Powermatic PM60: Need help adjusting

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Forum topic by marco2800 posted 10-02-2014 12:55 AM 892 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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26 posts in 840 days

10-02-2014 12:55 AM


I recently picked up a used Powermatic 8 jointer and was hoping I could get some help on setting it up.

I got her home and ran a pass through the jointer, the results were quite bad. I inspected the blades to find they were quite damaged. Ordered up a set of Freud knives and the magnetic jointer jig from Rockler.

I tried to square the tables to each other, this model of jointer is only equipped with two adjusting screws per side. I got the plates adjusted, but the back right is under about .005”. With only two eccentrics and the weight of the tables, I just cant get to get them all within .001. Any ideas?

I set the blades using the jointer blade jig. Got the blades all reasonably close.

I ran the first test piece, much better than before. But I think there is still an issue. There are ridges running along the length of the board. I measured across the width, and it seams the board is tapering.

6 replies so far

View unbob's profile


699 posts in 1327 days

#1 posted 10-02-2014 02:49 AM

This is how I set the knives. First getting the knife height close to the manufacturers suggested height from the cutter head body, then using the indicator on a base to true the knives true to the table-across the table.
When tightening the cutter head gibs, the knife will want to raise up slightly-using a block of wood to tap them back down as the gib bolts are tightened.
The problem with the blade jig fixture is-it may get the knives fairly true to the cutterhead-but still may not be true to the table surface. Using the indicator and base not too hard to get the knives within .001” true to each other and the table surface.
Note, a magnetic base and indicator will do the same thing as the Starrett #57 base and #96 indicator in the photo.

I found having the knives about .002” higher then the out feed table works best for me-compensating for cutter head deflection from the force of cut. Of course that adjustment made with the out feed table after the knives are set.
On older jointers, might be good to remove the tables, clean the dove tail sliding surfaces and lube with a dry type lube. And adjusting those adjusting gibs-things work and adjust better when clean and lubed.
Don’t want to rub it in, the jointer in the photo is a Griz knock off of yours, and is working perfectly.

View runswithscissors's profile


2127 posts in 1449 days

#2 posted 10-02-2014 06:57 AM

A properly set up jointer can make faces and edges flat and true, but tapering is very common. You have to use table saw and planer to get all edges and surfaces parallel.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View marco2800's profile


26 posts in 840 days

#3 posted 10-02-2014 04:57 PM

Hi guys and thanks for the input. I want to try setting the blades with a dial indicator. I am definitely returning the magnetic jig to Rockler.

Do the results shown on the piece of stock correlate to poorly adjusted blades?
I think I will remove the tables and inspect and clean the slides. It would be nice to have a working knowledge of what’s going on inside the planer.


View unbob's profile


699 posts in 1327 days

#4 posted 10-02-2014 05:25 PM

Jointers take some getting used to, such as applying pressure to the work as it crosses over the cutter head.
I practiced on some soft clear of knots wood for a short time before I got the hang of it. Watch the grain direction same as hand planning, be careful of knots.

View buildingmonkey's profile


242 posts in 971 days

#5 posted 10-04-2014 12:05 AM

40 years ago I was a teacher in a school shop with Powermatic machines. They had a powermatic jig for setting the blades, it just sat on the outfeed table, and the cutterhead had adjustment screws. You used an allen wrench to move the blade up or down, then you tightened the set screw. Does your jointer have the adjustment screws?

-- Jim from Kansas

View marco2800's profile


26 posts in 840 days

#6 posted 10-04-2014 01:53 AM

Yes sir. It has two adjustment screws and 5 locking gibbs.

I tried to use a magnetic base with locking swivel arm dial indicator holder. No go. The arm moves to much as I slide the base.

I think the best tool is the solid iron base with dial indicator, no moving parts to throw you off. I’ll be ordering one from Amazon shortly.


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