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What causes snipe when using the jointer, and how do you correct it?

On a jointer, end snipe occurs when the wood loses contact feed table and allows it to rise slightly. Snipe can also happen on the beginning of the board as well when the wood meets the cutter at an improper height.

Snipe can be minimized or eliminated by providing support along the full length of the board as it is fed through the jointer. Snipe most often happens when the woodworker is NOT using a push stick and, mindful of his/her fingers, releases pressure on the piece as it passes across the cutter blades.

Snipe can also occur because the jointer itself is not properly tuned. In this case, snipe is easily controlled by properly adjusting the height of the out feed table which is covered in your machine's manual. Both in-feed and out-feed tables have controls (hand wheels) that permit easy adjustments (even fine tuning).

And, if all else fails (some folks have portable, beat-up units that they use on job sites for finish work) you can minimize the snipe by doing all of the jointing passes before cutting pieces to length. This way the sniped ends get lopped off anyway.

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