Frustrated with jointer results

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Forum topic by Aubrey posted 09-14-2007 06:42 PM 1735 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Aubrey's profile


43 posts in 4145 days

09-14-2007 06:42 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer

Well, I got my new jointer and have been experimenting with it.

I am frustrated with my results.

I have read the advice here and on other sites on setting up the knives and getting the tables adjusted to where they are supposed to be.

I have the knives set even with the outfeed table at their highest point. I have checked to make sure that the knives are the same height close to the fence as well as away from it.

I start out with boards which are relatively flat and straight and end up with boards that are markedly thinner on one end than the other. Aarghhh…..

I have been very careful to shift pressure to the outfeed table as soon as possible.

When I edge joint a piece of stock I am getting a high spot in the middle in relation to the ends.

Any ideas?

Always open to suggestions.


-- Jesus was a Jewish carpenter.

15 replies so far

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4334 days

#1 posted 09-14-2007 06:47 PM

What is the depth of your cuts? If your outfeed table is set properly, then try reducing the depth of cut. Maybe try to take 1/32nd of an inch at first, and reverse the board when you plane it a second time. See if you are still getting the high spots as you plane this way.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4135 days

#2 posted 09-14-2007 06:53 PM

I agree with Bill

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View WayneC's profile


13776 posts in 4270 days

#3 posted 09-14-2007 06:56 PM

Are you trying to joint both faces of the board or just one side?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View mot's profile


4918 posts in 4209 days

#4 posted 09-14-2007 08:18 PM

There are a couple of things, but technique has to be ruled out first. Are you face jointing, one face, then edge jointing an edge using the jointed face as a reference against the fence, then moving to the planer?

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Billp's profile


804 posts in 4372 days

#5 posted 09-14-2007 08:28 PM

I also just got a new jointer and have some questions? Hope Iam not hijacking your question. I have one by popular and run it through. I also have it set up properly ,used a dial indicator to set knives to top dead center. I noticed my board was a little cupped so when I ran it through I took off about 20 thousands and ran it through twice. Not all of the bottom was cut by the blades how far do you keep going? and after jointing one side and the edge do I have to take the same amount off on the planer?

-- Billp

View Aubrey's profile


43 posts in 4145 days

#6 posted 09-14-2007 08:40 PM

The technique I have used so far has been to joint an edge first to get a flat surface to run against the fence while face jointing.

I then face joint the board running it in the same direction from beginning to end.

After getting one face like I want it (only a couple were decent) I then go back to the previously jointed edge to get it at the right angle to the newly jointed face.

I then go to the planer and plane down the face that remains untouched.

For the other edge I move to the table saw and trim/square it up.

I haven’t tried reversing the board before passing it through the next time.

Forgot to add that I have varied the cuts between 1/16” to 1/32.”

-- Jesus was a Jewish carpenter.

View che's profile


123 posts in 4198 days

#7 posted 09-14-2007 08:47 PM

Make double sure the tables are flat and parallel to each other in addition to being properly aligned with the cutter. If my thinking is correct if the outboard ends of the tables are high you’ll remove more from the ends of the boards than the middle.

Are the boards thinner on the front or back of the board relative to the feed?

Remember cup side down.

you run the board thru the jointer until one side is flat (all of the bottom is cut.)
No you don’t have to take the same amount off of both sides but you do have to run it thru the plainer until all the wood is cut.
I have heard recommendation that you alternate sides when planing to final thickness after both sides have been flattened.

-- Che.

View Aubrey's profile


43 posts in 4145 days

#8 posted 09-14-2007 09:19 PM


They are thinner on the front end (first in).

I sure am glad I am experimenting with some freebie (salvaged) lumber while on this learning curve.

-- Jesus was a Jewish carpenter.

View mot's profile


4918 posts in 4209 days

#9 posted 09-14-2007 09:29 PM

Aubrey, jointing the edge before the face is superfluous. You’ll never be able to hold an edge against the fence to joint a face. However, that won’t cause your difficulties. There are a couple of things that I’ve seen that affect this. First of all, the knives should be a few thousandths proud of the outfeed table. I’ve seen perfectly flush blades and outfeed table make a wedged board.

Also, what thickness are you starting with and what thickness do you want to end up with. A board with bow in it will often really beat the heck out of the ends leaving thick middle.

Sagging outfeed table, non-uniform pressure against the blades…these all affect jointer performance.

My first suggestion would be to lower the outfeed table so a hand turned blade will JUST start to grab a straight edge placed across the oufeed table and blade. Then give it a shot.

If your oufeed table is sagging, then it can be shimmed, but that is a horrific PIA.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Aubrey's profile


43 posts in 4145 days

#10 posted 09-14-2007 09:35 PM


Thanks for your input and expertise. I have been a real leech since I joined LJ….sucking up all the knowledge of those around me.

I want to be just like you guys (and ladies) when I grow up.

I will play around with it a bit more when I get home this afternoon and report back in with my results.

-- Jesus was a Jewish carpenter.

View mot's profile


4918 posts in 4209 days

#11 posted 09-14-2007 09:44 PM

I’m around tonight and will follow this thread. I hope we can all work to figure this out for you!


-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 4286 days

#12 posted 09-15-2007 12:57 AM

What kind of wood are you using? How think is the wood?

If you are really pressing down hard on the board, this can distort the board (especially on shorter jointer beds). I did this the first time I used my jointer, because I didn’t “lube” up my top. I was pushing way to hard to get the board to move, which tended to lift the back of the board up or rock it to one side before it was flat. Light but firm pressure is all you should need.

I think you already said you checked the blades, but this was another problem I had. My blades were not in straight, one end was higher then the other (it doesn’t take much). This drove me nuts for the longest time. I now use Jointer Pals, which work great. If you don’t have these you can make your own. Here’s a great article on FW that shows you how to make some.

Jointer Knife-Setting Jig

View Rudy's profile


1 post in 4196 days

#13 posted 09-15-2007 01:33 AM

I am not sure what you mean by one end being thinner than the other. I assume that you are talking about face jointing rather than edge jointing. It sounds like you have the knives set properly. However, another potential problem with a jointer is that the tables may not be co-planer. If the blades are set properly and the two tables are co-planer then the problem is probably the result of technique. When you start the board through your jointer you want more pressure on the infeed side then when about 1/4 to 1/3 of the board is on the outfeed table put more pressure on the outfeed table. The other thing to remember is that a jointer cannot produce a board with two sides that are parallel. To get a board with two sides that are parallel you need to joint one face and then run the other face (jointed face down) through a planer. If you don’t have a planer you can use a marking gauge and a hand plane to make the two faces parallel.


-- Rudy

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4135 days

#14 posted 09-15-2007 04:08 AM

On edge jointing, I try to do the edge which dishes out in the middle. In other words the side where the ends are touching the table but not the middle. It seems to me that if I try to joint on the side where the middle is high I never get a straight edge. Does that make sense? I’m not sure I said what I intended. I also reverse the board every time I go across the jointer. Wether edge or face. This should eliminate the wedge. You might have to make a very light pass with the grain on the last pass,say 1/64 or less. Latley I’ve been so disgusted with my 6” jointer that anything over 30 inches I joint with my # 7. It takes less time and bad words. I also use a magnetic jointer rig to set my blades.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4260 days

#15 posted 09-15-2007 04:54 PM

I was looking over my October 2007 issue of Wood magazine.

On page 102 is an article on avoiding jointer snipe.

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

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