Jointer tables - is 0.005" coplanar acceptable?

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Forum topic by jtm posted 10-26-2014 07:43 AM 1375 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jtm's profile


230 posts in 1663 days

10-26-2014 07:43 AM

Hi all,

So I’m tuning up my jointer (Craftsman 21705 – ), and I checked the infeed and outfeed tables with a straightedge and a set of feeler gauges.

At the front part closest to the guard, the tables are about 0.003” out of coplanar. In the middle of the beds, it is out about 0.004”. At the part closest to the fence (the area that gets all the action when edge jointing), the tables are out 0.005”. If I check the diagonal. it’s still about 0.004”.

Is this an acceptable amount of error? I could try shimming the dovetail ways, but realistically, how much closer am I going to truly get?

5 replies so far

View AlaskaGuy's profile


4211 posts in 2336 days

#1 posted 10-26-2014 07:56 AM

Edge joint two board, stick them together and see how the fit.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4999 posts in 2520 days

#2 posted 10-26-2014 11:49 AM

It will be very hard to get closer than that, but the real test is what alaskaguy said; try it out.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20599 posts in 3132 days

#3 posted 10-26-2014 12:38 PM

I’d say for Craftsman, that is good. It might be too much for Starret or Browne and Sharpe!!
The proof is in the pudding. Do the test to see how they fit up.
The biggest concern on a jointer is that the outfeed table is exactly in line with the cutter and the cut edge. With that said, just think if the infeed table was .015 out with the out feed table. You feed the board in and the cutter takes away all that wood that was sitting .015 off and now you just have the alignment of the cutter and the outfeed table to make it straight and have no snipe at the end . All the infeed table does is to set the amount taken off.

We have an old craftsman jointer in our Az. shop and it does not have any adjustment on the outfeed table. so you have to do a very good job of getting the cutters set to match the outfeed table perfectly .


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

546 posts in 2405 days

#4 posted 10-26-2014 02:04 PM

Normally .005 off is acceptable tolerance from most machines coming from the factory according to manuals I’ve read on most of my machines. I’ve been obsessed previously with trying to get everything to within .001 but I’m starting to realize that for what I do as a hobbyist it’s not necessary to stress that much. Stating the obvious, wood moves, and nobody will ever notice these differences but you if you look closely, very closely. I’m starting to get a little less crazy about this stuff as it could really drive you insane trying to achieve perfection like this. Just my two cents :)

-- Matt, Arizona,

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 2532 days

#5 posted 10-26-2014 03:17 PM

Right on Matt!
And to JTM, I’ve had that same jointer for many years and I love it.

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