Making a Good Fence for the Cheap Jointer

Here we have my small jointer and planer combination everything on this machine works… ..good enough, except for the fence First of all there’s movement in the fence even though I bolted it down firmly the mechanism is just not strong enough And the other problem is that the fence itself is not flat and straight In the front you can see that the square is touching he fence on the bottom and on the top and in the back you can see the square is touching at the bottom and on top is a gap and you can also see how flimsy this hole mechanism is the whole thing is just secured with two screws to the machine So I think I can build something better than this! So first of all I have to get rid of the old fence Fortunately this doesn’t take long because of only two screws So I have three holes in the outfeed table and one slot here in the base for a carriage bolt that I can use So let’s see what I can make So here is my prototype: I have a carriage bolt in the slot here and this fits on top And two bolts fit inside these two holes This piece is now mounted really securly and I can attach a fence to it But this is just the prototype. Now I make the same thing again, but a little bit bigger in this direction and in this direction I took another scrap of birch plywood and cut a notch into it, so it fits around a guard of the cutterhead. Then I marked and drilled the holes for the bolts that screw into the outfeed table And then the bigger holes from the other side to sink the bolts way into the wood And then the hole for the carriage bolt Then I screwed it all to the machine and check the alignment with a straight edge Looks good. Now I can make the fence support piece. I transferred the middle to the mounting piece and with it I could find a good position for a T-nut Then just drilling all the necessary holes for the T-nut Then I made box joints for the fence support pieces But before glueing them together I have to make the slot that allows me to move the fence across the cutterhead I made the slot in three passes Then I glued the pieces together and made sure that they are square That’s another big advantage of box joints. They are pretty much self squaring and if not it’s really easy to make them perfectly square. I actually the joint not for the strength, but for the simple alignment. Now to make the support rigid I made two triangles from scrap. And after removing the black laminate I glued them in place. I only used glue and clamps, no nails or screws, which might get in contact with the knives from the cutterhead While I’m waiting for the glue to dry I cut out the knob for tightening the fence. And I hammered a carriage bolt into a raiser piece. With a cutout for the carriage bolt head in the knob I now glue the two pieces together. While that glue drys, I can make the fence piece. I set the tablesaw fence to the width of the old jointer fence and cut the fence piece for some laminated birch plywood. Now I can try it out. Well, it basically works. But I think I need to add some guiding blocks. Now with a block here and a block here the fence can’t move around very much. Then I put the fence piece at the right position, so it is centered between the infeed and outfeed table. I marked the mounting holes with a drill bit, drilled the holes and screwed the fence on. Now it’s basically done, let’s check if it’s square. And as you can see it’s definitely not square. Big light gap here. But I can turn the screw at the mounting plate that moves the whole mounting plate And with it I can bring it into square. Perfect! To try it out I have a piece of wood that definitely has a rough and not square edge. And after jointing with the new fence I have a nice and square surface. Now I have a reliable jointer fence, that I can move across the table and for storage it still fits under the band saw table.

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Reader Comments

  1. Michael Pedersen

    Very nice solution. I have picked up a big jointer i need to restore, its fence are just a peice of wood. Will look into your design when i restore it and see if i can use that. Thanks for sharing.
    Sidenote, i have a lot of the same plywood with laminate (here in denmark its used for trailer floors or concrete molds).  How did you remove the laminate ?

  2. Houtje Boom - Be Creative

    That is a very good solution. I have the same planner and the same problems…. But don't you have problems with the knife that they can touch the fence when you raise them?

  3. tmealer2003

    You are a very smart, engineer minded young man with a very good knack for solving problems. I always enjoy your videos, they are very well done and the way you narrate what your doing makes them flow very well. I feel like I learn something every time I watch.

  4. Woodworking Fangirl

    Das macht ja Mut, dass man gar keine 5000,- € Maschine braucht, die dann auch 430kg wiegt. Aber irgendwann baust Du sicher auch selbst so eine Maschine in groß , oder?
    Gute Arbeit auf jeden Fall.

  5. Mighty Wood

    Hi Marius, nice idea. Do you also use the thickness planer function? It seems more complicated to change the mode to planer now, isn't it?

  6. DarthZwirbel

    Exactly what I was planing to do with my similar machine. Thank you!
    Genau das was ich auch benötige, wenn ich meine Maschine erstmal auspacke und überprüfe.
    Vielen Dank für Deine Mühe. I´ll rebult it if the Time will come 🙂

  7. jakoball

    This upgrade is just awesome! Gives me the feeling I might buy such a cheap model and upgrade it. On the other hand I might buy Metabo's combo machine (but it's quite expensive and heavy…)
    How does the thiknesser work? My friend has something similar to your model and he says it's not very exact (it's hard to adjust the desired thickness) and it sometimes moves a bit, so after planing a lot of wood the first and the last piece are no longer the same
    thanks for the great content, I really enjoy your videos (also due to your simple and clear naration) 🙂

  8. Paul C

    I've not had a problem with the fence on mine… but if I do this will be my solution, I really like how it's moveable. Great job, thanks.

  9. Noddi1964

    Gutes Video. Ich schaue jetzt seit ca. 2 Jahren Holzwerken-Videos und frage mich wieso ich nicht früher auf deinen Kanal aufmerksam geworden bin. Weiter so.

  10. norb98

    Hey Top!! Ich habe praktisch die baugleiche Chinamühle von Scheppach. Da ist der Anschlag zwar etwas stabiler, genügt allerdings trotzdem nicht meinen Ansprüchen. Ich wollte auch etwas ähnliches bauen! Bist du mit deiner Version jetzt komplett zufrieden oder sind dir im Betrieb noch Dinge aufgefallen die du ändern würdest? Ich habe mich bisher gescheut weil er dann nicht mehr kippbar ist, andererseits brauche ich das praktisch auch fast nie! Wie sind da deine Erfahrungen? LG Norb

  11. Steve SteveS

    Thanks for that – I have a similar model & so far I have just screwed a piece of 19mm plywood to the existing fence – even this has improved it (but your way looks better)

  12. 737ngxsim

    I just bought totally the same machine and like you I made the extension bed for the planer.
    However every time I pass a board trough, the knives always eat a large chunk, mostly at the end sometimes at the very front.
    I thought I screwed up the extension, but it does it also without it. Did you ever have this? Do you know if it can be adjusted in any way?

  13. HansOverdose

    Hast du schon mal die Messer getauscht bei der Maschine? Waren bei meiner Ausführung schrecklich ausgerichtet und ärgere mich jetzt schon lange herum sie in die richtige Position zu bringen…. Hast du evtl einen Tipp bzw Lust ein Video zu dem Thema zu machen? Ineteressiert sicher viele, wenn man sich anschaut wieviele sich hier für die Maschine interessiern oder eine haben.

  14. Kurt Garber

    Danke Ganz toll. Eine Frage ; ich suche eine Bauanleitung für das Tool mit dem du die Fingerzinken sägst, mit dem Drehzahnrad. Kannst du mir da bitte weiterhelfen. Danke und Grüße. Kurt

  15. Michael Schuler

    Good job. A small suggestion: If you eliminate the guiding elements that keep the fence perpendicular to the cutterhead, you will be able to set the fence at a slight skew angle to the head and get a cleaner sheering cut, quite useful on difficult grain. You don't need too much angle: even 2 degrees would suffice. (Years ago, Mafell designed their now-discontinued "Paul" planer with this 2 degree angle.)

    To attain this skew cutting capability and still keep the fence angle secure without the guide elements, you could simply widen the slot a little bit and add a second clamping knob.

    One other remark about using such small jointers: Years ago, I patented a method for precisely extending the tables of such little planing machines to as long as 3 meters and with automatic self-alignment, regardless of depth of cut. You can learn more and see a short video at My start-up company did not have enough capital to continue as a full-time venture, but I still sell some components of the modular system every year. Also, if you have a look at my system, you will see that it would not be difficult to build such a jointer extension with materials you may obtain elsewhere.

    Thanks again for your post. I enjoy your videos.

  16. Adam England

    Nice job. I have the same jointer and have identified the same issue with the fence. I'm glad to have found this. I think I will be making myself one in soon. Thank you

  17. soundiscomforting

    Thanks for sharing! Awesome fence. I have the exact same model, and also made a new fence, although it's not adjustable like your version, so I might copy a bit from your design 😉 However, the thicknesser is also not parallell to the cutter head. Do you have the same problem? If not, do you have any ideas of how to fix it? I'm planning to make some kind of longer base, but it would have to be made completely parallell to the cutter head. Thanks 🙂

  18. poodelek

    are your infeed and outfeed table co-planar? my infeed table is sagging at far end from the cutter block. I wonder if I'm unlucky with my unit or it is just designed that way and replacement will not sold the issue. If your jointer has the same fault are you able to get wood perfectly flat and square? thanks

  19. T'airn'KA

    It's a shame you lost one to two inches of table space, I'm surprised you allowed that.
    Time for a refit  to get back what you have lost and maybe make it full length?.  😉
    btw – I'm guessing a three bladed cutter is better then a two bladed cutter?
    Can you swap out a two for a three bladed cutter?

  20. Andrew Toth

    Now that you've had this jointer/planer for the last two-ish years, what gripes do you have with it? If you were looking to get a jointer and planer, what would influence your decision-making?

  21. Anthony Rigley

    Well done on all of your videos, you do well on every one I have ever seen and I have never missed any bit out. You have a lot of good ideas keep it up.

  22. soundiscomforting

    Thanks for sharing! I have the same jointer, but the issue I'm having is that when edge jointing, the stock comes out concave. I.e. there is less material in the middle of the stock so when I want to edge glue it there is a larger gat in the center. What can I do? I've adjusted the knives according to the manual (using the provided tool) but the problem remains.

  23. 0j0nn

    What brand was this jointer?

    I already own a commercial jointer which joints up to 50cm but i need another small one for my second work shop and a kitty or any other decent old planer isbt really something i found sofar..

  24. Natedoc808

    Great work, especially with the free hand band saw cuts! I'm going to be using the existing bracket for my fence and the only part I will be changing is the actual fence structure itself using melamine so it glides well. keep up the good work

  25. Bruce Davis

    good job . I'm am an old carpenter with over 35 years of building under my belt.. I was thinking . why did you not make the fence longer? .. keep up the good work my Brother and God Bless

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