Changing my jointer blades

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Forum topic by Monty Queen posted 08-15-2012 05:24 AM 3936 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Monty Queen

1593 posts in 3253 days

08-15-2012 05:24 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hey Lumber jocks, I change my jointer blades this weekend. It was lot harder then it looked on the internet. I watched and read several articles about changing blades. I have a ridgid jointer i bought for home depot. I had a few nicks in my blades from runing boards in my jointer with small nails in it. It bothered me seeing those nicks so i changed the blades. The way i did it was used magnets with finding the center. I must of changed them blades 20 times trying to get it perfect. Some how i am still getting a little snipe. After playing with it for hours. I decided a little snipe will not hurt if i join boards to gether i will cut the inch of snipe off my board. I have read a lot of articles about changing blades and they said when you get a snipe your outfeed table is two high. I would like to get comment from all of you.


-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

14 replies so far

View thedude50's profile


3603 posts in 2479 days

#1 posted 08-15-2012 06:03 AM

Yes when you set your blade height you are supposed to be on plane with your out feed table. I don’t know why you would have to change them 20 times unless the jointer has a lame setup for adjusting the blades. I can auto-set my knives on the Powermatic 54a and they are easy to adjust should the auto-set not be dead on but it has always been dead on, so I don’t mess with it. It has always been set and go.I set my friends jet up a couple of weeks ago and it had a two screws to adjust the irons they were easy to get set with a straight edge. You can also use a dial indicator to find zero. The whole process should be able to be done in 10-15 minutes. I am really sorry you had such a hard time was this your first blade change ?

First Some simple things that might help you would be do you have a steel straight edge like a machinist uses ?
if not get one it will help you a great deal.

SECOND do you have a dial indicator? if not invest in one you will use it for lots of machine setups .

Third Read your Manuel very carefully and make sure you knife is level with your out-feed table on both ends of the knife. it they are tilting you will struggle for days.

I have heard good things about the jointer you have so I will assume this is all new to you. If you have more questions PM me I can be reached by telephone most days and would be happy to talk you through the set up. If you can, send me a copy of the owners Manuel in a PDF format. I am used to helping people with machines I have not worked on before because most of them work the same way.

-- Please check out my new stores and

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3049 days

#2 posted 08-15-2012 10:30 AM

My opinion is that replacing blades is not as hard as it is time consuming and a real pain the a**. This is not rocket science.

This is why rebuilding this 38 years old Powermatic 60 , in-spite of the cost, I choose to buy a Shelix head.
Eat a nail= loose a cap-screw, rotate the cutter 1/4 turn ,you are done. No adjustment to mess with.
In addition the cutter cost only $3.00 each or 75 cents/edge. Very inexpensive to use after the initial cost.

-- Bert

View Oldtool's profile


2624 posts in 2191 days

#3 posted 08-15-2012 10:43 AM

I have the Delta 13” portable planer, but that shouldn’t make a difference here with how I avoid tail end snipe:
When the board is coming out of the planer, I put my hand under the leading edge, and lift up ever so slightly, especially at the end of the run so the board doesn’t sag. This has been pretty successful for me, might give it a try.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20489 posts in 3106 days

#4 posted 08-15-2012 10:44 AM

Hi Monty. I sounds like an outfeed table adjustment. I have a Grizzly and the way I do it is to lower the outfeed table out of the way a bit, then feed a board through about 2”. I shut off the machine and back the board up a bit to clear the cutter head and then carefully raise that outfeed table until it just kisses that cut edge. You can slide the board back and forth to make sure there is no catch and there is no gap.

The knife has to be parallel with the outfeed table to begin with. That is where an indicator is helpful to check each end to make sure they are the same height with respect to the table. Sounds like you have that set pretty good.

I think the snipe is coming from table height! I’ve had it and adjusted out of it like I stated above.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2694 days

#5 posted 08-15-2012 12:27 PM

I set my knives with a magnet too. The only thing I found that was a problem was making absolutely sure the the knife being set was exactly vertical on the flat cutting edge. If it’s not then it will make a deeper cut. See picture below. (We need an on line chalkboard).

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8049 posts in 2329 days

#6 posted 08-15-2012 01:55 PM


Setting jointer knives certainly can be a pain…. but you get better at it with practice. BUT… knife height is not the only source of snipe. You can also get it if the infeed table is not paralell to the out feed table. And the only way you can really evaluate this is if you invest into a very precise straight edge and a set of feeler gages.

This link shows the most affordable straight edge I’ve found is at Lee Valley....

unfortunately, on most jointers with dovetailed ways…. there are not many options to correct an out of parallel table. You can adjust pressure on the gib lock, or clean up the dovetail ways and adjust the gibs, or shim the gibs (which I’ve never had to try, but looks like a very frustrating, trial and error job in itself).

My next jointer will be a parallelogram machine, because the table parallelism is adjustable.

Hey Bert….

Glad to see the jointer re-hab is coming along….just a heads up wrt. indexable/replaceable carbide cutters….. Don’t be surprised if when you chip a cutter, it is most often at the corner (where they are the weekest) and thus you lose two edges, and have to rotate 180 deg.

Still a great system…. the cat’s meow in my book…. but our experience at work is that they always get rotated 180 deg. and give you two perfect cutting edges (not four).

-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3664 days

#7 posted 08-15-2012 02:11 PM

I have the Jointer Pal (Grizzly Part No G3360) ... makes setting the knives a breeze.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3049 days

#8 posted 08-15-2012 02:29 PM

ssnvet, good point

-- Bert

View woodenwarrior's profile


228 posts in 2195 days

#9 posted 08-15-2012 03:52 PM

To be honest, if you are getting snipe at the end of your board with a jointer it has very little to do with your knives and everything to do with how you are feeding the lumber. Make sure that when you are feeding the lumber over the jointer you allow the first 8-10 inches or so to pass over the knives then place your first hand/hold down over the out feed side. Continue to push the board from the infeed side but make sure that your downward pressure is being focused on the outfeed not infeed side.

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1593 posts in 3253 days

#10 posted 08-15-2012 04:12 PM

Thanks guys for all of your advice, I played with it again this morning and it looks real good now that i have taking your advice.

Thanks Monty

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

View ScottStewart's profile


119 posts in 2133 days

#11 posted 08-15-2012 05:59 PM

I also got snipe if my blades were higher than my outfeed table. There is one video out there by a guy I respect that says to set the blades 1-2 thou higher than the outfeed. I got snipe doing that. Readjusting the outfeed fixed my problem.


View crashn's profile


528 posts in 2466 days

#12 posted 08-15-2012 08:40 PM

I also tried just last weekend to change my jointer blades for the first time. My jointerpal (from rockler) helped. I did make one mistake and had one set screw a bit loose and the blade shifted up, causing SEVERE snipe at the end. When inspecting the head, i noticed the one blade was off ALOT. after fixing that and verifying that the blades were level with the out-feed, snipe disappeared.

I was very anxious doing this, it was my first time and I had been in the need for a while. It did take a while (couple of hours in my case), but I am sure I will get better/faster with it. Now, I’m not afraid to change them. Still want a spiral cutter-head, but that will have to wait until I get the Grizzly Jointer/Planer 12” combo with spiral cutte-rhead. Hope to this September, during their Muncy PA tent sale!

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View thedude50's profile


3603 posts in 2479 days

#13 posted 08-16-2012 01:09 AM

I have to agree with Rick on this it has zero to do with how you feed the board its all about the set up. I am very happy that this user was able to get his out feed table level with his knives and put an end to the snipe. I am curious Rick since you do this every day for a living does that mean your at one shop fixing other peoples jointers or do you travel from shop to shop to do this type of set up? I am also curious how you set up the jointers. I have used the straight edge to set up a jointer since I learned many years ago. I never have any problems with machines I set up and am thinking of doing this type of work part time. I think there is a market for this in this city. I have never needed a magnet to set up a jointer or a jointer buddy. I am curious what you use when you do this on a daily basis. Thanks for the reply Rick I think if you do it daily your an expert.

-- Please check out my new stores and

View Fuzzy's profile


298 posts in 3989 days

#14 posted 08-16-2012 05:31 PM

I can see where misaligned knives could cause a scalloped cut … but not snipe. Technique, on the other hand COULD cause snipe if you were to apply excessive pressure at the very end of a cut, causing a slight lifting at the leading edge and allowing the trailing edge to dip into the gap between the tables.

When setting up a jointer, I usually drop the outfeed table … joint several inches of a fresh piece of stock … then pull the piece back and start raising the outfeed table until I can jest feel it dragging on the piece. A few thou. +/- adjustment as needed, and it’s done.

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

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