Shimming a jointer - infeed or outfeed?

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Forum topic by brossa posted 03-19-2013 10:30 AM 1097 views 0 times favorited 0 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1919 days

03-19-2013 10:30 AM

I picked up a used 6” Powermatic 54A jointer at auction, and I’d like to tune it up. The tables are flat within 0.003” (the outfeed is slightly dished in the middle) but they aren’t quite coplanar. The outer ends are high relative to the center.

In looking online, I’ve seen some recommendations to shim the outfeed table, since that one is adjusted less once the whole thing is set up properly. The problem is that the outfeed on this machine has five gib screws, two of which are partially covered by the bracket that holds the fence. So to get to all of them I think that I’ll have to take the fence and bracket off – and I suspect that any fine adjustment I manage to get will be thrown off again by putting the bracket and fence back on.

The infeed table has only three gib screws, all in easy reach, so it would be easier to shim the infeed to achieve coplanar tables. On the other hand, the infeed moving up and down might also throw adjustments out of whack – I don’t know.

If I’m going to spend a bunch of time messing with gibs and shims, I’d rather work on the end that gets me the most permanent result with the least effort. Can anyone comment on the relative value of shimming the infeed vs. outfeed tables? From a labor standpoint, I’d rather do the infeed, but if that effort is wasted the moment I adjust the depth of cut, I’ll grit my teeth and do the outfeed table.

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