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Tip #154
Jointer Tuning-Up
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Tuning your Shopsmith Jointer for optimal performance:

The Shopsmith Jointer has just a few moving parts. As a result, it requires very little maintenance beyond an occasional cleaning. Here's what we suggest:


  • All of the bearings and bushings in your Shopsmith Jointer are of the self-lubricating variety and require no oil, graphite or other form of lubrication.


  • Use an air compressor or the reverse airflow from your shop vacuum to blow out the space between the two tables.
  • Clean the pitch from the Knives and cutterhead. Use a brush and mineral spirits or a sawblade cleaner for this task. NOTE: Always keep solvents away from bearings as it is possible for them to penetrate the bearings and dissolve the lubricants inside.
  • Remove the infeed table from the Jointer Base. Place the main Jointer Assembly on a bench, upside-down and remove the hex nut that holds the two castings together. IMPORTANT: As you remove the nut, note the sequence in which the flat washers and spring washers are arranged on the bolt.
  • Scrape out any impacted wood chips and clean the mating surfaces where the two Tables slide together with mineral spirits. Check for "galling" (rough spots) or excessive wear on these mating, machined surfaces. Remove any burrs with a fine, flat file.
  • Clean all pitch out of the chip chute.
  • Periodically, coat the infeed and outfeed Table surfaces (as well as the vertical face of the Fence, Fence Mounting Bar and Cutterhead) with a high quality furniture PASTE wax and buff. This will help your workpieces glide more easily and smoothly across the surface during operations and protect metal surfaces from the formation of rust.

Maintenance Schedule:
Here is our suggested maintenance schedule for your Shopsmith Jointer. In all cases "Hours" means hours of running time:

  • If you notice an unusual noise or vibration, stop the machine immediately and check the Wedge Locking Screws, Bearings, Knife positions and other adjustments. Do NOT operate your Jointer until you have corrected the problem.
  • Every 5 hours, brush/blow off the Jointer completely. Remove wood pitch from Knives. Inspect Knives and hone, if necessary. Check Knife position and Wedge Lock Screws.
  • Every 10 hours, Repeat previous steps - plus - check all alignments and adjustments. Wax all working surfaces and the Cutterhead. Check Knife Wedge Locking Screws.
  • Every 50 hours, Repeat previous steps - plus - hone Knives or have them professionally sharpened.
  • Every 100 hours, Repeat previous steps - plus - dismantle Jointer, remove all impacted wood chips and pitch from Knives and Chip Chute, apply graphite to Depth-Of-Cut Adjustment Shaft.

As-Required Maintenance:

  • Knife Sharpening - No Knives will last forever. Eventually, your Knives will dull to the point where they will have to be sharpened or replaced. Your Manual includes step-by-step procedures for proper Knife removal, sharpening and re-installation. The Shopsmith Planer/Jointer Knife Sharpener makes easy work of this task. Or, as an alternative, you can have them sharpened professionally.

If you're having problems with your Shopsmith Jointer, start by referring to the Troubleshooting Chart in your Owner's Manual. If you are unable to find the solution to your problem there...or of you don't have an Owner's Manual, please feel free to call our TOLL-FREE Technical Services Hotline at 1-800-762-7555 for assistance.

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