Awww.. i believe, warped jointer fence

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Forum topic by Holbs posted 02-04-2013 04:52 AM 2808 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Holbs's profile


2005 posts in 2228 days

02-04-2013 04:52 AM

i have the ancient rockwell 37-600 6” jointer. this morning, i removed the cutter head assembly and tore it down to sand, clean all sorts of things. i put everything back together. before setting the jointer knives, i need to go get plexiglass and magnets this week. while i had time before super bowl, i went ahead and ensured the infeed table was co-planar to the fixed cast iron outfeed table with my smith and brown 4set machinist squares and dial indicator. yep, aok.

i then looked at my fence. it’s out of whack 1/16” at the top of the outfeed and 1/16” at the bottom of the infeed, as in twisted (not cupped). i lower the infeed table out of the way and only measured the fence and the length of the fixed cast iron outfeed table. i had perfect 90degree at the cutter head, but 1/32” off at the top at the end of the fence over outfeed table. this will not affect any face jointing, but could affect jointing ends together. i’ll have to joint a couple pieces and see just how out of whack it looks.

as i see it, my options are:
1.) ditch fence and get new one (not on this $100 jointer find).
2.) create a new hardwood, MDF, or granite fence and shim it out.
3.) investigate untwisting a cast iron fence (have read it HAS been done and have read it’s IMPOSSIBLE to do).
4.) leave it alone as that small of a measurement may not matter when it comes to wood working.
5.) deal with it til i bump upto a fancier JET or Grizzly jointer.
6.) use router/table saw to do the jointing

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

11 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3049 days

#1 posted 02-04-2013 05:11 AM

7.) take the fence to a machine shop and get an estimate on machining it flat.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 2664 days

#2 posted 02-04-2013 03:39 PM

option 2 is likely the cheapest quickest fix.

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

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2310 days

#3 posted 02-04-2013 03:49 PM

Option 1 probably would be expensive
2 would be the cheapest, but you will lose the width of the fence. This might be a concern on a 6” jointer
3 I don’t know about
4 if you are only face jointing this would work. If you want to edge joint a board square to the face I would worry about it.
5 this could be done, just remember the problem
6 you could edge joint pieces on the router but how would you face joint a piece flat?
7 if you want to keep the jointer this would be the best alternative.

(I had the same problem with the fence on my delta uni-fence. I lived with it until I got an Incra fence for the table saw)

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View waho6o9's profile


8516 posts in 2776 days

#4 posted 02-04-2013 03:54 PM

Run some test pieces and see if there’s a problem.

If there’s a problem, +1 for Lee’s advice.

Or, +1 for Crashn.

View bbasiaga's profile


1240 posts in 2194 days

#5 posted 02-04-2013 04:02 PM

If its good at the cutter head, you may not have a ton of issue. Keep the pressure on that point while holding the wood to the fence. Run a few pieces and see how it comes out.

You could potentially make a clamp/featherboard system to help hold the wood to that point while you joint. Make the pieces a few inches long (good for dealing with Snipe anyway), and you could cut off a the couple of inches of mis-jointed area on the ends.

I think its work-around-able. And like you said, its pretty easy to make edge jointing jigs for your table saw or router table.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2874 days

#6 posted 02-04-2013 04:10 PM

I think you have a problem if it is truly off the amount you say. I wopuld do like Lees suggests and take it to a machine shop and get an estimate on making it flat again. Keep in mind that is might change again when the temperature goes up this summer. Things move. If we get a good casting then the movement is consistant and if we get a so so casting it is like your fence. Maybe we should look for a summer fence and a winter fence.

View Terry Ferguson's profile

Terry Ferguson

203 posts in 2866 days

#7 posted 02-04-2013 05:20 PM

I had the same problem with the fence on an 8” jointer several years ago. The machine shop wanted more than I could afford, so here’s what I did. I drilled and counter bored a 3/4” hardwood board that I made the same length and taller than the steel fence. Then I drilled the fence and bolted the board to it. After that I made a pass over the jointer with the board attached to the fence followed by laminating the face of the board with plastic laminate.

-- Terry Ferguson, Bend Oregon

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4291 days

#8 posted 02-04-2013 07:08 PM

Option #2 seems like the best. With the twist you speak of, sounds like it will/does have an impact edge jointing.

Since you’re keeping an eye out for another machine, why spend a lot to fix the fence.

FYI, my fence is not perfect, but good enough. My twist is around 1/32 from front to back.

-- Nicky

View oldnovice's profile


7325 posts in 3567 days

#9 posted 02-04-2013 07:13 PM

+1 on Lee’s advice and you will have a shiny new surface too!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2874 days

#10 posted 02-05-2013 02:41 AM

The option that Terry Ferguson sounds perfect. If the fence moves when the temps change you can do it again and the cost is nearly nothing. Actually you could reface the board any time you need to as long as you stay away from the bolt. Great idea Terry. Thanks for sharing. If no one else wants to use it I might someday.

View Holbs's profile


2005 posts in 2228 days

#11 posted 02-05-2013 03:39 AM

this will not visit the machine shop, as this was a $100 find in itself.
i will keep it forever, even if i get a upgraded 8” or so (was thinking of building my own 12” eventually).

i do not know about newer jointers… but this one, the fence is bolted on the backside by 2 bolts (one 4” to the left of cutter head, the other 4” to the right) to the moving/sliding arm assembly. i can easily remove it and install my own hardwood. this will be option #2.
option #1 is to use it for carcass framing where jointing 2 boards is not much of a factor for perfection.

and i was thinking.. example a 2”x4”. i can face joint the 4” side. when it comes to joint the 2” side, i’ll just have to ensure i’m adding weight straight downward and a little to the side, so that the 2” rides the bottom of the fence instead of pressing it against the topside. this should work aok.

i have testing to do to see what works. bought some plexiglass and magnets. now, to set my jointer knives. good thing i read here on lumberjocks how to set knives. as i found out some of the blades were 0.015” off.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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