Reply by clin

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1070 posts in 1531 days

#1 posted 02-20-2017 06:09 PM

There’s more than one way to do most woodworking tasks. There’s nothing you’re likely to do that you couldn’t do with hand tools.

You don’t necessarily need a jointer. There are other ways to get straight edges. For example, I use a clamp on straight edge on boards. This gives me a straight true reference edge that I can run along my table saw fence. This then gives me a nice straight cut edge on the board.

Other options, are table saw sleds that you clamp a board on to. Same concept, you are holding the board straight as you run it through the the saw. There are also ways to create a special table saw fence for jointing.

For the face of boards, you can create a planer sled. Lay rough stock on this so it does not move or flex under the planer pressure, and you can create a flat top surface. This is a great technique even if you have a jointer. As you can joint up to the maximum width of you planer, for example 12”. A jointer that wide is extremely large.

As with most machines, a jointer can be much faster to use, but isn’t an absolute necessity. Same is likely true for every other machine. I couldn’t get along without a table saw, some people do.

While I’m not a hand tool guy, I use them here and there. Don’t dismiss them. Sometimes you can do the job with a hand tool faster than you can setup a machine. Machines are most helpful for large tasks or for repeatative tasks. Good, well setup hand tools are very satisfying to use.

-- Clin

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