Flatten 2 sides parallel without jointer?

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Forum topic by pi9 posted 03-13-2019 09:04 PM 413 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View pi9's profile


18 posts in 599 days

03-13-2019 09:04 PM

I was hoping to get some opinions on a process I am thinking of doing.

I do not have the space or money for a good jointer.

I have many good hand planes but a bad shoulder is preventing me from using them much these days.

So to get 2 faces flat and parallel with only a planer and hand planes I was thinking about getting one face somewhat flat with the hand plane, shouldn’t take a ton of work, just taking out any cup or belly.

Then running that somewhat flat face through as the reference face for the planer making the opposite side completely flat.

Then of course flip it over and finish off the side I originally hand planed.

I know I could make a planer sled and do it all with the thickness planer but it seems that I could one side somewhat flat pretty darn quick with the hand plane and not have to deal with a sled.

Any advice?

Thanks in advance.

7 replies so far

View HokieKen's profile


15158 posts in 2022 days

#1 posted 03-13-2019 09:07 PM

Should work just fine. Lots of folks get by without a jointer by doing exactly that.

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

View Kirk650's profile


680 posts in 1631 days

#2 posted 03-13-2019 09:07 PM

I have successfully done what you are hoping to do.

View clin's profile


1121 posts in 1879 days

#3 posted 03-13-2019 09:46 PM

Any flat board will work as a sled, no reason to make one. Often people put a cleat on one end of a sled with the intention of keeping the wood from sliding off the sled. But then they run the sled through the planner backwards so the cleat does nothing. This only proves the cleat isn’t really needed.

The sled doesn’t even need to be all that rigid. The only requirement is that when you shim your board on the sled, the sled itself must be dead flat. A table saw top could be used for this. The bottom of the sled becomes the reference surface. You need to secure things a bit, but even tape should be enough to hold the shims in place

I say this to point out that a sled is no big deal and since you mentioned that you had a bad shoulder.

-- Clin

View bgood's profile


38 posts in 609 days

#4 posted 03-14-2019 03:47 AM

Get a monkey. Teach him how to hand plane and smoke. It’ll make for a great Vegas show !

View fly2low's profile


88 posts in 980 days

#5 posted 03-14-2019 04:44 PM

I have done exactly what you propose. It worked fine until I got my jointer

-- Rich Gig Harbor, WA

View socrbent's profile


1017 posts in 3152 days

#6 posted 03-14-2019 05:08 PM

I can see where your proposed process could work if the wood being flattened is thick enough not to flex under the pressure of the feed rollers in the planer.

-- socrbent Ohio

View Robert's profile


4051 posts in 2364 days

#7 posted 03-14-2019 07:04 PM

Sure it can work, but it depends on what you mean by “somewhat flat face”.

You can also use a sled an shims and pretty much accomplish the same thing.

Also depends on how thick the board is.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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