Jointer tuning troubles

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Forum topic by jerroot posted 03-28-2011 01:56 AM 2033 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2823 days

03-28-2011 01:56 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer tune-up tuning question

After my 5 year old 6” Delta jointer began to taper boards I decided it was time to take the time to tune it and bring it up to spec. Here’s the problem I’ve encountered in attempting to achieve co-planar tables. The leading edge of the outfeed table (next to the cutter head) is .004-.005” lower than it’s outer end. This is the opposite of a drooping table which is what I expected to find. Downward pressure on the outboard end will not lower it to or below the level of the inboard side. I cannot figure how to shim up the leading edge side of the outfeed table. If anyone can point me in the right direction I would really appreciate it.

-- Jerry in Washington, DC

3 replies so far

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 3335 days

#1 posted 03-28-2011 03:27 AM


I would like to help. I have a question – what are you using for a straight edge? If its not a 3’ machinist straight edge then I would wait before I did anything. Four thousandths is not much. If your using anything other than a true machinist straight edge the discrepancy is as likely to be in the straight edge as the jointer. But if you are sure where the discrepancy lies then you can dissemble your jointer and adjust the gibs or shim the dove tail ways. If you shim, it might be better to shim the outfeed table rather than the infeed table. The reason I suggest this is that the outfeed table is rarely moved while the infeed is constantly moved. Thus, the shims are far less likely to wear or slip under the outfeed ways as to opposed to the infeed ways. Another option is too file or sand the ways. I belt sanded the ways on my Delta 6” and trued it up pretty good. Needless to say, if you file and sand you have be careful. But in the end, I got my jointer true without messing with shims.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3854 days

#2 posted 03-28-2011 03:40 AM

Take the table off the ways. There’s a bolt underneath the bed
you loosen. Then you insert thin shim stock (milk jug plastic or
brass shim stock works) in between the mating parts on either
side closest to the cutterhead. Tighten the bolt again and check
your parallelism. Repeat until you get what you want.

Loosening the bolt a bit with no shimming at all may allow the
table to droop enough to correct your problem, yet still
induce no noticeable slop from the bolt being too loose.

Some jointers have set screws in the sides of the ways, so
check for those and loosen them if they are there while
making the adjustment.

View jerroot's profile


2 posts in 2823 days

#3 posted 03-28-2011 04:23 PM

Thanks for confirming what I was suspecting I might have to do, and the brief description of what I should be seeing. I’ll let you know how it works out.

mcase- Thanks. I’m using a 50” Veritas straightedge that runs over the full length of the bed, so that shouldn’t be a source of error . I purchased it for this job and checked it for being true against a buddy’s 36” steel Veritas, which I also used. Think I’ll go the shim route. That way I can safely reverse anything I do. The permanence of filing the ways and the potential to make things worse worries me.

-- Jerry in Washington, DC

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