A woodworker just bought a new jointer and is alarmed by how much vibration there is. Is it supposed to do this and is there any way to cut down on the vibrations (one woodworker suggested setting the whole table on one of those rubber Welcome mats)?
Rick White: He has every reason to be alarmed because that jointer shouldn’t be shaking that much. First I’d check the belt to make sure it’s aligned properly. If it is, take the belt off and just run the motor. If that runs smoothly, then your shaking is coming from somewhere else. That means you’ll either need to check the bearing or the jointer head to see if they are properly aligned. You shouldn’t be getting the shakes like this from a new machine.
Ellis Walentine: No machine that I know of – short of an orbital sander – is supposed to vibrate, although most do to some extent. It isn’t clear from the question where the vibration is coming from, but the most likely causes are the belt and pulleys. The first thing to do is to make sure the machine is outfitted with a new belt and machined steel pulleys rather than cheap die-cast ones. Then check with a straightedge to see that the pulleys are ‘coplanar,’ that is, directly aligned with each other.
If these steps don’t take care of the problem, there may be an imbalance in the cutterhead. If all the knives and gibs are of equal size and mass, and all the bolts are present, the cutterhead should be perfectly balanced. If it isn’t, you can remove it and take it to a machine shop to have it balanced for a modest fee. It wouldn’t hurt to check the condition of the cutterhead bearings while you have it out of the machine. Even new machines could have a substandard bearing.
Ian Kirby: The jointer shouldn’t vibrate. Get back to the supplier, or the manufacturer if you must. Have the supplier run others of the same make and size so you can compare their performance to what you are seeing. If you’re still not satisfied, try other makes and models. In the end, you should get your investment back or spend more on a better class of machine. But you should ultimately feel safe and good about your purchase.