WoodCentral's video reviews
Jointer and Planer Secrets

Jointer and Planer Secrets
by Hendrik Varju

Passion For Wood Productions: 2007
DVD, $64.95 CDN
ISBN 978-0-9781432-1-3

    This is a double-disc set of instruction that runs four and one-half hours long, and at first it seems somewhat repetitive as Mr. Varju goes over procedures several times. But I have to say, this is one of the few DVDs I've watched, that I didn't feel I was missing something because it went by too fast and I had to back it up to review the material. By the time you've listened to and watched Hendrik correctly and efficiently make use of his jointer and planer, you will know how to get the best and safest results from them for your own woodworking.
    Beginning with safety measures and equipment, Varju discusses the different purposes of planers and jointers, then jumps right into the basic steps for milling lumber. He covers machine setup and adjustment, recommends depths of cut for different steps, and explains how to read edge grain and end grain in the wood to help prevent tear out. One section is devoted to dealing with twisted or cupped boards by wedging corners with shavings, by applying top pressure unevenly, and by listening closely to the sounds of the operation as you proceed. When planing, the importance of cutting speed and feed rate is discussed, as well as how to avoid planer snipe.
    The second disc covers how to use what you've produced with the jointer and planer by gluing up multiple boards for a flat tabletop. Varju spends a considerable amount of time showing how to select the arrangement of boards for appearance and to reduce the effect of warping during seasonal humidity changes. He teaches the viewer how to alternate end-grain growth rings for stability, how to align boards with similar grain direction, and how to select for color and grain matching.
    Instruction for edge gluing newly jointed boards for a full panel is very thorough. He uses support risers and clamping cauls, shows preparation in a dry run, and then gives several tips for making a complicated glue-up go smoothly. He admits to sweating. With three clamped cauls and an edge-clamped panel, he says, "If you're totally relaxed during this glue-up, you're not doing it right." He handplanes only the glue lines for clean-up afterward, and shows how to test for flatness. His methods of stock preparation and glue assembly yielded a 20"x36" tabletop that was flat within three to five-thousandths of an inch, straight out of the clamps after glue clean-up.
    If you are serious about getting the best out of your mahinery, Hendrik's video instruction is worth having. To see more about his work and to order the double DVD set, visit his website at www.passionforwood.com.

. . . Barb Siddiqui