Jointer Knife Change. #1: Changing blades.

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Blog entry by JoeyG posted 06-15-2012 08:04 PM 2610 reads 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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A friend asked about changing jointer knives and since I needed to change mine I figure a how to would be nice, so here you go.

This first pic is of the items need. I have a honer there but that isn’t necessary for this. You will need new blades, a square, straight edge, pencil or fine tip sharpie, and I am using a jig, although a straight piece of wood works just as well. But I will get into that later.

First the highest point of the knife needs to be at the exact height of the out feed table. My old knives were so I marked them.

Here you can see I carried my mark up. Next remove the bolts from the first knife and remove the knife.

When you put everything back together don’t forget the blue loctite. These are not bolts that you want working their way out!!!!!!!!

Here you see me using the indexing screws that are in my jointer. Had I know these were here I would not have spent the $35 on the jig. We live and learn. I found the jig to be a bit of a pain. It is metal and I was concerned for my brand new blades. I found that a piece of wood with a straight edge worked better for me. I sat the wood in place raised the knife higher than the out feed table, and then slowly lowered it back into place. That’s the way it goes. The jig will look cool hanging on my wall I guess.

Once you have the knife exactly where you want it tight 2 bolts. I then removed the jig and used a piece of wood to make sure I had it where I wanted it. Then I put loctite on the other two bolts and tightened them in. I then removed the first two bolts, add loctite and then put them back and tighten.

Do the same on the rest of the knives. I only have 2 on this jointer so it went quickly. I think the entire blade change took about 30 minutes, even with stopping to take pics.

This is why I needed to change my knives. I have a box coming up that will be using this wonder full Walnut Burl and my old knives would have chewed it up.

Just a couple more points and I am done here. First before you start unplug your jointer!!!!
Second once you have everything back together, spin the jointer head to make sure it spins freely. Be careful not to cut yourself, those blades are sharp. Next I plug in my jointer then turn it on/off really quickly to make sure everything sounds good. After this run a board through and see what you get. If the knives are to low, the board will hit the out feed table. If they are to high you will get snipe on the end of the board.

I hope this helps someone out there. If there are any questions or suggestions, please leave them. We all have different ways to do things, and I love to learn new ways.

Thanks for giving it a read.

Until next time,

-- JoeyG ~~~

14 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20462 posts in 3099 days

#1 posted 06-15-2012 08:13 PM

Thanks for the info!...................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Brohymn62's profile


125 posts in 2249 days

#2 posted 06-15-2012 08:25 PM

Great blog, I’m dreading my upcoming knife changing… cringe…

-- Chris G. ; Los Angeles, CA

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2619 days

#3 posted 06-15-2012 08:33 PM

Your welcome Jim.

Chris, on my machine is was a lot easier than I expected. Good Luck. Just take the time to get it right.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4394 days

#4 posted 06-15-2012 09:29 PM

Joey: What I also did when setting my joiner blades I used an aluminum ruler I held it on edge and held one end over the knife edge on the blade and I turned it by hand. If the blade was high it cut into the aluminum and raised the ruler up off the surface. When it is just right. It just touches the ruler and doesn’t lift it.

I run this test on each of the blades and on the left, right and center of the blade. If the left and right are OK and you’ve got a problem in the center then you either have a table problem or a bad grind on the blade.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View WoodworkingGeek's profile


181 posts in 2686 days

#5 posted 06-15-2012 09:48 PM

Thanks for the info! How do you like your jointer? I only have a 4’’ and want to upgrade. I was looking at some reviews on the jointer you have and they look very good! What do you say about it?
Thanks again!!

View Tokolosi's profile


678 posts in 2349 days

#6 posted 06-15-2012 11:21 PM

Geat tutorial. And a really beautifull peice wood.

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

View vonhagen's profile


534 posts in 2358 days

#7 posted 06-15-2012 11:34 PM

joey, one thing i noticed is the locktite, imo you dont need to go that far. the other thing is dont take out all the knives at once just do one at a time because you will distort the cutter head.

-- no matter what size job big or small do a job right or don't do it at all.

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2619 days

#8 posted 06-16-2012 12:53 AM

@Karsen, I used a piece of wood to do the same thing. Worked better than the jig.

@ Mathew. I really like it. It’s a Grizzly 6” and it works great. I wish I had more room in my shop for a larger one, but it does everything I need it to and it does it well. The fence tilts easily to any angle up to 45 both forward and backward. The table is a bit short and can make it a challenge to get longer pieces flat, but it is perfect for my boxes. That being said I would buy this unit again. I’ve had it for 2 years now and couldn’t be happier.

@Tokolosi, Thank you. I can’t wait to see how the burl project turns out. I have had it in my mind for months now.

@Vonhagen, when I removed the bolts, they had locktite on them from Grizzly, I keep some around the shop for this kind of thing. It’s the blue so you can break it by hand. I wouldn’t use the red, it has to be broken with heat. A jointer has a lot of vibration and the last thing I want is for that thing to throw a bolt or even worse, a blade at me. I figure it’s better safe than sorry. Plus, I already had it. I wouldn’t have gone out just to get it.

I only did one knife at a time. I didn’t know it could distort the cutter head, but it seemed like the right way to do it. I am glad to know I did it correctly. It would really suck to screw up the machine when trying to change the knives.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2684 days

#9 posted 06-16-2012 12:54 AM

Thanks Joey. That went a little smoother than I thought. IF my Ridgid is like your Grizz, I think I can handle it. Now I need to find some new blades. Let us know how you like your hone. I have the same one and wasn’t impressed but maybe my expectations were too high.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2619 days

#10 posted 06-16-2012 01:00 AM

Your welcome Andy. Good luck with the Ridgid. It really was a lot easier than I expected. I was actually putting it off, because I expected it to be a major pain in the a$$. LOL. I am thinking that the hone will probably be used to take off pitch build up on the knives. LOl. I don’t really expect it to make a big difference, but maybe if I use it every couple of weeks I will buy more time between resharpening.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3297 days

#11 posted 06-16-2012 01:00 AM

this was a good one and im sure helped those who needed a little help with there knives, the way i do mine now, is from a way i learned a long time ago, oi took a piece of plate glass and cut it to the width of my joiner, i then glued two earth magnets on to it and change my knives with that, i slide it over the new knives and the magnets have enough pull so that when it lifts the knives you here them tink the glass, you then tighten them as you did, and your right , using the loctite is the good way to go, as you dont want one of those bolts backing out and flying up at you…that would make for a bad bad day…...thanks joey for this, there is always something to learn…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View JohnMeeley's profile


255 posts in 2327 days

#12 posted 06-16-2012 10:28 AM

I went to Harbor Freight and spent small dollars on a dial gauge and magnetic stand. I used these just once so far to set my knives. A bit fussy, but I was happy with the result. I have a Jointer Pal, and it proudly hangs in my shop undisturbed. :)

-- "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what others say you cannot do."-Walter Bagehot

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2402 days

#13 posted 06-16-2012 10:58 AM

Good blog Joey. I have an OLD Craftsman 4’‘er and the blades really need changing bad….and something I have put off. I changed my planer blades and that went fine, so I figure if I follow your instructions on the jointer, it should be a piece of cake.
PS—-you should have been a diplomat. LOL

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Chris Carlson's profile

Chris Carlson

18 posts in 2364 days

#14 posted 11-28-2012 12:00 AM

Thanks for the post. I have a craftsman that I will be sharpening. After some debate I will be making a jig for the process. A 2×6 with a 25 degree kerf in it, a piece of sand paper and my table saw fence. Wish me luck

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