The jointer is a great piece of equipment that can be used to flatten sides of a piece of stock. 

This sheet describes the procedure for jointing stock to have a flat surface. For other operations ask your instructor or refer to one of the many texts available.

Controls: The controls on the Jointer in the materials processing laboratory consist of the following: 

  • A magnetic power switch that must be reset if the power in the laboratory is interrupted.
  • Infeed table depth lever.
  • Outfeed table depth lever
  • A fence tilt adjustment on the back of the fence.
  • Fence adjusting knob and fence lock .
  • Blade guard spring tension.

Note: There are other controls on various accessories used with the jointer that are not listed in this discussion. 

Operation (Edge & Face Jointing): Jointing is an operation that allows you to flatten a piece of a stock's sides. 

  1. Set up infeed table for proper height (this is the amount of material taken off each pass).
  2. Set up outfeed table (this setting usually stays the same).
  3. Check to be sure that there are no obstructions in the blade.
  4. Adjust the fence to the desired width of the board.
  5. Make sure guard is in place and is functional.
  6. Using a push device to joint the face of stock with the side against the fence.
  7. Keep the stock against the fence.
  8. Keep downward pressure on the stock on the outfeed table so the wood gets flattened.
  9. Always go with the grain when edge and face jointing.

Note: There are several other operations that can be done using a jointer. Ask your instructor and refer to one of the many references for those procedures. 

The edge of the stock is being jointed by pushing the face of the board against the fence and running the edge of the board over the blade.

The face of the stock is being jointed by using some push handles and pushing the edge against the fence and running the face over the blade.

Potential hazards: Because of the rapid spinning motion of the blade, the following hazards exist: 

  • Any body contact with the moving blade will cause severe injury. 
  • Clothing or other articles that contact the moving blade could become entangled and pull the operator into the blade. 
  • There could be a kick back; do not stand behind wood.
  • Small pieces of wood and sawdust can be thrown out at the operator. 
  • The operator could slip and fall into the blade.

Safety practices: Because of those potential hazards the following safety rules must be followed: 

  • Be sure to perform only operations you know how to do safely. 
  • Always wear safety glasses.
  • Never wear clothes or other articles that dangle and could catch on the blade. 
  • Be sure to have firm footing. 
  • Check the cutter head to make sure it is in good working order. 
  • Make all adjustments with the jointer turned off, and unplugged in cases where the blade is or could be touched. 
  • Check the stock for foreign objects and never joint stock containing loose or unsound knots.
  • Never make "free hand" cuts on the jointer, always use the fence. 
  • Do not reach directly over the moving blade to remove stock. 
  • Use a push stick for thin work. 
  • Never let a finger come with in 4" of blade when running.
  • Make sure stock is at least 10" long.
  • Make sure stock is no thinner than 1/2 " when face jointing.
  • Turn off the blade to clear any materials near the blade.
  • Have someone help support long stock, but don't allow them to pull the stock.
  • Avoid distractions, never look away during a cut. 
  • Do not allow others to crowd around the jointer. 
  • Turn the jointer off immediately if it does not sound right or if slivers of wood catch between the blade and table. 
  • Always push the work well beyond the blade when finishing a cut.
  • Never let go of the stock during the cut. 


Woodworking Tools, Materials. American Technical Publisher. 

ITT 252 - Materials Processing 
Department of Technology 
University of Southern Maine 
Prepared by Jason Hludik, 9/23/2001