View Full Version : Jointing Tools

Feb-10-2004, 10:28pm
Seems I begin all my post with "sorry for such a stupid question..." Let us just assume that I'm sorry from here on out OK?

I'm not only new to mandolin construction but I'm also new to woodworking of any kind. I know this is a woodworking 101 question but could some of you share with me how you prepare your two boards for joining? Specifically what tool are you using? I'm willing to spring for some nice fancy power gadget if I know exactly what to get. I've had average success in the past with a plane but I found it tedious and laborious, mostly due to the fact that my plane is a piece of crapola. Any input is appreciated.

Chris Baird
Feb-10-2004, 10:59pm
Get a jointing plane off ebay and fix it up. I got one at a yard sale and sanded and sanded and sanded it flat. It took me two weeks to true it up but it does the job. I clamp it upside down in my vice and run the billet across it. I should make a shooting board for it. I do have a power jointer that I use to get close. A couple swipes on the power jointer and a couple on the plane and its as good as it gets. A 15 min job.

oldwave maker
Feb-11-2004, 12:07am
Stanley #7 plane, ron hock blade, clifton sheffield capiron, shooting board. surface the bottom of each billet half on a stationary belt sander first. work both halves across shooting board till no sunlight shows thru the center joint with minimal pressure. heat gluing surfaces with heat gun or solar energy, apply fresh hot hide glue to joint surface of 1 half, quickly rub onto other half clamped in vise, hold to count of 20, start carving the next day. worked well for my last 300 or so, except for a couple of failures due to use of unseasoned wood.

Feb-11-2004, 2:27am
Question? How do keep the plane from chewing up your shooting board?

Feb-11-2004, 3:30am
I've never seen anything like that plane before..
It's a beauty!
Thanks for the peek Bill.

Feb-11-2004, 8:41am
"Question? How do keep the plane from chewing up your shooting board?"

Looks to me like the shooting board stays stationary with the plane.

Old Wavemaker... does this method work well on hard maple? Seems to me there would be tearout on a dense piece of quilt. Maybe I don't keep my blades sharp enough?

Brookside... I use a delta stationary belt sander to join my sides. It cost ~$100 but it was worth it. It's not the best method but usually after 15-20 min. of work I can't see any light through my joint. Ideally I've heard power jointers are the best tool for the job. If you had the money to get one you can use it for joining and as a planer to take off wood.

Rave On
Feb-11-2004, 10:02am
I also use a No. 7 jointer. You can buy one new or used. Stanley, Record, Clifton and Lie Nielsen make new ones. Clifton and Lie-Nielsen are fairly expensive (300-400$) and jewelry quality tools. Stanley and Record are about 130$. But its been a while since I looked at prices. I can personally vouch for the high quality of the Record and Lie Nielsen.
If you want to "soup up" a new or used Record or Stanley, you could not do better (IMHO) than to buy a Lie-Nielsen blade and one of the new Lie-Nielsen cap irons.
I use a shooting board (a formica covered book shelf from home depot) with a platform (piece of masonite) that gets to wood off the shootingboard surface and
I move the plane instead of the wood. It's hard to imagine a power tool that would be less trouble or do a better job. I don't know anything about powered jointers and they scare the crap out of me. If you go that route think safety all the time. Rave On

Feb-11-2004, 10:38am
I use a hand plane (#5) for guitar plates, but punt and use a jointer for mando tops and backs. That said, I have a very old jointer, babbet bearings, hundreds of pounds of cast iron, over 3 inch diameter cutter head, and I set it up to near perfection before jointing tops or backs. When this tool has just been set up, a jounted surface on curly sugar maple feels like plate glass. A plane is better, but the jointer is so much easier!

Feb-11-2004, 4:07pm
I would recomend going for a used vintage Stanley either #5 #6 #7 or #8. There are were many series made, some are not rare or very collectable, and can be had
for a third of what a new plane would cost. Make sure that you true up the bottom. The best method for this is to get a piece of sheet glass and put some wet/dry sandpaper on the glass using that as your sanding table. If the blade is sharp, and the frog set correctly you should be able to joint just about any type of wood that you need to.

oldwave maker
Feb-11-2004, 8:10pm
I sharpen the ron hock blade by first truing the back with 220 silicon carbide paper on the bandsaw table, then with the 1200 and 6000 waterstones, then do a single bevel on the other side with the 1200 and 6000. when its freshly sharpened and adjusted for small bites you can produce these 16" x 3/4" x .0015" quilted strips.
Having a fixed shooting board and plane allows you to vary the pressure of the cut on problematical pieces like curved grain, altho some pieces just refuse to be joined, even by a reverend....

Feb-11-2004, 9:51pm
I really appreciate the responses to this inquiry. I'm confident I'm going to go with one of the solutions posted here. Looks like I may get along for cheaper than I figured.

Feb-12-2004, 12:14am
Ah yes...silly me. I looked again and, sure enough--the plane stays stationary. I'm gonnna look for a Stanley #7!

Feb-17-2004, 9:46pm
I ran across this the other day when looking for jointing tools. Looked like a reasonable simple approach. I can't quite affort $100+ planes or power jointers.

Jointing jig (http://ag.arizona.edu/~steidl/RouterJig.html)


Feb-17-2004, 11:12pm
The jointing jig will work. I know people who have done it. The reason it's not the best way to cut a glue joint is the small diameter rotary cutter that is the router bit.
Perhaps I should have explained in my earlier post...where I said I use a jointer but a plane is better... the REASON a plane is better. A rotary cutter leaves a series of arcs cut into the surface whereas a plane leaves a flat surface. The smaller the diameter of the cutter, the lower the "quality" of the glue surface.
Obvoiusly, when planing a porous material like wood, you can't get a perfect glue joint no matter how you cut it, and I'm not trying to discourage the use of the jig you mentioned. I just thought a brief explanation might be in order. By the way this is covered excellently by Bruce Hoadly in the book Understanding Wood.

John Bertotti
Feb-18-2004, 2:25pm
For the difficult woods to plane I use a power tool like a table top jointer set real thin so the shavings blowing out are like powder, almost, then I take my #7 record with a blade so sharp I could shave with it, set up the shooting board and within two to four passes, with the depth so thin you can look through the shaving, its ready to glue. This has always worked for my curly maple. My shhoting board by the way is the #7 clamped to my table saw table and a 1/2 inch ply between the table and the maple. The ply has to be sanded real smooth. I drag the maple across it. If I get lucky and the joint looks great off the table saw I still hand plane it like above for two passes. John

Jim Hilburn
Feb-19-2004, 10:40am
I'm glad this thread came along when it did, because I've gotten in the habit of using my trusty old Delta 50's vintage jointer. But I have some red maple that is SO curly,it just won't go through without tearout.
So I dug out my old Bailey #5, and started checking it out. It has some problems. The sole is flat,but not square to the sides, so I'm trying to get it squared up. I realize I know a LOT more about sharpening now than I used to , and the first shot with this thing yielded great results. So I'm on my way back to the old world.

Chris Baird
Feb-19-2004, 11:24am
For planing really figured wood I have a blade for my jointing plane that has a 45 degree bevel and I use it upside down in the plane. It is like a mix between a scraper and a normal planing cut. You can only take off very thin shavings but it will never tear out the grain and leaves a very smooth surface for jointing with no high and low spots created by grain changes.

Feb-23-2004, 1:59pm
I hope I'm not too late to make a recommendation. #If you follow this link [URL=http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?page=32684&category=1,41182&ccurrency=2&SID=]it will take you to the Lee Valley website where they have the plane that I use. #It is by Veritas, and it works beautifully. #It is brass (which looks nice) and is equipped with a blade that has the bevelled side up, just like a low angle block plane, so you can make gossamer slices. #Keep it razor sharp, take small cuts, and you can get perfect joints. #In US dollars, it is $125, and you can get it through www.leevalley.com.