Jointer Problem

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Forum topic by arkydave posted 12-17-2007 11:14 PM 4008 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View arkydave's profile


7 posts in 2605 days

12-17-2007 11:14 PM

When trying to joint the face of a workpiece that’s longer than a couple of feet, it seems the jointer is unwilling to take anything much off the trailing edge. If I start with a 3/4” workpiece, and joint it enough times, I can end up with a nice taper from 1/2” on the leading edge to almost 3/4” on the trailing edge. I’ve checked that the in and out feed tables are level, and I keep a constant pressure on the piece with push blocks all the way through. What’s my likely cause? Thanks.

-- Dave, North Arkansas

12 replies so far

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2663 days

#1 posted 12-17-2007 11:39 PM

Level isn’t as important as being perfectly parallel. If they are parallel, then I would think your outfeed table must be slightly lower than the high spot on the cutterhead. If that is the case, the leading edge of the board will tip down a fraction as the cutterhead approaches the middle of the board, which causes the tail of the board to lift a fraction so less material is removed from the tail end.

-- -- --

View arkydave's profile


7 posts in 2605 days

#2 posted 12-17-2007 11:46 PM

Yes, Peter, they’re level and parallel. What you say makes sense, but the alignment procedures in the owner’s manual for the jointer says the blades should be about 1/16” above the outfeed. Maybe I should re-align to level with the outfeed. Thanks.

-- Dave, North Arkansas

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 3088 days

#3 posted 12-18-2007 12:03 AM

Here’s the way I adjust my jointer.

It always works for me, & you don’t have to buy a special tool.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2663 days

#4 posted 12-18-2007 12:14 AM

1/16” higher than outfeed? I’ve never heard that. I’ve always set my outfeed level with the high point of the blades. Let us know if that still isn’t working – I’m sure someone will know just what to do.

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View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

502 posts in 2902 days

#5 posted 12-18-2007 12:33 AM

The problem might not be with your jointer, it might be the lumber. You have to exam your board and figure how best to run it through. If your board has a bow in it, it can cause the tail to pick up if you run it through with the convex side down. If you haven’t see Hendrik Varju DVD on Jointer and Planer Secrets, it’s one of the best educational DVDs I’ve seen. It’s a bit pricey, but has a lot of good information in it.

As for setting your out-feed table, a 1/16th seems like a pretty big gap! Mine is set at the same height as the cutter. Dick’s link shows a good procedure to follow, and it sounds like it says the same thing.

View arkydave's profile


7 posts in 2605 days

#6 posted 12-18-2007 03:17 AM

I wasn’t thinking when I said 1/16th. It’s more like 1/64th. Actually, the procedure says to put a metal ruler on the outfeed, hanging over the cutter, and when you rotate the cutter by hand, it should move the ruler between 1/16th and 1/8th of an inch. Looking at the link provided by Dick Cain above, the procedure there looks very similar. And Mike, it wasn’t the board. I got the same result with several boards, all were fairly flat and had even grain. Think I’ll readjust the alignment to level with the outfeed and try again. Thanks to all for your replies.

-- Dave, North Arkansas

View TheCaver's profile


288 posts in 2628 days

#7 posted 12-18-2007 03:48 AM

Dave, I reccomend NOT using a metal ruler for this.

I did this when I first got my jointer, and its VERY easy to slightly nick a blade. Use a jointed (rip a piece of hardwood on the table saw if necessary) piece of wood instead.

Get it close using the method you describe (MOST important is that the piece of wood moves the same amount along the width of the cutterhead)....then joint some boards along the edge. You will probably have a little snipe with the setting you describe. As long as your knives are parallel with the outfeed, you’re good. Now begin to adjust the outfeed up in VERY minute increments until the trailing snipe just disappears…..

Good to go!


-- Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. -Carl Sagan

View TheCaver's profile


288 posts in 2628 days

#8 posted 12-18-2007 03:54 AM

I cannot seem to edit the above post, so I will add:

The one thing that I learned when I got my jointer was to not monkey with the blades if you find that they are parallel unless you are just bored as all he!! :)

Outfeed adjustments will fix most jointer issues so long as your beds are coplanar (Don’t get too caught up in numbers) and your blades are parallel to the beds.

I was super anal about numbers when setting up shop and I’ve learned that if the equipment is producing flat, square boards, then forget getting your settings to .00005 etc…..I’m not saying overlook a .01 error (thats a bit too much for my taste, but don’t be so concerned about getting that last .002…..most wood will most this much right after you cut/joint/plane it :)


-- Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. -Carl Sagan

View Blake's profile


3441 posts in 2663 days

#9 posted 12-18-2007 03:56 AM

I’m with Peter. The outfeed should be perfectly in line with the top of the blades arc. That’s probably your problem.

-- Happy woodworking!

View coloradoclimber's profile


548 posts in 2856 days

#10 posted 12-18-2007 03:59 AM

Similar thread here jointer problems

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

350 posts in 2676 days

#11 posted 12-18-2007 04:35 PM


I had the same problem as you have and it promptly got solved when I set up the blade height precisely to the outfeed table. I literally locked the outfeed table and used a straight edge to adjust knife height to get the same thing. After this procedure, my jointer cuts really well.


-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4441 posts in 2751 days

#12 posted 12-18-2007 04:44 PM

I set my outfeed table to be exactly even with the top dead center of the blades. Snipe is eliminated. Now for something I was taught many years ago. After each pass on the jointer reverse the board. I wouldn’t suggest this on curly Maple but on ordinary boards it will keep them level. Make the last pass with the grain and never take off more than 1/32 in a pass. I’ve never heard of this in any forum or article but the man who told me this was one of the best woodworkers I’ve ever known. Bill put himself through college rebuilding high end furniture and then became an industrial arts teacher and built furniture on the side. I’ve used this technique for many years with good results. Also, don’t try to use your jointer as a planer. I have done this in the past and got away with it, sorta. Just get it flat and put it through the planer. If you have a small jointer, you should invest in a good set of hand planes for longer boards. I’ve never had any luck on long boards on a 6 inch jointer. One time, I had a hardwood supplier surface an order of Sapele, about 400 feet. I was in a hurry and thought it would save me time. When I got there, one of the workers was trying to run my boards across a jointer to straight edge them for me, 14 foot boards.. I hadn’t asked for that and didn’t look at them . they loaded my trailer while I paid my bill. When I unloaded the boards, some of them looked like long tent pegs. I took them back and got new ones that I surfaced myself. Recently, I switched to a supplier who can supply S2STE boards in 13/16. The price is right and on major projects it saves me a lot of time because I have one straight edge and make two passes with the planer. I highly recommend it. Good luck with your problem.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

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