Jointer issue, leaving a rippled surface

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Forum topic by UGAfan21 posted 10-24-2018 09:58 PM 897 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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64 posts in 1752 days

10-24-2018 09:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip

I recently honed my jointer knives and repositioned them in my jointer. After setting the jointer square and checking for co-planer surfaces i ran a test piece through the jointer. The piece was square and I was pleased… but…
After further inspection I found ripples left on the surface;

 photo IMG_5497_zpslqoveo3x.jpg

You might have to look closely, but there are waves present. What is causing this and what can i do to correct the issue? I have set my knives many times and have never had this happen.

Thanks for the help.


10 replies so far

View TravisH's profile


671 posts in 2329 days

#1 posted 10-24-2018 10:05 PM

Typically a result of one knife being slightly higher than the others or in some cases too fast of feed rate.

View lumbering_on's profile


578 posts in 883 days

#2 posted 10-24-2018 10:08 PM

I’d recheck the knives, as it’s most likely one of the knives is slightly higher. However, if the knives are in-line with each other, and you’re using the proper feed rate, then it sounds like the head may be moving on you. Do you notice any vibration that you didn’t notice before?

View UGAfan21's profile


64 posts in 1752 days

#3 posted 10-24-2018 10:15 PM

Thanks for the advice. I will check the knives. That is probably what it is. No vibration and i didn’t change the feed rate. It is probably the knives. Thanks.


View Phil32's profile


545 posts in 297 days

#4 posted 10-24-2018 10:19 PM

If your jointer is like my 4” Rockwell, the sealed bearings of the cutter head are held in place by a single bolt (for each bearing) from the underside. Over time these bolts may work loose and allow the cutter head to chatter. When I bought my jointer from the previous owner, the bolts were loose. I don’t think they had lock washers.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View Richard Lee's profile

Richard Lee

241 posts in 1169 days

#5 posted 10-25-2018 12:29 AM

Slow your feed rate down, might help.

View msinc's profile


567 posts in 897 days

#6 posted 10-25-2018 09:45 AM

As posted, could be a blade or two out of whack or it could be the feed rate, but if you haven’t changed that then probably not. I will say this, if it is making the board flat and square then I wouldn’t worry about those little ripples. They will sand right out. I’d a whole lot rather have flat and square with little tiny ripples than crooked and glass smooth. No longer than what my straight jointer blades lasted…to me it aint worth worrying about. I went to a Shelix and feed rate definitely affects the finish way more so than if you have a three knife machine that is set dead perfect.

View Robert's profile


3403 posts in 1874 days

#7 posted 10-25-2018 01:35 PM

Yup, knives need to be reset.

Have you tried the 1/8” marching ruler trick?

That’s where you stand a ruler on edge and move the cutter head to drag the ruler 1/8”.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View UGAfan21's profile


64 posts in 1752 days

#8 posted 10-25-2018 02:02 PM

Checked the blades they are set right. i ran a test piece through the jointer slowly and it came out perfect. My feed rate was too fast. Thanks for the advice!


View mlipps's profile


122 posts in 1508 days

#9 posted 10-25-2018 02:48 PM

Richard Lee said it best. Slow your feed rate down dramatically. If it doesn’t correct it, realign your blades. I get these when I throw my wood through my HH jointer.

View Aj2's profile


2280 posts in 2191 days

#10 posted 10-25-2018 03:23 PM

That could also be your cutting circle is too slow. So if the motor and pullleys are not original could be too slow?

-- Aj

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