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limited access to planer or jointer; which flattening workaround to invest in?

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Forum topic by Winny94 posted 04-13-2021 05:48 PM 1778 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Winny94

56 posts in 1522 days


04-13-2021 05:48 PM

I don’t currently own a planer nor jointer. (I have access to a buddy’s from time to time, but inconsistently). I can “joint” an edge with either my router table or flat edge+stock on the table saw, but for face flattening, would I be better served building a router sled or finding an old Bailey #7 until I have enough pennies in the jar for the correct machinery?


29 replies so far

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SMP

3975 posts in 987 days


#1 posted 04-13-2021 05:58 PM

You don’t even need a 7, a 5 jack plane will work perfectly well for most furniture size things. I flattened my workbench with an old transtitional plane. Its a Stanley #29 i paid about $20 because collectors don’t care about them but personally I think they are the best of both worlds, smoothness of a wood plane and the adjustability of a metal plane.

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vjc

20 posts in 1468 days


#2 posted 04-13-2021 05:58 PM

I’d say plane. Less set up time and hand planeng is a good skill to have.

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hotbyte

1057 posts in 4057 days


#3 posted 04-13-2021 06:06 PM

I have a planer but no jointer. So far I’ve made do with a 5-1/2 hand plane to face joint well enough to run through planer with hand planed side down. I basically get board flat but not worry about “finished” surface, i.e. board has plane tracks, etc.

To edge joint, I use either straight edge sled on table saw or track saw. Then follow-up with my 5-1/2 or 7 depending on stock length.

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DevinT

757 posts in 48 days


#4 posted 04-13-2021 06:16 PM

I built a surfacing sled for my compact router. If you have a router already, this would be a great option to get 99%+ to flat as fast as possible

From there you can use a hand-plane (any size from 4 to 8) to quickly spiff-up the surface, removing any evidence of router tracks. Heck, you can even use a block plane, it just depends on how much time you want to spend.

I can surface any wood up to 4’ x 4’ to dead flat in under an hour using that jig and a No 8 hand plane. If you tell me I can’t use my No 8, and I have to use my No 4, then it will take me up to 2h. If I have to use my apron plane to eliminate the tracks, I could be there for upwards of 3-5 hours depending on how hard the wood is and how many areas I have to clean up.

I like the method of powering off the top and smoothing it with a large-ish hand plane.

I think SMP is correct that a No 5 or 5 1/2 jack will work very well but it really depends on how big the stock is.

-- Devin, SF, CA

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Loren

11192 posts in 4729 days


#5 posted 04-13-2021 06:25 PM

I started out with just a small jointer and a planer. For stock wider than 6”, which was a lot of it, I flattened it on my bench using a pair of winding sticks and a jack plane. The big hassle is not the flattening of one side, it’s bringing the other side to parallel that takes a lot of time. For that I really recommend a basic planer as an even more essential tool than a jointer. You’ve discovered you can joint with your router table which is likely good enough. Jointing with hand planes is a muscle memory skill you can learn but it takes some practice to get tight joints. If all you need is a straight edge for ripping on the table saw, your jointing can be pretty rough as you can just flip the board and rip off a little more to make the edges parallel and square.

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SMP

3975 posts in 987 days


#6 posted 04-13-2021 06:33 PM


I think SMP is correct that a No 5 or 5 1/2 jack will work very well but it really depends on how big the stock is.

- DevinT

Rule of thumb is “about twice the length of the plane” for it to be pretty easy. Larger requires more skill. However on surface planing, you are going diagonally so the size is dictTed about twice the plane length at a 45ish angle of attack. For reference, to do my 2’ x 5’ workbench perfectly flat with handplanes took about 3 hours total. Whereas for a small piece like 12” x 16” it would take me about 10- 15 minutes. I wouldn’t even be able to get my router all setup in that time.

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tvrgeek

1865 posts in 2730 days


#7 posted 04-13-2021 07:24 PM

As I have a 4, 5 and 7, I use which seems to work. Pushing that 7 is a lot of work. Don’t forger the windage sticks.
Heck, I have done pretty well with my belt sander. Set up reference rails, chalk all over etc.

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metolius

391 posts in 1812 days


#8 posted 04-13-2021 09:10 PM

If you get a jointer without a planer, you will be challenged to get the opposite side parallel to what was just jointed.

I have a tiny jointer ; it can only do edges. Actually, I am thinking of selling it as I often do edges by hand plane anyway. If I want a useful one, I want a big one.

For faces, I hot glue the board to a sled with wedges to support whatever cup or twist there is. I then run it through the planer until the face is flat. After that, I take it off the sled flip it over and plane the other side in a normal way. Only works for what fits tho.

As for the sled vs. No. 7 ? Personally, I start to break down when I have to hand joint more then a 3 foot length. At 5 feet of length, I want to throw in the towel early in fear I’ll have no wood left when I get it perfect. Maybe a No.8 is in my future. Yet, I haven’t been inspired to make a sled myself; I get too much satisfaction when the hand plane makes the sound of a zipper and the curls pile up at my feet.

Not knowing what you want to work with, I guess it depends. I’d lean to a routing setup for big stuff.

-- derek / oregon

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Aj2

3838 posts in 2879 days


#9 posted 04-13-2021 10:03 PM

I vote for the op to save money for a jointer with long beds. I like straight knives in a jointer since it’s a handfed machine. Insert head is better idea for the planer.
I also would like to suggest the op not start bad habits and waste time and money on silly fixtures and jigs to dimension lumber.
Good Luck

-- Aj

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AlaskaGuy

6565 posts in 3390 days


#10 posted 04-13-2021 10:11 PM



I vote for the op to save money for a jointer with long beds. I like straight knives in a jointer since it’s a handfed machine. Insert head is better idea for the planer.
I also would like to suggest the op not start bad habits and waste time and money on silly fixtures and jigs to dimension lumber.
Good Luck

- Aj2

I vote for this too.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Winny94

56 posts in 1522 days


#11 posted 04-14-2021 12:34 AM



I vote for the op to save money for a jointer with long beds. I like straight knives in a jointer since it’s a handfed machine. Insert head is better idea for the planer.
I also would like to suggest the op not start bad habits and waste time and money on silly fixtures and jigs to dimension lumber.
Good Luck

- Aj2

First time I’ve heard of a router sled or hand plane referred to as a waste of time or silly jig

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Craftsman on the lake

3860 posts in 4519 days


#12 posted 04-14-2021 12:39 AM

If you ever do get a choice of getting a planer. You can use jigs to joint the wood edge on a table saw and you can make a special jig to actually joint the flat side of the wood before you plane it. It works good actually. my jointer will only take 6” wide boards. I’ve jointed up to 12” wide on my planer.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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SMP

3975 posts in 987 days


#13 posted 04-14-2021 12:45 AM

The other good thing about getting a jack or fore plane is that this will let you get a thickness planer later on, and use the hand plane to get the board “flat enough”, just needs to not rock at all in the tables – doesn’t have to be perfectly flat, then you can flip and run it through the thickness planer, rinse and repeat. Plus I use my jack plane all the time on rough boards to get one edge “flat enough” to run through my table saw(as long as most of it stays against the rip fence its all good), then i have 1 straight edge. I’m talking less then a minute in some cases for these cleanups that then let the machines do the grunt work with one reference surface

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Winny94

56 posts in 1522 days


#14 posted 04-14-2021 12:47 AM



The other good thing about getting a jack or fore plane is that this will let you get a thickness planer later on, and use the hand plane to get the board “flat enough”, just needs to not rock at all – doesn’t have to be perfectly flat, then you can flip and run it through the thickness planer, rinse and repeat. Plus I use my jack plane all the time on rough boards to get one edge “flat enough” to run through my table saw(as long as most of it stays against the rip fence its all good), then i have 1 straight edge. I’m talking less then a minute in some cases for these cleanups that then let the machines do the grunt work.

- SMP


I know “jack plane” is sometimes a subjective term – are you referring to a 5 in most cases?

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Aj2

3838 posts in 2879 days


#15 posted 04-14-2021 01:07 AM

There’s a first time for everybody. If your asking for permission to use Handplanes on lumber you have my blessings.
Jigs and fixtures for routers and tables saws are silly.
Good Luck

-- Aj

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