Trailing edge of lumber never touches jointer knives

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by Randy_ATX posted 08-11-2012 04:45 PM 3429 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Randy_ATX's profile


881 posts in 2926 days

08-11-2012 04:45 PM

I purchased a used but in really good shape ~10 year old Grizzly 6” jointer. I’ve got some rough sawn lumber that has a fairly straight edge on it about 6 feet long. After trying a few boards it seems I can never get the last 2 feet of the board (trailing edge) to touch the knifes. I’ve done a lot of reading and I am applying gentle pressure down and against the fence on the outfeed table and fence. I am getting the edge cleaned up with a bandsaw for a straight cut before going to the jointer. I made a nice piece of walnut too narrow now, and tried a piece of cedar straight cut with the same jointer results. Any help is greatly appreciated.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

13 replies so far

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 3177 days

#1 posted 08-11-2012 05:02 PM

Your out feed table isn’t level, i don’t mean buble level, i mean like paralel to the other table. I just found out that mine wasn’t level either but the oposite way it kept sniping the end of the board. To fix it you will need loosen the table mounting bolts and shim the ones that need it using washers, cardboard or pop can material. Lay a good straight level on the beds to see how far they are off using a feeler gage between the table and the level. And before you finish you may need to adjust the knives or cutter head.

-- See pictures on Flickr -[email protected]/ And visit my Facebook page -

View Grandpa's profile


3263 posts in 3160 days

#2 posted 08-11-2012 05:31 PM

I believe co-planer is the term Mike is searching for above. I agree that you need to check this. Some jointers have adjusting screws under the tbale. look there first before shimming since those are easier to use. the table surfaces should be parallel. The knives should also come to the table top. Check both ends of all the knives. Your owners manual should have directions for setting this up. This is important since this is the heart of making a board straight. good luck and let us know how this story ends.

View jmos's profile


916 posts in 2854 days

#3 posted 08-11-2012 06:25 PM

I agree it sounds like an issue being co-planer, some investigation with a long straight edge should reveal the problem.

One other thing I can think of; any chance the 4’ of the board past the cutterhead is starting to pull the last 2’ of the board up off the table? It doesn’t take much to loose contact, depending on how long your outfeed table is. You can try keeping firm pressure on the board on the outfeed table to better support to the end of the board and see if that helps.

-- John

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23232 posts in 3590 days

#4 posted 08-11-2012 09:33 PM

I would check the outfeed table to make sure it is perfectly level with the top of the cut edge. The knives could be off or it could just be a height adjustment of the table…..............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Randy_ATX's profile


881 posts in 2926 days

#5 posted 08-12-2012 03:50 AM

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I hope to get a chance in a day or two to try them out (a lot of family obligations are ahead of my shop time right now). I will follow-up with the results.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3535 days

#6 posted 08-12-2012 05:50 AM


Before you go adjusting things, try adjusting your technique. You say you are applying gentle downward pressure on the outfeed table. Try concentrating and applying a bit more downward force on the outfeed. I think you’re being too gentle and are ending up with a darned effective tapering jig. Unintentionally, of course.

Also, 6 foot boards on a 6” jointer, while not unreasonable, might be a bit much until you get the hang of it. A jointer is a relatively simple tool in design, but demanding in technique. Pressure applied at the wrong point will turn a lot of lumber into wood chips. After getting about 6” past the knives, start shifting more and more pressure to the outfeed side until there’s no pressure on the infeed. Also, be aware of the effect gravity is having on the outfeed pulling the jointed side down and the unjointed side up off the table and skipping the blades. This is especially prevalent with long stock.

I would practice with cheap stuff—2×4s—until you get the results you want. Start with 3 or 4 foot stock and then go to 6 or 8 foot. It won’t take long to determine if the problem is technique or adjustment. Perfecting your method first could save a lot of trouble if you end up messing up what turns out to be a perfectly well adjusted machine.

I had much the same problem when I first started dressing my own lumber. A good friend talked me into trying this before trying adjustments. Try it. It could help.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5975 posts in 3297 days

#7 posted 08-12-2012 07:08 AM

1+ on adjusting jointer beds for co-planer. A good 4’ level and some automotive feeler gauges is all it takes.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5340 posts in 2793 days

#8 posted 08-12-2012 10:03 AM

View muleskinner's profile


935 posts in 2921 days

#9 posted 08-12-2012 10:46 AM

Randy, try a shorter board, maybe three or four feet long. If you get the same result it’s the jointer (which it most likely is). If not, it’s your technique.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View Tdazzo's profile


56 posts in 3333 days

#10 posted 08-12-2012 07:22 PM

Also one thing that’s good to know: Grizzly is pretty good about making owners manuals available for download on their site, even for the older machines. Just do a search for the model number or look at the Product Manuals page: and if that fails they have a customer service line and they’re pretty good with helping you locate older documentation if needed.

10 year old used machines don’t always come with the manuals so in case yours didn’t I figured I’d mention this. Might help if you find yourself needing to make adjustments to the tool. ;-) Good luck.

-- "If you can't do something smart, do something right." -- Sheppard Book

View Randy_ATX's profile


881 posts in 2926 days

#11 posted 09-18-2012 02:09 AM

I’m back to report my findings and solution after finally getting some shop time to work on this jointer. I would again like to thank everyone who took the time to respond with their wisdom. I also took some photos documenting a few of the steps I took. I really was hoping that it wasn’t an issue of the two tables not being co-planer and as it turns out, that was not the culprit.

Since this was my first ever “real” jointer I had never installed or set knives before. I took a photo of the knife jig which came with the used jointer:

It may be “ok” but all of the research I did talked about top dead center (TDC) and using a jig referenced directly parallel and flush with the outfeed table. Well the factory supplied jig in the photo above does neither of those things.

I am lucky in that the office I work in has a machine shop in the same building and I am friends with the two machinists. They loaned me a dial indicator. I saw a separate lumberjocks post from garagewoodworks with this video.
I also tried to pick up the magnetic jig locally to attach to the outfeed table to set the knives at the exact same height as the outfeed table. No dice. Not to be thwarted I had an idea to make my own (photo below) Quick description, I cut a $6 aluminum level in half, connected with all-thread, checked with a feeler gauge and put a 20lb brass weight on top of it. :)

After spending time resetting all 3 knives and putting a nice coat of wood finishing wax on the tables I was ready to test a piece again. I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard the knives cutting the entire length of my boards, even 6’ boards. Talk about a feeling of accomplishment, pride and relief!

Thanks again to this community.


-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View Grandpa's profile


3263 posts in 3160 days

#12 posted 09-18-2012 02:52 AM

Thanks for the “Rest of the Story”. I had a similiar experience when my jointer was new. I could make a football out of a decent board in just a few passes. I was about ready to buy a boat for my anchor.
Thanks again

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3535 days

#13 posted 09-18-2012 06:18 AM


Glad you were successful. Necessity is the mother of invention, and that was a pretty ingenious solution. Now make something and show us how well that jointer works.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics