Hitting the Reset Button on my Jointer/Planer

Introduction

Over time the outfeed table on my Rikon 25-210H worked its way out of adjustment, gradually creeping its way close to the cutterhead.  I found out about this one day by the one cutter slamming into the table when I turned on the machine.  So I was able to move the table back out of the way by turning its parallel arms but over time the table moved around more and more.

Looking at the Jet’s version of this machine (JJP-12HH), I saw that the outfeed adjustment arm also serves to lock it in place against the front cover.  So I ordered the three parts from eReplacementParts that would give me that:

Adjusting Handle (JJP12-014)
Knob (JJP12-015)
Bracket Screw (JJP12-016)

When the parts arrived I decided to start from scratch on tuning up the jointer tables, loosening the hinge adjustment screws thus throwing away the factory adjustment plus the work I had done.  I wasn’t very confident in how aligned the tables were so I wasn’t losing much.

Terms Used

Pitch Rotation of a table about the short axis of the machine.  Right/left ends are up/down.
Roll Rotation of a table about the long axis of the machine.  Front/back sides are up/down.
Twist Rotation involving both pitch and roll.  One corner is off from the others.
Stop Bolts The two bolts that each table stops on when closed.
Hinge Screws The four grub screws in each hinge that control its orientation
Hinge Bolts The three bolts in each hinge that secure it to the frame

(pitch and roll are aeronautic terms, they make it easier for me to visualize this stuff)

Tools

I have both the 38” and 50” straight edges from PeachTree and while the 38” model works OK the fact that the 50” lays across almost the entire table makes infeed adjustment a lot easier.

General Tips

  • Lock Down Levers and Stop Bolts
    • A smooshy feel when tightening means that the stop bolts are uneven; the “smoosh” is from the table flexing down to meet the top of both bolts.  If you have the bolts even then you will experience a nice firm feel when tightening the lever.
    • Adjust the bolts by hand and with the table down.  Turn one bolt to move the table up/down and then move the other bolt to just touch the table.
    • There are two stop bolts per table, with the locking rod in between them.  There are two in order to provider a wider, more stable platform for the table to rest on.  They do not participate in changing the pitch of either table; that is the job of the hinge levelling screws.  After making changes to the levelling screws both stop bolts should be brought into equal contact with the table.
    • When you are ready to lock the stop bolts down, do so with the table locked down.  This will help prevent the bolts from turning as you tighten the lock nuts down.  It helps to have two 13mm wrenches here as there isn’t a lot of space for a crescent wrench to fit into.
      • Tightening the lock nuts has the effect of moving the bolts upwards a small amount.  The thread’s backlash being taken up is my best guess as to why.  In my experience you will have to tighten the bolts down by another ~20° to account for this.
  • Outfeed Table
    • If you are installing the outfeed adjustment lever you can rotate the parallel arm as-needed to clear the guard arm mount.  
    • Loosen all grub screws before adjusting anything.  There are two on the parallel arm and four on the lift rods.

“Reset Button” Sequence

Outfeed

  1. Move infeed table down to take it out of the equation. You don’t want your straight edge resting on it.
  2. Back out all four leveling screws until they are loose.
  3. Tighten down hinge bolts
  4. Loosen all the grub screws to allow the outfeed table to be freely adjusted using its parallel
  5. Using the parallel arm try to adjust the outfeed to its ideal height, i.e. where the cutters just scrape your straight edge.  Work first on the back edge, closest to the hinge.  Note: it’s advise to not tune the table such that the Top Dead Center is at the ideal height.  Give yourself some wiggle room should the outfeed table settle lower.  
    1. If you are able to reach ideal height in back, move onto step 6.
    2. If you are not able to get the ideal height, i.e. the outfeed table is too low then you will need to raise it a bit via the hinge adjustment screws.  Adjust them evenly, say ¼ turn each.
      1. Again use the outfeed level to get the ideal height in back.  If needed raise the table more via the hinge screws.
  6. Now adjust the stop bolts to get the front of the table to the idea height.  
    1. This will most likely throw off the adjustment in back.  Use the lever to regain your ideal height in back.  This will mostly likely throw off your height in front, fix that via the stop bolts.
  7. When you are done tighten all the grub screws on the outfeed table.

Infeed

  1. Loosen the hinge leveling screws and tighten down the hinge bolts
  2. Adjust the infeed table to its uppermost position such that it is even-ish with the outfeed table
  3. At this point there shouldn’t be a lot of roll, just pitch to adjust for.
  4. Attack the pitch first, adjusting the hinge screws in left/right pairs.  For a gap of around 1/16”, start with pretty small turns of the screws, about ⅛ of the way around.
    1. Measure in the back side first by the hinge, noting which side has a bigger gap.
    2. Adjust the infeed table’s height to zero in on it being level with the outfeed table.  Raise it such that it just contacts your straight edge at some point, either left or to the right.
    3. Now check the front side, adjusting the stop bolts to match the roll between the outfeed and infeed tables.  Another way to think about this is that your goal here is to have your straight edge’s contact with the infeed table the same in both front and back.  It won’t be laying flat (unless you’re lucky) but the gaps and contact spots should at least be in the same areas.
    4. Now note your gaps which will dictate your next round of adjustment.  When you overshoot, and move the gap to the opposite end, back off the screws you just touched rather than tightening the screws by the new gap.  This minimizes the variables in play.
  5. Ideally you will be able to get things adjusted such that your 0.001” gauge won’t fit under the entire length of the table in both front and back; good luck with that 🙂

I put together a (too long) view on the process which also includes my thoughts on the product after messing around with it so much.

To summarize, setting the outfeed table is simpler than the infeed because it has fewer variables:

Outfeed:

  1. Match the cutter head’s height
  2. Match the cutter head’s roll

Infeed:

  1. Match the outfeed’s height
  2. Match the outfeed’s pitch
  3. Match the outfeed’s roll

Front Cover Bracket Screw Hole Marking

I used a dowel marker pin over the bracket screw to mark where the hole should be drilled in the front cover.  With the marker pin in place I positioned the cover about where it should go and then struck it with a rubber hammer.

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2 thoughts on “Hitting the Reset Button on my Jointer/Planer

  1. Dave, I cannot imagine where you find the time to post all this information and make these videos, but I want you to know how much it is appreciated. As you know, the manual for the Rikon 25–210 jointer is grossly inadequate and simply wrong. I was so excited to have a 12 inch jointer and so looking forward to my first project on it. Excitement quickly faded to disappointment when I realized how badly misaligned it was. I am a woodworker, not a machinist, and I was struggling mightily to set this machine up properly. The tech support people at Rikon were of little help. My wife suggested I look online and, lo and behold, I found your posts. Your video and this post have been extremely helpful. I have made progress on the set-up and I am just waiting for a quality straight edge to arrive from Amazon so I can finish the job. Thank you very much for your generosity in sharing your experience with the public.

    • Thank you for the kind words! I am not surprised that Rikon’s tech support not being of any help.. they company isn’t doing much more than importing & distributing machines.

      I’m happy to put content out there when I think it’s helping others out. I’ve learned so from online content creators, this is only a small repayment of that debt.

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