I'm having some issues with my jointer and was hoping for some help.
I'm getting a tapered board with the front of the board narrower than the
trailing end (I'm edge jointing). I understand this could
be due to the tables not being parallel or the cutter head is too low. I
checked the tables and they seem
fine. I did lower the outfeed table slightly to where if I put a board on
it and manually spin the cutter, it moves the
board about 1/2" or so backwards. But now I'm getting snipe. In the
past, I've fixed that by setting the outfeed table to be
just below the top of the cutters. Am I to assume that there is a very,
very fine line between snipe and taper here or
is there something else I should be addressing? I believe my technique is
fine (hasn't changed in the 10-15 years since I've
been using a jointer with no problems).
If the outfeed were high you would get the taper on the trailing portion.
You'd also hit the leading edge on the table, because the cutterhead had not
removed enough material. If the outfeed is low, you get the snipe you
induced by lowering. The symptom you report is a characteristic of outfeed
droop or not feeding with even pressure.
Recheck parallel, make sure your stock is not bowed in the middle causing
misfeed, and try again.
Ok, so it seems that a hair high gives me snipe and a hair low gives me
taper. I'll have to take a look
at it again tomorrow and run some wood through it at different heights to
see if I can eliminate both!
Keep in mind also that a "slight" taper result is common on all jointers.
Jointers are not used to create parallel surfaces, only straight and flat
surfaces. The TS should be used to make the opposite edge smooth and
There is no parallel reference on a jointer. Jointers make a face flat,
and/or one face an exact angle to another, based on the setting of the
Parallel edges or faces obtained on a jointer are based on luck. <G>
Really? I thought the cutters took off a measured amount all along the
length, based on their height. If you started parallel, you should get
parallel, less the equal amount removed by the cutters. I can't measure the
Assuming you set the outfeed properly, of course.
I'll simply credit you with superior jointer skills.
All of my training involved not expecting opposite faces to remain
parallel off the jointer, so I'll agree to disagree.
Maybe my faces are parallel, but since I don't expect them to be, I
I'm confused. If you guys aren't getting parallel faces at the jointer than
why do people drop all that dough on those fancy Besseimer TS fences? I
guess I will stick with my $15 delta stock fence. <g>
My typical method of preparing stock:
- Cut the board to rough length with a hand or jigsaw.
- Possibly rip to rough width with the band saw. I don't always work
from a sawmill edge. If I'm not, I'd now create a roughly rectangular
board at the band saw, based on figure preference.
- Joint a face flat enough so I can thickness plane the other side.
This may leave hollows in the center of the board, as I'm not looking
for a perfect face yet.
- Thickness plane the non-jointed side flat, then flip the board to
totally flatten it and ensure both faces are parallel.
- Choose an edge and joint it 90 degrees to a face
- Rip the other edge to width, creating a second edge parallel to the
This works great for me, others may prefer their own methods.
Yeah a bit confused. ;~) The fancy Bess fences give us the parallel
surfaces and with a great blade usually a surface that is smoother than what
the typical jointer will leave and the correct width.
Seriously, talk to some one that teaches proper use of a jointer, you may be
I don't know why this is irritating me tonight, but it seems like
you're overlooking some pretty important things again.
Things have to be done correctly, in the correct order, with the
proper tools. It's your shop, and I'm glad you're happy with it- but
you're going through a lot of extra work and probably frustration by
apparently trying to make silk purses out of sows' ears.
So here goes, a few tips you're sure to ignore.
You've got a jointer, so I'll include that in the process- nothing
wrong with the tool, and you already have it.
When you get your stock, joint one face... if it needs it.
When it is flat, joint one edge, if it needs it, by putting the
jointed face against the fence.
If it needs it, plane the board to final thickness with the planer.
This insures that the two faces are parallel, which the jointer does
not do. If you do not own a planer, your next step involves a hand
plane and winding sticks, which can be fun to use as well- but going
back to the jointer will not help you unless you are doing a lot of
stock removal and just need to do some hogging off the thickness
before truing the piece by hand. You could also use a router with a
pair of "rails" on either side of the stock to adjust the thickness,
then sand or handplane the routed face- this will insure parallel
faces if done correctly.
After planing, rip the stock to width using your table saw, with the
jointed edge against the fence. This insures that both edges are
parallel, which the jointer does not do. Rip the piece to final
thickness- if you re-hit it with the jointer, you risk tapering it,
tearout, or leaving mill marks that are very difficult to sand out if
you feed too quickly, and will show up in your finish.
A good fence on the table saw is parallel to the blade without
excessive fiddling, is sturdy enough to prevent deflection when
ripping, and has an accurate indicator to allow for repeatable setups.
This will result in a glue-ready edge provided that you have a good,
clean, sharp blade, and have carefully set up your saw.
Then, crosscut the board to finished length. Occasionally, it will
make sense to route or rip dadoes down an entire length before
crosscutting, or route a profile on an edge, but we're just talking
about a simple rectangle here.
There you have it. It's a simple, time tested method for preparing
stock. All the gadgets and gizmos in the world will not do a better
job if you ignore the process. You can get your jointer to
micrometric precision, but if the fence on your table saw is out by a
sixteenth, it isn't going to matter. Nor will it matter if your table
saw is set to within one-tenth of a second of 90* if you are not
cutting a final edge with it, or if the ass end of the fence is
sliding out of adjustment when you're ripping (which happens fairly
frequently with your $15 Delta stock fence, if mine was anything to go
Once again, there is no magic bullet. There is no substitute for
thought, care and practice. A gadget will help you in some cases, but
you are losing something very important in the long run. If you're
not willing to discover what that is, there is no way for me to
explain it to you.
Theorectically possible, providing you start with stock that is both
parallel AND perfectly "flat", but if your stock is already flat and
parallel there are much better ways to dimension it than running it over a
Unlike a TS, a thickness planer, a thickness sander, or a RAS the jointer
has no fixed reference to insure exact width or thickness. On paper the
jointer should give you parallel edges if you started with parallel edges
but with the jointer you enter the human factor that controlls the
I thought the cutters took off a measured amount all along the
With a single pass, perhaps but if you want a board 1/2" narrower the
accumilated error will probably be measurable. Better to have the TS set up
properly and there would be no reason to revisit the jointer.
I have to question this. What is it about a jointer that would cause it to
produce a piece that is tapered? Properly set up infeed/outfeed/cutterhead
relationships should indeed provide a non-tapered result. Do you expect
your router to leave a tapered piece? What's the difference between what
the router is doing and what the jointer is doing? I think you've been
settling for too little in your jointer setup. Or - am I out to lunch?
It doesn't have to be the jointer that causes the taper ... it can be the
stock, or even poor technique, or a combination of the two.
Providing that the stock is flat, the faces/edges are parallel start with,
and the technique is a practised one, yes. But getting stock to that point
is not going to be done by the jointer alone, unless you're lucky. ;)
I was under the impression that was Barry's point.
A non fixed opposite reference that insures exact results of the piece being
processed. Ask this question, what is it about a TS WITH OUT a fence that
would cause it to produce a cut that is tapered?
Properly set up infeed/outfeed/cutterhead
That all looks good on paper but the human element is not ever properly set
up. The human element is the reference point and it is very in consistent.
Do you expect
Yes, if I used it as a jointer to trim the entire edge of a board over and
over to achiece the desired width.
What's the difference between what
Typically a router used free hand and in a table does not have two different
parallel surfaces that the wood is being processed on like that of a
I think you've been
A jointer can produce good results but not as good as those done on the
I don't think you have been out to lunch so much as not having been trained
by a person that really knows what he is talking about.
You hear a lot of complaints about jointers, the reason is often because too
much is expected of them.
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