Laguna Jointer Setup / Technique Question

Hi All - I’m relatively new too wood working, and used the Jointer yesterday for the first time since taking the Woodshop Safety class last week. My results weren’t exactly what I was hoping for and I’m hoping that someone with more experience on the jointer can help me troubleshoot. Based on some quick online research, I think it could either be an issue with my technique, or the outfeed table might need some adjusting.

I was trying to square up a few 35-40 inch long pieces of 8-inch wide 4/4 white oak. There was a very small amount of bow/twisting in some of the boards, and my hope was to flatten one face and then plane them to a final thickness of 3/4". I ended up getting pretty noticeable tapering, with the front end (the end going through the cutters first) of the boards becoming narrow before enough material was removed from the back. To get a flat face, I ended up having to run the boards through until the front edge was about 5/8" thick, less than the 3/4" I was shooting for.

Here are some details about my process/technique. Infeed table was set to between 1/16" and 1/32" I had the concave side facing down and was careful to apply as little downward pressure as I could while maintaining control of the board and limiting chatter. I noticed right away that there was substantially more resistance in the first couple inches of my cut then at the end of the cut. I checked for flatness by setting the boards on the jointer table every couple of passes, and as I mentioned previously, the front edge was less than 3/4" before I got a flat face, despite relatively little bowing in the boards to start with.

In reading about this issue online, I found that tapering usually happens when you put too much downward pressure, or when the outfeed table is too high. Given that I’m new to jointing, I’m sure I have room to improve my technique. Given that I was putting very little downward pressure but felt a lot more resistance at the start of the cut, I’m wondering if the outfeed table might be too high. The idea is that the front end isn’t resting on the outfeed table yet, so it makes the full depth of the cut. If the outfeed table is too high, once the board is supported by the outfeed table, the back off the board is too high to have as much material removed from the cutters.

I have a couple more pieces of 4/4 white oak to run through the jointer in the next week or so. Is someone familiar with tuning up the jointer willing to take a look at the setup with me, and/or take a quick look at my technique to help me troubleshoot?

Unless you know and are very familiar with the jointer do not try to change the settings on the outfeed table. The tools that are needed for that kind of adjustment are not readily available. That table is stationary and does not need adjusted if ever unless is known that it was moved or taken out of adjustment. Even though you gave a lot information, I cannot get a grasp of the technique you used. It may very well not be your technique nor the machine. Your board may have been so warped or twisted that gave you those results. Basically once you have three to four inches of stock most of your pressure should start to be tranfered to the outfeed table and your stock just be held securely and driven from the back. All the while holding your stock secure to the table. Also you did not mention the dimensions of your stock. If youre trying to flatten a long board but going to cut it later, i suggest you cut it first, give yourself at least 1/2" overage of your final dimensions, flaten the board and then finalize the dimensions.

Sorry i forgot you did give the dimensions, was thinking about something else. If you’re going to be in the shop after two get with me (big mexican guy). Ill be there tomorrow morning before the class. Or send me a message when you can be there and see if i can meet you and demonstrate different techniques, and give you different solutions to warping, cupping, or deformed lumber.

I calibrated the jointer beds when it was initially set up. The outfeed table calibration should not have changed unless someone messed with it. We ran a few 40" long boards across it during class yesterday and I didn’t notice any significant wedging.

All good info from Jose and let me know if you’re not able to meet up with him.

Usually the culprit is incorrect pressure placement, but I’ll add that if a bowed board is longer than the infeed table, the following edge will start lower than the table. It will then lift the board as it follows onto the table. This can lead to a wedging effect after multiple passes. In situations like this, I’ll either knock down the ends with a hand plane first or try to alternately feather the ends on the jointer before doing a full pass.

Thanks Charles. I met up with Jose on Saturday and he gave me some good tips. I think the jointer beds are in good shape, I just needed a little more practice. Thanks for the additional tip about jointing boards that are longer than the infeed table - I’ll keep that in mind.

One note about the jointer is that it seems like the fence is getting knocked out of 90 degrees rather easily. I checked it with an engineering square when I started Friday and it was out by a couple degrees, and found the same Saturday with Jose. I think there’s a way to adjust the set screws to help hold it in place. Being new to the machine, I didn’t want to tinker with it too much, and Jose said he would try to take a closer look.

Wanted to share that the woodshop stewards have been busy brainstorming strategies to help make the jointer more durable - particularly in regards making the fence stronger.