George Vondriska

Chip-Free Jointing

George Vondriska
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Duration:   1  mins

Using a jointer isn’t as simple as pushing a piece through and hoping for the best, especially when you’re working with pretty, highly figured woods such as birdseye maple, curly maple, and flame birch. There are lots of species that fall into this category, primarily woods that have a lot of figure to them. The figure makes them gorgeous, but they can also be prone to chipping out when the edges are being jointed.

What goes wrong?

It isn’t uncommon for the exit end of the board to chip as it’s passed over the jointer head. Will every highly figured board chip out? There’s no telling. It’s very hard to predict, board by board, which will or won’t chip. This can be very frustrating, and can cost you what would have otherwise been an amazing piece of wood.

What to do?

There’s a very simple solution to this problem. It simply entails making a very short preliminary cut before doing your final pass. No need to leave the board extra long and trip chipped ends off later. The approach you’ll learn in this video will work every time.

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Tips like the one in this video can be the difference between success and failure on your projects. Our staff has MANY cumulative years of woodworking experience, and they love passing that experience along to help you out. As a result, WoodWorkers Guild has more shop tips that are sure to help you be a better woodworker and realize more success in your shop and on your projects.

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4 Responses to “Chip-Free Jointing”

  1. Jay

    While you might not get tear-out, it won't give you a straight, flat, jointing surface. In the video, I could see the mark from that pre-cut. That means it's not flat. The planing angles will be slightly different when you reverse directions in the jointer (you would certainly NOT do this in a planer!). This problem seems to be pretty unique to planing hard maple and it can occur with a planer or jointer and anywhere on its surface, not just the ends. The best ways to prevent it are to: 1) try to plane it with the on-coming grain having a negative slope angle; 2) set jointer or planer to remove not more than 1/128th" per pass (unlike in the video, which obviously for demonstration purposes) and, 3) use a slightly longer piece while anticipating having some waste, which is better than trashing the entire work piece.

  2. Blake W Dozier

    Thank you. I do not have a jointer but I do use my table saw mounted router for jointing. This method eliminates the need for a backer board, which can be a little clumsy. Thanks again.

  3. James Knight

    Thank you. I have always put a scrap peace on it is such a pane!!

  4. John Lund

    Is it possible to use a router table as a joiner? Thank you.

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