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Parallelogram Jointers

gotwalleyes's picture

Does anybody out there have any thoughts on advantages or disadvantages between a parallelogram jointer and standard jointer? Is one better than the other?


Thanks


Mike

flairwoodworks's picture

(post #101615, reply #1 of 4)

When I was researching jointers half a year ago, I was unsure of which to go with.  Both are effective, yet completely different designs.  I decided to buy a parallelogram jointer (Delta 8" - DJ20) and have never regretted it for a minute.


The parallelogram bed jointer is so easy to adjust.  If the beds on the jointer are out of parallel, eight eccentric bushings can be turned to raise or lower each corner of each bed as needed.  Standard jointers, as I recently learned when setting up a Delta 6" at work, are a real pain to bring into parallel.  The best way is to slip shims between the bed and the base and check for parallel.  I found this to be a very tedius and frustrating process.


A lever for the infeed (some standard jointers have levers too) makes adjustments quick and painless.  Some users do not adjust the depth of cut much, but I do.  When jointing a board, depending on how flat/straight it is, I take deep cuts until the board is almost completely flat.  Then I raise the infeed table to it's highest position (preset a shade below the cutterhead) to finish the job.  I do not place much value in the fine adjustments a wheel provides - I can do fine-adjustments by tapping the lever the same way I tap my table saw's fence.


Last but not least, a parallelogram jointer's beds, when lowered, travel in an arc which keeps the edge of the table (chipbreaker) the same distance away from the blades.  On a standard jointer, the tables get farther away from the cutterhead as the depth of cut is increased.


Another thing to consider is the fence design.  Rack and pinion fences are precise to adjust forwards and backwards.  Unless you plan to rabbet on your jointer, I don't see any point of this feature.  The rack usually sticks out the back of the jointer further than a sliding fence, so it must sit farther out from the wall. 


Chris @ flairwoodworks


 - Success is not the key to happines.  Happiness is the key to success.  If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. - Albert Schweitzer

Chris @ www.flairwoodworks.com
and http://flairwoodworks.wordpress.com

 - Success is not the key to happiness.  Happiness is the key to success.  If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. - Albert Schweitzer

RickL's picture

(post #101615, reply #2 of 4)

"Last but not least, a parallelogram jointer's beds, when lowered, travel in an arc which keeps the edge of the table (chip breaker) the same distance away from the blades.  On a standard jointer, the tables get farther away from the cutterhead as the depth of cut is increased."


I agree with your other points completely on the parallelogram jointer but the chip breaker on a jointer is actually the curved gib that holds the knife in, not the table edge. As far as the arc issue between a dovetailed table and a parallelogram table, the difference isn't signifigant.  On a planer the gibs are flat topped and the chipbreaker is in front of the blade hence the confusion with the table edge being the chip breaker on a jointer. That's why you are supposed to keep the knives low so the curve of the gib can do it's job of the chip breaker.


Another big difference in parallogram vs dovetailed jointers is on a dovetailed jointer the tables are machined while mounted on the base. If you ever had to replace a table on a dovetailed jointer you would have to machine the whole thing as a unit again. On a paralleogram jointer the tables are machined seperately so you don't need as big a grinder.


As far as changing a table on a parallelogram jointer it's a bear to say the least. Especially on a 16" jointer.  My favorite table adjustment system is the inclined style found on Crescent, Oliver, Cowan and a few others. 25 years of repairing and tuning machines professionally.

flairwoodworks's picture

(post #101615, reply #4 of 4)

Rick,


Thanks for correcting me.  I did not know that.


Chris @ flairwoodworks


 - Success is not the key to happines.  Happiness is the key to success.  If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. - Albert Schweitzer

Chris @ www.flairwoodworks.com
and http://flairwoodworks.wordpress.com

 - Success is not the key to happiness.  Happiness is the key to success.  If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. - Albert Schweitzer

hammer1's picture

(post #101615, reply #3 of 4)

You should only have to adjust tables once, if ever. The adjustment issue isn't one from my experience. The one thing that may be different is the lever depth adjuster. If you don't fully lock the table, it can drop to full depth, suddenly. As far as getting the job done, I haven't found a significant difference in the type of tables. Switch location, fences, guards, motor mounting and dust collection are of more concern than parallelogram or dovetail way tables. It's seldom that I even change the depth of cut.

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match