board looks like a wedge after jointing

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Forum topic by dbw posted 09-23-2017 10:40 PM 3027 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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414 posts in 2415 days

09-23-2017 10:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer wedge shaped board

HELP! I purchased a brand new Cutech 8” benchtop jointer with carbide segmented inserts. I get flat boards except the boards have a wedge shape to them and there is a bit of snipe on the leading end. The more I run the board through the bigger the wedge. When I joint an edge it looks like the outside of a bowl and there is significant tearout. I have checked, rechecked, and re-rechecked the co-planarity of the tables as well as the flatness of the tables. I have also checked the relationship of the outfeed table to the cutters ( +/- .003 difference from front to back). What am I doing wrong?

-- measure 3 times, cut once

20 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4426 days

#1 posted 09-23-2017 10:46 PM

Technique, probably.

Jointing boards well takes some foresight.
I usually check a board against a straightedge
or a level to assess where material needs
removing. It’s common for a board to need
selective removal of material from one or
both ends, from a bump in the middle, or
from more than one bump. Once those
major distortions are jointed off then the
whole thing can be jointed in one pass.

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

576 posts in 1856 days

#2 posted 09-23-2017 10:54 PM

In feed table set too deep?

-- "PLUMBER'S BUTT! Get over it, everybody has one"

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


8097 posts in 2977 days

#3 posted 09-23-2017 11:06 PM

A jointer gets it flat… doesn’t make the sides parallel. If you keep running a board through the jointer, you will wind up with a wedge. You can somewhat minimize that if you alternate the board direction when feeding it through. But if you want parallel sides, joint one side to make it flat, then run the other side through a thickness planer to make it a consistent thickness.


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

View dbw's profile


414 posts in 2415 days

#4 posted 09-23-2017 11:15 PM

FYI I take 1/64th to 1/32nd per pass. Never more.

-- measure 3 times, cut once

View ArtMann's profile


1480 posts in 1594 days

#5 posted 09-23-2017 11:51 PM

MrUnix is right. You aren’t going to maintain a uniform thickness with repeated trips across the jointer to flatten a board. You will always develop a wedge shape after several trips. It takes a planer to make the thickness uniform.

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

1252 posts in 3012 days

#6 posted 09-23-2017 11:54 PM

Joint one face. Then joint one edge using the jointed face against the fence. Then go to the thickness planer and with the joined face down run it through until it is equal thickness all around. Next to the table saw. With the joined edge against the fence rib the rough edge to square it all up.
The board will then be square all around and the same thickness. I have assumed the piece was already cut to length.

-- Jerry

View Richard Lee's profile

Richard Lee

298 posts in 1553 days

#7 posted 09-24-2017 01:14 AM

Ive found the more passes you make the error from the first pass will be magnified and will only get worse with more passes. I always try to joint an edge in the least amount of passes as possible.

View Aj2's profile


3097 posts in 2576 days

#8 posted 09-24-2017 01:31 AM

Snipe on the leading edge could mean that your outfeed table is too low.

-- Aj

View KTNC's profile


163 posts in 1034 days

#9 posted 09-24-2017 01:32 AM


I’m pretty new at using jointers too. Mine has knives instead of the carbide segments but I think this might help. Look for some videos that show proper technique. You have to transition the down force from the infeed to the outfeed table at the appropriate time – pretty much as soon as a few inches are on the outfeed table. I found several youtube videos explaining it. I went through a similar circumstance as you. I thought I had everything set up and then began making very light passes. The more passes I made the worse it got: my edge became more and more “non-straight”. Finally I figured out my outfeed table was either too high or too low. In one case (outfeed high I think) you end up making a board with too much cut off each end so that if you put it against a straight edge it touches in the middle but gaps on both ends. In the other case (outfeed low I think) you make a board which has too much cut away in the middle so that if you put it against a straight edge it touches on the two ends and has a gap in the middle. I found my outfeed table needed to be just a touch lower than what I thought was perfect when I used a straight edge to get it level with knives. I also found that once I had everything working well, when I came back to it a week later I had to adjust the outfeed table again.

Good Luck!

View dbw's profile


414 posts in 2415 days

#10 posted 09-24-2017 03:05 PM

Why did you have to re-adjust the outfeed table a week later?

-- measure 3 times, cut once

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1698 days

#11 posted 09-25-2017 03:39 AM


I too noticed that edge jointed boards were wider at one end than the other off my jointer. Of course this would also translate to undesirable taper in face jointed boards. It was only after spending a half-day adjusting the tables to be co-planar that I was satisfied that a board whose edges were parallel to start with would result in jointed edges that, while perhaps not perfectly parallel, would be parallel within the accuracy of my measuring techniques. This should not be misconstrued to mean that I disagree with MrUnix, et. al.; that a trip to the table saw or planer is unnecessary. It simply refers to a test of the accuracy of the jointer setup.

I found that if a board that measures the same width at both ends (for example 3” wide at both ends) is edge jointed over several passes while feeding the board in the same direction and the board ends up unacceptably narrower at one end versus the opposite end, the in-feed and out-feed tables are not co-planar. The tables can appear co-planar when the fence is in one position, but a taper can result when the fence is positioned in another location. This presumes that downward pressure of the edge-jointed board is maintained on the out-feed table. When the out-feed and in-feed tables were re-adjusted co-planar, an edge- jointed board maintained mostly parallel edges no matter the position of the fence.

I suspect that a benchtop jointer only allows the in-feed table to be adjusted. Therefore, if these tests produce an edge-jointed board that is tapered (wider at one end that the other), it seems to me that the out-feed and in-feed tables are not co-planar across their length and/or width. Thus the in-feed table needs some adjusting, notwithstanding the readings from a straightedge and/or caliper. The time spent making the needed adjustments has saved me aggravation mostly when face jointing stock where maintaining stock thickness counts.

I am not sure I understand Aj2’s comment, but can opine that the trailing edge of an edge jointed board that is snipped over the last 1” or so can mean the out-feed table is set lower than the jointer knives. Although some argue for setting the knives a hair higher than the out-feed table, mine are set as close to dead level with the out-feed table as I can get them. This setup satisfies me. What is less clear to me is whether the height of the knives relative to the out-feed table could produce a taper on an edge jointed board whose edges are parallel before jointing.

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2264 days

#12 posted 09-25-2017 05:13 AM

I don’t pay attention to any kind of taper. It matters not when the opposite side goes through the planer and table saw.

As far as the tables go. I don’t know the outfeeds relativity to the knives. I just adjust until I get no light against a jointed edge with a 4’ straight edge and no snipe.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5812 posts in 3087 days

#13 posted 09-25-2017 06:49 AM

Scroll down to Tapering (Long Axis of board)

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View HorizontalMike's profile


7873 posts in 3692 days

#14 posted 09-25-2017 10:18 AM

A jointer gets it flat… doesn t make the sides parallel. If you keep running a board through the jointer, you will wind up with a wedge. You can somewhat minimize that if you alternate the board direction when feeding it through. But if you want parallel sides, joint one side to make it flat, then run the other side through a thickness planer to make it a consistent thickness.
- MrUnix

The only thing that I would add to the above is that when alternating directions of the board being jointed, is to make sure that you have the jointer set to take a MINIMUM CUT. This is important in minimizing tearout when jointing against the grain. While this is not a guarantee, it does help…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View MrRon's profile


5913 posts in 4021 days

#15 posted 09-25-2017 06:04 PM

Assuming the jointer is set up correctly, the only things I can point a finger to is: technique and knife sharpness. A dull knife has a tendency to lift the wood upon contact with the knife. Firm downward pressure is required to maintain correct knife to wood contact. Transferring downward pressure from the infeed to the outfeed tables is where most of the problem occurs.

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