Loose cover plate on the Jointer?

There is a black cover plate that slides over the exposed pully and belt behind the jointer fence. I’ve never noticed it before, but it is loose and it was rattling a bit when I used the jointer, which is how I discovered it.
(Actually it’s not loose. It’s not even connected. It just slides in and out loosely.) The cover plate has two holes on one end that looks like they should be used to attach it to the underside of the fence, but I couldn’t really see how.

I pushed all the away in and turned on the jointer and it made a loud noise, like it had caught one of the teeth of the outside jointer blade, but I couldn’t see any nicks on the blades. I pushed it back out so that it just covered the pulleys, turned the jointer back on and it worked normally for me as I finished jointing my board.

What is that black plate and how is supposed to be connected to the jointer?

I noticed that plate when I polished the jointer table. Looks like a cover for the belt. There are two screw holes in one end but no screws, I’m guessing so it slides with the fence. For now pull it away from the cutter till it doesn’t rattle. I’ll stop by in the next few days. I have a couple of metric screws in my pocket to try.

And we need an alcohol based sanitizer. The jointer had a rusty gooey film on it yesterday.

Amen to that!

Half fixed, left screw hole needs to be retapped, i couldn’t find a metric tap set. One screw should work for now. Didn’t rattle when I ran it.


Thanks! Any sign of damage to the blade closest to the fence? There was a loud clang, and I couldn’t tell from inspection whether it was the pulley or some part of the blade that clanged into that cover.