Grizzly Jointer Fence Problems

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Forum topic by imawheel posted 09-23-2016 01:50 PM 1650 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 786 days

09-23-2016 01:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer fence grizzly grizzly industrial customer service

Hi all!
Long time reader and first time poster here. I’ve been having some issues with my new Grizzly 8” jointer, model G0490XW. There were a few minor issues that I called Grizzly on right off the bat (forklift dented and scraped the base, set screws missing from bushings, cracked bushing), but the thing that concerns me most is that I noticed while setting it up today that the fence is not flat. There is a vertical cup between about 2”-4” up the fence with a 0.002 gap. Also, starting at 6” from the end of both sides of the fence, the bottom corner is out between .003 and .004. When I square up just beyond the cutter head and then slide the square down the table (I have confirmed this with a 6” Starrett combo square and 6” machinist square) the gap in the bottom disappears 6” down then reappears just about 6” before the other end. I did do about 9 bf of walnut and it looks ok (basically square along board, I could see a tiny gap at one point), but it was also 6” wide, and I’m a little concerned about shorter stock.

Anyone have any thoughts? I’m inclined to send it back to Grizzly… I’ve found multiple other posts (on here, Sawmill Creek, etc) about having to swap out their fence, sometimes more than once, to get one that’s flat. On the one hand, if it’s not a big deal, I’ll keep it or maybe get it reground. On the other hand, it will probably always bug me- I plan on having this thing for a long time. On a positive note, it arrived almost 2 months earlier than expected… Thanks!

Just beyond cutter head-

At the ends-

21 replies so far

View Boerneaggie's profile


7 posts in 792 days

#1 posted 09-23-2016 02:09 PM

I notice that one measurement is on the out-feed table the other is on the in-feed table. Have you checked to make sure your tables are coplanar with each other?

View imawheel's profile


8 posts in 786 days

#2 posted 09-23-2016 02:14 PM

Hi Boerneaggie,
Thanks for the reply. Yep – got the tables perfectly coplanar and when I square up the fence just beyond the cutter head, there is a visible gap at the ends of the fence on the bottom. The warp appears to be basically the same on both ends, out .003-.004 on the bottom.

I emailed Grizzly yesterday. We’ll see what they say… I kind of hate the thought of shipping the fence back (and waiting on a new one) but I feel like that’s what may end up happening.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5783 posts in 2987 days

#3 posted 09-23-2016 03:56 PM

If it is .004, Grizzly will say it is within specs. However that gap looks like an eighth of an inch!
Do my eyes deceive me?

Confirm that it is a warped fence by checking the fence surface itself with a straightedge and feeler gauges. Check straight across the top, straight across the bottom, and each diagonal. If a warped fence is indeed the culprit, then you need to decide if it affects the accuracy of your milling. Mill a fresh face, and square an adjacent edge, then check it for square. If it reads square (checking several spots along the length of the board), then I’d leave it alone.

If the jointer won’t mill square stock, then you’ll either need to get it machined flat or have it replaced.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View jmos's profile


891 posts in 2543 days

#4 posted 09-23-2016 04:00 PM

I just bought the same unit, and also had some initial problems, but that’s another story.

Before I installed my fence I laid it flat, with the business side up, and placed a good straight edge across it. I found the two ends were higher than the middle by 0.021” – in conversation with a Tech Support guy he said they do have a flatness spec; I don’t recall exactly, but I think it 0.003” to 0.005” per foot. If you’rs is out more than this, I’d go back to Grizzly.

Even with the bow, my fence is perpendicular to the table along the length, so I decided not to worry about the slight bow. With the twist it looks like you’ve got, if it’s outside their spec, I’d ask for a replacement. A jointer isn’t much good if it can’t reliably make an edge perpendicular to a face.

-- John

View imawheel's profile


8 posts in 786 days

#5 posted 09-23-2016 04:07 PM

pintodeluxe –
I am going to do the tests you described when I get home today. Thanks! I did so with the tables, don’t know why I didn’t just remove the fence and put it to the same tests… duh.

jmos –
It seems to be a fairly common issue. .021” is quite a bit! I haven’t heard back from Grizzly yet, so I will likely give them a ring today. Agreed with your last statement – The cosmetic issues I can deal with, but if it can’t do its one primary job…

View imawheel's profile


8 posts in 786 days

#6 posted 09-23-2016 04:38 PM

K, heard back from Grizzly tech support. They are happily going to replace the bushings and cosmetic issues. Here is what Grizzly said about the fence-

As for the fence, a twist or bow of 0.004” would be within tolerance on the jointer fence. The tolerance for vertical twist is 0.006”. The majority of pressure applied to the fence through the workpiece is closest to the cutterhead, which is where you need to be aligned perfectly.

Once we have more information, we can assist you further. You are a valued customer, and we look forward to hearing from you soon._

Argh, not exactly “precision,” but I guess this is the risk we all willingly take at this price point. Will run the tests mentioned by pintodeluxe and run some more wood through it and see where I end up. Am I nuts for thinking about flattening it with some melamine and sandpaper (long and arduous process, I’m sure) or bringing it to a machine shop?

View firefighterontheside's profile


19243 posts in 2030 days

#7 posted 09-23-2016 04:53 PM

Are you sure on your measurements? .004” is the thickness of a dollar bill.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View imawheel's profile


8 posts in 786 days

#8 posted 09-23-2016 04:57 PM

Yeah, checked several times with feeler gauges. At the very end (pictured on bottom) I could almost get a .005, but most of it is around .004 within the last 6” or so of the ends. I understand the gap looks huge in the picture…

View firefighterontheside's profile


19243 posts in 2030 days

#9 posted 09-23-2016 05:18 PM

Ok, it does look big.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View imawheel's profile


8 posts in 786 days

#10 posted 09-23-2016 11:51 PM

I stand corrected by firefighterontheside and pintodeluxe- your eyes are good! Double checked when I got home from work and evidently I had nudged the square after getting my measurement- it is a solid .008 at the end! Yikes.

I also did the front/back/diagonal test with the veritas straightedge as suggested by pintodeluxe and was able to get a .007 feeler gauge under the middle…

Thanks for the help and good set of eyes. That’s why I love this site. Going to notify Grizzly of this. To me, that warrants replacing.

View firefighterontheside's profile


19243 posts in 2030 days

#11 posted 09-24-2016 12:38 AM

Good, I hope they send you a new, flat fence.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View imawheel's profile


8 posts in 786 days

#12 posted 09-28-2016 06:08 PM

No response from Grizzly yet on the fence. I put a call in to their customer service line today to follow up and they said a tech will call within 24 hours. We shall see how this all pans out.

View HokieKen's profile


6605 posts in 1312 days

#13 posted 09-28-2016 06:28 PM

I’d try to get a new fence since it’s outside their specs. If they won’t replace it, it will probably work just fine as-is. I wouldn’t fool with getting it ground unless you know somebody who’ll do it for you. If you have to pay a shop, the benefit probably won’t justify what they’re going to charge you.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View dannmarks's profile


656 posts in 755 days

#14 posted 10-25-2016 04:21 PM

As long as you set the board tightly against the fence that is squared well at the cutter you should be able to glue up boards perfectly. When I bought mine (older model from the 80’s) it was within about .003. However, I never did check across a diagonal as described. I only made sure it was square at the cutter and checked square at the ends and it was within the .003. To be honest with you I never had to move the fence much after I had set it to work well.

Have sold that one and moved across the country and will be buying this model next month. I will check the flatness.

View unbob's profile


810 posts in 2077 days

#15 posted 10-25-2016 07:55 PM

If the fence is far off and twisted, one can attach a board to the face, and then run it through the jointer to true up.

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