Reply by knotscott

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Posted on Ridgid Jointer / Planer JP0610

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8005 posts in 3369 days

#1 posted 04-27-2011 06:40 AM

A jointer and planer are two different tools with different functions…the term “jointer/planer” is a marketing ploy and is misleading. A jointer can flatten one face and squares a 90° adjacent edge. A planer makes the two faces parallel, but not necessarily flat, which means if a board is twisted going in, it’s also twisted coming out, but is thinner and smoother.

A jointer won’t perform the primary functions of a planer very well…’ll flatten two individual faces of a board if you wanted it to, but they won’t be parallel to each other, so you’d usually end up with a wedge shape board, or some other undesirable shape. The planer won’t flatten well without the help of a planer sled that’s used as a flat reference face, and won’t edge joint at 90° well either. The two tools are really meant to work in tandem…flatten one face and square an edge on the jointer as a reference point, then plane to desired thickness using the flat face as a reference, which then makes both faces parallel. Then rip to width using the reference edge, and crosscut to length.

I love having both tools, but if I could only choose one, I’d lean toward starting with a planer, because with the aid of a planer sled you can coax a planer into flattening a face by using the sled’s face as a reference. Then you can edge joint using a table saw jig or a router jig. Hand planes can help with some of these tasks too, but there’s a learning curve and they’re more work.

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