Help with Porter Cable 160JT Jointer

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Forum topic by LastRifleRound posted 07-18-2019 03:21 PM 210 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 31 days

07-18-2019 03:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer porter cable jointer pc160jt concave boards

I bought the above jointer 2 days ago. No matter what I do with it, I end up edge jointing a concave edge into my boards.

I’ve set the knives with a .001” dial gauage and base to be level with the outfeed. When that didn’t work I tried slightly above, then slightly below. Same result every time. Board length doesn’t matter.

I’ve tried on 1x pine, 2×4’s, s4s oak, all the same result.

I suspect the tables may not be co planar but I don’t have an $80 straight edge to check it and even if I did, the machine has no way to adjust the tables. I’m thinking of getting rid of it. Primary purpose is to make panels for glue ups.

My technique is to push it over the blade, only pushing against the fence. Once over the blade i transfer my hands to the outfeed and push down on the outfeed and into the fence.

I get it, the machine can’t handle large boards, but this material was no longer than 38”.

I have 2 questions:
1.) Is there anything else I can try to get this unit cutting true?
2.) At what price point and what specific units can be purchased where NASA level precision instruments are not required to cut a board straight?

3 replies so far

View davezedlee's profile


32 posts in 1273 days

#1 posted 07-19-2019 11:36 AM

set the knives so they’re level with the outfeed table… you can check this by extending a straight edge from the outfeed side; the knives should BARELY make a sound by just grazing the straight edge when manually rotating the cutterhead by hand, equally at two points on each blade

don’t push down, but across and into the fence

try starting out taking paper-thickness cuts (.004”) until you get the hang of it

i have a 37-070 model, which yours is a clone of, and it works great once you figure it out

View LastRifleRound's profile


2 posts in 31 days

#2 posted 07-25-2019 06:21 AM

I’m at my wit’s end with this thing.

I take very small bites, not sure if it’s .004 but it’s a a hair above the 1/32nd mark, probably like 1/64th.

I adjusted the knives using a machinist’s dial and magnetic base. I cannot possibly be more precise than this.

I either get a taper, or I cut a bow. I can’t get a flat board. I have probably spent 10 or so hours at this point trying to tune this thing. It shouldn’t be this hard. I’m starting to think it’s a lemon and wasting my time, but I have no way of checking whether or not this is true.

What kinds of conditions cause a jointer to cut a bow? And by bow, I mean when edge jointing, the ends touch the straight edge, but you can see daylight in the middle. Basically the thing is cutting unintentional sprung joints. Is this from the blades being too high wrt the outfeed table? I don’t think it is, as I read that should cause a bulge (a convex surface) to be cut instead.

Can non co-planar tables cause this? How would I check them without a $120 straight edge? I tried moving my machinist dial around the beds but it’s only detecting a change of .004” at the most across the surface. Probably not all that accurate as the two points it’s checking at any given moment aren’t all that far apart.

View ChefHDAN's profile


1419 posts in 3298 days

#3 posted 07-25-2019 10:43 AM

Is this your first jointer, Lastround? There is a bit of technique involved with cutting the joint & it took me a bit to get it down so that I could get it flat & level. For me what I’ve found works is starting the board in and then keeping a hand to the left and right of the cutter head as I pass the board over, so that there is even pressure against the fence, infeed & outfeed. BTW, I don’t have a high $$$ straight edge and haven’t checked mine in the past 15 years, but I get good panels.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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