Jointers are too complicated!

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Forum topic by Jeff82780 posted 02-06-2011 10:06 PM 1929 views 3 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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204 posts in 3554 days

02-06-2011 10:06 PM

I dont know what the heck I am doing wrong! At first I was having problems with these longs linear bumps and scratches in my boards. I was told that it was from a nick in the blades. So I bought new blades. I think the new blades are worse off than my old ones (which were’nt really old). Marks all over the place.

This morning I put pencil lines across the board I was running through the jointer. Well, after I ran the board through I checked to make sure the knives were cutting properly. Half of the pencil lines were still there! So I went on the web to watch some videos about adjusting the knives. I adjusted them with a jig similar to a jointer pal. I ran another board through the jointer and no again only half of the board was being jointed.

What am I doing wrong? This is so frustrating. Are jointers usually this much of a pain in the butt, or is it just me? Anyone know what I can do to fix my problems

24 replies so far

View bhog's profile


2238 posts in 3250 days

#1 posted 02-06-2011 10:23 PM

If the board you are trying to join is cupped or twisted you will need quite a few passes.Is the fence 90* to the table? Double check that.Are you joining the face or edge?

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View AaronK's profile


1509 posts in 4024 days

#2 posted 02-06-2011 10:38 PM

also which half of the board is being jointed. is it one side vs the other, or is it front vs back. know what i mean?

View cabs4less's profile


235 posts in 3322 days

#3 posted 02-06-2011 10:38 PM

check your outfeed table hieght it should be the same hieght of the knives at the top of thier arc then check the knives wit a straight edge to the out feed table to make sure they are all the same hieght then raise both tables above the knives and check thier level they should be in line wit each other then reset the the out feed table to the same hight as the knives and set the in feed table to cut a 1/16 and run a 2x on eger without contacting the fence and check your cuts if its bumoy one of your knives is to high if its not cutting then your infeed table is not inline wit your outfeed then knives

-- As Best I Can

View Jeff82780's profile


204 posts in 3554 days

#4 posted 02-06-2011 10:43 PM

Yea, the fence is 90 degrees . I am jointing the face of a board

View ChuckV's profile


3245 posts in 4087 days

#5 posted 02-06-2011 10:50 PM

As Brandon said, you may have to run the face over the jointer several times before it is flat and you have removed all of the pencil lines. If you are using a board that is already flat on that face, then there is something wrong going on.

When flattening a face, you should not put pressure against the fence. You are trying to make the face flat, not perpendicular to the edge against the fence. I usually skew the board slightly so that at most one point is contacting the fence, unless that is not possible because of the length and width of the board..

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4565 days

#6 posted 02-06-2011 10:55 PM

The two tables must be parallel. The outfeed side must be even with the height of the knives that must also be installed in a straight and true alignment with the tables. Not really complicated. Just frustrating and nearly useless until you get those things right.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11902 posts in 3988 days

#7 posted 02-06-2011 10:58 PM

Crank your in feed table up to just above the blades. Assuming your blades are set dead even with the out feed, the two tables should now be even. To check, lay a long straight edge across both….from in feed front edge to out feed back edge. Slide the straight edge from the fence towards you, pushing the guard away. Keep looking for space under the straight edge.
If you see ANY variance between the tables, one or both tables need adjusting.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Jeff82780's profile


204 posts in 3554 days

#8 posted 02-06-2011 11:00 PM

The outfeed table is the same height as the knives. When i say that half of the board not being joing, I mean split down the middle, left and right. Not front and back. I know that it will take a few passes before the whole board will be jointed, but I ran the board through at least 10 times and half of the board was still not jointed

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11902 posts in 3988 days

#9 posted 02-06-2011 11:09 PM

Your board is cupped. Lower the in feed table a bit (take a deeper cut) and see it the cuts get closer together.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Dustin's profile


394 posts in 4010 days

#10 posted 02-06-2011 11:21 PM

A jointer is a very simple machine, however, using it properly is not as simple. I do not recommend using an industrial tool with out some professional assistance or direction for safety and to get the desired results. The purpose of a jointer is to true one side of a board. That means to render it straight on one edge in order to rip or process it in some way while running it against a fence. It’s purpose is not to give that edge a perfectly smooth finish because it usually won’t, especially if you run against the grain.
For a smooth edge you’ll need to sand it, perhaps with an edge sander.

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 3253 days

#11 posted 02-06-2011 11:29 PM

Do you have burrs on the outfeed table? That might be causing the scratches

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View StumpyNubs's profile


7786 posts in 3360 days

#12 posted 02-06-2011 11:29 PM

Do you mean the entire right side of the board along the length is not being cut while the left (or vise-versa) is- like your blades are only working on the one half? Perhaps the blades are not leveled, one end is lower than the other. A jointer is a VITAL tool, so don’t give up- you’ll figure it out!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View TMcG's profile


191 posts in 3560 days

#13 posted 02-06-2011 11:30 PM

To answer your main question, Yes, absolutely ! A giant PITA !

That said, once you get the hang of it, after going through multiple setups, knive replacments, redoing it all over again and then, finally, getting the technique part closer to the truth, they’re great.

Hang in there, use something soft to experiment with and refine technique



View jmichaeldesign's profile


66 posts in 3343 days

#14 posted 02-06-2011 11:46 PM

View Jeff82780's profile


204 posts in 3554 days

#15 posted 02-07-2011 12:52 AM

well, I lowered the infeed table and that seemed to work a bit, but the jointer just didnt sound right, like it was ready to bog down and the board that i jointed wasnt all that smooth.

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