JordanPatterson

Jointer Setup Idea

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I am still struggling to setup my 6" harbor freight dovetail jointer. I posed about edge jointing issues and decided to completely redo the initial setup. My main concern is determining if the jointer is flawed in some way or if I am just struggling with setup. 

It seems that the conventional wisdom is to raise the indeed table and shim the outfeed to be co-planer with it.  This assumes that after moving the infeed table down to the desired cutting depth that it remains co-planer. 

To alleviate any concerns would it be a bad approach to get the outfeed in approximately the right spot and lock it down. Then shim the infeed to be co-planer with the outfeed with a 25-30 thou offset. Finally I would set the knives level to the outfeed. Any issues with this approach?

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I know this won't be helpful to you and is probably the last thing you want to hear right now...but a jointer is at the absolute top of the list of machines you should NEVER buy from Harbor Freight.  Even the best jointers out there are finicky to set up and keep calibrated.  I can't even fathom the frustration you're facing...and probably won't overcome until you unload that thing.

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1 hour ago, Eric. said:

I know this won't be helpful to you and is probably the last thing you want to hear right now...but a jointer is at the absolute top of the list of machines you should NEVER buy from Harbor Freight.  Even the best jointers out there are finicky to set up and keep calibrated.  I can't even fathom the frustration you're facing...and probably won't overcome until you unload that thing.

My only argument is that the jointer is a very simple machine. I know that my tables are flat and that the cutter head runs true.

Forget the brand of the tool, is my setup strategy valid?

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4 hours ago, JordanPatterson said:

Forget the brand of the tool, is my setup strategy valid?

I personally would not go with that strategy because the infeed table is the one you will move to take lighter/heavier cuts. What good is shimming it up if you're going to move it?   The outfeed table pretty much gets shimmed and locked down. Less chance of shims "walking" on you. 

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1 hour ago, Brendon_t said:

I personally would not go with that strategy because the infeed table is the one you will move to take lighter/heavier cuts. What good is shimming it up if you're going to move it?   The outfeed table pretty much gets shimmed and locked down. Less chance of shims "walking" on you. 

What would necessitate modifying the cutting depth? I went a year with a consistent 1/32 in cut and never wanted to change it. 

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It takes a lot of passes to remove a .5" bow at 1/32" passes.

I keep a 1/16" depth for milling. If something is way out, I may let it down more. 

From the 1/16 base,  I may tighten up the cut to get some better edge or help with tearout.

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I recently had to shim my infeed table to get coplanar with outfeed. On my little benchtop jointer, shims go under the stationary 'wedge' (sort of like the frog on a hand plane) under the infeed. The shims don't move.

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2 hours ago, mat60 said:

I agree with Brendon and congrats on 1000 likes.

Thanks man,  I'm not sure how to even see that.  I view the forum from my phone via the Mobil site. 

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I thought I would update everyone. This method worked flawlessly for me. I was able to adjust my tables to be within 1 thousandth out of co-planer with a cutting depth of .035 inches.

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