Jointer Basics

Before two boards can be joined they must have perfectly straight edges. That's where a jointer comes in. It's the tool of choice for smoothing edges or cutting corners.
Related To:
a jointer is used to smooth edges and cut corners

a jointer is used to smooth edges and cut corners

Figure A

The jointer has a fence for guiding stock through its blade. The fence can be adjusted to cut angles or bevels. The blade is surrounded by an in-feed table and an out-feed table. The in-feed table must be level with or lower than the out-feed table, or the blade won't make contact with the wood. A guard covers the blade to protect the user's hands, and an adjustable depth gauge sets the depth of the cut. Cuts should be no deeper than 1/8 inch per pass.

To use the jointer to smooth edges, feed the wood into the tool with the rough edge facing down. Feed the wood through the jointer as many times as needed to achieve a straight edge. This process is useful for straightening a warped board.

To use the jointer for planing, use a paddle or push-stick to push the wood through the blade with the rough edge facing down. Use this technique to carve imperfections out of wood.

To make a bevel cut with a jointer, adjust the fence to a 45-degree angle. Tighten the fence and lock it into position. Feed the wood through the blade, with the edge to be cut facing down. Several passes may be needed to create the bevel.

Next Up

Band-Saw Basics

When making carefully crafted parts for furniture or cutting the same design into several pieces of wood at once, the band saw is the tool of choice -- and one of the most versatile tools available.

The Basics on Cutting Dados

Use this guide to learn more about cutting dados.

9 Tips for Buying Used Woodworking Tools

Getting second-hand tools is a great way to get good tools and save some dough.

Tips on Using Cutting Guides

Cutting a long piece of wood can be difficult unless you have a great tool to assist you. Check out these guides that can make getting the perfect cut easy.

Tips and Tricks on How to Use a Circular Saw

A circular saw is one of the most versatile and affordable tools you can own. Learn the easiest way to make straight cuts, plunge cuts and how to make nifty jigs.

Tips on Using a Spokeshave

Spokeshaves can be used to shape chair spindles and round surfaces. Use these tips to make the most effective cuts.

How to Rehab an Old Saw Table

Buying secondhand woodworking tools can be a great way to save some money and get a good.

Power Hand-Planer Basics

Handheld planers are designed to smooth the surface of wood. The manual handheld planer is good for smaller projects, but for larger ones, a power planer does the job in a lot less time.

Finishing Machine Tips

A finishing machine – a combination belt and disc sander – makes sanding and finishing projects a lot less time-consuming.

Tips on Choosing the Right Router

Follow these tips from DIY experts and it'll be easy to choose and use a router.


Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.