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Forum topic by SteveMason posted 12-31-2011 11:45 PM 1301 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 2540 days

12-31-2011 11:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer help

I’m still struggling with my 6 inch jointer. I’ve read all of the how to’s that I can find for using the jointer and I still can’t get it right. I’ve squared the fence to the table and the outfeed table is lined up with the highest point of the knives. I’ve tried cuts at 1/32 of an inch and as deep as 1/16 of an inch. I keep coming up with the same result. Instead of giving me a nice straight surface, I get a taper. I’ve tried only holding the board down on the outfeed table and I’ve tried transfering the pressure at the midpoint of the board to the outfeed table. This thing shouldn’t be this hard to use, but I can’t get it right. I’d appreciate any help.

Thanks for your time.

11 replies so far

View RONFINCH's profile


143 posts in 3127 days

#1 posted 12-31-2011 11:57 PM

Check you blades relative to your table, if they are uneven to your table you will get a taper…..

View ChuckV's profile


3179 posts in 3729 days

#2 posted 01-01-2012 12:07 AM

Are the infeed and outfeed tables co-planer? If you adjust the tables to be at the same height at the cutter head, a long straight edge should contact the tables for the full length.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 2678 days

#3 posted 01-01-2012 12:18 AM

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 3331 days

#4 posted 01-01-2012 12:36 AM

Are your tables on the same plane? If your tables sag away from each other this would explain the results you describe. If you have a Parallelogram jointer this can be adjusted. If you have the older dovetail ways you can either adjust the gibs, shim, or (oh No!) grind. This is not that uncommon on the dovetail design. If its new and its way out I would consider returning it. Anyway to check for this you are going to need a true edge at least 30” long. A level won’t really allow you to dial this in, but it might give you an idea of how far you are off. You may need to lay your hands on a true straight edge. Maybe you can borrow one. I bought one from Lee valley years ago and couldn’t live without it now. Don’t be discouraged. One thing about power woodworking is that you end up learning more about cast iron and machining than you would expect. Within reason truing machines is part of wood working. SO- Try this – UNPLUG THE MACHINE. Then turn the cutter head so the knives are out of the way. Then using a flat even piece of 1/4” stock and your straight edge check the planes of the tables in relation to each other. Do this by raising the out feed table as high as it goes. Then set the infeed about 1 /4” below it. Have a helper hold about a third of the straight edge on the outfeed table nice and tight. Then raise or lower in the infeed until the 1/4” block just fits under the straight edge at the cutter end of the infeed table. Then move the block along toward the front of the infeed table and see if there is a gap between the block and the straight edge. This should give you some idea if you have sag and how much. Remember its also possible that the tables are tilted toward each other though this is almost never the case.

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

347 posts in 2664 days

#5 posted 01-01-2012 12:48 AM

Your jointer can still give you a straight flat surface and taper boards…. Jointers are not thickness planers… Big difference…. Jointer are designed to give you 1 flat face, square to one side of a board… The opposite face is made made flat using the planer with the jointed face as a reference… And the other side is made parallel with a table saw with the jointed side against the fence…

This link will help you understand this concept if you are new to jointers…. This guy does nice tutorials…. If you are new to milling wood, you will soon be suprise the Jointer is incomplete without a planer…. As anyone soon learns square consistent stock makes just about anybody competent making stuff….

View SteveMason's profile


4 posts in 2540 days

#6 posted 01-01-2012 01:15 AM

I’m using a 6” powermatic that was new in 1998. It’s spent most of it’s life in storage. I used a 36” machined rule from woodpeckers to check the tables. The outfeed table is adjusted so that with the rule sitting mostly on the outfeed table and I turn the drum I head a slight scraping of the blades but it doesn’t lift or move the ruler. I then raised the infeed table to the same height and then checked across the length and diagonly and there are no gaps. I’ve tried boards that have a straight edge that I’ve run through the table saw and the more I run it across the jointer I will get a cut at the beggining and it will stop cutting at the end. The more I run it across the wore it gets. I’m trying to figure out if it’s the jointer (which I strongly doubt) or if it’s my technique. I just can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. I’ll check the links that have been posted and see if that helps. Thanks for your replies.

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

347 posts in 2664 days

#7 posted 01-01-2012 01:27 AM

Steve, might be technique. I wonder if you are exerting to much pressure on the board that is on the out feed…. Even simple pressure fluctuations will cause issues… Especially if tht lumber is caved or bowed…

Remember, yelling at the machine is not likely to help, even though we’ve all tried!

View SteveMason's profile


4 posts in 2540 days

#8 posted 01-01-2012 01:37 AM

Yelling at the kids seems to work, why not the machine? Just kidding. Now that I’ve read the links, I’ll go turn some more 2X6’s into toothpicks trying to learn the techniques. The photos of the boards that Jeff posted on the lumberjocks link above are spot on to what I’m seeing.

View doninvegas's profile


334 posts in 3110 days

#9 posted 01-01-2012 01:37 AM

I mill my own lumber right from the saw mill. About every 5th or 6th board will have a taper to it. I have my jointer set up perfectly. I think the saw mills equipment isn’t set up to cut square. The planer squares it up and makes the 2 faces parallel. If you have a planer then no worries.

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2878 days

#10 posted 01-01-2012 03:20 AM

Check the jointer thoroughly. Technique is difficult to cultivate if the machine is not properly adjusted. I once had a problem similar to this. My machine had not been adjusted it had just had the knives put in it and they were high on one end. the next my be right on the table and the next might be sloping the opposite from the first. I got those set and it cuts great. Look it over more then work on the technique. Make as few passes as you can get by with. Put the concave edge or face down on the table. When it cleans up then take it to the table saw or planer.

View SteveMason's profile


4 posts in 2540 days

#11 posted 01-04-2012 07:38 PM

I decided to bite the bullet and I took the knives out and honed them and then carefully installed them and the jointer seems to be working fine now. I only ran a test board for the time being. I’ll find out this weekend when I build my new bench. Thanks for all of the help.

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