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View RedWoodworker's profile

Should I get a jointer?

by RedWoodworker
posted 01-17-2018 05:19 PM


18 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 4007 days


#1 posted 01-17-2018 05:48 PM

More troubling than correcting a curved
edge is correcting a twisted or cupped
board without a jointer or planer.

A curved edge can be straightened in
many ways besides using a jointer,
but correcting surface distortions requires
at least a hand plane.

View Steve's profile

Steve

1217 posts in 942 days


#2 posted 01-17-2018 05:50 PM

I’ve wrestled with what tool to get next. Planer and joiner are on the list and there’s always a debate on which comes first.

I think the general consensus is that you get a planer first. Since you can always use a table saw to make a straight edge.

View Brett's profile

Brett

56 posts in 552 days


#3 posted 01-17-2018 05:51 PM

If you are getting a jointer, you’ll need a planer to go along with it. Once you flatten one face of the board, you’ll have to make the other side parallel to the face you just jointed.

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1365 posts in 1175 days


#4 posted 01-17-2018 06:00 PM

If what you mean by “curved” is that the edges aren’t straight, there are some alternatives to a jointer if you don’t want to spend the money right now. You can build a sled consisting of a straight piece of plywood with a parallel edge. Fasten your board to it with removable screws or clamps. Position it in such a way so that when you run the whole thing through the table saw, it will saw the curved edge off straight. Detach the board from the plywood and rotate it 180 degrees. Send it through the table saw again in such a way that it rips the other edge parallel to the first.

This isn’t just a stop gap measure but is a technique used by many woodworkers to get a straight edge and an opposite edge parallel to it. For some boards it can work better than a jointer. However, a jointer is still a very nice tool to have.

I hope this post makes sense. It is a little hard to understand from text alone. Here is a picture from Wood Magazine. I hope they don’t mind.

View LesB's profile

LesB

2075 posts in 3802 days


#5 posted 01-17-2018 06:07 PM

Loren is correct about edge jointing a board as compared to a warped or cupped board.
Edge jointing can be done on the table saw by fastening a straight edge to the the board to guide it (sited in previous comment) or with a flush trim or template bit on a router.

A bench top jointer might be OK for short pieces of wood but it would be difficult to straighten the edge of an 8’ board on one. A bench top planer would work for the flat surfaces as long as it isn’t badly warped or cupped.
Given the choice I would get a planer over a jointer.

Not knowing what your tool collections is it is hard to recommend a particular tool. Over the years I bought tools as I found a need for it…..or at least that is what I told my wife.

-- Les B, Oregon

View RedWoodworker's profile

RedWoodworker

34 posts in 546 days


#6 posted 01-17-2018 06:27 PM

To be clear, when I was talking about curved boards it was in the sense that when I lay them on a flat table, the surface of the wood is not flat against the table.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5914 posts in 3173 days


#7 posted 01-17-2018 06:37 PM

A jointer is a required tool in most any woodshop. Sure, you could buy lumber that is already milled S4S, but as you have found out… it’s not necessarily straight either.

Having a jointer not only lets you true up crooked S4S stock, but you can also buy much less expensive rough lumber and mill your own boards.

Sometimes you’ll rip a wide board down to size at the tablesaw, and the freshly cut piece will become bowed. That needs to be corrected at the jointer.

I think shopping for a small jointer is appropriate, and a small investment to make woodworking more enjoyable (and safer by the way). Rip a crooked board on the tablesaw and you’ll see what I mean!
If the jointer helps your woodworking process, you can always upgrade to a bigger model later.

Good luck with it.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View torus's profile

torus

268 posts in 772 days


#8 posted 01-17-2018 06:48 PM



To be clear, when I was talking about curved boards it was in the sense that when I lay them on a flat table, the surface of the wood is not flat against the table.

- RedWoodworker


I think the terminology needs some clarification(google search):

-- "It's getting better..." - put this on my RIP stone!

View RedWoodworker's profile

RedWoodworker

34 posts in 546 days


#9 posted 01-17-2018 06:59 PM



A jointer is a required tool in most any woodshop. Sure, you could buy lumber that is already milled S4S, but as you have found out… it s not necessarily straight either.

Having a jointer not only lets you true up crooked S4S stock, but you can also buy much less expensive rough lumber and mill your own boards.

Sometimes you ll rip a wide board down to size at the tablesaw, and the freshly cut piece will become bowed. That needs to be corrected at the jointer.

I think shopping for a small jointer is appropriate, and a small investment to make woodworking more enjoyable (and safer by the way). Rip a crooked board on the tablesaw and you ll see what I mean!
If the jointer helps your woodworking process, you can always upgrade to a bigger model later.

Good luck with it.

- pintodeluxe

Thank you for the advice. Can anyone recommend a good, relatively inexpensive jointer? Are jointer/planer combos worthwhile?

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 4007 days


#10 posted 01-17-2018 07:08 PM

What’s the maximum width and length
of boards you need to flatten?

If you’re only doing smallish work getting
by with benchtop machines is feasible.

With a hand plane and a work bench you
can flatten any size board. It’s not unbearably
laborious or difficult to learn. Once one
side is flat the board can be thicknessed
with the plane, which is kind of time consuming,
or run through a benchtop planer.

View RedWoodworker's profile

RedWoodworker

34 posts in 546 days


#11 posted 01-17-2018 07:10 PM



What s the maximum width and length
of boards you need to flatten?

- Loren

It will be on a project-by-project basis, but just shopping around, a 6” or an 8” would probably do everything I need. Not sure on length.

View LittleShaver's profile

LittleShaver

525 posts in 979 days


#12 posted 01-17-2018 07:17 PM

I’ve been working with wood for over 40 years as a hobby and still do not have a joiner. Sure I bought S4S wood for a long time, but I have yet to run into a piece of wood that could not be tamed with hand planes.
Save your money and your ears. Find some used hand planes and learn how to use them.

Sorry for the grumpy old man rant. The older I get the more I detest the scream of power tools.

-- Sawdust Maker

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5233 posts in 2668 days


#13 posted 01-17-2018 07:45 PM


I ve been working with wood for over 40 years as a hobby and still do not have a joiner. Sure I bought S4S wood for a long time, but I have yet to run into a piece of wood that could not be tamed with hand planes.
Save your money and your ears. Find some used hand planes and learn how to use them.

Sorry for the grumpy old man rant. The older I get the more I detest the scream of power tools.

- LittleShaver


I too went many years before I got a jointer or a planer. When I bought my first one ( Inca J/P )it was a head slapping moment, I suddenly realized what I had been missing. I would never ever go with out one again.

IMHO Bench top jointer are worth the money

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1796 posts in 522 days


#14 posted 01-17-2018 08:12 PM

for the simple task of jointing the edges for a tight glue-up, a jointer an excellent choice.
also a router with a finish bit and straight edge, so will non-powered hand tools.

I had the basic 6” Sears Craftsman jointer for 20 years and sold it for almost what
I paid for it new. with sharp blades and correctly set, any hand tool will do most any job.

when the boards get longer, and they will, build an “out catch” table the same level
as the jointer bed and make fasteners so it won’t move from the jointer and you can
easily run 6 – 12 foot boards on the basic 48” jointer (with a little skill and practice).

in my opinion, a floor mounted power jointer is a personal choice dictated by:
the type of work you intend to do
how often would you be using it
the floor space available for the machine
and of course, your budget.

start cruising CraigsList Tools to see what is available in your area.

and once you do get a jointer (or thickness planer), start saving the different chips in paper bags.
oak, hickory, fruit woods, etc. for your BBQ smoker.

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

1243 posts in 2354 days


#15 posted 01-17-2018 08:25 PM

I would get a planer and then use a mounting sled with it. Second choice would be a combo machine. A jointer witho uhh t the planer is not too useful.

The nice thing about a planer is they are 12” wide or wider an d you can face joint a board that wide. A 12” dedicated jointer is very nice but the size of an aircraft carrier. Later, a dedicated six or 8” jointer will be a nice addition for most work, reducing set up time to get the job done. You will still need the planer sled for boards too wide for your jointer.

The combo machines are smaller which is nice, but also a hindrance. So a trade off for sure. Go for as wide of one as possible if you go that route. You’ll want the width on the planer side for sure.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

655 posts in 1462 days


#16 posted 01-17-2018 08:33 PM


I ve wrestled with what tool to get next. Planer and joiner are on the list and there s always a debate on which comes first.

I think the general consensus is that you get a planer first. Since you can always use a table saw to make a straight edge.

- bndawgs


I concur. If you have the space and the funds, then both are great tools to have. However, if your space and/or budget is limited then I recommend that you get a planer first and then build a sled for it. There are lots of sources on the net for sled plans. If you don’t know, a sled provides a flat platform to which you mount a bowed or twisted board and then pass them trough the planer together in order to get a flat surface on one side. The process is slower and more cumbersome than using a jointer. However, unless you have a very wide (generally expensive) jointer, a planer with sled will flatten a wider board. As mentioned above, edges can be straightened with a table saw.

Some sled plans are simple and some are more complicated. I have used a very simple version to flatten many board feet of lumber over the past 10 years or so. It has more than paid for itself.

Of course, the other important benefit of a planer is the ability to plane all the boards for your project to a consistent thickness.

View AxkMan's profile

AxkMan

65 posts in 486 days


#17 posted 01-23-2018 10:34 PM

You will want to try all options. Power planer, hand planer, router table, 3 blade machine planer and side edge jointer.

The tabletop planer is the best option if you have the money. They are very efficient and usually go to 12” in width on boards. They can range anywhere from $100 – $500.

If it’s on the top of the board, then maybe look into some hand planers. Use a straight edge to eye where it curves at and pencil mark where you want to plane. Mount on a sturdy surface and go at it. I generally prefer the power hand electric planer over the hand tool shaker option.

If it’s on the side and just needs to be cleaned, look into hand tools only. You can use your workbench clamp and simply use the side planer until it is near perfect.

Router table option is an alternative to a jointer that is for the sides. Their intended purpose is for glue pressing boards together though the router offers more at less. Depending on your boards and setup of course.

...Unfortunately you may have to make a router table as the only router tables I found is Skil and Ryobi(?). They may (or not) fit a router of your choice or come with a cheap one. The router tables have two fences that are separately adjustable. You use 1/16” shims on one fence along with feather boards to make the sides of the board come even. This is the same process a jointer uses.

Jointers can go up to as much as 10” in height, however. A router bit will only reach 2” – 3”. However, if you flip the board over you can go as much as 20”. The problem with jointers is they are very expensive at that height and take up a lot of space. If you have one though, I would not let it go.

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1762 posts in 1574 days


#18 posted 01-23-2018 11:17 PM

+ 1


If what you mean by “curved” is that the edges aren t straight, there are some alternatives to a jointer if you don t want to spend the money right now. You can build a sled consisting of a straight piece of plywood with a parallel edge. Fasten your board to it with removable screws or clamps. Position it in such a way so that when you run the whole thing through the table saw, it will saw the curved edge off straight. Detach the board from the plywood and rotate it 180 degrees. Send it through the table saw again in such a way that it rips the other edge parallel to the first.

This isn t just a stop gap measure but is a technique used by many woodworkers to get a straight edge and an opposite edge parallel to it. For some boards it can work better than a jointer. However, a jointer is still a very nice tool to have.

I hope this post makes sense. It is a little hard to understand from text alone. Here is a picture from Wood Magazine. I hope they don t mind.

- ArtMann


-- Desert_Woodworker

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