Jointing Highly Figured Maple

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by goodchicken, May 27, 2019.

  1. goodchicken

    goodchicken TDPRI Member

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    I couldn't get my jointer to not chip out some of a 1/4" flame maple top, so I've stopped as to not possible ruin this top. I'd like to hear some of your methods of jointing highly figured (chippy) wood w/o the jointer.

    Thanks!
     
  2. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Holic

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    A known flat/straight surface with stick on sandpaper. The challenge is keeping it at 90. Can hold against a squared block that is sliding beside sandpaper.

    Flush trim router bit, work pc fixed to known straight edge (may not chip as bad as jointer).
     
  3. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Meister

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    I would say a jointer is probably still the best option. How old are the cutters? Might be worth it to invest in some fresh, super sharp ones I'd the ones you're using have some age on 'em. What's your cutting depth set to per pass?
     
  4. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    I joint the edge then I do it like this. Never an issue and as tight as can be. Around 6:00..

     

    Attached Files:

  5. Jsil13

    Jsil13 Tele-Holic

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    Thank you for this. I have a book matched set of maple just like this and couldn't figure out how to joint it with limited tools. This looks like it will work great.
     
  6. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Some guys wet the wood with water before surfacing. You can also get helical cutterheads.
     
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  7. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    I use a high angle hand plane set for a shower fine shaving. Leaves a surface like glass.
     
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  8. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't own a jointer and I never mastered a plane and shooting board. I simply put some 120 grit sandpaper on a flat surface and rub the boards back and forth

    IMG_4611.JPG

    IMG_4616.JPG

    ps - I'll add that I join every top and back for every guitar I make this way - they all come out perfect
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
  9. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    I'd avoid water - denatured alcohol is great to set up end grain for planning, might work here.
    And speaking of planning, hand planes are the answer here though many folks don't have them.
    Rex
     
  10. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    Looks like a great technique that almost anyone could use.
     
  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

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    The other little trick I learned is when actually joining the plates I put them on a flat board with waxed paper under them. I put a long thin piece of wood under the waxed paper right at the seam (a yard stick is perfect). Lay the plates on the waxed paper and clamp two long straight pieces of wood on each side. Remove the plates, apply glue to the seam, lay them back between the outside pieces, then pull the yardstick out and clamp the seam down with flat boards and waxed paper. When you pull the yard stick out it is just enough to tightly close the gap and makes aligning the figure easy.

    IMG_4612.JPG

    The backing piece of plywood is sitting on some little wood blocks so I can get the jaws of the quick clamps under, the deep throat clamps holding the plates down are Ibex bridge clamps
     
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  12. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

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    Freeman's solution is very elegant, and it shows how important it is to have a flat reference surface on your workbench. If you have a jointer, try sliding the fence forward to cover up the first inch of the blades so now you're edge jointing with a fresh area of the jointer blades for critical work like this. And take a lighter shaving than you normally would.

    I haven't found a need to dampen figured wood when edge-jointing but it certainly is useful for the planer.
     
  13. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks, Viz, but I didn't think my method was at all elegant - pretty much brute force. Since I most build acoustics, there are two sets of plates that have to be joined on every guitar. I don't own a jointer so I usually clamp a thick straight beam to the plates right at the edge and route a tiny bit off to true them up. The the carpenter's level with sandpaper trick holding the plates flat against my workbench (which really isn't all that flat). Glue them up as above, then slap them in a radius dish and add the braces to hold everything more or less aligned. The plates are thin, less than 1/8 so the tend to be pretty floppy and the glue seam is very weak. Its nice to do a thick electric drop top for a change

    IMG_3992.JPG
     
  14. Honza992

    Honza992 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I've never had any luck with jointing using a jointer. I think the tables need to be flatter than mine to get an invisible join....

    So, I use a Stewmac straight edge taped to the top and run it along a sharp guided router bit in the router table. It's good enough to go straight to gluing with nothing else needed. I use the tape/tent method to glue, which is more or less, the same as Freeman's above, but with tape.
     
  15. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

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    The "tent" method is an old cabinet makers trick that's been around much longer than I've been :).

    Freeman's way of joining is elegant, in it's simplicity. No fancy or expensive stationary shop equipment required. The results speak for themselves ;).



    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     
  16. Luthi3rz

    Luthi3rz Tele-Meister

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    What I do is stick the pieces to a MDF backing board "Sled" 3/4thick and send it through a Thickness Planer

    So Are you trying to Thickness it?

    You either...
    A. Put it on a Sled Board and run it through and Thickness Planer
    B. Run it through a Thickness Sander
    C. Hand Plane it.
    D. Use a Router Jig to thickness it.
     
  17. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    When using Freeman's method (now official name :) ), it is important to make sure you have well mating edges. If you use a single reference edge, like a straight edge with sandpaper, make sure the edges are nice and square. With a hand plane, you can match plane (or plane both pieces at the same time) and the requirement for square is not needed, as the angles will be complimentary.
     
  18. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    The "tent" method was shown in the Sloane or David Russell young books in the 1970's. A similar method was to use wooden wedges in what was like a printer's movable type frame ( before computers...LOL)


    http://nauglerguitars.com/kampguitar/?p=18



    This is what I did my first top and back with at GRD which is very slick and the traditional way to do it.

     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
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  19. goodchicken

    goodchicken TDPRI Member

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    Well I used Freeman's simple method and it seems to have worked great! My jointer is new, hardly used it much yet, but it has worked perfectly on all the non-figured wood I had used so far...but I think I'll stick with the "Freeman Method" on figured pieces from now on ;)

    Thanks all for the comments. I really do appreciate all types of input!
     
  20. mefgames

    mefgames Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

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    And there you have it !!!
     
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