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Planer Thicknesser Technique

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stewart

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Can anyone give me some advice about safe practice? When using a push block at the end of a piece of wood how is the wood moved past the guard when the push block meets it? I have in mind the type of guard that is on a lever attached to the side of the outfeed table and that rises over the wood when the wood passes over the cutter block. Sorry if this explanation is a bit muddled - is it clearer to say not the sort that Norm :norm: has on his jointer which looks safer to me, but then again my knowledge is rather limited...
I await words of wisdom
Thanks for help with yet another of my questions!
Enquiringly (and still with 10 digits)
Stewart[/img]
 
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Anonymous

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Stewart,

I'm fortunate that my small :( 4" jointer has the kind of guard that I think you refer to as the one that Norm uses, it swings out of the way as you push the work through. So I can't advise you on how to cope with the guard that I think you have i.e. the sort that the workpiece passes under, and therefore how on earth do you use a push block?

Anyhow, a tip that you may appreciate...

When jointing I use a lumber crayon to strike diagonal marks across the piece at each end and in the middle. When flattening the face I apply very slight downward pressure so that the piece gets its' high points taken off naturally.

After each pass I examine the crayon marks, this gives a good idea of how twisted/cupped the piece is and how far you have to go, when the marks are gone you have a flat face!

cheers
Mitch
 

stewart

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Thanks for the replies Mitch and John
The hand method outlined at the link looks pretty much how I've been doing it but I had the impression using paddles was the best way.

Does anyone know if a Norm style cutter guard can be bought as an add on?
 

Charley

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stewart":2hv0gf4n said:
Does anyone know if a Norm style cutter guard can be bought as an add on?
The guard Norm has is very common on most (if not all) US jointers and is nicknamed the kidney guard. I'm pretty sure it doesn't comply with CE regs ( :roll: ) so that is why it isn't seen much in the UK
 
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Anonymous

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You don't want Norm's guard. The euro style is far better. Once you get used to it, you'll appreciate it.
 

stewart

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thanks for the replies
i'll continue getting used to it and grow to love it!
stewart
 

Noel

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Euro style bridge guard is a total PIA. As far as I recall the "best practice" for this type of guard is to have it positioned over the cutter head and therefore above the stock being machined. This, of course, results in having to lift hands / pads up from the stock and back down again. This, IMO, is not safe practice. This, allied with the guard projecting out from the machine so that it catches the operator whilst moving the timber along, adds up to nothing but hassle. I personally only have the guard covering any exposed part of the cutter head. This way no lifting of the hands and less chance of losing control. The US style kidney guard is waay better but the nannies in HSE / Brussels thought that the spring that returns the kidney guard back over the cutters might just fail.

Noel
 

Chris Knight

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I 100% agree with Noel. These things are downright dangerous in my view. The hand lifting bit throws me off balance at times when I need to be in total control of the wood, you can't use well designed push shoes and the like and it makes it hard to get the best possible surface on the board. It invites shortcuts - in my case I just cover the unused part of the cutter head
 
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I don't think that the euro type guard is neccesarily being used correctly by Noel and Chris.

Clearly, one could lay it across the top of a board and I have seen this many times.
I set mine so that the plastic piece on the end of the guard is positioned against the edge of the board being planed - it is designed to squash slightly (like a finger board) and it pushes the wood against the fence. The body of the guard then covers the area of the blade that is not under the wood and you keep your fingers where they belong. Effectively, this works pretty much like Norm's

Some sort of paddle is a good idea and I use them for flat rather than edge planing
 

Noel

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Tony reckons -

"I don't think that the euro type guard is neccesarily being used correctly by Noel and Chris. Clearly, one could lay it across the top of a board and I have seen this many times"- which leads to lifting hands / push pads and subsequent loss of control.

"I set mine so that the plastic piece on the end of the guard is positioned against the edge of the board being planed - it is designed to squash slightly (like a finger board) and it pushes the wood against the fence" - The bridge guard was never designed to act like a feather board and expecting it to do so is beyond its capabilities and hence not safe. Even more unsafe when planning non parallel boards.

The point Chris and I made about the kidney guard was that it is self adjusting and inherently much safer whereas the PIA bridge guard needs constant adjustment and setting up.

Noel
 
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Noel":2qs3h5hf said:
The bridge guard was never designed to act like a feather board and expecting it to do so is beyond its capabilities and hence not safe. Even more unsafe when planning non parallel boards.


Noel
Noel, I think your comment that 'bridge guard was never designed to act like a feather board ' is over generalised and, for my P/T at least, incorrect. Clearly for non-parallel boards there would be problems.

The design of the bridge guard on my P/T does have a compressible plastic featherboard at the end which is DESIGNED to place a small force against the wood, thus holding it against the fence.

Sure there are at least two ways of using the guard and non-parallel boards will not work the way I use the guard - but then i don't plane non-parallel boards, I ripsaw them first

The way I described above is the way I work and I feel that it is safer than placing the guard above the timber and lifting your hands off of the board which with my method of work, one does not have to do :wink:
 

Philly

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Interestingly (or Not :roll: ), whilst trawling the US forums, the Yanks seem to wish they had Euro style guards while we Brits seem to wish we had the Yank style. Maybe a case of the grass is always greener? :wink:
For the record, my Jet jointer has the Euro guard. Love it or hate it a jointer with no guard is an accident waiting to happen.
Cheers
Philly :norm:
 

Noel

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Good point Tony - work the way you feel safe.
Didn't agree with your point that Chris and I were'nt using the guards properly.
I suspect your guard has the soft plastic to ensure a snug contact with the board so that the cutter is completely covered rather than being designed as a feather board. What make is it?
With regard to non parallel boards I meant boards that were already ripped and milled to be non parallel.
 

RogerS

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When I first read the thread on the correct way to use the Euro guard I thought 'oops' as I'd not used mine as they 'recommend' and was thinking about retraining myself.

Then I read Noel's and Chris's comments and was delighted to see that they use the guard the same way that I'd been using all along. And Tony's comment about using it in the way that makes you feel safe.....so if it's good enough for those guys.................
 
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Noel":jxyjfufb said:
Didn't agree with your point that Chris and I were'nt using the guards properly..
Yes, that was very badly phrased and doesn't read as intended #-o :oops:

apologies to both :wink:

Mines the SIP copy of the EB
 

Aragorn

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Just start by saying that I don't mind at all how you use your euro style planer guards, but thought I'd balance up some of these comments with my own.
Noel":30lcqa7q said:
As far as I recall the "best practice" for this type of guard is to have it positioned over the cutter head and therefore above the stock being machined.
Half right. The guard covers the wood when face planing only. At the beginning and end of the cut this means that none of the blade is exposed. When face planing wide pieces especially, doing it your way is a big risk because so much whirlying blade is exposed. (I know, you guys are not exactly likely to set your hand down on the cutterhead, but that's the risk.)
When edge planing the guard is pushed up to the side of the piece, and it is indeed designed to act as a gentle featherboard. Compensations are made for non-parallel pieces.

Noel":30lcqa7q said:
This, of course, results in having to lift hands / pads up from the stock and back down again. This, IMO, is not safe practice.
It does, but only when face planing, where downward pressure is minimal anyway. If you are using the full pressure of two hands at all times, it's too much. You will be pressing the bow of the wood into the cutterhead and so not efficiently straightening the timber.
Hands/pads should never be directly over the cutterhead when face planing (obvious risk) and the euro stlye fence properly used prevents this.
Noel":30lcqa7q said:
This, allied with the guard projecting out from the machine so that it catches the operator whilst moving the timber along, adds up to nothing but hassle.
Not been an issue for me, so can't really comment, except to say that you may be trying to move too far forwards (by the sounds of it level with or even behind the cutterhead?) if this is a problem for you.
Noel":30lcqa7q said:
This way no lifting of the hands and less chance of losing control.
Just call you Mr Tickle from now on then :wink: No lifting of hands? Surely this only applies to short lengths? You must lift hands when planing anything over, what, 3-4ft? In which case this advantage is lost for a large part of your planing needs. If you do not lift your hands it means you are running them over the cutterhead at least some of the time.
On balance I would say this is a greater risk than "lifting hands" which you must do anyway!. Kick back, should it happen is very quick. I really hope this doesn't happen to you when your hands are over the block :shock:
Noel":30lcqa7q said:
The US style kidney guard is waay better but the nannies in HSE / Brussels thought that the spring that returns the kidney guard back over the cutters might just fail.Noel
I suppose it may fail :?: , but I don't think that butting the guard against the wood is the equivalent of using the US kidney guards. These will spring back to cover the exposed blade at the beginning and end of cut, which you are not doing.


Sorry Noel, that reads like a right old rant, and I'm not picking on you personally, just your post contains all the things that I wanted to comment on.
Also to stress that this is here to provide the other side of using the euro guard properly. If you are new to planing or feel unsure about how to use the guard, I would personally recommend covering the wood for face planing, butting the guard against the wood for edge jointing, for all the safety reasons I've mentioned above.
Just MHO.
 

stewart

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Well the debate this post provoked has been very interesting to read and very helpful in clarifying some of the areas I was concerned about. I'll use the techniques Aragorn covers and see how I get on.

Stewart
 

Noel

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"Sorry Noel, that reads like a right old rant, and I'm not picking on you personally, just your post contains all the things that I wanted to comment on"
Kind of difficult not to take what you've posted personally considering you've mis-interpreted and taken out of context most of what I originally stated and the patronizing tone is hardly negated by your statement above.
Wanting to "balance up some of these comments" with your own would have been better achieved with a few simple paragraphs of how you operate a jointer rather than repeatedly creating line after line giving the impression that, firstly, I use a jointer in an unsafe manner and secondly that I have failed to understand how a bridge guard works. Not to mention that I apparently do not know how to correctly face a piece of timber longer than 3-4ft.
The original premise of my posts was that, in my opinion, the kidney style guard was superior to the bridge style guard. Having used both I still consider that to be the case.
I don't consider the the plastic cap on the end of a bridge guard is designed to act in any way like a feather board, only to snug up against timber and the fence, but that's my opinion.
And telling me I'm "half right" and "doing it your way is a big risk" misses the point that Tony made and that I later agreed with is that the method I use to joint (as indeed Tony, Chris and others may use) is what I feel is the safest method for me. I am comfortable not having the guard above the timber. I am comfortable not having to lift push pads over an obstacle on top of the timber and what is your point about "I don't think that butting the guard against the wood is the equivalent of using the US kidney guards. These will spring back to cover the exposed blade at the beginning and end of cut, which you are not doing"???
I did not say this was the equivalent of a kidney guard. This is precisely where I think a kidney guard is safer and easier to use than a bridge guard!
 

Aragorn

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Noel
I apologise for mis-interpreting what you said and taking things out of context. This was not my intent.
I am sorry to have upset you over this.
 

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