Laura got me a Jet combination Jointer / Planer for a Christmas present and, after a couple of other projects without using it, I decided I needed to make something explicitly to use the jointer.
Here is a “practice” cheese board that I made from maple and walnut. This is unfinished and I plan on finishing it with mineral oil, so I’ll post another pic once the finish is complete. It is “practice” in the sense that I wanted to try out the jointer and started with a fairly small board (this is roughly 8″ x 6″) to get a feel for making butcher block boards. I think it turned out pretty well as a first try.
So the jointer / planer is a Jet JJP-10BTOS, 10″ Jointer / Planer Combo w/ Stand. Here is a picture of it set up in the shop:
The jointer / planer requires a dust collection system to be attached to use it. You can’t really see it, but there is a dust collection hose connector under the left wing (while in jointer mode). Before the holidays, I picked up a Dust Deputy for my shop vac from Rockler. Here’s a snapshot of that:
It really helps with the suction on the shop vac since almost all of the sawdust and shavings end up in the Dust Deputy bucket and not in the shop vac clogging up its filter.
Anyway, with the Dust Deputy attached to the jointer and the other end to the shop vac, I was ready to go.
As I stated above, I started with maple and walnut, but the walnut was unsanded 3″ x 3″ stock from Rockler used for turning. The maple was also from Rockler and was 2 x 6. I figured I would make the squares for the board 1 1/4″ square and 2″ tall, so the first step was to create 1 1/4″ inch square boards from the stock.
So I started with the walnut and jointed two sides and then cut it roughly in half on the table saw to create two boards that were 3 x 1 1/4″ with a thin plank left over. I then cut one of the boards in half again to create two boards that were roughly 1 1/4″ square. I ran these through the jointer again to square up the sides and remove the marks from the table saw blade.
Next up was the maple stock. I started by jointing one of the thin ends. Since it was only 1 3/4″ wide, I cut a section off at the table saw that was 1 1/4″ wide for a board that was 1 3/4″ x 1 1/4″. I ran that through the table saw again to get to roughly 1 1/4″ square. I ran this through the jointer again just like the walnut.
Here is the result of the initial work:
What you see is the leftover walnut “plank” on the left, the other half of the walnut (1 1/4″ by 3″), a 1 1/4″ square walnut board and a 1 1/4″ square maple board. The maple board was 7′ long, so what you see above is the leftover from the original 1 1/4″ square board, so I have plenty to make several more cutting boards (or one or two bigger ones).
After I had the boards, I cut them off at the miter saw into 2″ pieces. The hardest part of the whole project was the glue-up. I started by gluing together seven blocks into a strip and created five strips. Once these were dried, I used a hand plane on the sides to get them roughly flat and then sent them through the jointer again. I had read on the internet about potential problems with jointing or planing end grain, so I only did the sides. The tops I sanded smooth.
Once the five strips were complete, I glued them together with every other one offset by 1/2 a block. Once this dried, I cut it on my miter saw (probably could have used the table saw, but the miter was easier and the block wasn’t that wide) to even up the edges (i.e., remove the 1/2 blocks that were offset).
The most time-consuming part was the final sanding of the top. Although the top was “relatively” flat and even, there was still a lot of sanding with my orbital sander til the top was completely smooth.
I am very happy (so far) with the Jet jointer. It is nice and wide at 10 inches, which is great. Of course, I haven’t used the planer yet, so I’ll have to figure out something to do to use that 🙂 One thing I need to remember for the next board is that the squares need to be perfectly square so they fit together nicely for the glue-up. I did not measure my 1 1/4″ square boards after sending them through the jointer, so I expect they were slightly off (maybe 1/32 or 1/16 of an inch). Enough to make more work for me once the initial strips were glued up.
Next steps are to rout a hand-hold in the bottom on two sides and then three coats of mineral oil. Final step will be to put some rubber “feet” on the bottom to keep it from sliding around on the counter.