Reply by Scott Bryan

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Posted on Thickness Planer or Joiner?

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Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3850 days

#1 posted 10-01-2010 10:12 PM

Pat, this has been discussed several times and the consensus is that, while both are tools that should be in a shop, if you have to choose the planer should come first. You can use a planer, as you describe to “joint” the edge of a board, and with a planer sled you can use it to flatten the face as well. With a sled you can face joint boards up to the width of your planer whereas a jointer can only joint boards that are as wide as the jointer.

Here is a video that was posted in Fine Woodworking showing how to use a sled to face joint wide boards.

As far as jointing goes there are alternative techniques to edge jointing boards- router, drill press, table saw- in addition to using a planer that will effectively prepare the boards for glue up. And, of course, there are traditional methods using hand planes to prepare rough lumber for thicknessing with a planer that could also be used to offset the need for a jointer.

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