Adjusting jointer, what straight edge to get?

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Forum topic by Dagobah posted 09-11-2016 11:17 PM 3690 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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80 posts in 1575 days

09-11-2016 11:17 PM

I recently bought a used 6” Ridgid Jointer. I’ve been trying to dial it, but haven’t gotten very far. I also have a new set of blades coming, so I know I’ll need a straight edge. Currently I just have my 12” Incra ruler and a framing square.

After watching Wood Whisperer’s video, he recommends the Veritas Aluminum straight edge and says to stay away from big box store versions. Their 38” goes for over $40 and the 50” is almost $100.

Are there any cheaper alternatives worth considering?

13 replies so far

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2907 days

#1 posted 09-11-2016 11:31 PM

I just used a 36” ruler that I have. I tested it for straightness against a level I have. I could have used the level, but it had rounded edges so it made it less clear if a feeler gauge was fitting under it, or just gong under the bevel and lifting it up.

I clamped a block to the ruler so it would sit upright. Worked great.

There are some cheaper straight edges on Amazon if you search for them.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View MrUnix's profile


8277 posts in 3110 days

#2 posted 09-11-2016 11:35 PM

For setting knives? If so, skip the straight edge and get one of these for about $30:


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Dagobah's profile


80 posts in 1575 days

#3 posted 09-11-2016 11:39 PM

For setting knives? If so, skip the straight edge and get one of these for “about $30

Not just the knives, but the infeed and outfeed tables as well.

When I got it, the outfeed was way out of wack. Lots of snipe. I’ve corrected most of that, but I’m still not sure both tables are coplanar, and I’m not 100% sure my outfeed is at TDC of the blades. I’ve also got one of those magnetic jigs coming to help with the knife installation.

View AlaskaGuy's profile (online now)


6204 posts in 3221 days

#4 posted 09-12-2016 12:50 AM

Just my personal option, I have a setup similar to what Brad shows. I also have a One way gauge. One way gauge is stable and easy to mover around (no magnet). Down side is that it cost more but is also machined square. You can use it to set the fence and other task around the shop. Part no. 2889

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View DrDirt's profile


4615 posts in 4654 days

#5 posted 09-12-2016 02:59 PM

Remember we are working with wood, not metal, so +/- .0001 per foot is not needed.

If you have a surface that you know is flat – like your Tablesaw surface. You can use just a 24 inch steel ruler, set it on edge, and if you cannot get a .001 Automotive feeler guage under it.. it is PLENTY flat for looking at coplaner.

I use a flat wood block with a pen mark for setting my knives – - good video by Sandor Nagyszalanczy on doing that. You just set the block on and measure how far the blade ‘drags’ the wood block.

The one-way set-up is more “precise” – but the dial indicator is doing the same thing. You just need a tip with the 1/4 inch flat on the bottom to sit on the knife edge.

Knife setting runs basically from the 3 to 6 minute mark

Of course a spiral cutter head is super easy to adjust :-)

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View joey502's profile


558 posts in 2429 days

#6 posted 09-12-2016 03:39 PM

I bought a woodpecker precision straight edge to set up and maintain my ridgid jointer. I think it was about $45 and a couple bucks for a set of feeler gauges.

The top dead center of the head does not need to be perfectly in line with the outfeed side. There are jack screws in the cutterhead that allow you to adjust the knives up to the outfeed table height. The cutter head also does not need to perfectly in the same plane as the outfeed. The jack screws will create the adjustment you need. With that being said they need to be close, just not perfect. The tables do need to be as close as possible to coplaner.

I also like to use a dial indicator for jointer setup. It takes the guess work out of machine setup. If one knife is ever so slightly off from the others it will not cut or be the only one cutting.

View WoodyBaxter's profile


2 posts in 1536 days

#7 posted 09-12-2016 03:49 PM

I also use the Woodpecker Straight Edge. I often find deals on Amazon. The one I have is currently selling for just under $50,

-- Woody Baxter,

View HokieKen's profile


15305 posts in 2050 days

#8 posted 09-12-2016 03:56 PM

Here are some straight edges that Taylor Toolworks has. I don’t own any but the price is good and they specify the tolerance on them (.001/foot). I’d say that should be close enough for setting your jointer tables.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Dagobah's profile


80 posts in 1575 days

#9 posted 09-12-2016 07:46 PM

Here are some straight edges that Taylor Toolworks has. I don t own any but the price is good and they specify the tolerance on them (.001/foot). I d say that should be close enough for setting your jointer tables.

- HokieKen

Just picked up one of these on amazon. Should hopefully get the job done, thanks!

View DirtyMike's profile


637 posts in 1814 days

#10 posted 09-12-2016 07:54 PM

I think a good eye is more crucial than a costly ruler, I use a harbor freight box level that I had machined by my local shop. I have used the woodpecker straight edges and they are worth the money.

View Putttn's profile


136 posts in 3190 days

#11 posted 09-15-2016 12:59 PM

Oneway will work the best

-- Bill eastern Washington Home of beloved ZAGS

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8030 posts in 1624 days

#12 posted 09-15-2016 03:06 PM

I built my own 1 way

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View lennyk's profile


34 posts in 1743 days

#13 posted 09-16-2016 01:20 AM

This jig works pretty good for setting the knives
You do need to mark tdc by using a dial indicator but not hard
To make your own jig to hold a hf dial indicator over the roller.

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