Jointing problems

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Forum topic by DORNER posted 10-14-2013 10:51 AM 781 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View DORNER's profile


4 posts in 1686 days

10-14-2013 10:51 AM

I have recently inherited a lot of wood working machines. They are older but still work really well. I decided that I would try my first ever project. I have decided to craft my own floating entertainment center out of ruff white oak.

I have ran into some problems with my inexperience. Using my 33 year old craftsman jointer I kept getting a gap in the middle of my 5’ boards while edge jointing them. I thought it was from the indeed table not being level with the out feed, but I have adjusted it and it is perfect. So I switched to a table saw jig and it is still happening. Any tips or ideas would me much appreciated. Also I am worried about the weight of my entertainment center. How much weight can a french cleat hold?

Thanks again for any tips

4 replies so far

View toddl1962's profile


29 posts in 1922 days

#1 posted 10-14-2013 09:11 PM

Hi Dorner,

First, on your jointer make sure not only are the tables level, but that the knives are set to the proper height with respect to the outfeed table. There are numerous tutorials on the Internet how to do this but essentially your knives should be even with you outfeed table when they are positioned at top dead center. While you’re at it you can check the quality of the knives as well. Secondly, make sure that when you are jointing to put downward pressure on your piece on the outfeed table side when there is enough material across the jointer blades to do so.

Jointing takes a little practice to get the feel of it but you need to verify your adjustments so that you don’t get too frustrated. Please use push blocks! Those knives are dangerous. I’ve found that once I learned how to use push blocks I get better edges because a quality pushblock grips really well.

With respect to french cleats, I used them to hang my shop cabinets but I can’t say how much weight they will hold. It depends on the orientation of the grain on the cleats (assuming you are not using plywood), the mounting hardware, and your supporting wall. I made my cleats out of plywood and they seem very strong but there is a big difference between cabinets and an entertainment center.


-- Todd

View Woodshingle's profile


8 posts in 1671 days

#2 posted 10-25-2013 11:10 PM

Sounds like your tables are not coplaner. That means that one (likely the outfeed) is sagging. Test it with a long straight edge. If it is sagging, you’ll need to shim it. Check your owner’s manual.

Bottom line – if the tables are sagging, you’ll never get a true jointed edge.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5111 posts in 1714 days

#3 posted 10-26-2013 12:03 AM

The capacity of a French cleat has several variables, usually rated in pounds per foot. More often than not the limiting factor will be the screw you use to hold the cleat to the wall. Using a #10 wood screw on every joist, you should be good for 100lbs per foot.

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

3999 posts in 2227 days

#4 posted 10-26-2013 12:46 AM

One of the most accurate measures of “are the knives lined up with the outfeed” is to take a smooth straight scrap of wood, say 3/4×3/4, and lay it on the outfeed table extending over the blade gap. With the machine unplugged, turn the head by hand until one of the blades picks up the stick and moves it towards the infeed table. For proper alignment, it should move only 1/8”. If it moves farther, the blade is too high. If it doesn’t move that far, the blade is too low. Check each end and the middle of every blade.
Love me some French cleats. Strong, cheap, simple, like me. :)

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL One should always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible.

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