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Is a Jointer worth having?

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Forum topic by Jeepin85CJ7 posted 02-22-2019 02:34 PM 1640 views 1 time favorited 74 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jeepin85CJ7

74 posts in 1736 days


02-22-2019 02:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer rough lumber surfacing

Here’s what I think should be an easy question – Am I missing out by not having a Jointer? Currently I mill my own lumber with a Chainsaw mill, air dry it and then break down the boards with a Track Saw and lastly plane them with a benchtop Planer. I have heard that planning both sides of the board until flat is not the ideal scenario for getting truly flat boards, but I haven’t noticed much difference.

I wanted to ask opinions and see if I should be adding a Jointer to my future equipment list? With the lumber that I have been using, I have not noticed any issues and for large glue ups, I have been using the track saw and obtaining great joints.

The more information I see online, I wonder if adding a jointer to my process would make a noticeable change.

Thanks for the thoughts!


74 replies so far

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WayneC

14275 posts in 4397 days


#1 posted 02-22-2019 02:50 PM

The primary tool for flattening is normally jointer. You flatten one face of the board with the jointer and then using that face on the fence joint an edge 90 degrees to that. A table saw can be used to make the other edge parallel and a planer used to thickness the remaining face to be parallel to the jointed face.

People can get around having a jointer by using a sled on a planer or using routers or other techniques. Brave people use handplanes. :)

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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WayneC

14275 posts in 4397 days


#2 posted 02-22-2019 02:52 PM

Also, a jointer is probably faster for doing the first two sides of a board. You don’t have to readjust the jointer like you do a planer. You just run the boards across it.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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RobHannon

247 posts in 830 days


#3 posted 02-22-2019 02:59 PM

If you have the space and budget for it then yes it is worth it, but as you described there is always another way to get something done. A jointer will speed up processing rough lumber for sure.

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CWWoodworking

319 posts in 479 days


#4 posted 02-22-2019 03:10 PM

For me it’s a useless machine. I order lumber straight line ripped from supplier. If a board is too warped to use, I take it back and get a new one. But honestly it just doesn’t happen. 500 BF last month, not a single stick too crooked to use.

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pottz

4489 posts in 1284 days


#5 posted 02-22-2019 03:28 PM

id say absolutely,i use my jointer everytime im in the shop,if you need to flatten a board or get a nice clean straight edge you cant beat it for speed.sure there are always other ways to do anything in woodworking but i sure dont have the time to it the “other” way.go into any professional wood shop and youll find one,it’s one of my must have tools.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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splintergroup

2573 posts in 1522 days


#6 posted 02-22-2019 03:28 PM

In my mind the jointer is a speciality tool. As stated there are a number of ways to get a straight and true edge (track saw being a good one) and alternatives for facing two adjacent sides in prep for planing.

Surfacing a board face is probably the one thing a jointer does that is both fast and difficult to do with other tools.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8594 posts in 2877 days


#7 posted 02-22-2019 03:35 PM

If you purchase rough sawn lumber to mill your own stock then it’s imperative that you have one.

Other than that you don’t need one as the work arounds are explained above.

They’re nice to have if you have the room for a jointer.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11325 posts in 3728 days


#8 posted 02-22-2019 04:21 PM

After several years of non use, I sold my jointer. I work almost exclusively with rough sawn hardwoods, Mesquite, maple, oak and walnut, mostly. A track saw with a good blade, a router, a TS with a good rip blade, and a planer sled are individually useful. Which method depends on the job at hand.
There are many ways to square stock easily and quickly without a jointer.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117534 posts in 3877 days


#9 posted 02-22-2019 04:48 PM

It depends what your building, Jointers are an excellent piece of equipment if you are making panels or more finish pieces that you need to joint the edges, but if you are face planning you can only face plane a board the width of your jointer so if your working with large slabs with a natural edges then a jointer might not be worth your investment and you can accomplish one flat side with a router sled. but if you are working with face planning boards the with of available jointers(4” 6” 8” 10” 12” up to 3’ wide for very old jointers then a jointer may be a great asset.
https://www.google.com/search?q=flattening+slabs+with+a+router&oq=flattening+slabs+with+a+router&aqs=chrome..69i57j0.16142j1j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#kpvalbx=1

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bilyo

565 posts in 1402 days


#10 posted 02-22-2019 11:05 PM

You are having good success with the equipment you have, I suspect, largely because you are starting with rough sawn lumber that is pretty flat to begin with. If you want to add some capability to your shop for straightening/flattening lumber that is less true, I suggest you make a good sled for your planer. Of course, you can do this with a wide jointer, but getting one as wide as your planer can be very costly. If you have room and money is no object, go for for it. They are nice to have. I have a small one that is used mostly for edge jointing for panel glue-ups. For flattening large boards, I use my planer and sled.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1802 posts in 903 days


#11 posted 02-22-2019 11:11 PM

Only you would know. Do you often say, “Damn, wish I had a jointer?” Not being a smart ass, but I know folks who do great work without one.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

319 posts in 479 days


#12 posted 02-22-2019 11:13 PM

Not trying to be a jerk, serious question. Are boards really that crooked ?

I can think of one board in the past 6 months I was gonna take back to supplier because it was warped. Ended up just cutting it up and making smaller parts.

I dunno, maybe I’m just lucky.

View Jared_S's profile

Jared_S

133 posts in 259 days


#13 posted 02-23-2019 12:03 AM

I wouldn’t be without one.. not every peice goes across (and i generally use a shaper to edge joint) but for making a flat face in parts used for joinery, you need one.

I have a 8” looking for a 16”, just makes life easier. Tough to make doors (passage or inset) with s4s stock alone.

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Andybb

1802 posts in 903 days


#14 posted 02-23-2019 12:17 AM

I wanted to ask opinions and see if I should be adding a Jointer to my future equipment list? With the lumber that I have been using, I have not noticed any issues and for large glue ups, I have been using the track saw and obtaining great joints.

- Jeepin85CJ7

After re-reading your post it sounds like you would be using it mostly for edge jointing, not face jointing. If it is for edge jointing you can get good results with a tracksaw, table saw or even a router table jig. A wide jointer (larger than 6”-8”) can get very spendy.

But then again, you can never have too many tools and even a nice 6” jointer would be handy to have just for convenience vs using the track saw. I’t always nice to be able to just walk over to the jointer and use it without having to pull out and set up the track saw.

I have a 6” Grizzly that I love. Don’t use it all of the time but when I need it it’s handy, quick and efficient.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

8249 posts in 3675 days


#15 posted 02-23-2019 12:44 AM

I love having a jointer. Its the most efficient and effective method for getting flat, square, straight stock. Flatten a face and square an edge…everything else references from there.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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