.

Step 5. Set the height of the outfeed table in relation to the knives. I think this is most common problem with jointers. I like to turn the machine on and backfeed a board to see how the knives are cutting- They should just contact the board.

Drop you infeed table and take some cuts. You should be good to go.

Pete
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guzziguy



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 798
Location: Western NC

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the advise.

Pete I am not sure I understand the step 2 process you described.

can you clarify?
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crzypete



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 1691
Location: New York State

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Step 2 concerns getting the table in plane with the cutterhead. It needs to be in plane over the 16" dimension, but the long way is rather arbitrary- just can't be twisted.

P
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guzziguy



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 798
Location: Western NC

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

and if it is twisted then i need to do the paper straight edge dance from cutter head out?
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swparish



Joined: 11 Sep 2007
Posts: 35
Location: Ft. Worth TX

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now you see, I was feeling all good about myself for figuring out a way to do this without losing my sanity, and then Pete comes along and tells us how to do it right. I didnít have a nice long straight edge so this method was the best I came up with.

I never thought about the beds following the twist of the machine. It makes sense, so Iíll have to check it.

In step 3, are you getting the beds in the same plane by spanning the cutterhead gap between the beds? I donít understand the ďfour contact pointsĒ.

One other thing about setting the outfeed to the cutterhead and then set the knives to the outfeed, the cutting edge of the knife is in the same relationship to the chip breaker assuring the same quality of cut along the entire length. A=B, B=C, A=C

Backfeeding is the best method for adjusting outfeed. You should hear the knives hitting but not actually see a cut.

The most important thing is patience. Skip the fattie but do put on some music and some comfy clothes, maybe pjís.

Yes Nico, the story is true. My father had some silicon carbide powder in various grits from a DIY telescope project that never got completed. My Oliver was in pretty bad shape. It has a USAF tag on it and the guy I got it from said he thought it had been on an aircraft carrier. Anyway it got a little crazy. I broke it completely down and EVERY part that had the telltale signs of machining got the treatment. A little powder, a little lubricant, put the parts together and move them back and forth. It was a thing of beauty. Pete would have been proud.

Hereís the link to the laser.
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00948251000P?vName=Gifts&keyword=laser+level

I think the laser concept is a good one for many applications. The problem is for our work the light needs to be a very small beam. I tried cutting a slit in a piece of foil in front of the laser, but it diffused most of the light and the light that did get through wasnít bright enough. Iím sure you could get a laser that has the requisite beam size, but I guess they are pricey. Anyway figuring that the beam is a cone, and further away from the source the larger the cone but the center remains the same, I just tried to find the center of the beam.

Itís good to see you guys. Both of your studios are sweet and Iím green.

Stephen
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guzziguy



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 798
Location: Western NC

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I THINK I DID IT..

the true test will be to face 2 7'x 12/4 boards and clamp them together. for now i just edge jointed a couple of long 4/4 boards and put them together and it looked pretty good.

i tried the feeler guage technique but didn't like it. I put a piece of paper on the cutterhead and a couple on the outfeed and used a 12" straight eged to line up the outfeed table. I did the same for the infeed table. then I took a couple of winding sticks (straight edges/parallels) and checked for any twists. Which i did indeed have and adjusted the rear gibs accordingly.

Tonight I will try and remove some of this stress with a glass of patron (maybe two, it's my birthday)
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crzypete



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 1691
Location: New York State

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome, Glad it is working!

Steve, If your machine works, don't go to check level on the body, you don't want to know. The case which I found the twist was an extreme one and it has become the first step that I take with these machines, but as the old saying goes, If it ain't broke......

As to the four contact points- I use a square of paper near the cutterhead and at the end of each table- basically over the adjusting gibs. It gives you a feel.

I had forgotten the lapping story, very funny and good memory Nektai.

Pete
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guzziguy



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 798
Location: Western NC

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for all the helpful. My jointer is back and running and seems to be doing a good job.
Checking for the table twist was a bit of a challenge, I think my eyes are going. I found that if the 12" rule that is between the white wall and the nearest 12" rule was a different color would really helped. next time I will put some red or yellow dye on it.

leveling with The paper trick is the way to go. no eyes needed.
i spanned the 6' straight over the outfeed table, cutter head nad in feed table and put pieces of paper on several spots. I raised and lowered the gibs until I did not have any loose papers. I did this on the far on both side of the jointer near the fence and away from the fence.

Then I placed the straight edge on the infeed table so that it made contact with the cutter head and the start of the outfeed table. I made sure the pieces of paper were not moving and the i made sure I did not have any twist on either tables by placing two parallels on the table first on the outfeed, then the infeed.

The whole thing took a couple of hours.

I jointed the face of two pieces of 12/4 lumber about 8" wide and 6' long and placed them together and there was no gap to speak of.

I'm glad it's over.
now I can get back to work.
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