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adjusting dovetail way jointer frustration

7204 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  TheWoodenOyster
Hey Guys,

I'm trying to adjust my G0452 jointer, which is a dovetail way jointer. I've got a long precision straight edge, a couple sets of feeler gauges for measuring and shimming, and I've watched all the how-to videos I can find.

My understanding of the process is that I need to raise the infeed table as high as it goes, then adjust the outfeed table so its a bit lower. I then measure the gap at each of the four corners of the outfeed table with my straight edge on the infeed table, using the feeler gauges. Then to level everything out, I unscrew the gib screws on the outfeed table, shim, re-tighten, measure and repeat.

I've spent about 4 hours doing that and I'm no closer to coplanar in/outfeed tables! I'm not sure if I'm missing a step somewhere or doing something wrong?

I started off with :

Left Back - 0.020
Left Front - 0.021
Right Back - 0.019
Right Front - 0.025

Seems like I should shim the right-front corner by 0.006, but if I do that both front corners are raised and I'm seemingly no closer to the goal.

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Unless the jointer is really screwed up you should not have to shim the dove tail ways.

What ever instructions you are following seems, terrible.

First the dove tails in the base and the tables need to be clean and lubed with a dry lube.
There are thin plates "gibs" that are adjusted with set screws, those force the dove tails tight.
I would tighten those screws to the point of locking the table tight, then carefully backing them off until the table can be moved freely with some friction. Keep in mind any straight edge test needs to be done with the table locks tight.

The tables, check each one for true with your straight edge, hopefully they are good.

Set the out-feed table to the cutter head as per the Griz instructions. Rotate the knife out of the way.
Bring the in-feed table to the same height as the out feed table using your straight edge, but not clear across the in-feed table at this point, just a few inches on the other side of the cutter head. Lock the tables.
Now, check across both tables and see what error you have.

From what you posted, if I am getting it right, you may have a maximum error of .006" across both tables.
That is not much and may not effect the performance badly.
It could be impossible to shim that out, that is, I have heard of dove tails being shimmed when the tables are way out, like 1/16", from sag.

Having a Griz jointer myself, an older 1018, there may be another point of error- the cutter head body to the table surface.
Not a big deal, if the knives are set to the out-feed table surface rather then using the the supplied gage that sets the knives to the cutter body.
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I have a G0452 and didn't have to adjust mine. It was right on from the box…and the box had been banged around. Is this thing new?
If all corners are within .006", you are pretty close. Make small adjustments by turning the gib screws. Aim for within .002". Most tables are only flat to within .002-.004", so any further adjustments won't lead to improved accuracy.
Brass shims are really for when one side of the fence (say the infeed side) is square to the table, while the outfeed is not. You can adjust for this discrepancy with shims. Or if your gib screws won't adjust far enough, you might have to shim.
Run for the hills.

I tried to get my hand-me-down jet jointer aligned perfectly right when I got it and did more damage than good. From what I could tell, messing with alignment on a dovetail way jointer is more of a pipe dream than a reality. I was trying to follow the "Tune up your Tools" FWW, but I found that it just wasn't realistic to try to fix this alignment issue, especially when it really wasn't that noticeable for me in use. Sorry, more empathy than help here.

Ever since I got my jointer, I have always dreaded it. For me it is the most finicky, dangerous, hard to align power tool in the shop. If anything takes one of my fingers, it's going to be my jointer. Good Luck
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