Jack Screws or Springs

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Forum topic by Bluzman posted 12-28-2011 08:35 AM 1349 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 2372 days

12-28-2011 08:35 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer knives setup settings setting knives installing jointer knives jointer knives question

I have a Grizzly GO586 8” jointer. Its about 4 years old now and I’m thinking about buying a second set of knives for it and sending the current ones off to be sharpened. I watched the “Setting Jointer Knives” video #10 on the GarageWoodWorks web site: It looks like a very good method.

I do have a dial indicator and after watching the above video I finally put it to use adjusting my outfeed table, which seems to be a very accurate way to accomplish that. With my new-found understanding of this gadget I bought and let sit for years I was also able to precisely determine the exact high point position for the knife blades and mark the fence with a vertical line to speed things up next time. Starting to like this thing now, if I was the table saw I’d be nervous.

I don’t have a jointer pal. The jointer came with a jig for setting height but the jointer pal seems more precise.

I have never done this before so I got out the manual that came with my jointer and learned that my jointer has both jack screws and springs for setting knife height. At first I thought; wow what a nice feature I sure was smart to buy this jointer. That thought lasted for, oh…, about 3 seconds when I read that you need to choose one or the other and I realized I am clueless.

Two questions:

1) which is the better method for setting the height of my jointer knives, using jack screws or the springs?

2) if the jack screws are the better method (more accurate/easier) do I really need the jointer pal? I’m thinking a straight edge would be the better way to go with jack screws and that the magnetic feature of the jointer pal would cause problems than it cures.

Thanks in advance for any help/advice.

-- Paul Stewart • Goodlettsville, Tennessee

1 reply so far

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10476 posts in 3675 days

#1 posted 12-28-2011 08:50 AM

Don’t overthink it. If you use a straightedge, use the jack screws. If
you use a jig that pushes the knives down use the springs. For
that matter, you can push down on the knives with a straight edge
and use the springs, but you have to make sure you hit the same
point on the cutting arc with each knife; no mean feat.

The magnetic jigs occupy a no-man’s land in between these
two methods. In the end, the knives get tweaked a little as
you turn the gib screws and perfection seems always out of
reach. Just do the best you can and try it out and see how
it cuts.

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