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Reply by David Grimes

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Posted on Hand Jointer-plane Vs Power Jointer

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David Grimes

2072 posts in 1362 days


#1 posted 09-04-2011 08:55 AM

You have not answered a few of the questions by other posters, but I will give this a shot.

First, there are two general types of hand-held planers that can play a part in jointing: hand powered (perhaps a Stanley Bailey), then there are powered hand-held planers (both corded and battery powered).

Then, we have the powered jointer-planers.

Lets say I have three just over four foot long maple boards that are approximately 5 1/4” wide and 3/4” thick that I wish to join into one board 4 foot long, 14” wide and 5/8” thick if I can get it.

I would first use the jointer planer to make one 3/4” side and one 5 1/4” of each of the boards flat… this gives me 2 sides on each that are flat and square to one another. I would then take these three boards to my TS and set the fence to the least width of the boards (lets say 5 1/8”), then run the flat planed side against the fence through the saw to give me all three boards with three sides square.

Lets back up a second. I don’t have a thickness planer (yet). If I did, I would use it to get my third side square with the other two BEFORE I went to the TS.

So now I have all three boards… each now has two of the 3/4” sides and one of the 5 1/8” sides square.

My next move would be to glue up the joints with the flat sides down (on a flat surface) clamped until dry. I personally would also have biscuited as part of the glue-up (again with the flat sides down while using the biscuit jointer so that after the glue-up, I will have all three possibly unlevel sides all on the same side of the new unified board.

Now there is an opportunity to finish your product in more than one way. A hand-powered plane could be used (if you know how). A powered hand planer could be used (if you’re good and hold your mouth just right)... or a powered sander (belt and/or pad or random orbital sander) may be used. If this were my actual project, I would use the powered sanders at this point of this example.

Now there are some great guys on here that may advocate hand sawing, and hand planing every bit of this thing, then I guess even using a hand-powered plane to cut a tongue and groove or rabbet before the glue-up if they don’t want to just face-glue, but that’s not me. Never will be, either unless somehow I had bigger and rougher lumber to deal with. I don’t.

Gimme the thickness planer and I’ll use it, the jointer planer and the table saw, then biscuit joiner, glue and clamp and done except for fine sanding.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia


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