All Replies on My simple inexpensive tool and method to set jointer knives

  • Advertise with us
View GaryK's profile

My simple inexpensive tool and method to set jointer knives

by GaryK
posted 04-30-2011 03:26 AM

21 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117416 posts in 3811 days

#1 posted 04-30-2011 03:42 AM

As usual you’ve got it down pat Gary. If it’s in a person’s budget I say avoid this all together with a spiral head jointer.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View PaulJerome's profile


57 posts in 3267 days

#2 posted 04-30-2011 04:01 AM

Thank you Gary for taking the time and effort to show us all how simple this can be. I really appreciate it. It will save me some time and effort. Great job!

-- Paul, Central Illinois

View patron's profile


13641 posts in 3575 days

#3 posted 04-30-2011 04:48 AM

the center high trick
is the hardest part of setting these knives

this is the best solution
i have ever seen for that

thank you

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Karson's profile


35152 posts in 4634 days

#4 posted 04-30-2011 05:26 AM

Great design on the jig and head setting trick.

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

View DIYaholic's profile


19738 posts in 2909 days

#5 posted 04-30-2011 06:01 AM


Nice tutorial. You make it look so simple. Good job!

Could you stop by my shop and give a demonstration (that is, the next time I need to reset/sharpen/change blades). Lol.

Thanks for posting this. I need to calibrate/setup a jointer that I recently purchased and your jig/instructable is “Just what the Doctor ordered”.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 2901 days

#6 posted 04-30-2011 08:54 AM

I have watched videos, and read descriptions on setting jointer knives, and wondered why most of these people don’t lock the cutter head in position.
You mentioned using a wedge, which is the way I have always done it.
I didn’t see the wedge in your pictures, I put mine in front.
When I’m done the small wedge and the rest of the tools, for setting the knifes, are put away in one spot for the next time
Great little jig set.
I was going to buy some of those little magnets, for other things, but the shipping was as much as the magnets.
I never thought about the hobby store, great idea, there is one close by, I have been to, and they probably have those little magnets, so I will go check it out. Thanks

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View CanadianWoodChuck's profile


402 posts in 4147 days

#7 posted 04-30-2011 02:12 PM

Thanks Gary, I would comment on your editorial but I’m busy setting my jointer knives. :) Thanks

-- Wood Chuck (Bruce)

View saddletramp's profile


1180 posts in 2872 days

#8 posted 04-30-2011 02:45 PM

Boy, that is the easiest way to do this onerous (in the past) task that I’ve seen. Thanks!!

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View ScottN's profile


261 posts in 2913 days

#9 posted 04-30-2011 03:15 PM

Changing jointer blades is a tedious job and I like your ideas. But I’m confused as to why you would want to be 1-2 thousands of an inch higher. I’ve always set them to the same height as my out feed table. Whats the benefit of going higher? It just makes sense to me to keep them at the same height.

-- New Auburn,WI

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4222 days

#10 posted 04-30-2011 06:31 PM

bubinga – You don’t see the wedge because I wasn’t actually changing the blades at this time. Just taking pictures.

ScottN – I have found that when setting it exactly flush, I “bump” into the outfeed table sometimes. The extra difference assures that I never do. It has no affect on the jointing operation. Plus it makes the find top center a little easier having something to work with.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3408 days

#11 posted 04-30-2011 06:34 PM

Magic !

So … do I have this right ? ISTR hearing/reading that … with metal (like the straight edge) ... you have to be REALLY careful not to nick the blades, during this sort of process.

Are they truly THAT soft/fragile ?

Not a thread-jack. Just a question about this brilliant, and near dummy-proof method :-)

-- -- Neil

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2926 days

#12 posted 04-30-2011 06:53 PM

Thanks Gary, I like the magnet trick.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Tony's profile


986 posts in 4264 days

#13 posted 04-30-2011 09:24 PM

nice one Gary

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3160 days

#14 posted 04-30-2011 09:39 PM

The problem I had when installing my last set of knives was that the blades rose slightly when I tightened the screws down.

Not sure how wide your jointer is (mine is 8” and has 5 screws), but I will try this next time and see if it helps.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3819 days

#15 posted 04-30-2011 09:48 PM

The Austrian Felder company have the easiest idea they have an inbuilt frame which comes out to fit the jointer knives when it’s returned it clicks into be locked at the correct height cannot be too high or low you can change knives in seconds as oposed to a long drawn out affair. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View D_Allen's profile


495 posts in 3018 days

#16 posted 05-01-2011 01:42 AM

I have a question/observance. It was always my understanding that the outfeed table should be exactly the same height as the top-dead height of the blades. It seems to me that even at .002”, when the stock gets to the point when you would put downward pressure on the outfeed table, the stock would tip down on that side. I realize that the stock is probably flexing more than that but it seems it would also cause the jointed edge to be not quite perfectly straight. It would also seem to me that bumping into the outfeed table would indicate that the blades are set lower then the outfeed table.

-- Website is finally up and

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4222 days

#17 posted 05-01-2011 02:05 AM

D_Allen – Technically and theoretically you are correct.

The .002” won’t effect anything and just helps getting the part smoothly on the outfeed table.

Making a final pass with a perfectly sharp leading edge, I have found that any pressure on the end of the board will catch on the outfeed table.

I mainly do it for the first couple of passes when the lumber is not flat. It just gives it a little extra clearance.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2909 days

#18 posted 05-02-2011 02:11 AM

I think the knives are that fragile Neil. Be careful to not nick them. That is the reason we are taught to not set our manual hand planes on their shoe. Instead we lay them on their sides.

View larryw's profile


335 posts in 2896 days

#19 posted 05-06-2011 03:44 AM

Thanks Gary for sharing this info, much appreciated.

-- "everything is beautiful, but not everyone sees it" ~confucius-551-449 b.c.~

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 3946 days

#20 posted 05-26-2011 05:41 AM

Thank you Gary. Figuring out top dead center has baffled me, your method looks dead easy to do.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Broglea's profile


686 posts in 3324 days

#21 posted 05-26-2011 02:24 PM

Easy, inexpensive and just the way I like it. Thanks Gary!!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics