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Thread: Jet Jointer - is this bad?

  1. #1

    Jet Jointer - is this bad?

    Took the tables off my 15+ yo Jet jointer as they would barley move up and down. Both were packed with shavings and dust. Cleaned both tables up and found this on the infeed. I realize it's impossible to determine if this is a problem looking at photos. To me this may explain why my setup does not last very long....looks like thin and shoddy casting. I seems the edge was hastily cleaned up with a hammer after removing from the mold....wouldn't be surprised if those crack where there after the cast or shortly thereafter. I sent Jet photos 2 weeks ago but no response....I'd imagine that's a dead end considering the jointers age.

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    Thanks,
    Fred

  2. #2
    I'm not seeing anything obviously causing problems. The little crack on the end of the casting shouldn't be throwing your alignment off. It looks like it is solid enough to have been machined evenly. Does it move at all or is it proud of the rest of the way? If not, it probably isn't doing any harm. The machining on the ways doesn't look worn, so it is unlikely that the bed alignment has any significant wear issues.

    The beds being jammed with shavings and dust would more likely be the problem, especially if the gibs were a little loose, or someone has loosened them to allow the beds to move more freely. The fence also could have gotten shavings and dust in the moving parts, and that would throw off your alignment.

    Try just doing a basic cleaning and greasing of everything and see if it works better when you put it back together. Be careful when you reset the gibs that they are not too tight or too loose. Don't over tighten them, as the castings aren't particularly strong there.

    That style jointer is a pretty well designed, straight forward machine. I think they are just an extended version of the old US made PM54. There isn't much to go wrong with it as long as nothing was badly warped or cracked when it was built. Jets don't always have the finest finish on them, but they are normally pretty well made overall. I had a short bed version from about 2005. I never had any issues with it, and only upgraded last year.
    Last edited by Andrew Seemann; 03-05-2021 at 2:21 PM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Seemann View Post
    I'm not seeing anything obviously causing problems. The little crack on the end of the casting shouldn't be throwing your alignment off. It looks like it is solid enough to have been machined evenly. Does it move at all or is it proud of the rest of the way? If not, it probably isn't doing any harm. The machining on the ways doesn't look worn, so it is unlikely that the bed alignment has any significant wear issues.

    The beds being jammed with shavings and dust would more likely be the problem, especially if the gibs were a little loose, or someone has loosened them to allow the beds to move more freely. The fence also could have gotten shavings and dust in the moving parts, and that would throw off your alignment.

    Try just doing a basic cleaning and greasing of everything and see if it works better when you put it back together. Be careful when you reset the gibs that they are not too tight or too loose. Don't over tighten them, as the castings aren't particularly strong there.

    That style jointer is a pretty well designed, straight forward machine. I think they are just an extended version of the old US made PM54. There isn't much to go wrong with it as long as nothing was badly warped or cracked when it was built. Jets don't always have the finest finish on them, but they are normally pretty well made overall. I had a short bed version from about 2005. I never had any issues with it, and only upgraded last year.
    Thanks Andrew. Everything is cleaned and lubed. I don't see anything standing proud or anything askew at all. I think this is the same jointer you owned. After cleaning the tables operate very smoothly and I was lucky to find a youtube explaining reassembly and tightening of the jibs.....exactly as you're describing it here. In the past I had the jibs as tight as I could get them as I was told they where the fine adjustments for the table height. I really wish Jet did a better job in the manual which has little on the jibs. Right now the knives are worn unevenly so I stopped at cleaning and lubing the tables....it would be waste of time trying to set the knife height. This reminds me I need to order a set of the knives. Hopefully the machine is like new after I install them.
    Thanks,
    Fred

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    105
    So I think you're talking about the webbing between the inside corner of the dovetail and the rail. At the corner that we can see in your photo that looks AWFULLY thin. Is it that thin everywhere in the casting or just the first couple inches?

  5. #5
    The little cracked area is not a weight bearing surface. I wouldn't think twice about it. If it were me, I'd just clean it up with a file, as it looks like extra casting that wasn't cleaned off. It doesn't effect any of your cut.

    I had a Felder with a dovetail casing like that and the infeed table slid up and down on it. I bought it used and had it shipped up to WA from CA. When I wasn't able to get the tables to align, I pulled off my infeed table and found a crack clear up the middle; from where it was seated on the machine body, up thru the milled dovetail. They still had the parts in stock in Austria, even though the machine was 10 years old at the time. $700 later and a whole day of work to get it co-planar and it was as good as new (12" jointer/planer).

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Grefe View Post
    So I think you're talking about the webbing between the inside corner of the dovetail and the rail. At the corner that we can see in your photo that looks AWFULLY thin. Is it that thin everywhere in the casting or just the first couple inches?
    I thought the same. I think it's first couple inches but not sure. With all the material packed under the table, and gib screws so tight, I figured I'd address those issues to ensure they weren't causing my disappointing results. In addition I found the knives worse than I thought....they're unusable. Now with the Gib screws correct and the table is clean and smooth I'm awaiting the new Freud knives. When the knives are in and set testing begins.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Wolfy View Post
    The little cracked area is not a weight bearing surface. I wouldn't think twice about it. If it were me, I'd just clean it up with a file, as it looks like extra casting that wasn't cleaned off. It doesn't effect any of your cut.

    I had a Felder with a dovetail casing like that and the infeed table slid up and down on it. I bought it used and had it shipped up to WA from CA. When I wasn't able to get the tables to align, I pulled off my infeed table and found a crack clear up the middle; from where it was seated on the machine body, up thru the milled dovetail. They still had the parts in stock in Austria, even though the machine was 10 years old at the time. $700 later and a whole day of work to get it co-planar and it was as good as new (12" jointer/planer).
    There's 2 cracked areas. If you zoom on the 4th photo you can see clearly. You may be correct that these are non issues and I REALLY hope you are. As I said above there's 3 variables....the gib screws, table muck and the knives. With those addressed I'll know for sure. But yeah I hope they are nothing because there's no way I can buy another jointer right now.
    Thanks,
    Fred

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