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Forum topic by Geeyo posted 12-05-2019 09:51 PM 1357 views 0 times favorited 65 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Geeyo

8 posts in 889 days


12-05-2019 09:51 PM

I would like to get opinions on whether I should buy a jointer table. I have been planning for a while now to pick up a jointer and I’ve had my eyes set on a 8”x72” jointer table from grizzly. Just something with a knife cutterhead instead of a helical head for now so it will be a bit cheaper. But I talked myself out of it a few times since I am able to somewhat work with the tools I currently own. I dont do much fine woodworking just yet since I just started with the hobby. I can get away with using not so perfect lumber with my projects so i normally go to the big box stores for my wood. But eventually I would like to get to more intricate work given more time to practice. My question is, should I still invest in the jointer table now? Or is it not worth it since I mainly use big box stores lumber? I generally buy pine, fur, maple and oak lumbers. I’ve also seen tabletop jointers which are a bit cheaper but I’m not sure how stable those jointers are especially when I’m using bigger and longer pieces.

Thanks for the advice!


65 replies so far

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nickbatz

395 posts in 687 days


#1 posted 12-05-2019 10:26 PM

Most people, me included, use the jointer to flatten one edge of a board perfectly so it matches up with another board when you’re edge-joining them to make larger panels (for table tops, for example). The kind of wood doesn’t matter; you need to make the edges perfectly flat before gluing them together, because even a tiny gap will show, and the glue won’t adhere as well.

But you can also use a router table or a table saw to do that if almost just as well as a jointer. It’s why router tables have split fences – so you can do the same thing you do on a jointer, only sideways. And there are a few ways to do it on a table saw.

This is a good explanation.

I should add that the only reason I bought a jointer is that it was a really cool vintage one that I saw on Craigslist for very little, not because it was a must-have.

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Ocelot

2375 posts in 3245 days


#2 posted 12-05-2019 10:46 PM

In addition to truing edges, an important use of the jointer is flattening the faces of boards that are cupped, twisted or otherwise distorted. Making one flat face and then a perpendicular straight edge prepares the lumber to be planed and ripped to width. It makes a lot of difference – and is almost indispensable when using rough-cut lumber.

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mel52

1202 posts in 871 days


#3 posted 12-06-2019 04:03 AM

I’ve wanted a jointer for quite a while but use a split fence router table. So far the router table has done a good job for me, and am reluctant to invest in something I really don’t need. Mel

-- MEL, Kansas

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nickbatz

395 posts in 687 days


#4 posted 12-06-2019 05:55 AM


In addition to truing edges, an important use of the jointer is flattening the faces of boards that are cupped, twisted or otherwise distorted. Making one flat face and then a perpendicular straight edge prepares the lumber to be planed and ripped to width. It makes a lot of difference – and is almost indispensable when using rough-cut lumber.

- Ocelot

Geeyo goes to big box stores for wood.

I go to a lumber yard that only sells S2S wood and will joint it for you if you ask. But I’m curious – is rough-cut lumber a lot cheaper? As far as I know it just doesn’t come that way in Los Angeles, but I could be wrong (and haven’t investigated every lumber yard in search of it).

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Kelly

2630 posts in 3551 days


#5 posted 12-06-2019 06:43 AM

Yesterday, my friend was over and wanted me to cut 1/4” pieces for back scratchers he wanted to make. I jointed both sides of a 4/4 pieces of wood, made two cuts, then ran those edges a single pass on the same jointer you are thinking of buying [but with a spiral head]. I repeated this until he had several future back scratchers.

Running the edges through the jointer meant he had half as much sanding to do.

I find a lot of free wood. That includes apple and cherry, since I live in orchard country (Eastern Wash.). The jointer greatly speeds up making the wood usable. That includes giving my planer a jumping off point. I cannot imagine tackling the wood I get with a hand plane.

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unclearthur

316 posts in 2394 days


#6 posted 12-06-2019 06:51 AM

I’ve always found that taking a rough, warped piece of wood, and in a few minutes on the jointer / planer / tablesaw turning it into something perfectly square and smooth that you can make things out of …. to be one of the joys of woodworking.

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ChefHDAN

1498 posts in 3456 days


#7 posted 12-06-2019 12:08 PM

If you’re not in an urgent need of a jointer or any tool for that matter, keep an eye on Craigslist & FB marketplace. It’s amazing what will come up for sale in great condition for about half of MSRP. I’ve never really heard anyone rave about how much they love their bench top jointer. I suppose if most of your work was making boxes or small items a BT would work. I have the Ridgid jointer (grey era) that I bought NIB for $200. It is generally all I need for my projects, occasionally I need more than the 6” capacity, but the porkchop can be removed so I can get 6” of the face flat and then I use another flat 5” piece hot glued to the other board and get the opposite side true in my planer, then flip the board, knock off the 5” piece and take the lip off and totally flatten the other side. A bit more work to get a wide board flat, but it’s not too often.

As for the costs of rough sawn lumber, here’s my sawyers monthly sale list from Southern MD here on the right coast.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View GrantA's profile

GrantA

2128 posts in 2014 days


#8 posted 12-06-2019 12:15 PM

I wish location was a required field for forum registration grrr Geeyo where are you located? I’ve got a couple 8” jointers to sell in South GA.

View Brawler's profile

Brawler

104 posts in 437 days


#9 posted 12-06-2019 12:37 PM

Well I’m pretty new to woodworking and I didn’t think I would need a jointer. However someone gave me 6” one in kinda rough shape. I restored it, adjusted and tuned it. I have to say, it sure is nice working with perfectly flat and straight lumber. I find it a pretty valuable piece of equipment, now I wish I had an 8” jointer.

-- Daniel

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controlfreak

409 posts in 208 days


#10 posted 12-06-2019 05:59 PM

I scored a 6” craftsman jointer for $150 at an estate sale and a stanley Bailey plane for $25. I de-rusted both and put some new blades on the jointer and it fits my shop well. I can’t move up in size until I get a bigger shop however if the right one comes along I may jump on it and store it at my office until a bigger shop comes along.

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AlaskaGuy

5522 posts in 2916 days


#11 posted 12-06-2019 06:56 PM

In my Humble OPINION get your self a jointer. The wider the better. The first step is flattening the face of a board before you edge joint. This pretty much insures not only a straight edge but one that is square to the face.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View nickbatz's profile

nickbatz

395 posts in 687 days


#12 posted 12-06-2019 09:14 PM


As for the costs of rough sawn lumber, here s my sawyers monthly sale list from Southern MD here on the right coast.

- ChefHDAN

It’s a lot more here.

I pay somewhere around $5.50/board’ for S2S red oak at House of Hardwood in West Los Angeles. They weren’t the cheapest place in town when I checked a few months ago, but it wasn’t a massive difference and they have a good selection.

Plus I have a long relationship with them – they used to make the custom composer’s desks I sell for me, before I got the bug to do it myself.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

2630 posts in 3551 days


#13 posted 12-06-2019 09:23 PM

Nice score, Daniel


Well I m pretty new to woodworking and I didn t think I would need a jointer. However someone gave me 6” one in kinda rough shape. I restored it, adjusted and tuned it. I have to say, it sure is nice working with perfectly flat and straight lumber. I find it a pretty valuable piece of equipment, now I wish I had an 8” jointer.

- Brawler


View MPython's profile

MPython

212 posts in 419 days


#14 posted 12-07-2019 03:53 PM

A powered jointer is one half of the essential jointer/planer combination. You won’t get very far into woodworking before you realize that having four-square stock is critical to precise work. Four-square means both faces flat and parallel to each other and the edges square with the faces. A powered jointer gives one flat face and square edges. It takes a planer to give you parallel faces, so you need both machines. With these two machines, you can turn rough sawn lumber into precisely dimensioned four-square stock and clean up warped and twisted boards easily.

You can get to four-square with hand planes, but it requires a fair amount of skill and endurance (hand planing can be hard work). Craftsmen did it this way for hundreds of years before electric power tools became common. All of the famous classic 18th and 19th Century furniture was built with hand tools. Hand planes are a lot cheaper than powered jointers and planers, and are, actually, a lot more accurate in skilled hands. But, unlike powered machines, they take a while to master. Most serious woodworkers these days are what are referred to as “blended” woodworkers, I.E., they use both power tools and hand tools – power tools for dimensioning stock and hand tools for accuracy and fine tuning.

If you’re not into learning to use hand tools at this point in your woodworking career, then you will need a jointer AND a planer, sooner rather than later. As mentioned in an earlier post, wider is better. Flattening a 12” wide board accurately is not easily accomplished on a 6” jointer, if it is possible at all. Wide jointers are expensive. If you’re building small projects, you can probably get away with a 6” jointer, but it will limit what you can do. Many fine woodworkers find an 8” jointer perfectly adequate. The extra 2” makes a lot of difference. A 10” or a 12” jointer is even better. But again these get into serious $$$.

I have always subscribed too the idea that it’s better to buy the best tool you can afford rather than buying something cheap and marginally adequate until you can afford something better. Cheap, stop-gap purchases have a way of becoming long term shop residents and objects of many four-letter diatribes. The used market is probably the best source of good quality equipment, often at bargain prices. My advice is to start saving your $$$ now and keep your eye on Craigslist, eBay and any other sources you have for a good used 8” jointer and a complimentary planer. You won’t regret spending a little more than you wanted to spend on these essential machines.

My $.02

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5522 posts in 2916 days


#15 posted 12-07-2019 05:38 PM



A powered jointer is one half of the essential jointer/planer combination. You won t get very far into woodworking before you realize that having four-square stock is critical to precise work. Four-square means both faces flat and parallel to each other and the edges square with the faces. A powered jointer gives one flat face and square edges. It takes a planer to give you parallel faces, so you need both machines. With these two machines, you can turn rough sawn lumber into precisely dimensioned four-square stock and clean up warped and twisted boards easily.

You can get to four-square with hand planes, but it requires a fair amount of skill and endurance (hand planing can be hard work). Craftsmen did it this way for hundreds of years before electric power tools became common. All of the famous classic 18th and 19th Century furniture was built with hand tools. Hand planes are a lot cheaper than powered jointers and planers, and are, actually, a lot more accurate in skilled hands. But, unlike powered machines, they take a while to master. Most serious woodworkers these days are what are referred to as “blended” woodworkers, I.E., they use both power tools and hand tools – power tools for dimensioning stock and hand tools for accuracy and fine tuning.

If you re not into learning to use hand tools at this point in your woodworking career, then you will need a jointer AND a planer, sooner rather than later. As mentioned in an earlier post, wider is better. Flattening a 12” wide board accurately is not easily accomplished on a 6” jointer, if it is possible at all. Wide jointers are expensive. If you re building small projects, you can probably get away with a 6” jointer, but it will limit what you can do. Many fine woodworkers find an 8” jointer perfectly adequate. The extra 2” makes a lot of difference. A 10” or a 12” jointer is even better. But again these get into serious $$$.

I have always subscribed too the idea that it s better to buy the best tool you can afford rather than buying something cheap and marginally adequate until you can afford something better. Cheap, stop-gap purchases have a way of becoming long term shop residents and objects of many four-letter diatribes. The used market is probably the best source of good quality equipment, often at bargain prices. My advice is to start saving your $$$ now and keep your eye on Craigslist, eBay and any other sources you have for a good used 8” jointer and a complimentary planer. You won t regret spending a little more than you wanted to spend on these essential machines.

My $.02

- MPython


Well said.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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