Raleigh area machine shop

Melinapex

Mark
User
So I finally figured out why I cannot get my grizzly jointer dialed in - the fence is not flat. It is out .012 from top left to bottom right. I can buy a new fence from them for $82 plus freight but I was thinking maybe I could get the existing fence fixed by a machine shop locally. I tried True Machine but he said he could not work with a part that long ( it is 36" x 5"). All the other locals I can find look to be either big operations or specific to engine rebuilding. Of course it may not make $$ sense for any shop to do a job that small, but I really don't know anything about that business.
Any advise is appreciated.
 

creasman

Jim
User
I used Hamilton Machine Works (908 Withers Rd, Raleigh, NC 27603) a few years ago for a small job. It wasn't anything like you're wanting to have done, but I'd give them a call and ask. I was impressed by their shop and they did a good job for me. They're located off of Tryon Road, close to where it intersects with Hwy 401. At the time their minimum charge was $20 so they will definitely take small jobs.
 

striker

New User
Stephen
I'm curious as to how you arrived at the .012 out of flat ? Do you have a known flat you are able to put it on and use feeler gages to check the flatness? Just my opinion, but the 36 inch length requires a good size surface grinder to flatten. Something your average shop isn't going to have. Larger shops would view this as a nuisance job and beg off on doing it. If you have a known flat and want to build muscle you can put some wet/dry paper down and work the fence back and forth till the .012 is gone. ( my arms hurt just writing that)
 

JohnnyR

John
Corporate Member
While a machine shop may be able to flatten it, I'd be concerned that it would end up flat but maybe not co-planer with the knives.
 

Melinapex

Mark
User
I'm curious as to how you arrived at the .012 out of flat ? Do you have a known flat you are able to put it on and use feeler gages to check the flatness? Just my opinion, but the 36 inch length requires a good size surface grinder to flatten. Something your average shop isn't going to have. Larger shops would view this as a nuisance job and beg off on doing it. If you have a known flat and want to build muscle you can put some wet/dry paper down and work the fence back and forth till the .012 is gone. ( my arms hurt just writing that)
Yes I have a veritas straight edge, but nothing long and flat enough to diy it. Thx.
 

Melinapex

Mark
User
While a machine shop may be able to flatten it, I'd be concerned that it would end up flat but maybe not co-planer with the knives.
I had not considered that, and figured with all the adjustability of the tables and the fence I would be able to tweak it.... probably check with Grizzly before I do anything.....
 

Melinapex

Mark
User
Update- I got a new fence from Grizzly and sure enough it was not flat either. I called them and they said they would take it back, but I could try to clamp it to a known flat surface for 24 hours and they said that should flatten it..... so I clamped it to my jointer I feed table and hard to believe but it came out pretty much perfect! Now I am wondering if that would have worked on the old fence, and more importantly, will this fence stay straight or will it want to return to the shape it arrived in.....
Time will tell, but I had no idea you could do this to cast iron.....
 

drw

Donn
Corporate Member
Mark, this is sort of mind blowing; I didn't realize that cast iron was "fluid". I realize you are dealing with a very small deflection, but I would not have guessed it would have moved at all. That said, if cast iron is like teeth, it will have a memory and want to return to is original position....you need a fence-retainer! ;)
 

Bernhard

Bernhard
User
Mark,
If I understand correctly, your fence is out 12 thou over 3 feet. Not sure that is a problem. That seems to be quite good, wood will move more than that. Now if the fence is out of square only over the the width of the fence (5") that would be problem and should be correctably by adjusting or shimming the clamping mechanism. Also, is the fence flat, meaning the out of squareness is not due to a local high or low spot?
One way to fix it is by scraping against a precision surface plate, but that requires some skill and time. Clamping the fence against a flat surface -imho- is not going to work.
BTW, what jointer do you have?
Good luck!
 

Melinapex

Mark
User
Mark,
If I understand correctly, your fence is out 12 thou over 3 feet. Not sure that is a problem. That seems to be quite good, wood will move more than that. Now if the fence is out of square only over the the width of the fence (5") that would be problem and should be correctably by adjusting or shimming the clamping mechanism. Also, is the fence flat, meaning the out of squareness is not due to a local high or low spot?
One way to fix it is by scraping against a precision surface plate, but that requires some skill and time. Clamping the fence against a flat surface -imho- is not going to work.
BTW, what jointer do you have?
Good luck!
It's a Grizzly go490x and the original problem was due to the twist in the fence, so that I could not get it to 90^ on both the in and out feed table at the same time. This new fence was closer to flat and only about .002 of twist before I did the clamp trick. I am going to check on this over the next few days/weeks to see if it springs back or not.
 

Chilihead

Chilihead
User
Interesting on the clamping trick......give us an update in a few weeks on whether it stayed put or moved again please.
 

Melinapex

Mark
User
Update-
So after a couple of weeks the fence moved a little bit. It twisted back just a bit so I called grizzly again and asked should I try again and leave it on the table longer. They said clamp it 48 hours so I did, and it went back to almost perfect. I'll probably check it in a month or so but am happy with it now.
What to do with the old fence? Anyone Have a use?
 

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