Truing Up a Jointer Outfeed Table

Gib screws on the back of some jointers allow fine adjustment of the infeed and outfeed table positions. May 14, 2006

We have a 6" delta jointer in our shop. I bought it used. After setting it up I noticed that the outfeed table is slanted down out of parallel with the infeed table about .005 of an inch for every 6 inches. The rear of the outfeed table needs to be brought up approximately .020 of an inch in order to bring it parallel with the infeed. Is this possible? I can't find how to do this. I read a little about gib screws but Delta says very little of what they are for. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor A:
No model is specified but the most likely solution is to shim the outfeed table. Buy a cheap feeler gauge you can cut up. You will need a decent straight edge. If it's a DJ15 contact Delta for instructions. Shimming is for dovetailed ways jointers. When asking for help, more information is better than less!

From contributor B:
It is very likely that the problem is a loose gib. The gib is the part of the machine that is used to tension the table. I would suggest removing the table, cleaning up all of the parts, check for wear, grease lightly and assemble. Tension the gib (wedge or way) with the 3-5 gib screws on the back of the unit. Adjust these gib screws until everything is tight, then loosen slightly until you are able to reposition the table. Unless there is significant wear or the machine has been dropped, then this should bring the table back to true.

From the original questioner:
The model is 37-275X 6" Professional Jointer. Any help specific to this model would be appreciated. I'm not sure I understand exactly what the gib screws are for. Just looking at how the table is assembled it seems almost impossible to adjust the far end up or down.

From contributor C:
Your best bet will be to find a good book or article to follow to adjust your jointer. The model you have appears to be the basic dovetailed ways which have been in use for eons. They are not difficult to adjust, just time consuming. In essence the table rides on the ways which are the angled section you see looking at the front of the machine. In order to adjust the table up or down you will need to shim in between the table and the base, shimming the bottom to raise the end or the top to lower it. Again, itís not too difficult if you have a guide. If your Delta manual isn't specific enough try the Jet manual or any other company that puts manuals online. I believe American Woodworker magazine published an article a couple years back on this topic also if you want to make a trip to the library.

From contributor A:
Now that you said what model you have, that changes everything. You can make the tables adjust with the gib adjusting screws on the back by the dovetailed ways. Tightening the screws will make the table lift. One of our jointers is the same model and I went through the same process. Delta is pretty good with their technical help in my experience.

From the original questioner:
Thanks everyone. I've had long wait times with Delta tech support and I have found this forum to be much more valuable. Another question - the fence on my jointer at the last 1/2 inch along the entire top is about .015 higher than the rest of the fence. It's impossible to set it to a true 90. If I'm joining boards that are less than, say 3" high, then I can get a true 90. But anything that approaches the last 1/2 of the fence is out of square. Is this your experience with Delta jointer fences or should I be getting it replaced?

From contributor D:
It sounds like you are saying there is a ridge at the top of your jointer fence that is 1/2" wide and .015 tall? If it was mine, I would probably file it off since it only half inch wide. After I got it true, I would take some fine wet or dry sandpaper and improve the finish where the filing was done. If this is not for you, take it to a machinist. Itís kind of tricky and finicky work adjusting the gibs. If you are patient and have a good quality straight edge you will true it all up. On old jointers where there has been wear, I have had to shim under the gibs with brass shim stock.

From contributor E:
I just had exactly the same problem with my brand new Grizzly jointer. I followed Dave's instructions (except for disassembly - I was lazy and the unit's new). At first, I thought the outfeed table was wonky, but it turned out to be the infeed table. Now I can barely see any light under a straightedge laying across both tables and edges are dead straight coming off the machine. I'd just loosen the gib screws a bit and see what wiggles and how.