Using a Jointer

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Forum topic by johnh1963 posted 03-21-2011 04:36 PM 2011 views 2 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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30 posts in 2912 days

03-21-2011 04:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am certainly not new to woodworking ut I am new to actually having tools for a specific job. i recently bought a jointer for my shop. After getting everything properly set and adjusted I have started using my jointer. it cuts great but I am having difficulty edge jointing. I cannot seem to get the entire edge flat, my trailing edge seems to actually get higher from the bed. Any help on my technique would be appreciated.

16 replies so far

View lew's profile


12512 posts in 3996 days

#1 posted 03-21-2011 04:48 PM

This might help

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3315 days

#2 posted 03-21-2011 04:53 PM

Using a jointer requires a gradual weight shift as you are pushing the wood through. Initially you push down on the in feed side and you need to smoothly shift to push down on the out feed side. Ideally, you push the wood through in a smooth motion with no stops. Of course you also need to hold the wood flat against the fence.

Finally – use push sticks and keep your fingers away from the blades.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2934 days

#3 posted 03-21-2011 04:56 PM

I know it’s a wood waster but you could oversize the board to be jointed. I generally joint using a handplane but when I use my jointer, I have to get re-acquainted with the stroke that Rich is describing. The jointer is one of those tools that still scares me quite a bit. It is certainly worthy of the safety recommendations above.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View TomHintz's profile


207 posts in 3639 days

#4 posted 03-21-2011 04:56 PM

There are few woodworking machines that are more technique-sensitive than the jointer. I ran a poll once asking how long it took for the respondents to become proficient on the jointer and most of the veterans said that they hadn’t yet!
Anyway, I have a few stories on the Jointer at the link below. These remain the most-visited stories on my site and have been since they went up! See the Link below.

-- Tom Hintz,

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3239 days

#5 posted 03-21-2011 05:33 PM

Just from what you describe, it sounds like the outfeed table is too low. It should be perfectly even with the cutters and the infeed should be below by the distance of the depth of cut.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3889 days

#6 posted 03-21-2011 05:53 PM

Think of the jointer not as a tool that makes straight edges, but
as a tool that can help YOU make straight edges.

Use a long level and check your results after each pass. Often
you’ll introduce a problem in the board in one place while correcting
the edge in another. This is all part of the game. It’s far easier
to shorter boards under 3 feet.

If you’re nipping just the end of the cut that’s a common problem
and the solution is to refine your technique at the end of the cut
so you’re not pressing down too hard on the end of the board
as you finish.

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2916 days

#7 posted 03-21-2011 06:12 PM

Have you checked the knives to insure they are all set the same depth. I had a similiar problem on a new jointer once and DUH!! the knives were just thrown into the machine. Check both ends of each knife and make sure they are all the same height. This cured my problem. I was about ready to chunk that boat anchor and now I use it all the time.

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2895 days

#8 posted 03-22-2011 02:42 AM

Also when edging, make sure any crown in the board is up. Trying to edge a board with the crown down is an almost never ending process.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View CovenantCreations's profile


127 posts in 3144 days

#9 posted 03-22-2011 03:45 AM

I always try to cut my boards down to the shortest length I can for the project before using the jointer

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3212 days

#10 posted 03-22-2011 04:16 AM

In addition to all the good advice above, be sure the in feed and out feed tables are parallel.

View Cato's profile


701 posts in 3553 days

#11 posted 03-22-2011 12:51 PM

I make two passes in one direction and then flip the board and feed from the opposite end to keep from jointing a wedge.

Check your progress on a known flat surface.

All the above advice applies, but it takes a bit to get the technique down on the pressure transfer. Once that lead edge has sufficiently passed the cutter heads then I transfer both hands to the lead edge and drag the remainder of the board over the knives. Let the knives do the work and take a light cut on each pass.

View Paul Pomerleau's profile

Paul Pomerleau

309 posts in 2934 days

#12 posted 03-22-2011 01:45 PM

I just acquired a used jointer 2 weeks ago and I use a dial indicator with a magnetic stand to adjust it.
All the reading that I did said to ensure the blades are just above the outfeed table, this caused snip at the back of the board everytime.
So, I put the outfeed table level with top-dead center of the blades, and set the infeed table to 5 thousands below, taking off very little.
As mentioned above, bow at the top so it won’t rock, and try to go with the grain.

-- Close to Ottawa Ontario Canada

View ScottN's profile


261 posts in 2920 days

#13 posted 03-22-2011 01:53 PM

Is this a new jointer? If its a new jointer chances are the knives are set at the factory.

I remember the same thing happening to me when I first started using a jointer. The problem was I was pushing down on the board prior to the cutter head. Its a lot easier when in the beginning stage of using a jointer to edge a board with the bowed side up . When jointing you don’t need a lot of pressure down on the board and when the tail end of the stock reaches the end of your jointer table start adjusting your hold down point to the out feed table side directly after the cutter head.

If it doesn’t improve try laying a straight edge on your out feed table checking the height of your blades.

-- New Auburn,WI

View lewis62's profile


73 posts in 2879 days

#14 posted 03-22-2011 02:07 PM

Just had the same problem. My grizzly 6 inch worked perfectly for at least 8 years. It started leaving hump in middle, could not get straight edge for glue up no matter what I tried. Time to check it all out. Knives felt sharp, but were pretty dull, got new set and sent others for grinding.Checked table set up ,which was good all this time,now they are out, high in middle low at ends, check with straight edge.There is no adjustment for this from factory. Fixed it by shiming with thin hobby brass stock at out feed table jib ways to bring both tables in line agin, make sure knives are perfectlly set to out feed table. Test on some stock, should be working great again like mine. Seams after using every tool for at least 8 years I am spending a lot of time fixing, aligning all tools right now.

View johnh1963's profile


30 posts in 2912 days

#15 posted 05-10-2011 09:00 PM

thanks for all your comments and suggestions. It has taken me this long to finally get everything set right. After many hours of adjusting, checking, readjusting and rechecking, i still couldn’t get it right. I did this on several occasions with no success. Last weekend I went back to the beginning. I knew my infeed and outfeed table were coplaner, I finally realized this was only one other adjustment that could be made that would have an impact on the process. After checking the height of the outfeed table in realtion to the TDC of the knives, i found my table was about .008 above the knife. I knew that from an earlier measurement but did not think that would make much of a difference. Well, it did. I lowered the table to where my straight edge just touched the knife. Not thinking it would make a difference I began to face plane a board. How can something so simple be so hard and to think I was about ready to give up on my jointer. Thanks for all your help.

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