After Christmas time, I used some of my gift money to buy some wood working tools. As I don’t have much space or unlimited money to spend, I had to be somewhat choosy on what to buy in terms of allocating my budget and space as best as possible. Since a jointer was on my list, I decided on the Shop Fox W1829 6” bench top jointer. They had one at my local wood working store so I was able to see it and get a good idea of the limitations by talking to the guys who work there.
I used it for one project right away – a flip top tool cart for my planer and sander. I did the set up as prescribed by the owner’s manual. Let me say the manual is lacking in a few places, but I was able to figure it out. As I’m gearing up for my second project, a tapered leg cutting jig for my table saw, I noticed that the infeed and out feed tables were not co-planar. The owners manual does not mention any way to adjust this, and an extensive internet search yielded no results.
Unlike other bench units on the market, the tables on this one aren’t bolted on so they can’t be shimmed. The outfeed table is part of the main casting and can’t be adjusted. The infeed table is where the magic lies. After studying the exploded parts diagram in the manual, I was able to see that the infeed table is pinned to a carriage assembly that contains the depth of cut adjustment surfaces. This whole assembly is then bolted to the main casting with four bolts, each paired with a set screw. See the pictures.
Cutter side adjustment bolts
Tail end adjustment bolts
On the parts diagram, it looks like the motor has to be removed to access these, but as you can see (THANKFULLY!!!) they are accessible by simply taking the dust cover off the bottom.
The procedure to adjust the table is this:
1. Lay your straight edge across the outfeed table near the fence. Clamp down if possible. The straightest thing I had was a 6’ aluminum level. Not a ground straight edge, but it’s what I have.
2. Adjust the infeed table to a height suitable for whatever depth gauge you have. I have a set of feeler gauges and set it so the 0.020 gauge just fit under the straight edge with a little bit of friction at the cutter side of the infeed table.
3. Test the gauge at the tail end of the table – in my case the gauge passed easily under the straight edge, indicating that end of the table needed to be raised.
4. Repeat 1-3, but with the straight edge on the other side of the table.
5. Loosen the larger bolts on which ever (or both) side of the table that needs adjustment.
6. Turn the set screw the proper direction to raise or lower the table as determined in step 3. Check with the straight edge and gauge until the space under the straight edge is even at the front and back. Repeat on the other side of the table.
7. You may need to repeat step 6 on each side of the table a couple times to ensure one adjustment isn’t affecting the other. Once you are happy with what you have, tighten the larger bolts again. DONE!
Note that you can also adjust the cutter end of the table if you wish. I did not need to do this because my table was pretty even left to right across the width. If the gauge fits snugly one one side, but too tightly or loosely on the other side at the cutter, then the table is tilted and needs to be adjusted at that end as well. In my case, it was OK so I left it alone.
Now I’m ready to get back in the shop (Garage) tomorrow and try it out. I hope the improvement is noticeable. The little jointer has cut well so far, and does a great job of edge jointing too, once the fence is properly set. Now that its a little closer to ‘perfect’ we’ll see what it can do!
With the lack of info on units like these, I hope this post helps someone. I believe it is the same unit as the Grizzly bench top and one or two others. So anyone with those units should benefit as well
-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.