power planer to bench jointer conversion

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Project by FreddyS posted 03-14-2011 07:22 PM 26589 views 38 times favorited 45 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi everyone, long story short:

I was looking for a small bench jointer and the only available option to be found here in mexico city was this craftsman 4-1/8” jointer, at only… $US400!

Almost all of the not so big variety of power tools to be found over here cost almost the double compared to US prices :(

Of course this being just a hobby for me I was not about to spend that much so the next “best” thing was to try my luck with a power planer.

So I went for a craftsman 3-1/4” but after some tests I really doubt anyone can do a proper job with this tool hehee, at least not for fine works.

But I had the tool already and something had to be done so my solution: diy bench jointer!

It took me like 3 weekends between planning and building to finish the the project including the base, the fence, the infeed – outfeed extension tables, and the retractable blade guard, I had the aluminum and the plywood already so just bought the countersunk screws and the tap tool.

Result: a working jointer for small boards, if I need to go bigger I’ll bug the wood shop guys :)

And, you can see here the plan spanishenglish I did before actually building it, will help to figure out the steps to make a similar one yourself. (Sorry, the texts and measures are in spanish/cm only but should help).

Update: GetHandsDirty (Cris), did a great video showing her own version with extra mods. Here it is:

View on YouTube

And, the push block I made to use on the jointer:

Update: I have made an english version of the plan, sorry for the delay but here it is now ;)

Thanks for looking!

-- Learning one thing at a time

45 comments so far

View dub560's profile


606 posts in 2004 days

#1 posted 03-14-2011 07:29 PM

whatever works man…it works and that’s all that matter. in genious

-- Life is enjoyable especially when you borrow from people

View mafe's profile


10541 posts in 2180 days

#2 posted 03-14-2011 07:29 PM

That is super cool!
I love this inovative thinking.
We invent – therefore we are…
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 2286 days

#3 posted 03-14-2011 07:30 PM

Looks very well built.

Nice project.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View wasmithee's profile


58 posts in 1784 days

#4 posted 03-14-2011 08:04 PM

Very creative! I hope it meets your needs.

View SASmith               's profile


1810 posts in 2078 days

#5 posted 03-14-2011 08:12 PM

Not very many DIY jointers around. Thanks for showing it. I love shop built tools.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Bertha's profile


12982 posts in 1784 days

#6 posted 03-14-2011 08:18 PM

Plywood and a dream! Awesome job. Once you find some CNC parts lying around, we’re all in trouble :).

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2206 days

#7 posted 03-14-2011 09:40 PM

what the #%&#$%&@ is that … have slammed together …. can´t you make a propper job !!!!

Just kidden you , I simply love it
It´s great when people can make things like this jointer with what they have around :-)
this kind of creative thinking always makes me a little humble
thank you so much for sharing it Freddy :-)

take care

View FreddyS's profile


209 posts in 1865 days

#8 posted 03-14-2011 10:02 PM

Thanks for the comments everyone!

dub560: yeah, and I get to enjoy the building process too ;)

mafe: thanks, in some parts I was like “what my friend mafe would do here? ” hehee, of course I left out the beautifying side of the equation but I will compensate in other projects for sure.

bertha: I’m really really afraid to go the CNC way… unless I win the lottery; now, where I left that ticket? :)

Dennis:ok, now you really made me laugh, I had to try hard to refrain myself as I’m at the office now and don’t want some weird looks lol.

-- Learning one thing at a time

View Broglea's profile


676 posts in 2182 days

#9 posted 03-14-2011 10:26 PM

Brilliant!!! I love shop made machinery. Well done.

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 1852 days

#10 posted 03-14-2011 11:57 PM

That is really cool. You’ve done a great job planning and designing. The materials used should provide for a very stable infeed and outfeed table.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2206 days

#11 posted 03-15-2011 12:02 AM

just breake down and laugh all over so everyone can hear you
I do it all the time when I sit and read something funny and don´t remember where I am
and when I realise it …. well some shake there heads but every one has a smile in the eye´s
and that make my day :-)
help other to loosen up and have a little less stress ain´t the worst you can do

take care

View jeepturner's profile


936 posts in 1884 days

#12 posted 03-15-2011 12:14 AM

Brilliant, and I don’t like talking in cliques, but necessity is the mother of invention. And that is a nice machine to fill the need with the tools at hand.

-- Mel,

View Sodabowski's profile


2273 posts in 1924 days

#13 posted 03-15-2011 12:43 AM

Hell yeah, you succeeded brilliantly. In true Mexican fashion, that is :)

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View MasterSergeant's profile


1324 posts in 1779 days

#14 posted 03-15-2011 01:12 AM

Outstanding idea and execution!

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View steliart's profile


1817 posts in 1779 days

#15 posted 03-15-2011 09:55 AM

that is one fine creative idea out of the box
very well done

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - --

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