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Straight and flat. The jointer can transform boards that are rough or uneven, leaving smooth, straight surfaces and square or beveled edges.

Jointers wK

oodworking demands square» straight edges and flat surfaces. Nothing beats a jointer when it comes to meeting these conditions. With this machine» you can transform a roughsawn surface into a smooth one» or plane a cupped board flat. When a board is a bit too wide or thick» the jointer can remove stock in tiny increments, yielding the final dimension or fit that you're after. If your jointer has a rabbeting ledge» you can use it to cut both rabbets and tongues.

The size of a jointer is based on its maximum width-of-cut. While jointers arc made in sizes up to 24 in., 6- and 8-in. models are most popular.

When you're using a jointer (see lead photo), the workpiece runs against a fence and over a spinning cutterhead that's located between the in feed and outfeed tables.

Types of Jointers

Floor-Model Jointers

These machines are the best choice for handling longer and heavier boards. Professionals usually choose stationary jointers over benchtop models for their capacity, stability and durability. A stationary jointer is a smart investment for any woodworker who does a substantial amount of dimensioning, especially in hardwoods.

Features to Consider


Unless you specialize in small-scale work, a 6-in. or 8-in. jointer will probably serve you best. If you frequently joint or plane long boards, extra infeed and outfeed length (called "bed length") is a good idea. Check the Bed Length column in the chart on page 76.

Knives and Rpm

The cutterhead in a jointer can have two, three or four knives. You'll find a three-

or four-knife cutterhead in most floor models; benchtop jointers usually have two knives. Although all the knives cut, thoy are rarely at precisely the same height, so only the highest knife produces the finished surface. In general, higher cutterhead speeds produce finer surfaces.

Good Beds

Look for flat, well-machined surfaces on int'eed and outfeed beds. An adjustable outfeed bed makes it easier to i hange and adjust knives.

The Fence

Like the beds, the fence should !*• machined flat, with a smooth finish lhat will allow the workpiece to slide easily against it. In general, you'll find that a center-mounted fence is more stable than an end-mounted fence.

The Base

Except with benchtop models, a factory-made base should be included in the price of the jointer. Look for sturdy, steel construction. The base should include a dust chute and/or dust collection port.

Rabbeting Ledge This feature, which is iowu\ on many stationary jointers, enables you to mill rabbets and tongues on your jointer. (See photo, right.)

Options Worth Having

Push blocks. Push blocks are a must for safe jointing and planing operations. Aftermarket blocks are available, or you can make your own.

Extension rollers or supports. If you don't have a long-bed jointer, adjustable rollers or supports will give added stability when you're jointing or planing long stock.

Extra knives. With an extra set or knives, your downtime is minimized when knives get dull or nicked.

Knife-setting jig. If your jointer doesn't come with its own jig for changing knives, an aftermarket version will make it much easier to reinstall knives after they've been sharpened.

A ledge for rabbets. On a jointer equipped with a rabbeting ledge, you can quickly and easily mill rabbets and tongues.

Benchtop Jointers

These scaled-down machines have width capacities between 4 in. and 6 in. and much shorter infeed and out-feed tables lhan stationary jointers. The universal motor on a bench-top jointer is louder than the induction motor on a typical floor model, and it's not suited to heavy-duty use.

Benchtop jointers are good for light- to medium-duty work, for woodworkers who build small-scale projects, and in shops where floor space is sc arce. Some benchtop models feature variable speed control, which lets you tailor your cutting speed to the hardness of the material you're working and to the desired cutting smoothness. iScr ( hail, p.r^c 7(>.


New models in red.

for jointef'plantn, mv pu^e r 18.


Bridgewood BW-6J

Delta 37-190 Deluxe

Bridgewood BW-6J

Delta 37-190 Deluxe

Sunhill CT-60L

Brand & Model

List Price

Max. Culling Width (in.)

Bed Length


No. of Knives x Rpm

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