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Perfect Edge Joints

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Perfect Edge Joints

A 6-step tune-up sets your jointer straight.

By Dave Munkittrick

Purchase the complete version of this woodworking technique story from AWBookstore.com.

Jointers are simple machines with few moving parts, but the two beds, the fence and the cutterhead all have to be in alignment for a jointer to function properly. Few things are more frustrating or more common than problems with jointers. This is especially true when you’re trying to get straight, square edges on your boards. I’ve come up with a six-step tune-up that should set your jointer straight. It’s easy to do and will only take an hour or two, depending on how many problems you unearth.


Common problems

Our tune-up will help you identify and correct four common jointer problems:

Problem #1. A table surface that’s not flat.


Problem #2. Tables that are not parallel to each other across their widths.


Problem #3. Tables that are not parallel to each other along their lengths.


Problem #4. A cutterhead that’s not set parallel to the tables.

Click any image to view a larger version.

Common jointer problems result in a sniped or bowed edge. Adjusting the outfeed table height usually cures the problem. However, if both tables and the cutterhead are not in perfect alignment, the problem will return when you move the fence. This tune-up procedure takes care of all the possible misalignments that can cause jointer problems.


This story originally appeared in American Woodworker September 2006, issue #123.

September 2006, issue #123

Purchase this back issue.

Purchase the complete version of this woodworking technique story from AWBookstore.com.