Buffalo Jointer Problems

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Forum topic by KevinBlair posted 10-08-2015 07:51 PM 702 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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56 posts in 1870 days

10-08-2015 07:51 PM

Hi everyone, I have an older Buffalo 6” Jointer (see attached pictures).

Recently it started to give some trouble when flattening or straightening a board. As I push wood through from the infeed to outfeed table it seems that a few inches of material is removed and then nothing, and then maybe a few inches at the back of the board.

To experiment, I have started with a board that is pretty flat on the infeed table. I push it forward, a few inches is removed, then nothing. Holding the newly planed bit on the outfeed table and the rest over the blades and infeed table, there is wide gap that shows…if I keep going I end up with a board that is bowed in the middle.

I watched a few youtube videos about technique just to be sure i hadn’t begun slipping up, but I think I am fine.

Bought used, after I replaced the blades, this jointer has worked fine for a few years. So this is the first trouble i’ve had and the first time I’ve tried a full maintenance.

As near as I can tell (I have a better straight edge on order) the tables are coplanar. However, I am not sure how to use the set screws (see picture) to adjust the tables. Here again, I’ve watched a few youtube videos and they seem fine from doing what you’re supposed to do to check for coplanar.

The blades are sharp and I reset them to be sure they are at the right height .

Any ideas as to what is happening and how I can fix things??

8 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


814 posts in 1342 days

#1 posted 10-08-2015 07:59 PM

Hello Kevin,I jointer should cut at the beginning of the board and then the end.Each pass cuts more and more.Until the whole boards is flat.If the board is really cupped or twisted it will take longer depending on how much your taking off in each pass.So it reads like your good to go.Or maybe I’m not reading right.Good luck.

View KevinBlair's profile


56 posts in 1870 days

#2 posted 10-08-2015 08:52 PM

Thanks AJ.

I just reset the blades again and that seemed to help a lot. The only thing I could think of was that, even though I was using a jointer pal to help set the blades, they had to be higher than the outfeed table. Didn’t seem like it when I checked, but I took them out and started from scratch and did get much better results.

It may also be that I am asking too much from this jointer. I need to put the guards back on, but don’t want to do that until I have it as well adjusted as possible.

Anyone else own this jointer (or the same on under a different brand name)? I’m still curious about the set screws on the sides of each table. There are 4 (see pic) per table side. 3 are allen screws with a nut that locks them in place after adjustment and a 4th has a small knob. Not sure what exactly they do and what happens when they are adjusted?

View CharlesA's profile (online now)


3098 posts in 1342 days

#3 posted 10-08-2015 09:27 PM

When I saw the title, I just kept singing, “Buffalo jointer . . . in the heart of America . . .”

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Aj2's profile


814 posts in 1342 days

#4 posted 10-08-2015 10:12 PM

Hi Kevin,Blade height does make a differance.Maybe just try to get them all the same height then adjust the outfeed table height.The best test is to edge joint two boards and look at the gap.
Dont mess with the screws on the side of the Dt ways it just adjusts the tightness of the tables when you raise and lower.

View KevinBlair's profile


56 posts in 1870 days

#5 posted 10-09-2015 12:52 PM

Now I’ll be singing Bob Marley everytime I use this jointer :-)

So, if those screws don’t adjust for coplanar, how do you do it on this jointer?

The blade height adjustment seems to have solved most of the problem and I’m trying to remember the last time I replaced these blades. They seem decently sharp, but maybe a new set or resharpened ones.

Still, it is a bit of a mystery that the jointer was working fine for months and then things started to go wrong, resulting in the problems described in the OP. I’d like to understand what went off so I can properly fix it and maybe avoid it in the future.

View Aj2's profile


814 posts in 1342 days

#6 posted 10-09-2015 04:39 PM

The Dt ways are machined at the factory to hopefully bring the tables in coplaner alignment.If your jointer has seen a lot of heavy use and moving of the tables the only way to correct the coplaner is to shim the ways.
Be prepared to spend a lot time fiddling a small up or down here or there can make a big differance.Its really hard to keep track of what’s happening.
It’s also should be down with accurate steel straights edges that are most likely more expensive than your jointer.
I like Jointers so I have a older machine that’s can be adjusted.It took me sometime to get it right.So when my machine starts cutting funny it’s always the knives all it take is one set too high.Good Luck.

View Holbs's profile


1453 posts in 1573 days

#7 posted 10-12-2015 04:14 PM

I can barely make out those pictures, but it looks like you have dovetail ways for raising and lowering the beds. The set screws only purpose is how tight / loose the beds slide up and down. If the beds are not co-planer, you add shims in the dovetail ways to adjust (there are videos of this on youtube).
I had to go through the same process with my 8” GeeTech jointer. Luckily, the beds are co-planer as if brand new so did not have to shim anything.
Jointer Pals. Eh. I have learned using magnetic helpers give you a rough estimation of knife height, which always goes wrong once you begin to tighten the knife gibs by a large margin. The fastest and easiest way, in my opinion, is to forget about all the fancy gadgets and use a block of wood on the outfeed table that moves 1/8” back and forth over the cutterhead knives, setting the block of wood at various locations along your 6” knives (videos of this on youtube as well).
If your beds are co-planer and the test board you are using is relatively flat (not cupped or twisted)... if still getting noticeable cupping, it will be because your cutterhead knife height was too high or too low from the outfeed table.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

View KevinBlair's profile


56 posts in 1870 days

#8 posted 10-14-2015 02:22 PM

Thanks Holbs, that helps a lot. I bought a good straight edge and it appears that the tables are coplanar and surprisingly flat. The tables move easily enough and hold their positions when adjusted, so I don’t think I need to do anything with those set screws.

That seems to bring it back to blade height and sharpness. I’ll rewatch a few of the jointer knife setting videos and try the block of wood method. I bought the jointer pal in an effort to get more accuracy and easier set up, but I think you are correct that the jig doesn’t always work. I think I got lucky when I set the knifes after i initially bought this jointer. I’ll get a chance this weekend to play with it and see if I can get it right.

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