Safety Manual: Jointer
The jointer does one important thing very well. It creates a perfectly flat surface, either on the face of a board, or on the edge (with the face of the board riding against the jointer’s fence). When milling rough lumber, the jointer represents the first step, producing one flat face and one straight edge for reference. The board then moves to the planer for thicknessing and the tablesaw to be cut to final width.
To work properly the outfeed table should be set at the exact same height as the blades. The position of the infeed table determines the depth of cut, and multiple passes can be taken to produce a completely flattened surface.
The following is a list of safety precautions to take into account when operating a jointer.
1. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Wear ear and eye protection, and do not wear jewelry, long sleeves, or loose clothing.
3. Use paddles, push blocks, and push sticks to keep your hands 6 in. away from from the cutterhead at all times.
4. Never joint stock less than 12 in. long.
5. Check the depth of cut before turning machine on.
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6. Adjust depth of cut to less than 1/32 in. for material with knots, 1/16 in. for clear material.
7. Never edge joint material less than 1/4 in. thick, 3/4 in. wide or 12 in. long.
8. Never face joint material less than 3/8 in. thick, 3/4 in. wide or 12 in. long.
9. Keep knives sharp and the machine adjusted properly.
10. Always have the blade guard in place.
11. Stand to one side of the jointer, not directly behind it.
12. Allow the cutterhead to reach full speed before starting a cut.
13. Keep your eyes and undivided attention on the machine while using it.
14. Never feed material with your thumb or fingers on the end of it; keep them on top of the material.
Do you have more jointer safety advice to share or a scary jointer story? Post a comment below and help your fellow woodworkers stay safe.
Wrong Way, Right Way: Use paddles to protect your hands as you push the workpiece through the jointer. And make sure the blade cover is working properly.