Very Basic Jointer Alignment Questions.

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Forum topic by Pthomas180 posted 03-01-2018 05:53 PM 762 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 862 days

03-01-2018 05:53 PM

This is a pretty basic question. I have a jointer with dovetail ways. I understand that measuring parallelism involves taking readings on multiple areas of the infeed and outfeed table. My manual (very old) advises adjusting the gib bolts if necessary.

My question: the jointer I own only has gib bolts on the front of the machine. Two for the infeed and two for the outfeed. What about the back of the table? I don’t see any gib bolts for the dovetail slides on the fence side of the in feed and outfeed tables.

I assumed adjustments to the fence side of the table have to occur in at least some situations since I’ve seen instructions for taking measurements along the fence side of the outfeed table.

Do you not shim the fence side of the outfeed table? What happens when there is a dip along the fence side of the outfeed table? Do the two front facing gib screws on the outfeed table take care of what is happening along the fence?

I just figured there would be a way to adjust the front right, front left; back left, back right—using maybe four gib screws.

I apologize for what is probably a basic question. I’m just struggling to understand the anatomy of my jointer.

2 replies so far

View splintergroup's profile


3771 posts in 1989 days

#1 posted 03-01-2018 06:14 PM

The gib screws mearly remove the slack from the gibs as they nest into the ways machined into the table.

You can gain a measure of adjustment by leaving the gib screws loose and allowing gravity to take hold, but I find it much better to keep the gibs tight and use shims to set the alignment.

Basic procedure for adjusting is to determine the high/low ends on each side of the table. Typically you will shim the outfeed table to be co-planar with the infeed table since the outfeed table is usually kept in a fixed position once the jointer is set..

Example (with reference to the infeed table), if the blade end of the outfield table is lower than the exit end, you need to shim the upper ends of the gibs. If there is a difference side-to-side at the blade end, you will need to shim each side differently to compensate.
When using my jointer I typically loosen my gib screws to allow the infeed table to be raised/lowered and retighten to lock it all down once the position is set. It is the shims that keep the tables co-planar once the gib are locked.

View Aj2's profile


3066 posts in 2565 days

#2 posted 03-01-2018 06:49 PM

If you have a dip in the outfeed table that’s deep enough to mess up edge jointing or give you grief setting the knifes.
You have two choices: do your best and play the hand your dealt.
Or get another jointer one with flat tables in plane with each other. Used jointers are the best bargain out there invest in a good reliable straight edge. Inspecting the jointers tables before you buy is highly recommended. A jointer with flat tables inline is a joy to use.
All good builds start with accurate measurements from square straight boards. No machine does this as fast as a jointer.

-- Aj

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