LumberJocks

All Replies on Which machine next (jointer, planer...?)

  • Advertise with us
View mdoleman's profile

Which machine next (jointer, planer...?)

by mdoleman
posted 01-27-2016 04:42 PM


42 replies so far

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

8437 posts in 2509 days


#1 posted 01-27-2016 04:47 PM

Planer before jointer. You can joint on a planer using a sled, but you can’t use a jointer to accurately thickness wood.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View ChrisK's profile

ChrisK

2031 posts in 3441 days


#2 posted 01-27-2016 04:54 PM

I use my planer a lot more than my joiner. A good blade in the table saw makes a joiner less of a need.

-- Chris K

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10858 posts in 1845 days


#3 posted 01-27-2016 05:04 PM

Ehh. I’m kinda opposite. I use my jointer the table saw to dimension small stock. I try to avoid the planer but for boards wider than 2-3/4” it absolutely necessary.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View JayT's profile

JayT

6158 posts in 2570 days


#4 posted 01-27-2016 05:05 PM

To me, sounds like you would be better off with something to thickness lumber after resawing. If you are doing much with musical instruments and very thin stock, you might be better off with a drum sander instead of a planer. Both can thinkness and smooth off your resaw cuts, but the sander would be better for thin stock and making the small adjustements required for instrument building.

Benchtop jointers are next to useless, IMHO. If you decide to go the jointer route, a decent quality used unit (if you can find one) would be leaps and bounds better than a new benchtop.

-- In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View mdoleman's profile

mdoleman

39 posts in 1223 days


#5 posted 01-27-2016 05:08 PM

This makes sense to me, and it’s what I originally thought…

But then, upon reflection, it seemed that more often than not, the case is I want to purchase a particular S3S board that isn’t exactly “flat” on one or both faces. It might be a section of—say—6/4 S3S walnut in 6” width… and I find that the piece has a bit of a bend to it, so I can’t buy it with confidence.

And my understanding is that I can’t really expect to “fix” such a defect with a planer—that I really need a jointer for that work. I know of the “sled” method, but am not sure it’s something I want to tackle. Again it seems more inconvenient than simply being extremely judicious with my lumber selection…

On the other hand, a lot of times I note that It’s simply a matter of the superficial face surface not being perfect—i.e., the “surfacing” is extremely rough and needs a fine-cut pass through a planer.

I guess, ultimately, if I’m going down this road then I need both machines :-/ So in that case I guess my question turns to that of whether it’s even worthwhile to acquire “consumer” lever, benchtop units… The planer I have my eye on is the DeWalt… The less expensive 12-1/2” one…

View mdoleman's profile

mdoleman

39 posts in 1223 days


#6 posted 01-27-2016 05:16 PM

Thanks again… Seems like sound advice…

And yes, THE main thing I want to be able to do is smooth-out my re-saw cuts. Right now I… um… well… I use an orbital sander. Don’t judge me. :-)

The thing with re-sawing, though, is I rarely end-up with a cut that is dead-perfect square/flat. And my understanding is that I can’t really use a planer in expectation that it will correct that defect. Is that true? Sorry if this is all elementary stuff—I simply don’t know…

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

8437 posts in 2509 days


#7 posted 01-27-2016 05:22 PM

A jointer will only flatten one face. You need the planer to flatten the other face afterwards. A planer with a sled can flatten one face first before sending it through without a sled to thickness the piece. A jointer alone will not do what you want. You either need both a jointer and a planer or a planer and a planer sled.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View mdoleman's profile

mdoleman

39 posts in 1223 days


#8 posted 01-27-2016 05:25 PM

Awesome, and thanks for all the clarification…

So, again, here’s where my line of questioning now lies… When I re-saw pieces, or want to purchase a piece that has a minor flaw on one of the faces, I’m not talking about significant deviations from square or flatness. I mean, I wouldn’t attempt to process anything where the piece was actually “wobbly.” I just want to be able to clean-up a re-sawn face that is perhaps half a degree out of square. Is that something I can do on a planer, assuming the opposing face is nicely flat & square?

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

8437 posts in 2509 days


#9 posted 01-27-2016 05:28 PM

Yes. A planer basically takes whatever the bottom surface looks like and makes the top surface look the same. If the bottom surface is flat, the top will be flat. If it’s bent like a banana, it will still be bent like a banana, just thinner. If it’s wedge shaped, it will make the top parallel to the base.

Drum sander does the same thing, but much slower.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View mdoleman's profile

mdoleman

39 posts in 1223 days


#10 posted 01-27-2016 05:33 PM

Okay, bingo, you answered my question perfectly…

Sounds like get the benchtop planer now, and eventually spring for a floor-standing jointer.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10858 posts in 1845 days


#11 posted 01-27-2016 05:37 PM

Well, a planer might be better for you.

Just another thought. I’ve had boards that have been air drying for 30+ years that cup twist or bow after initial milling. Doesn’t necessarily matter if it’s straight when you get it, cuz when you start cutting it may or may not stay flat after initial milling.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View HokieKen's profile (online now)

HokieKen

9208 posts in 1498 days


#12 posted 01-27-2016 05:45 PM

I was wrestling with the “jointer or planer first” question not long ago. I decided to go with the planer and use hand planes to flatten 1 face before planing. Well, that was fine but it is a lot of work to flatten a batch of rough stock for a project and was taking more time than I wanted. So then I built a planer sled to flatten the board instead. So I run it through on the sled to flatten 1 face, plane the other face to thickness, then I use a simple sled/jig on my table saw to joint an edge and then rip the other edge square. Now, I get by just fine without a jointer. Setting up the planer sled can take a while, but for the $ and space it saves me in my shop, it’s more than worth it.

It’s nice to be able to buy any lumber I want and be able to process it myself. Just my $.02 since I recently had to make the same decision. Not saying you won’t still want a jointer. Not even saying that I wouldn’t like to have a jointer. Just saying you can process raw stock with a couple simple jigs and get by without one.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View skatefriday's profile

skatefriday

452 posts in 1842 days


#13 posted 01-27-2016 05:45 PM

I have a bench top jointer and it’s better than nothing.

Tried the joint with a sled on the planer and it was a pain in the ass and the results were poor.
The bench top jointer is not perfect but it did improve the quality of my work.

View RogerM's profile

RogerM

799 posts in 2758 days


#14 posted 01-27-2016 05:50 PM

Jointer then planer.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View Minorhero's profile

Minorhero

373 posts in 2964 days


#15 posted 01-27-2016 06:00 PM

You really need both planet and jointer. Wood movement will fool you every time. Just because something is flat when ytbuy it doesn’t mean it will stay flat when you introduce it to your shop humidity or after you begin cutting.

It sounds like money is the controlling factor for yt. Try looking into used machines. A 6” jointer floor model can be purchased off of craigslist in maryland where I am at for 200 all day long. A lunch box planer for 300.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5200 posts in 4319 days


#16 posted 01-27-2016 06:04 PM

I have the Cutech 6” bench top jointer that is used for small work. I find it quite good for the size.
The old stand by 733 DeWalt planer has been all I’ve ever needed.
Bill

-- [email protected]

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5914 posts in 3172 days


#17 posted 01-27-2016 07:21 PM

The amount of time between planer and jointer purchase is measured in nanoseconds. To establish a good workflow and use rough lumber, you need both.

Also, when you have a 6” jointer… all available boards will be 6.5” wide. It’s just a law of nature.

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

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5233 posts in 2668 days


#18 posted 01-27-2016 07:38 PM

If your really ready for more “serious woodworking” you’ll need a jointer and planer. There is no such thing as a decent bench top jointer. Most any serious hobby requires a commitment of time and money.

Decent tools won’t make you a craftsman but it sure make projects go quicker and easier.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View mdoleman's profile

mdoleman

39 posts in 1223 days


#19 posted 01-27-2016 08:07 PM

Thank you so much to everyone on this… I think that most of it is stuff that I already feel like I “know,” but need the affirmation of more experienced craftsmen to feel confident in my decisions.

Sounds to me like what I will be actually doing is either remaining more or less a “dabbler,” or take the plunge and get both pieces…

I’ve already been looking on Craigslist a bit and—indeed—as someone pointed-out, it looks like a nice floor-based jointer can be had for less than I’d thought. Which is great… And it seems like a nice little “bench-top” planer will suffice. Seems like I can acquire both units for less than a $1,000, which for me is do-able. I don’t have a lot of space, unfortunately… It’ll take some serious re-arrangement, and re-thinking, but I think I’m willing to do it…

Thanks again…

View RobS888's profile

RobS888

2604 posts in 2204 days


#20 posted 01-27-2016 08:12 PM

Get a combo, save space and time.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View mdoleman's profile

mdoleman

39 posts in 1223 days


#21 posted 01-27-2016 08:18 PM

When you say “combo,” which model do you have in mind? My understanding is that the combo machines are all more or less junk. I’d looked briefly at the current Jet offering, but the vast majority of reviewers point-out a multitude of show-stopper issues.

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

8437 posts in 2509 days


#22 posted 01-27-2016 08:21 PM

The combos generally aren’t worth buying unless you spend the $2000+ to get the good ones.

You should be able to find both units used for about $600-700ish if you watch craigslist frequently. Personally, I don’t have much room, so I use a benchtop planer and then joint everything by hand with hand planes.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View JayT's profile

JayT

6158 posts in 2570 days


#23 posted 01-27-2016 08:26 PM


Personally, I don t have much room, so I use a benchtop planer and then joint everything by hand with hand planes.

- jmartel

This is what I do, as well. It really isn’t that hard to learn to flatten and edge joint with a hand plane. In a lot of cases, I can take the twist out a board far faster with a hand plane than someone can with a powered jointer. Once one side is flat, the powered planer can take care of the rest. Plus, you are not limited to using board less than the width of the jointer bed.

-- In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

8437 posts in 2509 days


#24 posted 01-27-2016 08:46 PM

Plus, you only need it flat-ish. Only need enough to not rock when going through the planer, and not lift off the planer bed.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View mdoleman's profile

mdoleman

39 posts in 1223 days


#25 posted 01-27-2016 08:54 PM

Thank you!


Plus, you only need it flat-ish. Only need enough to not rock when going through the planer, and not lift off the planer bed.

- jmartel

More great information… This is exactly what I’m looking for. And I suspected as much (i.e., the only need it “flat-ish” part). This workflow makes so much sense to me, and I actually do like the idea of “hybrid” working, with both hand and machine tools. I could get into the notion of roughing a board to flatness with a hand plane, finishing the work with a machine planer, and then “jointing” the edges with my table saw or router (which almost always gives me a perfectly acceptable result).

I think that eventually I will own both machines, but right now a nice little benchtop planer will be the more immediate concern.

View teejk02's profile

teejk02

501 posts in 1484 days


#26 posted 01-27-2016 08:55 PM

My jointer went mostly under used until I got into “rough” lumber (chainsaw milled/whatever). Now it gets used a lot especially before I move to my “lunchbox” thickness planer. I only have a Delta 6” model (wish I had an 8” but I can make the 6” work other than the tears in my eyes when I have to rip an 8” board in half only to ultimately put it back together, losing the grain lines by the thickness of my table saw blade).

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

934 posts in 1578 days


#27 posted 01-27-2016 09:03 PM

one thing on a 6”jointer: when i had my 6” grizzley i was able to take the guard off and face joint wider stock.

it is nice having both planer and jointer, which ive been jointerless for a few years now. yes, its possible to get my material flat with a planer sled and edge joint on my TS, but a jionter makes the job(s) a lot quicker.

imo, the planer should be your next purchase.

so, we gonna see a thread on which planer?????

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2935 posts in 1300 days


#28 posted 01-27-2016 09:03 PM

Planer then jointer IMO. As others said, you can use a sled to true up one side. It’s pretty easy and straight forward. Then thickness plane the other side. Joint on your TS or use a router table for that.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View JayT's profile

JayT

6158 posts in 2570 days


#29 posted 01-27-2016 09:19 PM



Plus, you only need it flat-ish. Only need enough to not rock when going through the planer, and not lift off the planer bed.

- jmartel

Huge +1 to that. Good point, jmart, that is exactly what I do, as well.

-- In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View teejk02's profile

teejk02

501 posts in 1484 days


#30 posted 01-27-2016 09:20 PM



one thing on a 6”jointer: when i had my 6” grizzley i was able to take the guard off and face joint wider stock.

it is nice having both planer and jointer, which ive been jointerless for a few years now. yes, its possible to get my material flat with a planer sled and edge joint on my TS, but a jionter makes the job(s) a lot quicker.

imo, the planer should be your next purchase.

so, we gonna see a thread on which planer?????

- tomsteve


I have read the suggestions about removing the guard on the 6” jointers in order to increase the width capacity…then I remind myself that I got really nasty cuts simply by trying to clean off the factory coating from 2 of them before they were even plugged in! I respect that tool more than any other machine in my shop. I leave the guard in place other than the rare rabbet operations. But that’s just me.

View mdoleman's profile

mdoleman

39 posts in 1223 days


#31 posted 01-27-2016 09:22 PM

I think that the planer I intend to get is the DeWalt 734.

View mdoleman's profile

mdoleman

39 posts in 1223 days


#32 posted 01-27-2016 09:39 PM

One of the items of interest that I’ve noted is that it really isn’t much “cheaper,” strictly speaking, to have a workflow that includes jointing by hand and finish planing on a machine. I mean, I own only the most basic of basic hand planes. I’d need to acquire a really nice jointing plane, and those run upwards of $300 for a decent one.

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

8437 posts in 2509 days


#33 posted 01-27-2016 09:51 PM



One of the items of interest that I ve noted is that it really isn t much “cheaper,” strictly speaking, to have a workflow that includes jointing by hand and finish planing on a machine. I mean, I own only the most basic of basic hand planes. I d need to acquire a really nice jointing plane, and those run upwards of $300 for a decent one.

- mdoleman

Buy an old Pre-WWII stanley. A #5 can easily be had for $50, and a #7 can be had for $75. Those 2 should cover anything you need to do, and already be set up to work. New planes are nice, and I love having my new ones, but the old ones work great as well.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View JayT's profile

JayT

6158 posts in 2570 days


#34 posted 01-27-2016 11:02 PM

I’ve only paid over $100 for one plane (a hard to find early Bedrock 604-1/2) out of the dozens I own or have passed through the shop to new owners. All are vintage pieces and all work just fine. Would a brand new Lie Nielsen be a little tighter on the adjustments? Probably, but at this point, the vintage planes are not holding my woodworking back. I don’t imagine I’ll ever get to the point that they are, either.

You could do almost all the non-joinery plane work you would ever need with four planes—a low angle block, a #4 smoother, a #5 jack and a jointer. Total investment for vintage versions of those would be under $200, and could possibly be done for under $100 if you are willing to put in a bit of time cleaning and tuning up and have a bit of luck searching them out.

-- In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

934 posts in 1578 days


#35 posted 01-27-2016 11:34 PM



I think that the planer I intend to get is the DeWalt 734.

- mdoleman

very good choice

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

1243 posts in 2354 days


#36 posted 01-27-2016 11:52 PM

I disagree with those who say all benchtop jointers are worthless. I had the Shopfox until about a week ago, when I upgraded to a floor standing Shopfox. The benchtop model is cast iron, a full six inches wide, and even has adjustmenhts to make sure the tables are co planar. It isn’t easy, but you only have to do it once. I successfully face jointed boards up to 48” long with this. Edge jointing was limited to about 36”, both limits being based on the short tables.

The thing lived on my floor under my drill press and took up essentially zero space when I didn’t need it. All of the projects in my list to date were made using it. I think the cost is around $325. Grizzly now sells the same unit in green paint for even less. So if you want a jointer, I believe this is a viable option. I upgraded because I am moving on to some larger/longer projects and will need the extra bed length.

-Brian

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

View Milled's profile

Milled

43 posts in 1982 days


#37 posted 01-28-2016 01:08 AM

“Serious”, as you say, means flat, straight and square. You need both in the prep of your wood. Find the money, check Craigslist and buy both.

-- If it's doable, I'll do it...if it's been done, I've done it...if it's impossible, I'll try it.

View mdoleman's profile

mdoleman

39 posts in 1223 days


#38 posted 01-28-2016 03:30 PM

This is good food for thought… appreciate the perspective.


“Serious”, as you say, means flat, straight and square. You need both in the prep of your wood. Find the money, check Craigslist and buy both.

- Milled


View mdoleman's profile

mdoleman

39 posts in 1223 days


#39 posted 01-28-2016 03:56 PM



I disagree with those who say all benchtop jointers are worthless. I had the Shopfox until about a week ago, when I upgraded to a floor standing Shopfox. The benchtop model is cast iron, a full six inches wide, and even has adjustmenhts to make sure the tables are co planar. It isn t easy, but you only have to do it once. I successfully face jointed boards up to 48” long with this. Edge jointing was limited to about 36”, both limits being based on the short tables.

The thing lived on my floor under my drill press and took up essentially zero space when I didn t need it. All of the projects in my list to date were made using it. I think the cost is around $325. Grizzly now sells the same unit in green paint for even less. So if you want a jointer, I believe this is a viable option. I upgraded because I am moving on to some larger/longer projects and will need the extra bed length.

-Brian

- bbasiaga

Thank-you for this alternative perspective… I appreciate it. The overall sense I get is that it’s “more possible” to get-by without a jointer than a planer, and that’s what I intend to do for a while. I’ll get the planer that I want, and then keep an eye out on Craigslist for a decent jointer. If I can’t find one, or decide that the floor space is too precious, I’ll get a benchtop unit, as you suggest. And my hunch is that what you’re saying is correct: that they are better than nothing.

This has been my personal experience with a lot of tools, honestly… I would have people tell me that there is “just no way” a “serious” woodworker can make do with anything less than an 18” band saw, for example. Yet I couldn’t be more pleased with my silly little Craftsman 12” saw. It’s a “consumer” level tool that has its limitations, of course, but I’ve never felt particularly “bound” by it in any way that an 18” saw would alleviate.

To me, it’s all about perspective, methods & scale of work, and desired results. I very rarely make large or highly complex pieces. Accuracy is important in my work, but I think the results I get from smaller, consumer-level tools is pretty good, honestly. There is a sense of satisfaction in keeping things minimal and not having all the biggest/best equipment just for the sake of it. I like for it to be an “evolutionary” process, in which I acquire the equipment as a genuine need arises.

And the perspective I’m talking about is this: as with anything, the margin which separates high-level amateur work from professional work is quite small in result yet huge in practice. Said another way, the professional has to work three times as hard to achieve a result which is 1/10th “better.” It’s not that the marginal 1/10th isn’t important, because I believe it is—it’s just not a place I, personally, need to go in order to be well-enough satisfied.

View RobS888's profile

RobS888

2604 posts in 2204 days


#40 posted 01-28-2016 04:20 PM



When you say “combo,” which model do you have in mind? My understanding is that the combo machines are all more or less junk. I d looked briefly at the current Jet offering, but the vast majority of reviewers point-out a multitude of show-stopper issues.

- mdoleman


I have the 12 inch jet spiral head and I don’t have any issues, let alone a show stopper. I don’t like the fence, but it works well.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5233 posts in 2668 days


#41 posted 01-28-2016 09:33 PM

one thing on a 6”jointer: when i had my 6” grizzley i was able to take the guard off and face joint wider stock.

it is nice having both planer and jointer, which ive been jointerless for a few years now. yes, its possible to get my material flat with a planer sled and edge joint on my TS, but a jionter makes the job(s) a lot quicker.

imo, the planer should be your next purchase.

so, we gonna see a thread on which planer?????

- tomsteve

I have read the suggestions about removing the guard on the 6” jointers in order to increase the width capacity…then I remind myself that I got really nasty cuts simply by trying to clean off the factory coating from 2 of them before they were even plugged in! I respect that tool more than any other machine in my shop. I leave the guard in place other than the rare rabbet operations. But that s just me.

- teejk02

Yes you remove the fence BUT you replace it with a very effective home made European style fence.

Take a look at the pictures in this article.

http://woodworkerszone.com/wiki/index.php?title=Jointing_wide_boards

Just the way I am but I don’t enjoy woodworking near as much if I have to stop at ever turn and do make shift jigs and round about ways of doing thing. It seems like a lot of wasted time and effort that could be going into my projects.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View themaddriver's profile

themaddriver

24 posts in 1308 days


#42 posted 01-28-2016 09:53 PM

Depending on the size of the material you are jointing, I have been using my router table to ensure my pieces are properly edge joined and are exactly the same size. This method does only work for edge joining and you must be very careful it you use this technique with the blade exposed. I think it all depends on the size of materials a person is using. Mostly all of my items I joint are under 2 feet long and I can make the fence as long as I want. Just ensure the router bit is of good quality.

-- Hope is not a course of action!!!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com