When assembling the fence for the jointer, you need to place the fence on the table in order to have clearance to insert and tighten the screws holding the fence bracket to the fench carriage that rides on the “ram” (the rack-and-pinion steel post):
I noticed upon installing the fence, that there was a lot of play in the fence, but that the default position it wanted to settle at was with pretty uneven gaps at the infeed table side vs the outfeed table side, even with the infeed table set dead flat with the outfeed. I also had left the wax paper on both the tables and the fence to protect them somewhat during the assembly. Obviously I had to crank the fence back off the table once it was installed to perform other assembly operations like installing the cutterhead guard, and to ultimately remove the wax paper, clean off the cosmoline, and start checking the tables’ alignment.
Upon doing this, however, I noticed these unsightly scratches in my outfeed table just past the cutterhead (reminder to right-click and ‘Open in New Tab’ to see the full picture):
This was bad enough, but once I tighted the set screw on top of the carriage surround the ram, I realized that this made the ram, and hence, the whole fence assembly want to rotate toward the outfeed side, i.e. it forced the outfeed side down and raised the infeed side of the fence up. If you don’t tighten this set screw, the fence has a just a ton of slop.
Well, if you keep the set screw tightened, you run into the problem that the outfeed side of the fence bracket won’t slide onto the table because it is too low, while the infeed side of the bracket has plenty of clearance:
I should also note that I checked the outfeed table, and it is dead level with the top of the knives at top dead center, so it is not a question of adjusting the outfeed table down. The only way to get the fence to slide out onto the table is to loosen the set screw so there is a ton of slop in the ram, and then hold the fence up on the outfeed table slide as you turn the knob with your other hand. Of course, once you let go, it still wants to rest with that outfeed-side half of the bracket resting on the table top, while the infeed side floats above it.
I checked the bracket that the ram assembly sits on to see how it was aligned relative to the table, as you can see, it is slightly below:
As you’d expect, the other side is slightly above.
Anyway, so it seems I have two issues. First, that this bracket isn’t flush with the tables on either side. This probably wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for the second issue, which is that the ram and fence mounting bracket attached to are skewed to drive the outfeed side down, which of course is the side that is already too low.
So I obviously plan to call Grizzly technical support about this and will post an update as to the outcome of that conversation. But for now I have an unusable jointer fence that has scratched my outfeed table.
Thanks for reading!