Jointer won't joint

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Forum topic by Clarence posted 01-26-2010 11:50 PM 3296 views 2 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Clarence's profile


125 posts in 3074 days

01-26-2010 11:50 PM

I’ve become very upset with my new Ridgid JP06101 jointer. I bought it more than a year ago and just got it out of the box a couple of months ago, very excited about using it. Problem is, everything I run through it comes out convex: when I try to match up two edges for a glue joint I have two fat middles and open space at both ends.

Using my straightedge, best I can tell with my aged vision is that the feed end of the infeed table is a bit high. The manual, which might be helpful to someone who already knows what it’s talking about, doesn’t address adjusting the infeed table, so I surmise the center of the outfeed table should be lowered—if that’s what’s causing the problem. I’m not a guy who has the skills, the instruments, the eyesight or the patience to adjust things down to frog-hair tolerances.

There’s an authorized repair center here in my town, and they say they can fix it, but I sure don’t look forward to humping that behemoth up onto my trailer. I’m assuming it needs fixing—it might just be that I don’t know how to operate the thing.

This is very frustrating. I’d been wanting a jointer ever since I used one in shop class 50 years ago. Now I’ve got one and it’s not giving me straight boards. (Sigh.)

That said, I believe it is a solid, well-built machine that is capable of giving good service for a long time.

-- Getting old is a good thing, but being old kinda stinks.

14 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3617 days

#1 posted 01-27-2010 12:02 AM

lets start from the basics – the infeed table and the outfeed table MUST be parallel. if the infeed table is sloped – that needs to be fixed on the infeed side, do not change the outfeed table to compensate for that or you’ll make the situation worse.

you should raise the infeed table so that it is coplaner with the outfeed table, and using a straightedge check that they are indeed forming a flat continuous surface, if one of them is tilted – it needs to be tuned. I am not familiar with the Ridgid jointer, but can try to look it up later online if noone else can come up with the formal procedure.

dont sweat it though – the jointer IS one of the most annoying machines to setup and tune… but once you’ve got it tuned, it works great.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Tony_S's profile


857 posts in 3051 days

#2 posted 01-27-2010 01:29 AM

Sounds like the outfeed table needs to be dropped slightly. I’m not familiar with Ridgid jointers, but I suspect they’re not much different than most others. There should be a table height adjustment knob underneath the outfeed table and another knob or nut somewhere (location of this can vary with different manufacturers) to lock and unlock the outfeed table.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View End_Grain's profile


95 posts in 3105 days

#3 posted 01-27-2010 03:31 AM

Something that is rarely discussed about jointers is technique. Most of the pressure on the wood should be transferred on to the outfeed table as soon as possible during the process. When there is excessive pressure on the remaining wood on the infeed table all sort of problems and misshapen wood will result.

Although some instructions make make adjusting the outfeed table and knives seem like rocket science, it isn’t and is something that should be seen as regular maintenance for it. If you don’t like the instructions included with your machine do a search and you will find some that are easy and make sense. At some point in time the knives will still be sharp but after a while they will wear down a bit requiring an equal lowering of the outfeed table. Between wrestling my jointer out of my shop to have someone do these adjustments or learning how to adjust the tables, the latter is most definitely the easiest and least frustrating and time consuming of the two.

-- My greatest fear is that when I die, my wife will sell all my stuff for what I told her I bought it for.

View jcwalleye's profile


306 posts in 3041 days

#4 posted 01-27-2010 06:44 AM

My apologies if I’m hijacking this thread but have a similar problem using a jointer, also a Ridgid. I might even be doing it right. I believe my jointer is set up properly, but wonder if my technique is wrong.

Let’s say I’m trying to take out a slight twist from a 4 ft board. I’ll set the depth for 1/32, start feeding from the infield table till it’s approximately 1 foot past the cutterhead, when I start pressuring on the outfeed table. It’ll cut as expected till about half way at which point the cutter stops contacting the board. Running it through again takes it to 2/3 of the length of the board, again takes it to ¾. Pretty soon I’ll be to the last 2 or 3 inches of the board but I’ve run it through six passes to get there. And it will probably take 2 or 3 more to get to the end. I understand its creating a taper of 1/4 “or bigger. Is this a normal scenario? Some other questions.

Is it OK to swap the board end to end? The board seems to flatten out much faster but there’s the tearout issue. Do you folks do that?

What about featherboards on the outfeed table after the cutterhead? Is that a good or bad idea?

Thanks for all the help. This is a great forum.

-- Trees, a wonderful gift --Joe--

View tooldad's profile


660 posts in 3683 days

#5 posted 01-27-2010 07:01 AM

I disagree with the technique discussed. I teach shop and I see too often when a shop student transfers his weight to the front of the board, the board is often rocked. I live by the thought, the more you adjust something the more likely it is to be out of alignment, or not identical. this rule even goes to the table saw, but that’s another discussion.

I teach the kids the same way Marc Adams does. right hand is feed hand on back of board, resting on top of the fence if possible also, left hand just on infeed side of table, palm resting on table fingers pushing against board at the bottom to keep it tight to fence, once about half the board is through, only the left hand changes position to infront of the guard, and still keeps board tight to fence at bottom

there are 3-4 possible causes to the problems listed in above threads, rather than get state each one.

If both hands are on the top of the board, seems to make sense for beginners because it keeps hands further from blades, you can rock the board away from the fence and not get 90 degrees, or the fence is not square.

If the top of the arch is on the table, like a rocking chair leg, then you will definitely get a taper, because the board will rock as it goes through the jointer. The top of the arch should be up. I use the St Louis arch as an example to my students since that is where I teach. This will shave a little off each end until it is flat all the way across, key though is to keep constant pressure on one spot of the board, do not rock or change

In skimming through, I don’t know if said, but this is my answer to the original post. Definitely make sure tables are parallel to one another, then the outfeed table height needs to be dead set exactly at the top of th arc of the blade. Use a framing square or straight edge to verify and rotate back and forth the cutter head. Check to see that all 2-4 blades are the same height also. Then the infeed table should be 1/64- 1/16 lower than the outfeed table, most set at 1/32”. There should be adjustment levers or wheels to accomplish this.

PM me anyone if you have any questions on technique or setup. Tooldad

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3617 days

#6 posted 01-27-2010 07:27 AM


as tooldad mentioned – make sure the outfeed table is exactly at the top of the cutters. then raise the infeed table to a 0” cut so that it’s inline with the outfeed table and check for parallelism. if one of the tables seems to have a tilt in or out, you’d need to realign it by shimming it. there is mention of the gibs in the infeed and outfeed tables on page 30 in your user manual, see if you can loosen those and shim the problematic table. however , make sure that this adjustment is really necessary as I would not recommend playing around with jointer tables adjustment for nothing.

let us know what you find, and if you need any help.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Luke's profile


545 posts in 3262 days

#7 posted 01-27-2010 07:54 AM

I have a Delta and I fiddled with the adjustments for quite some time and couldn’t get it right or consistent. I finally decided to try once more and didn’t do anything too much differently than before. What I did do was move the infeed table down and then creep upwards on the adjustment until I was close to what I needed and then tightened down the table. By creeping up and not going down then stopping and tightening, I believe I somehow got it perfectly parallel and co-planer by luck mixed with a little bit of skill. Every time I ran a board through after that it came out perfect. Glue ups went swimmingly, no gaps, no other problems. I have not changed anything at all since that day. I left everything in that setup and put some tape on the adjustment that states “Don’t move me”. It will only take off that amount of wood every time but I have not had an instance where I actually needed to take off more or less. It is a very light cut, maybe 1/64 to 1/32 but it works for everything and I never need to touch the adjustments. It doesn’t really help you get it dialed in too much but do what these other guys (purplev) are saying and you’ll find it, they are correct, Then if it were me I’d not touch the controls again. If you need a deeper cut off the edge or face just run it through twice or even more. Rememeber, the jointer is not a thicknesser and is not meant to be a perfect measuring tool. It just straightens things out in prep for the table saw or thickness planer, and then more you run something through it the more any misalignments will show up. Unless you flip the piece every run but then you run into grain direction problems. You probably knew all this but just being thorough.

Good luck

-- LAS,

View TomHintz's profile


207 posts in 3366 days

#8 posted 01-27-2010 09:42 AM


The jointer is one of the most technique-dependent machines we use. The problem is that it looks so simple. If my email is any indication, the jointer is probably the most frustrating machine in our shops.
I suspect your problem stems from somplace between technique and a minor setup problem. I have a few stories in the list at the link below on setting up and using a jointer that might have some info that would be useful to you. I can’t stress enough the importance of taking your time when setting it up and practicing your technique. Both will pay dividends in the not-so-distant future.

Jointer Stories

-- Tom Hintz,

View Tony_S's profile


857 posts in 3051 days

#9 posted 01-27-2010 01:30 PM


Ive taught a 100 guys (at least) how to use a jointer properly….Your article ‘Jointer Basics’ is bang on! It typically doesn’t take any longer to show a person how to use a jointer properly, than it does to real that article! The Video compliments the article very wall also.

It’s not rocket science….but if you don’t have a good grasp on a few basic points, you’ll end up chasing your tail, over and over again.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View ShannonRogers's profile


540 posts in 3756 days

#10 posted 01-27-2010 05:43 PM


The most popular episode of the 80 podcasts I have put out has been my jointer tune up. I was getting the same problems you had and it was the simple matter of adjusting the knives. It was an extremely small adjustment to get it right too. Technique can be a big part of it and I discuss that as well. If you haven’t figured it out with all of the excellent advice above then check out my Jointer Tune Up episode

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

View Clarence's profile


125 posts in 3074 days

#11 posted 01-27-2010 07:31 PM

Thanks guys ever so much for all your input. I’m going to print out everything you’ve said and review when I have more time to devote to the problem.

I went out last night and took another look. I used a suggestion I got from someone and cranked the infeed table all the way up. I then butted two framing squares at the junction of the two tables and had almost a 1/8 inch gap at the top, which would suggest a high middle. Then I laid my long straightedge across the tables; there was a gap of about 1/32 beneath the straightedge in the middle. It doesn’t make sense, and that’s why this kind of stuff drives me nuts. I agree that it would be far better for me to learn how to tweak this machine, if possible, rather than have someone else do it. As I’ve said, part of the problem is simply that it’s difficult for me to see small things, making it tough to do fine measurements and adjustments.

As far as technique goes, there’s no question that there’s a lot I need to learn. I’ve experimented with varying the pressures I use to feed the wood through, but these changes have not seemed to have an effect.

Another rookie question: Tony referred to the table height adjustment knob under the outfeed table. I haven’t found any reference to that knob in my manual. Does it lock the outfeed table in place? How should it be used?

-- Getting old is a good thing, but being old kinda stinks.

View Tony_S's profile


857 posts in 3051 days

#12 posted 01-28-2010 01:41 AM


I downloaded the owners manual for your model “Ridgid JP06101 jointer” and found this on page 30.

“If outfeed table needs adjustment, loosen wing screw table locks. Raise or lower the outfeed table as required by turning the outfeed table knob, until the outfeed table is exactly level with the knives of the cutter head at their highest point of revolution.
After the outfeed table has been set at the correct height, lock in place using wing screw table locks. It should not be changed except after sharpening knives.”

Page 11 has a diagram that shows the “outfeed table handwheel’ and the “Table lock screw”

The diagram shows the handwheel directly under the outfeed table. It looks very similar to infeed table handwheel.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View BreakingBoardom's profile


615 posts in 3049 days

#13 posted 01-28-2010 01:59 AM

Also if you can’t get it figured out from what’s been said here, then I would go to the reviews section of this website. There are at least 3 reviews of this exact jointer over there so that’s at least 3 people you could message to ask for firsthand experience. Also, if you read the thread, I’m sure there is probably other people who chime in saying they have the same jointer and love it, so there’s a few more people to ask for assistance. Everyone here is friendly and we’ll all help you get it figured out together.

-- Matt -

View Bob Areddy's profile

Bob Areddy

192 posts in 3370 days

#14 posted 01-29-2010 05:41 AM

IMO, a straight edge is not accurate enough to align the blade with the outfeed table. You really need a dial indicator.

If the blade is too low compared to the outfeed table, the board will be convex. If the balde is too high compared to the outfeed table, the board will be concave.

Technique is very important for really out of whack boards. If you’re face jointing, it’s very easy to deflect the board, so use as little pressure as possible. Edge jointing is different, and you can apply much more pressure.

-- --Bob

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