Rabbeting an Edge with a Jointer?

I just got my first jointer, a General 6″. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to use the rabbet edge on the outfeed table. Can you help?

Michael Dresdner: I understand what you mean. It really isn’t very obvious from looking at it. Let’s pretend you have a two-inch wide board and want to put a one-inch by one-inch rabbet in it. Move the jointer fence all the way to the front of the machine until only one inch of blade and cutterhead is exposed. Most of the cutterhead will be behind the fence, so be careful, since the blade guard is no longer covering it. Some newer models have a guard that goes over the blade behind the fence as well. Depending on how your front blade guard is attached, you may have to remove it to let the wood pass. In any case, be careful.

Lower the infeed table about a quarter of an inch below the outfeed table. Take a pass with the two-inch edge of the wood riding on the jointer table, and the board held against the fence. One inch of the board will pass over the cutter and be removed, and the other inch will cross over and will clear the outfeed table because of the rabbet edge, even though it remains uncut. You should now have a one inch wide and one-quarter inch deep rabbet.

Keep taking quarter inch passes, lowering the infeed table each time until it is one inch below the outfeed table. The last pass will net you a one-inch by one-inch rabbet. You can make a rabbet of any width, simply by setting the fence where you want it, but the depth is limited to no more than the depth of the recess on the outfeed table. On some jointers, the outfeed table is simply narrower, allowing any depth of rabbet.

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