Jointing wide boards

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Forum topic by Arvind posted 09-05-2017 12:28 PM 1075 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13 posts in 1446 days

09-05-2017 12:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane planer joint jointer wide board jig design

Need some design input on a jig to convert an electric planer into a jointer. I searched on the web and this site but could only find straightforward designs that can’t joint planks much wider (say jointing a 1’ board on a 3” planer) than the planer. I have a design in mind that can work for planks several times wider. Can someone see if there is any obvious flaw?

The idea is to raise the part of the bench beyond the heel of the planer to the same level as the heel and keep the part in front of the sole at the same level as the sole (see attached figure ). The idea is that u joint the leftmost lengthwise section of the plank by setting the fence at the appropriate distance and then moving the fence and plank leftward by one planer width and jointing the next section and so on. The only issue is raising the part of the bench beyond the heel accurately. Precision shims can be used to raise height by multiples of precise amounts (say 1/16”) and the planer can also cut in same multiples.

Will attach the image in a follow-up.



9 replies so far

View Arvind's profile


13 posts in 1446 days

#1 posted 09-05-2017 12:33 PM

The image shows screws to raise & lower the outfeed table but later i realized that using shims is the best way to do it.


View ArtMann's profile


1462 posts in 1422 days

#2 posted 09-05-2017 04:26 PM

Are you wanting to flatten a board or just joint the edge. If you are going to joint the edge, I think your idea will work fine, assuming you construct sufficiently long and accurate infeed and outfeed tables. I wouldn’t try to make the machine adjustable. I would just choose an appropriate amount to cut off and fix the design to accommodate. If you are trying to flatten a board, I can think of other designs that would probably work better. Some people have constructed router sleds to flatten boards and it might be possible to construct a electric hand planer sled to do the same thing.

I may not be understanding your design and am off in the weeds.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6034 posts in 3419 days

#3 posted 09-05-2017 05:04 PM

It seems to me that your reference surface will be changing with each pass. Therefore you might not end up with one flat surface, but instead several flat strips. Very much like using a hand operated electric planer.

To me the whole purpose of a jointer is to have the entire freshly jointed surface ride on the outfeed table to control the cut.

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

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 2567 days

#4 posted 09-05-2017 05:06 PM

I think it would be hard to get much accuracy from that, but anything is possible. There is a reason why large capacity jointers are large and expensive. You may want to look at Matthias Wandel’s plans for ideas.

View Rich's profile (online now)


5137 posts in 1195 days

#5 posted 09-05-2017 05:30 PM

Edit: I decided it was better to delete my discussion and link to a pro using a planer to flatten one side of a wide board.

Here’s a link to Charles Neil’s video Part 2 of Building a Pie Safe. His use of the sled starts around 16:00. There’s a ton to be learned from this series that he was generous enough to put on Youtube at no charge.


-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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987 posts in 1825 days

#6 posted 09-05-2017 07:04 PM

seems a router sled would be the way to go.
heres one video on them

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4253 days

#7 posted 09-05-2017 07:20 PM

Such a jig may work for rudimentary surfacing
and may remove some cup and bow and
irregularities. I think it is likely to let you
down in removing twist.

Hand planing is reasonably efficient and quite
accurate at flattening boards. I’ve removed
major waste with an electric planer and
finished with hand planes too. I’ve never used
a planer sled for flattening but a lot of people
seem to like them.

View Arvind's profile


13 posts in 1446 days

#8 posted 09-06-2017 01:19 AM

Thanks for the comments.

@ArtMann @tomsteve I am trying to flatten the face of a board. I have seen router sled designs – just felt that this would be faster.

@pintodeluxe there necessarily has to be two reference surfaces when ur planing a wide board – one marked “same height as sole” in the figure to support the unplaned portion and the surface marked “same height as heel” in he figure to support the planed portion.

@tim thanks for the link – he has a nifty mechanism to raise the table that i need to understand.

@loren good point – hand planing twists out and then using this works.

View clin's profile


1076 posts in 1601 days

#9 posted 09-06-2017 01:36 AM

I can’t make sense of what you are proposing with your drawing, and didn’t want to take 38 minutes to watch that video. But it sounds like you can do what you want with a planer sled.

All that is doing is providing a temporary flat reference surface so a thickness planer will then flatten stock. While some designs of planer sleds are rigid, that is not a requirement. What is required is that the sled be flat when you lay the stock on it and shim it.

Stock needs to be shimmed so it doesn’t rock and to support it so the pressure of the planner doesn’t bend the board as it passes through.

For large boards I’ve used a melamine shelf as a sled. This was laid on my assembly table (very flat surface). Stock was laid on this shelf board. Shims, door shimming wedges, were placed as needed and tacked into place using hot melt glue.

This works really well, though is tedious and not appropriate for production work, but there are sled designs which use adjustable supports instead of wedges to speed up the process.

I cleat is typically applied at the front of the sled to prevent the stock form sliding off. Oddly, many seem to do this backward and put this at the back of the sled thinking the sled is pushing the stock through the planer. Since many planers pull the stock through via rollers grabbing the top of the board, it is actually the stock that is pulling the sled through the planer in those cases.

The fact that having this cleat on the wrong end doesn’t matter, points out that the cleat really isn’t needed if the stock is tacked down to the sled. But it’s nice to have it there just the same.

-- Clin

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