Jointer problem (chatter) (non-coplanar table)

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Forum topic by jtm posted 01-11-2014 07:58 AM 1839 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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217 posts in 1059 days

01-11-2014 07:58 AM

Hi all,

I’m having a couple of issues with my craftsman jointer:

First, I’ve started to develop chatter in my cuts. I feed the stock at a very slow rate. I also take off a tiny amount with each pass (basically as little as possible). I still get chatter marks, and the wood really tends to bounce at the end of the cut. For obvious reasons, this is much more prominent on smaller, thinner stock. Larger pieces joint more easily, but still not as well as I would expect.

Tonight I took my dial indicator and checked the blade height. All three blades are within 0.004” across the bed at any point, which seems more than sufficient for the machine.

Is it possible that the knives are too dull? I really haven’t jointed all that much stock, and far far less than I would reasonably expect before needing to sharpen the knives. I do have an extra brand new set, but I’ve heard that setting knives is an exercise that tests every woodworker’s patience, so I’d rather not do it if there is no reason to do so.

Second, I think that my infeed and outfeed tables are slightly non-coplanar. I can’t be absolutely certain yet, as I don’t own one of those $70+ fancy straightedges. But I did test it with a Home Depot grade straightedge, as well as three separate factory edges from pine, MDF, and cabinet grade BB plywood. They all show similar trends. It looks like the infeed table slopes down toward the cutterhead approximately 1/64th or so over the length of the infeed table. I know this will cause tapers with multiple passes, but I only use the jointer to true-up a board, or clean up saw marks.

I’ve done some research, and it doesn’t look like this is an adjustable feature on the Craftsman (Rigid/Grizzly). So it looks like I’ll have to take it apart and add some shims to the rails. Does anyone have any experience with this? Right now it’s not the end of the world, but one day when I have basically an entire weekend’s worth of free time, I’ll attempt to do this. (of course, this assumes that the tables really are non-coplanar, which of course I will verify when I get a nice straightedge).

Thanks in advance

3 replies so far

View thesoninlaw's profile


97 posts in 1208 days

#1 posted 01-11-2014 08:49 AM

It sounds like you need to sharpen and reset the knives or use the new ones. If you don’t need to yet, you will. I have a sharpening guide and use the scary sharp method and they come out sharper than out-of-the-box. It is a hassle to set them, but gets easier with time. I shoot for 0.003” every time I set knives. There are plenty of methods out there, just do a little research. I found a good method on the Shopsmith website. As for the out-of-parallel issue—1/64 over the length should not be a big issue, but if you want to correct it you can. I have had to add shims to the ways on my old delta. Pick up a set or two of feeler gauges from an auto parts store—they are cheap and give you a huge variety of thicknesses to use. I hope you find this useful. Good luck.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8106 posts in 2852 days

#2 posted 01-11-2014 01:40 PM

My C-man jointer is a bit older than yours. I bought it in ‘78. But, I don’t think much was changed.
I don’t think the out feed table is adjustable at all. So, that is my reference. It’s a Royal PITA but, the infeed can be adjusted. I wouldn’t be satisfied with 1/64th difference from one end to the other.
Don’t think that would cause the chatter, however. Sharp blades and a tight belt will help. I haven’t done it, but I’ve often thought of replacing my belt with a link belt. On other machines. it has made a significant difference.
As to setting the knives, I use this device. Works for me.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View bowedcurly's profile


515 posts in 1152 days

#3 posted 01-11-2014 04:00 PM

I made this for setting planer, jointer, tablesaw, works great

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

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