Rikon 6” Bench Top Jointer

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toddlf

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I recently purchased the Rikon 6” Bench Top Jointer. I bought it from Rockler while it was on sale as part of the Black Friday specials. I plan to use this to help with my box making and segmenting work. I hope to streamline my process a little from what I have done in the past.

If you own this product, what are your top tips for setup and use? I am most curious about how you set the fence angle and how well it has held the angle over time. Did you set and do you use the hard stops at 90 and 135 degrees?

For those that are interested, I made an unboxing video that you can find here: https://youtu.be/EHxqnfy1Iww
 

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jttheclockman

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I recently purchased the Rikon 6” Bench Top Jointer. I bought it from Rockler while it was on sale as part of the Black Friday specials. I plan to use this to help with my box making and segmenting work. I hope to streamline my process a little from what I have done in the past.

If you own this product, what are your top tips for setup and use? I am most curious about how you set the fence angle and how well it has held the angle over time. Did you set and do you use the hard stops at 90 and 135 degrees?

For those that are interested, I made an unboxing video that you can find here: https://youtu.be/EHxqnfy1Iww
Not a fan of a bench top jointer but that is a story for another time.

I do not know this jointer but like all other jointers there are basic rules and things to check for. I do not know if this is a 2 blade, 3blade or helical head but no matter what first thing is to make sure the blades are secured tightly before starting. Not sure if they use jib screws or something else but make sure blades are bottomed out and seated properly and tight. Make sure the blades are facing the same way. The motor spins toward the infeed table so blades are top up in the back of the holder.

Next make sure the infeed and outfeed are coplaner in that they are flat and match front to back and side to side. To do this raise the infeed table level to the outfeed table and lay a straight edge rule or piece of aluminum across both tables and all points should touch all the way across. There are screws for adjustment somewhere on the tool and you need to read instructions to do this. As I said these are basic setup rules. Now lower the infeed table and make sure the table lowers equally and the same space is equal throughout the table. Yo do not want a dip in front or rear of the table or it will cause snipe.

Next you mention preset stops. Take a square and lay on the table and adjust the fence to the square and set your stops. I never trust them when doing exact work. I always check even though the stops are preset.

Now if all is setup right the blades should be set evenly across the table. There are tools to use to test this and to set blades if changing. But a simple test is a straight stick of wood. and some magnets. I have a couple jigs but there are many of these type videos on the net for simple jigs. Here is one.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxKgFSEtSxc


Other notes:

- Never take too much off in one pass.

-Slow even doward pressure and keep flat against fence and keep feed rate constant and no stopping

-Apply pressure to infeed table and switch to pressure to outfeed table when you get board pass the blades.

-Always use push pads and do not let hands travel over blades

-Make sure the blade guard works properly

- All wood will have grain and you will notice if you plane one way you may get chip out and if you reverse the feed you will get a smooth cut. Gets tricky with burl and wild grain woods so it may come to a trial and error thing.

-Most tables come with machine marks in them and I always find this helpful in that it slows the feed rate and yes a bit more drag but I work with that to may liking. Some people will wax the tables and make them slick. If you do be careful of wax used so it does not contaminate the wood and also does not make to slick.

-Be careful when using these type tools because they have tendency to move. yes they have rubber feet but they are so light weight they will move. Would be wise to anchor to a table or have stop blocks set up around the tool to keep it from moving.

-Also they will tip and this is one reason I do not like them so do not lean on edge of tables to make them unsturdy.

_Good luck and work safely.
 
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toddlf

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Thank you for the great reply. I will be mounting the jointer to my work top when it is in use and following all your safety suggestions.
 

mmayo

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I have that jointer and love it.

It just happened to be set at 90 degrees but I checked it with quality engineering squares. I make tackle boxes and cutting boards and so I rarely use more that 1-1/2” per cut. I move the fence forward whenever I see knife marks. I am still on my first set of knives and lots of wood has been jointed well. Before the pieces have some small gaps when dry fit. After jointing they mate perfectly. I use a 4” dust collection hose to a Jet dust collector and all chips are captured with almost zero cleanup

Perhaps buy some spare knives from Rockler or Global tools. Know they are two sided!

Enjoy.
 
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toddlf

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Thank you for the reply. When you say you move the fence forward when you see knife marks, is that due to the cutters getting dull, small knicks in the cutters, or something else?
 

jttheclockman

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Thank you for the reply. When you say you move the fence forward when you see knife marks, is that due to the cutters getting dull, small knicks in the cutters, or something else?
Yes and that way you can use the entire blade and not just the same portion. Works when the piece being planed is not too thick. Now if you get a couple nicks on different blades you can slide the blades a little to offset them. Not sure if you have that capability with that type jointer.
 

mmayo

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Ideas for the Rikon

Thank you for the reply. When you say you move the fence forward when you see knife marks, is that due to the cutters getting dull, small knicks in the cutters, or something else?
Even though the 12 spiral cutters are very sharp from Rikon, wood will eventually nick the carbide. It could be the wood grain, a knot, dirt or whatever, but it will happen. When I see this I move the fence 1/2” or so forward and tighten it. I get many of these advances before I need to rotate or replace the cutter. I just jointed seven 12-1/4” x 11” hardwood cutting boards with 12-15 strips per board without a need to move the fence. I try to keep my wood clean and buy from a very good source.

Some ideas for success:

Make a push stick with a thin nub at the end that keeps your hand away from the workpiece and those spinning cutters. Those foam rubber things slip dangerously (I have four and hate them).

Use good dust collection

I set mine Rikon for the tiniest cut I can make

Mark your “dry fit” project with chalk on the top side so you know which face not to joint. I use lines on both edges and a triangle in the middle. Don’t joint the chalk face

Go slowly with each pass

Examine visually and feel the surface after each pass, both should tell you when it’s good to go on to the next board

Listen to each pass, if it is not uniform from start to finish, make another pass. Sometimes I make eight before I’m satisfied

If you get tear out, send it through in the other direction. Repeat until the tearout is gone

Reassemble your project piece by piece after each piece is jointed, this should make you smile as the pieces tightly mate BEFORE clamping with glue


Contact me if you need more help. Best of luck
 
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mmayo

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Photos (bad since the sun peaked out)

Shown in the photos are seven 12”x11” cutting boards and eight 9”x6” cheese cutter boards. Each has many strips. Each was jointed in both sides after cutting them to size. Glue and clamping is next.

The shop made push stick is shown too. The next one will be 12” long and the same height which clears the tall fence. Note the thin (1/8”) nub that will not slip as the piece is pushed forward. The large dowel handle gives both forward and downward pressure.
 

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toddlf

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Shown in the photos are seven 12”x11” cutting boards and eight 9”x6” cheese cutter boards. Each has many strips. Each was jointed in both sides after cutting them to size. Glue and clamping is next.

The shop made push stick is shown too. The next one will be 12” long and the same height which clears the tall fence. Note the thin (1/8”) nub that will not slip as the piece is pushed forward. The large dowel handle gives both forward and downward pressure.
I will be making one of those... Thanks
 

SteveG

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I have recently acquired the exact model jointer, but have not used it yet. I just want to add this one tip from previous shop work experience, which I might employ, depending on future results. At the cabinet shop where I was employed, we built mid-grade custom cabinets. The somewhat under equipped shop had a humble 4 Inch jointer, with fairly short beds. Short beds will not yield a straight jointed edge on long stock that starts out being a bit curved. Even after multiple passes, the curve will still be present. That is one of the reasons larger, more expensive jointers are 'long-bed' units. The solution at this shop was to build an extension on to the outfeed bed, since that is a fixed bed. I envision securing a 10~12 inch extension to the outfeed bed of my jointer, if I experience any persistent curved edge problems. You may want to try this if you are working with longer stock. There are other techniques to eliminate the curved edge, but a longer bed jointer will take care of it.
 

jttheclockman

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I have recently acquired the exact model jointer, but have not used it yet. I just want to add this one tip from previous shop work experience, which I might employ, depending on future results. At the cabinet shop where I was employed, we built mid-grade custom cabinets. The somewhat under equipped shop had a humble 4 Inch jointer, with fairly short beds. Short beds will not yield a straight jointed edge on long stock that starts out being a bit curved. Even after multiple passes, the curve will still be present. That is one of the reasons larger, more expensive jointers are 'long-bed' units. The solution at this shop was to build an extension on to the outfeed bed, since that is a fixed bed. I envision securing a 10~12 inch extension to the outfeed bed of my jointer, if I experience any persistent curved edge problems. You may want to try this if you are working with longer stock. There are other techniques to eliminate the curved edge, but a longer bed jointer will take care of it.
I bet you lost more wood that way because the infeed table the board was hanging over. I think either ripping on a table saw or skil saw would work better with a straight edge. :):):)
 

SteveG

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I bet you lost more wood that way because the infeed table the board was hanging over. I think either ripping on a table saw or skil saw would work better with a straight edge. :):):)[/QUOTE]

That could happen to an inexperienced user of the tool, and is something to be aware of. I was just suggesting a simple mod to a small tool that would enhance its effectiveness. I would typically take multiple quick partial cuts right on the jointer to get the stock to the point that the short bed would handle it and yield a straight edge. There are numerous techniques that are quick, and work. Making a living at woodworking only works with high productivity accompanying high quality. During six decades of fine woodworking, one learns many small techniques that work...quickly. :wink:
 

vtgaryw

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Hey, you can get a lot of use out of a benchtop jointer. My first jointer 30+ years ago was a 4" Craftsman table top. My only stationary power tools were the jointer, a radial arm saw and a home-made router table. With them, I made this 6' tall cherry corner cabinet with raised panel doors and raised panel backs.

-gary
 

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jttheclockman

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I agree Steve but that method in my eye is counter productive. Another way would be to take a straight edge and mark a line down entire length of board and run it through the bandsaw and this way you now have at least a straight line to plane to. I can not wrap my head around the method you used on a curved board but there are always work arounds and jigs. At least you made it work. Just wanted to point this out if someone wants to try your method.

I agree too that there are many ways to straighten a curved board, table saw, skill saw, router, bandsaw. I would not have chosen a short planer.
 
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SteveG

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John, we may have gone more in-depth than the OP requested, getting into a discussion of Jointer techniques. Perhaps I have injected some confusion in doing so. This might clear it up, and I will not continue the point any further.

My shop (not the previously mentioned employer's) was set up with a long extended side bed for the miter saw (which had a nice straight edge) immediately above and behind the jointer. When I encountered a curved-edge board in the stack that I was jointing, I would position it against the miter saw bed, getting a quick visual picture of high/low/curved areas on the board. Rather than adding steps to the process to layout and then saw straight lines, I would simply hit the high points with a partial pass through the jointer. It was easy place the board against the miter saw bed to recheck, if needed. Each partial pass took a few seconds, and resulted in only minimal and necessary stock loss. This became my routine for 95% of boards to be jointed that displayed observable irregularities. The occasional long board with MAJOR curvature would indeed get a pass through the band saw.

This more extensive description is an example my working practices that were both quick and quality, as previously mentioned. This may not be suitable for everyone, but it worked very well for me. I hope it clears any confusion I may have inadvertantly generated. :biggrin: :)
 

jttheclockman

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John, we may have gone more in-depth than the OP requested, getting into a discussion of Jointer techniques. Perhaps I have injected some confusion in doing so. This might clear it up, and I will not continue the point any further.

My shop (not the previously mentioned employer's) was set up with a long extended side bed for the miter saw (which had a nice straight edge) immediately above and behind the jointer. When I encountered a curved-edge board in the stack that I was jointing, I would position it against the miter saw bed, getting a quick visual picture of high/low/curved areas on the board. Rather than adding steps to the process to layout and then saw straight lines, I would simply hit the high points with a partial pass through the jointer. It was easy place the board against the miter saw bed to recheck, if needed. Each partial pass took a few seconds, and resulted in only minimal and necessary stock loss. This became my routine for 95% of boards to be jointed that displayed observable irregularities. The occasional long board with MAJOR curvature would indeed get a pass through the band saw.

This more extensive description is an example my working practices that were both quick and quality, as previously mentioned. This may not be suitable for everyone, but it worked very well for me. I hope it clears any confusion I may have inadvertantly generated. :biggrin: :)
Thanks Steve. I too may have injected some doubts or things beyond what the OP was after. Sometimes it is tough to interject things because we do not know the capabilities of the person asking. I know myself I make jigs and things that if I had to explain it would take pages and time, but when I see something I need I can jump in and do it without too much thought. The one thing that stands out no matter what we do in a shop we need to be aware of dangers and keep a clear mind.

These planers can work but they are designed for small work and light work. It just is. Can we overcome some shortfalls well yes but it may put things in danger so just be careful. Bench top tools were designed for shops with small footprints and space but that also means the projects coming out of the shops will not be large either so they have their place. Work safe everyone.:):)
 
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