Jointer table not flat

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Forum topic by KellyB posted 03-09-2015 06:32 PM 683 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View KellyB's profile


77 posts in 604 days

03-09-2015 06:32 PM

I have my joiinter infeed table completely off and I laid it down on the outfeed table and found some rocking. I can get a .022 feeler gauge under one of the corners. With corner shims, I can perhaps cut the differential to half that.

This is a no-name machine, suggesting what I’m not sure, but there is not one whit of identification anywhere on it.

So my question is whether I should try to live with this, see about getting the tables ground/planed, or think about a new jointer.



6 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


15472 posts in 2428 days

#1 posted 03-09-2015 06:43 PM

Have you run any lumber over it yet? If its just one of the corners that’s off a little bit it may not make a whole lot of difference, sometimes we get hung up on the numbers without looking at the actual results first ya know.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View MrUnix's profile


4032 posts in 1621 days

#2 posted 03-09-2015 06:47 PM

Sometimes you can ‘pop’ them back into alignment.. place it on a flat surface, table side down, and step on it. Sounds weird, but it does work in a lot of cases. If that doesn’t work, you can try scraping it flat.. lot of work but doable.


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View DrDirt's profile


4141 posts in 3164 days

#3 posted 03-09-2015 06:54 PM

To add a bit to what chrisstef said, lay the straight edge and figure where it is messed up.

How big a jointer?
I assume cast iron, since you are considering grinding.

But it really is a question of is it worth grinding?
I have seen on other threads, engine shops the resurface heads… each table of a 6 inch jointer wouldn’t be that much different in size for 60-100 dollars

you really need to see what is out of whack…. because they could grind the surface flat, but then you find yourself unable to get the infeed and outfeed to be coplaner.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View KellyB's profile


77 posts in 604 days

#4 posted 03-09-2015 09:17 PM

Thanks to all for the replies: Clearly, having the tables reground is a poor option with a bad cost/benefit ratio.

I did like the post in the Fine Woodworking forum describing a locomotive drive rod sliding one table over the other with grinding compound between. Love to see that arrangement.

I’ll set it up again, true it up as best I can, and see what comes off it.

View Shadowrider's profile


183 posts in 631 days

#5 posted 03-09-2015 10:44 PM

You will spend a month of Sundays lapping them together if you are trying to remove .022” out of flat.

Try sliding them to where the corners aren’t on top of each other and remeasure. If it’s a corner or an edge it’s pretty easy to draw file the high spot(s) down. You just need to find out if there is a single spot or edge is the culprit.

Paint the whole surface of each with Dykem layout dye and slide them on each other a few times. Any high spots will have the dye rubbed off and be readily identifiable. That will tell you what you have to work with. What that turns out to be will dictate what route you take.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1275 posts in 1357 days

#6 posted 03-09-2015 10:58 PM

I’d bail on that jointer if I were you. Save up and get a decent jointer that works. This sounds like a neverending problem that would take 100 hours to fix in its entirety. That’s not worth it in my book.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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