Thursday, September 27, 2007

New studio addition...

I have been needing a particular piece of machinery in my studio for quite some time now. I currently have a smaller version, but a larger one with greater capacity was very much needed. This machine is a jointer, which serves to surface or true one face side and edge of a rough board.The surfacing process removes any inherent twist, cupping, or bowing in the board. In my case, the larger capacity corresponds to the width of the jointer cutterhead, allowing me to surface one of the faces of much wider boards. The advantage to a larger width is that boards do not need to be reduced in width due to the constraints of a narrower, smaller jointer. The larger width allows me to maintain the figure of a board in its natural state and allows me to maintain a wider width of board for bookmatching purposes. As luck would have it, the availability of such a jointer was mentioned to me by a friend and I promptly looked into its purchase. This particular machine is a vintage Wadkin - Bursgreen (UK) jointer dating from sometime in the mid-1950's. The advantage to these older machines is their heft ,a large component of cast iron resulting in stability and solid, superior construction. Testimony of the superior quality of this vintage machine is the fact that it is still in use more than fifty years later. My current jointer has a 6 inch capacity, this vintage jointer has 9.25 inches capacity. This jointer weighs more than a quarter-ton. A few weeks went by and the call came that the jointer was available.

I packed my set of tools and went to where it is located and performed the transaction. I knew beforehand from having already seen the jointer that it would need to be disassembled in as many parts as possible for ease of transport and coping with two sets of stairs at either location. I began disassembly with the help of Andy Woods of Woods & Co. I even brought a camera along to photograph the main units prior to disassembly for later use. Actually, I didn't mind disassembling it, it would provide me the opportunity to understand how this jointer is put together, specifically the moving mechanisms. A couple of hours later and we had it disassembled into manageable pieces for transport back to my studio. Two trips later, the jointer pieces were in my studio after which I took some time to clean them thoroughly and remove any old grease and dirt. The photo above are the jointer components gathered together after cleaning, and prior to assembly. Next, the assembly and adjustments.