DJ-20 (new to me)

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Forum topic by DNK posted 04-04-2017 03:57 PM 588 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 561 days

04-04-2017 03:57 PM

I just bought a 1985 DJ-20. It had a 3-phase motor that I replaced with a Grizzly single phase (both 1.5 HP). As I clean it and learn about it, I keep coming up with questions.

1. Can the fence angle be changed without changing its height above the table? I see the slot that accepts a pin for the 90 degree position. But if I don’t want it to ride on the table, then I have to keep the same height or that 90 degrees doesn’t mean anything. In the photo I’m showing the fence’s pivot. The round disk (with a set screw) closest to the camera has the slot…what is the purpose for the disk further back (under the locking nut, also with a set screw)?

2. The dust chute isn’t a closed tube from the cutter output to the cabinet side; it’s a “U” with its top open. If I attach a dust collector that draws more CFM than the cutter creates, then aren’t I going to suck air into the cabinet? I see the Grizzly base is the same (maybe they all are). Wouldn’t you want to draw as much air as possible straight from the cutter, and away from the motor and belt?

3. The last owner put very sharp knives on, and each table is very flat. The outfeed table is set above the cutter knives, so much so that I can’t raise the infeed table to the same height (so I haven’t confirmed they’re coplanar). I could just raise the knives, but wouldn’t it make more sense to lower the outfeed table? (I’ve been nervous about messing with it, for fear I’ll make alignment harder than it has to be).

5 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5757 posts in 2957 days

#1 posted 04-04-2017 05:14 PM

First of all, you bought a great tool. They are built like a tank and with a little tuning you will love it.

1. The way I solved the fence issue is to put a strip of slick tape under the fence. Stick it to the fence so it will ride on the outfeed table. Then you will be free to adjust the angle as needed, and you won’t scratch up the table.
Powermatic has a similar bumper built into their machine.

2. I noticed the same thing on the dust chute. I pulled off the front cover and enclosed the chute with 1/4” plywood and foil tape. I made shallow grooves in the plywood to ride on the sheet metal chute. With my 2hp cyclone dust collection is now stellar. I also tried it with a 1hp collector hooked directly to the jointer and collection was pretty darn good.

3. There is a specific spec for how far the knives need to protrude from the cutterhead. Many people don’t know this or disregard this and it causes problems. Pull the manual online and get that spec first. It’s a very small distance.

If everything is within specs, just lower the outfeed table to match the height of the knives. I use a Snapcheck digital height gauge for that ($20 at but you can use a stick or board with a known flat face to check. Set them dead even or knives higher than the outfeed by .002”. If the outfeed is too high, the workpiece will hang up as you attempt to joint it.

If it’s not within specs, you will have to reset the knives. See or many good online tutorials for that.

4. You didn’t ask about the blade guard, but that was a source of confusion for me initially. Put a sticker or piece of tape over the allen bolt on the top of the blade guard. Do not loosen that bolt to remove the guard! The guard will come into several pieces and is difficult to setup again. Instead, loosen the allen bolt on the front side of the machine. That will easily release the whole guard assembly. When you go to replace the guard, your swing-back tension will still be set correctly.

If you actually need to adjust the swing-back spring tension, you will do that by loosening the top allen bolt and gripping the black part with padded vice grips. However you should only have to do that once.

Good luck with your new tool.

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

View GR8HUNTER's profile


4713 posts in 856 days

#2 posted 04-04-2017 05:37 PM

did you get it off craigs list???? ...there was one listed on mine for 500.00 dollars :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View DNK's profile


5 posts in 561 days

#3 posted 04-04-2017 10:22 PM

I’m afraid I paid more than most people think I should ($1200). After a while looking, I went with one being sold by a business that re-sells equipment. I tell myself that their business depends on meeting at least some quality standards…

I appreciate the advice. The Wood Whisperer video is very good. But I don’t recall that he said anything about the outfeed table, other than to leave it alone! I have some of that slick tape…good idea. The dust collection solution is also smart.

View Myles Standridge's profile

Myles Standridge

72 posts in 3086 days

#4 posted 04-07-2017 02:50 AM

Just an FYI, if you should ever need to adjust the table corner to corner, the cam adjuster has two set screws stacked on top of each other, it drove me crazy until I searched online and found this out. I couldn’t get the thing to adjust! That’s the first time I’ve ever seen stacked set screws.
Enjoy your new tool, it’ll outlast you!

-- Average people have wishes and dreams. Confident people have plans and goals.

View DNK's profile


5 posts in 561 days

#5 posted 04-07-2017 01:31 PM

I knew about the two set screws, (removed them) and loosened the set screws below them 3/4 turn. But the cams are still a challenge. I couldn’t find a spanner wrench, so I made one from a washer (as someone else suggested). It turns most cams OK, but the infeed cam on the operator’s side has been unbelievably tough.

With many tries, the bronze (?) ring started to migrate into the tool. Luckily, I can reach it with a C-clamp, and pressed the part protruding behind the front casting, which brought the face within reach of my ‘spanner’. Still very tough to turn (confirmed the set screw is loose). I applied WD-40 overnight, and maybe it’s a shade less tight. Surely it wasn’t made this tight. Maybe old ‘lubricants’ have gummed it up. Solutions?

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