Sunday, December 19, 2010

More tests

I put the jointer-planer through its paces this morning and got some good results and some so-so results. First, the so-so results. I finally figured out how to lock down the jointer fence, so using my machinists square I set it up as close to perpendicular to the tables as I could make it given that the surface of the fence isn’t flat. I tried a few passes of that same butternut board, adjusted the fence and tried a few more passes. Whatever I did, I just couldn’t get it to be a perpendicular edge. It was perpendicular on the leading end of the board, but definitely off toward the end of the board. I tested it by holding the board up to a light and running my machinists square along the edge. In some areas I couldn’t really see any light to speak of but toward the end of the board I could definitely see a stripe of light. With the fence locked down, it was just too flexible. I could move it with one finger with almost no effort, so I am sure it moved while I was pushing the wood along it. That’s disappointing, but not a surprise. Looks like I’ll have to keep working on my fence design ideas.

The second test was using the planer. For my first time changing from jointer mode to planer mode, it was kind of slow going but I definitely figured it out soon enough. The planer performed well, with a little snipe but not anything horrible. I’m sure that when I’m more used to it I’ll be able to control that a lot better. The machine produced a flat surface with little tear-out.

The third test was a critical one. With my wife sitting on the couch in our den, I went downstairs to the basement, turned on the machine and took a few passes with the planer. When I came up to check, she said she could definitely hear it but it wasn’t terribly loud. She could still easily hear the TV (Food Network, I believe). So now I can be sure that I won’t disturb her too much when I’m jointing and planing. This is perhaps the most important thumbs up.