How Tuned is your Jointer

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Forum topic by rlrobinhood posted 11-13-2012 04:14 AM 1060 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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80 posts in 2760 days

11-13-2012 04:14 AM

Hi all,

I recently purchased a old/used Rockwell 4” jointer. I think I have it all tuned up pretty good (not too bad for the first time). But, my question to you is how tuned is yours? Hard to quantify I know, but let me digress some.

I’ve used only three jointers. Friend 1, Friend 2, and mine. Friend 1’s jointer sucked. I used some of his professional grade tools and got a much better edge joint with the table saw. I made a cutting board this way and it turned out great. But, prior to glue up, I’d hold two jointed board edges together and would see pretty good light between. Thats why I resorted to just using the table saw for the jointed edges.

Friend 2’s jointer I just used and when I held the two jointed edges up together, I’d see just a little light. I didn’t think it was bad so I went ahead and glued the boards up tonight. I think it will be a good joint.

After I glued the above boards together, I finally found some time to set my jointer up. I pretty much followed this link

I think i’m probably out at most .004 but probably more than likely .003 out on most measurements. When I hold two jointed edges together, I just barely see light through in just a few places that don’t really seem to have a pattern (meaning not concave or convex along the length of the board).

So, my question to you is what are your thoughts? Is this good or do I need to do more work?

Thanks all.

6 replies so far

View kizerpea's profile


775 posts in 2482 days

#1 posted 11-13-2012 12:28 PM

I have a jet 6” 22” infeed an 22”out feed..if i,m doing a 24” or less it works fine, for longer stuff i made extentions for both ends 4ft on each side, takes a bit to set it up..but my jointed edge is better…i think i,m set up to shave off 1/32 on each pass….really the infeed an outfeed table need to b as as long as the stock you are get a good edge..

go back an help friend 1 set up his jointer…lol


View rlrobinhood's profile


80 posts in 2760 days

#2 posted 11-13-2012 04:33 PM

Thanks kizerpea. And yes, I’ll help #1 reset up his machine. But, you did bring up a good point that I failed to add information on. The boards I was jointing were probably around 15” long.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5738 posts in 2928 days

#3 posted 11-13-2012 05:43 PM

freshly jointed boards should fit perfectly together. I use .002” as my margin for error when setting up my jointer for coplaner.
Be sure to wax the jointer bed and fence so the workpiece feeds freely. Blades sharp?
If you joint two boards, and they sit in the shop for a couple weeks – then I can see why they might not be perfect. Making straight / square edges is all your jointer does, so it has to do it right.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Tennessee's profile


2880 posts in 2629 days

#4 posted 11-13-2012 06:46 PM

It took me a few tries, but for the last few years, my 6” Jet has also been set up to take about 1/32” off, and to be honest, putting two boards edge to edge? No light. My longest I usually joint is about 24”

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2187 days

#5 posted 11-13-2012 07:13 PM

I was unable to follow the link to the other blog… but here is what I know.

The most important step in the set up is checking that the tables are parallel. Without this all other parts of the setup is moot. A .004” error on a 2.5’ joiner table can result in over 1/16” off on a ten foot board. I strive for perfection and generally get .001. Once the tables are parallel the rest of the set up goes easy. A good magnetic jig to hold the blades perfectly flush to the back table is very helpful to me when setting up a jointer.

kizerpea while it is helpful to have longer tables, with proper technique and a well set up machine it is not needed.

of course check out “do you need a larger jointer?” in the forums if you want longer tables.

-- Who is John Galt?

View bruc101's profile


1237 posts in 3656 days

#6 posted 11-14-2012 03:33 AM

We very seldom joint an edge on a joiner. We made straight lining jigs to use on table saws. We’ve got several and even have some we use to straight line short to long face frames.

I bought a new jointer in 1994 and it still has the same knives in it..lack of use.

But, sometimes the jointer will do for us what a table saw won’t so we blow the dust off the jointer and use it.

We use to do a lot of sandblasted wood signs and had to glue up some wide and long sign blanks and the table saw worked best for straight lining the edges.

-- Bruce Free Plans

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