Antiques & The Arts
Setup a Vintage Jointer

Setup a Vintage Jointer

I’m Caleb Harris and this is my new toy
it’s a 12 inch jointer made around the turn of the last century let me tell you
the story about how I got it, how I set it up, and what it does. like many good
and some questionable stories this started with a Craigslist ad in st.
Louis five hours from Memphis where I live but fortunately my wife and I both
enjoy st. Louis so we made a fun weekend of it
the gentleman I bought this from said that this belonged to his grandfather
who liked to mill his own lumber from his research he thinks that it was
manufactured in the late 1890s which does match with what I could find out
about the company my guess is that his grandfather is also the person who
replaced the original Babbitt bearings with ball bearings and installed the
direct drive one and a half horsepower motor after I finished reassembling it in my
shop I used a wire wheel in my angle grinder to remove the surface rust from
the beds and fence before coating them with some paste wax to protect and lubricate them for a jointer to work properly it’s
essential that the beds are coplanar now it’s easiest to understand coplanar by
talking about what isn’t coplanar so we have these two boards and this
represents the infeed and this is the outfeed this not coplanar not coplanar
not coplanar I think you get the idea whereas if they line up perfectly and
you can put a straight edge across them now that’s coplanar still coplanar if we
pull them apart and then if we represent what a jointer really does and lower the
infeed under the outfeed this is coplanar now in our jointer we have
knives on a cutter head in the gap between the infeed and outfeed table and
with the infeed table lower than the outfeed table what happens anything that
we feed across the infeed it will pretend it’s still there it’s going to
hit this outfeed table because the infeed table is lower but those knives remove
the difference and allow the stock to just pass across onto the outfeed table
and that’s how you can use a jointer to take defects out of wood like Cup and
twist and warp you just pass it over the knives enough time and eventually you’ll
have the flat surface I’m going to get my bed’s coplanar by raising the outfeed
table above the knives so they don’t get in the way and higher than my infeed
table then putting a straight edge referenced off the outfeed table over
the infeed table and using some feeler gauges and adjusting the points that the
infeed table rides on until I get the same measurement in every spot under
that straightedge and then I’ll know that my beds are coplanar I replaced the box and switch because I
needed to change the orientation of the wires coming into the box and I just
really recommend using magnetic switches on machines they can only be closed when
a current is running through the switch that means the switch automatically goes
to the off position if there is a power direction and the machine can’t turn
itself on when you plug it in if the switch was left in the on position I
also really like the oversized off switch paddle that comes on these which
makes it really easy to cut the machine off one thing I do really need to do but
not in this video is put a guard on this I haven’t settled on a design there’s a
bunch of threaded holes along the side here probably from a previous guard I’m
gonna have to fabricate something I have a few ideas in mind Frank Howarth went
through something like this so I’m checking his video again maybe get some
ideas so look forward to that but the only thing left really is to test it so
let’s put a board through it oh and in addition to getting the guard and I
get some proper push blocks but for a test these will keep my hands away from
the blade to make sure I’m safe this is some Spanish cedar I used when I made the
humidor I’ll throw a card up to that video and I resawed this on the bandsaw so
it’s got some striations on it from that so let’s let’s give it a shot
see what type of finish this thing will put on this rough side get you in on this all right so still
got some cuts on the ends but in the middle here man that is that is smooth
that feels good it’s no lines the blades are still in
good shape yeah that’s some exciting stuff right there now the only thing
left is to check my 90 let’s do this edge yeah that’s ninety one of the
things I forgot to talk about was as soon as I got it together I use a style
indicator gauge with the magnetic base to test the blades and I saw that the
blades were in line with the outfeed table and that’s why I use the outfeed
table as the reference to get coplanar with the infeed table so if she saw me
miss that stuff you’re probably thinking hey the guy didn’t check his blades or
actually I did I just forgot to show it I really enjoy using this thing there’s
something nostalgic about using really old tools at a store if you have any old
tools you really like using please tell me about them in the comments thanks for
watching if you enjoyed this – give me a thumbs up and subscribe if you want to
support me I have a patreon or you can just hit that share button and share
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26 comments on “Setup a Vintage Jointer

  1. I've been looking for a score like that for years now. Never seem to see those around my area.


  2. Nice score! I'm glad you are going to make a guard for the blade and get better push paddles; those old machines have an apocryphal reputation for claiming fingers.

  3. Very nice score and especially in that good condition. My Rockwell Unisaw, 6" jointer and drill press, all made in Canada in the 60's are not quite the age of your jointer but will last as long as I need them.
    Vintage tools really are the best!

  4. Don't build um like that anymore, let's hope you don't have to move it very often. Intersesting Thank's for the share.

  5. Nice acquisition that will have years of new life and love.
    But, I wish you had shown the blades and adjustment…. oh well.

  6. Oh, man, I got some serious jointer envy here! And, btw, you got your coplanar and parallel mixed up… I totally got what you were saying though.

  7. Wow, I had that craigslist ad saved for a while. I'm glad you made a video of it because I was wondering what became of it.

  8. Nice! Funny, I live in St Louis and have been watching Craigslist for a couple of years for a 8”+ jointer. I just got a Hall and Brown #2 16” jointer from the 1920’s – manufactured right here in St. Louis!. Was watching your video about setting it up. Love these old iron tools!

  9. I remember seeing this jointer on the CL ad in Saint Louis. Glad it went to a great owner and shop! Too often these machine get ripped down to make a table or decoration.

  10. I love using old power tools. I found an industrial- “Powermatic” surface planer, with new knives. But the catch was, in order to GET the planer, I had to also buy the “Craftsman” 6” Jointer/Planer, AND the Craftsman 10” cabinet saw, which I just do NOT need. Anyway, the Powermatic planer is a big ole MONSTER! It hogged off some real hard htcfcxzlo a

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