Jointer setup Q

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Forum topic by unclearthur posted 01-05-2018 03:01 AM 293 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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163 posts in 1720 days

01-05-2018 03:01 AM

Hi. I have a 20 year old Delta 6” jointer, which I’ve noticed for the first time that:
- the outfeed table has about a 0.005” dip in the middle of it (the infeed table is very flat)
- the infeed table slopes slightly upward (when moving towards outfeed table) by about 0.001” every 12 inches.

re: dip on the outfeed table – is it enough to matter? Not sure what I could do about it anyways.

re: infeed table – is it close enough for ww or should I try to correct? I’ve never adjusted the gibs before and am a bit paranoid about making it worse rather than better?

The infeed/outfeed tables are cast iron, each 22” long.

Thanks for any advice.

2 replies so far

View JBrow's profile


1340 posts in 852 days

#1 posted 01-05-2018 04:17 AM


Some test cuts at the jointer could answer the question as to whether the jointer is tuned well enough for woodworking. Boards that are 44” – 48” long would be a good length since it matches the jointer table length and encompasses the maximum length of boards required for most projects.

The first test cut would begin with a reasonably flat board whose long edges are parallel and perhaps 4” wide. The distance between the two edges at both ends of the board should be the same. With the infeed table set for the depth of cut you will normally take, run the edge of the board through the jointer several times and then measure the distance between the long edges at each end of the board. These measurements should be identical or close enough. This test cut is best done twice; with the jointer fence set to expose the full length of the knives (a wide cut) and then set for minimum exposure of the jointer knifes (a narrow cut). A tapered board indicates a problem.

The next test cut would be to joint the edge of a second a board that is about 4” wide. Then lay the jointed edge of first test board against this second jointed board. If any gaps between the edges of the two boards can be closed by pushing the two boards together (no clamps), edge jointing would likely yield tight glue seams in a glue up. Two jointed boards about 4” wide that cannot be forced together without clamps indicates a problem.

The last test cut would require a board that is mostly flat and that is about 4” to 5” wide. The flattest face is marked with a pencil and then face jointed until the marks are gone. Then this flat face is again marked with a pencil all along the length of the board and face jointed. One or perhaps two face passes should completely remove the pencil marks. All pencil marks should fade away more at less equally. Pencil marks visible at one end or along one edge but that are absent elsewhere indicates a problem.

If one or more of these test cuts do not produce the expected results, the problem could be technique, the setting of the knives relative to the outfeed table, or improperly set tables.

View unclearthur's profile


163 posts in 1720 days

#2 posted 01-05-2018 06:21 AM

Thanks very much for the response; I will give those tests a try.

Your last sentence though sort of explains why I was wondering if people thought those sort of defects (0.005”dip, 0.001” slope/12” slope) were likely very significant …... I’ve used the jointer for some time and sometimes it seems to work very well and other times I have trouble producing a truly straight edge. Not sure if its me or the table or both.

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