Virginia Tech®home

Jointers, Planers, and Shapers

Machine Shop Safety Quick Links


Jointers, Planers, Shapers Safety Checklist

Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations for safe and proper use.

Jointers and planers

  • Is each hand-fed planer or jointer with a horizontal head equipped with a cylindrical cutting head, the knife projection of which does not exceed 1/8 inch beyond the cylindrical body of the head?
  • Is the opening in the table kept as small as possible?
  • Is the clearance between the edge of the rear table and the cutter head not more than 1/8 inch?
  • Is the table throat opening not more than 2 ½ inches when tables are set or aligned with each other for zero cuts?
  • Does each hand-fed jointer or planer with a horizontal cutting head have an automatic guard that will cover all the sections of the head on the working side of the fence or gage?
  • Does the automatic guard effectively keep the operator’s hand from coming in contact with the revolving knives?
  • Does the guard automatically adjust itself to cover the unused portion of the head, and does it remain in contact with the material at all times?
  • Is each hand-fed jointer with a horizontal cutting head equipped with a guard that will cover the section of the head back of the gage or fence?
  • Is each wood jointer with vertical head equipped with either an exhaust hood or other guard, arranged to completely enclose the revolving head, except for a slot of such width as may be necessary and convenient for the application of the material to be jointed?
  • Is each planing, molding, sticking, and matching machine shall have all cutting heads, and saws if used, covered by a guard?

Wood shaper

  • The cutting heads of each wood shaper, hand-fed panel raiser, or other similar machines not automatically fed, shall be enclosed with a cage or adjustable guard. 
  • All double-spindle shapers shall be provided with a separate start/stop for each spindle.

Contact Information

Robin McCall-Miller, Occupational Safety Program Manager