Holtzapffel Workbench – Yup, that’s sharp!

So I got my jointer blades back from the sharpener, Standard Saw Works, and they did a great job. It’s a cool store too and one of the storefront window displays is full of old wooden planes (I didn’t get a pic)

Once I got the blades back to the workshop I set about reinstalling them. My usual method is to use my dial indicator and twiddle with them for hours on end getting them just right but this time I tried a new approach which worked really well.

After I’d dropped the blades off to be sharpened I swung by Ace Hardware and picked up six small rare earth magnets. The plan was to stick them to something flat and use the magnets to align the blades to the outfeed table. Here is my alignment setup.

Jointe Alignment Gear

It’s pretty low tech but it worked really well, so much easier than all the messing about with the dial indicator. The process was as follows.

First I used my dial gauge to make sure all the magnets were the same width, they were all exactly the same which was nice. I then attached them to something nice and flat. On the far side by the fence I’m using the bottom of my combination square, and at the front I’m using a big allen key.

Magnetic Jointer Alignment

I found top dead center of the jointer head using the dial indicator and then moved the blades to that position. Then it was a simple matter of sliding the magnets over the blade which attached itself to the underside of the magnets. Tighten the screws to keep the blade in place et voila! Perfectly aligned with no messing about.

So that worked really well until I was tightening the final screw, on the final blade when…. I slipped…

Bloody Thumb

A nice deep, clean cut ensued. Luckily the blades were razor sharp so it didn’t really hurt and it hit my nail which prevented the blade from going too deep, still a tad scary, as all shop accidents are though :)

Anyway the final result was worth it.

Smooth Board

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