How to Install Jointer Blades

What You'll Need
Dial gauge
Straight edge
Allen wrench
Air compressor

When you own a jointer, there will come a time when you will need to replace the jointer blades because they are dull or nicked. A jointer is a very valuable part of your woodworking shop. With a jointer at your disposal you can easily square up all the edges to make sure they are straight. This is important when working with heirloom projects. Over time the jointer blades will need to be sharpened, or replaced. Removing and installing new jointer blades is a very easy process that should only take a few minutes.

Step 1 - Unplug Jointer

Before you attempt to remove any of the blades on your jointer you should unplug the machine. Because you are working with the blade assembly, you want to protect yourself against any type of mistake that can turn the machine on. Make sure you have the correct wire (tracing it from the jointer to the plug is the best way) and unplug the jointer. Test it by pushing the on button to see if it starts. 

Step 2 - Remove Fence

To give yourself a little more room to work, you should remove the fence from the jointer. This is more of a safety precaution than actually helping you remove the blades. 

Step 3 - Clean Off Table

Once the fence is removed you should give the jointer feed table a dusting off with the air compressor. Blow some air into the blades themselves to get rid of any built up sawdust. 

Step 4 - Loosen Blades

Jointer blades are individual blades that are situated on a spinning wheel. They are connected with either hex-head bolts, or set screws. You will need to loosen these small bolts first before you can remove them. Typically there are 2 bolts holding the blade to the circular drum. Loosen them with a hex key or an allen wrench. 

Step 5 - Remove Blades

Once the 2 screws are loosened and set aside, you can then remove the blade. Repeat the process of loosening the screws and removing the blade with each one that is on the drum. 

Step 6 - Clean Cutting Drum

When you have removed all of the jointer blades you can then clean out the cutting drum. Run a clean rag over it to make sure that there is no sawdust build up where the new blades will go. Once you have made that it is clean you can apply a light coating of machine oil. This will protect the blades from rusting.

Step 7 - Install New Jointer Blades

Following the reverse procedure of removing the jointer blades you will need to install them with the same method. Place a blade in position on the cutting drum and tighten the hex bolts. Make sure they are lined up even with the outfeed table. 

Step 8 - Setting Height

With a straight edge, or a dial gauge, adjust the blade until it is even with the height of the outfeed table. This will ensure that the jointer will continue to make consistent cuts in the wood. Repeat this process with each of the blades that you install on the cutting drum.

Step 9 - Replace Fence and Plug in

Once the blades are adjusted to the right height you can then replace the fence and plug the jointer back in.