Well I do apologize for the delay but I finally got to installing the jointer knives. I had intended to install the jointer knives just once but after careful consideration I decided to try a different way of installing the knives.
Initially when I started to write this post I had just one way of installing jointer knives. This installation entailed using a dial caliper and was sort of complicated. Many woodworkers do not possess this equipment and hence the notion of trying another way of installing jointer knives.
I like the KISS approach for everything and anything and after messing around with the dial calliper it dawned on me there must be a simpler way. As many of you know our sense of touch is very sensitive. Imagine running your finger over a joint and noticing the slightest imperfection when the two mating boards are not perfectly flat.
This notion made me realize perhaps I should use the same simple principles in setting the height of my jointer knives. To accomplish this I had a scrap piece of Aluminium (Al) bar leftover from a hinge mortising jig I had built. Al is very soft and will not harm my new jointer knives. Therefore I decided to use this bar to gauge how high the knives were set at. The Delta DJ-20 jointer manual does give step by step instruction but like any manual I read nowadays it has been translated from Chinese into English from a guy who does not speak English ( I think you get my drift) At best the manuals produced today are not written by a woodworker and god help us if they actually have someone proof read these manuals for accuracy.
To set the height I used two simple principles: touch and sight. By placing the Al bar over the knives and using the outfeed table I was able to set the height using the outfeed table as a reference point. Your knives need to be the same height as the outfeed table pure plain and simple. To achieve this I used the AL bar with my left hand and placed it on the outfeed side of the jointer table with the bar slightly extending over the jointer knives. While I held the bar over the knives with my left hand I turned the cutter head with my right hand. I was able to feel the knives coming into contact with the AL bar. Using sight I was able to make small marks on the bar to indicate Top Dead Center (TDC). TDC is the point where the knives are at their highest height. Once the knives come into contact with the bar, the bar will move forward. The two marks on the bar indicate the initial point of contact and the last point further to the right marks the last point the knives make contact with the bar. Using the bar I was able to see and feel how much the knives was making contact with the Al bar. The two marks I made to the left of Top Dead Center (TDC) showing the beginning and the end of the knives making contact with the bar.
I have taken pictures of the two methods I have used to set the height of the jointer knives. I have to be honest and tell you I prefer the second more simpler method of setting the height of the jointer knives using basic tools ..... believe it or not its true lol:
As per usual I have included a brief narration to guide you along to help explain what you are looking at and enable you to achieve the same result I did in setting the correct height for your jointer knives. Perhaps one day I will swap out the cutter head for a helical head but who has that kind of change to throw around... certainly not this guy!
Any how enjoy the pictures and if you have any questions just respond here and I will do my best to further clarify what I did.