Introduction: Jointer Guard
If you’re like me, you love finding a good deal on Craigslist, especially when it comes to tools. You sometimes have to be patient, but oh the satisfaction when you snag that sweat deal. On the down side, that often means you’ll need to do a little work to get the tool back into smooth operation.
My latest find was a 6 inch Delta Rockwell jointer on Kijiji. Got it for 200$ CAD, which was a great price considering the new set of blades and closed motor to keep the dust out. It had some rust, which was easily cleaned off with WD-40 and wet/dry ultra fine sandpaper. I also made some adjustments to the fence to get it square.
My biggest issue was the missing blade guard. I personally have a certain attachment to my fingers, every single one of them, so safety is my top priority in the shop.
Step 1: Watch the Video
If you have a jointer model like this one with a spring knob on the underside, check out the YouTube video for step by step instructions on how to make a replacement jointer guard or read on!
All you need for this project is:
- a scrap piece of plywood
- a 1/2 inch dowel
- band saw or jigsawwood
Step 2: Draw Out Your Template
I found a manual for a planer that looked like mine online and, based on the picture, the jointer guard looks something like this (top picture).
I used a compass to draw the bottom semi-circle edge. Aim to have the tip of the pencil hit both edges of your sheet. Don't have a compass? Just use a small paint can. As for the outer and back edges, you can cut those out however you want since the boards don't hit that edge when running them through.
Make sure to draw the hole for the dowel as well.
Transfer your template over to your plywood by tracing the edges with a pencil.
Step 3: Cut Your Plywood
Following the contour that you traced out, cut out your new guard on your band saw, or use a jigsaw.
Use a drill press with a 1/2 inch spade to make the pin hole.
Step 4: Cut the Dowel
You can purchase a half inch dowel at Home Depot for a few bucks. Cut a length of approx. 6 inches. The you will need to make a short (about a half inch) incision across the center of the bottom on one end. You can do this on a band saw if you have one, otherwise clamp the dowel down and use an oscillating cutting tool like I did.
Step 5: Dryfit and Glue
Before gluing, start by dry-fitting. Make a mark along the dowel just above the guard. Make sure to leave a small gap - this will prevent the guard rubbing on the surface of the jointer.
Use this reference guide to glue the guard and dowel together. Use clamps to hold it together while it dries overnight.
Step 6: Install the New Guard
To install the new guard, first grab the tension knob from underneath and spin it several rotations in a counter clockwise direction. Holding the knob, insert the dowel into the hole and adjust so that the pin lines up with the incision in the dowel.
Step 7: Safety First
If you haven't already, watch the entire step-by-step video here.
Speaking of safety in the shop, check out this post on how to make your own push blocks using an old mouse pad.
More fun DIY projects at diymontreal.com !
5 years ago
The main reason many cutterhead guards go missing is they are removed when rabbeting the surfaces or edges of boards and are then never remounted and grow legs and leave the shop.☺
If a proper edge and relief angle are ground on the outboard side of the cutterhead blade, a really decent rabbet can be had that can rival a saw cut or routed one, unfortunately our woodworking cousins in the U.K. and elsewhere have "nanny" laws that view such activity as- dangerous?
Reply 1 year ago
Question 3 years ago on Step 7
Thanks for sharing. I just got a similar jointer and is missing the guard but also the piece with the spring below. Do you have any idea where I could find/buy one?
5 years ago
great... i have the original with my second hand jointer...but its been broken in halve and is currently glued.. not having even thought of this idea... :-) - it will be replaced!
you mentioned you had cleaned up the rust off your jointer bed... what technique used best for you - i have been told steel wool and vinegar? unfortuantely mines been in a garage that flooded.. so is now re rusted...
Reply 5 years ago
Glad I could help inspire you! I used WD-40 and wet/dry sandpaper (I think it was 600 grit). Got all the rust off then applied some paste wax to keep the rust away and helps eliminate friction. I think steel wool would do the trick as well. Never heard of using vinegar... but that just might work!
Reply 5 years ago
wow... just had a random idea while i was modifying my jointer stand.... i poured a couple of cap fulls of white vinegar onto the rusty jointer table and brushed it around with a small paint brush... left it while i worked.. and hour later it had turned rusty orange. Wiped the bed with an old towel... and repeated the process three times.... it really sucked the rust out!!! the last time i gave it fine sand using 800 grit wet and dry with more vinegar, then dried it off - rubbed it with a little kero.. and rubbed it with a lump of beeswax i have... amazing finish!!
5 years ago
I chuckled when I read this, I purchased one exactly the same about 21 years ago for $50 excellent shape. Mine came with a guard though. Not a machine that I use very often but is very handy to have.