Shop Layout: Are planers and joiners at the same table height?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by toddbeaulieu posted 04-08-2010 01:12 AM 2264 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View toddbeaulieu's profile


814 posts in 3026 days

04-08-2010 01:12 AM


I’m setting up a new shop. I do not yet have a joiner or a planer, but they’re in the long term plans.

In order to figure out the electrical re-wiring, I wanted to get a reasonble first attempt at a layout. Not easy!

Thinking of a mitre saw “table”, like you see, where you can rest long boards being cut. That led me to wonder if I can share the same wall space and “table” with other tools, like the band saw, drill press, joiner, planer, etc. Obviously, there’s only so much wall space, but still.

The pictures I’ve seen so far of shops seem to show the planer and joiner at different table heights. Why would this be? Doesn’t seem right to me.

5 replies so far

View Sarit's profile


549 posts in 3161 days

#1 posted 04-08-2010 02:15 AM

I would put up surface mount conduit and just rewire as you go. Your plans almost never stay the same. Better to plan for flexibility than to come up with the perfect plan now.

To answer your question, on a jointer you want to be able to apply downward pressure on the infeed/outfeed tables to ensure that the boards are coming out flat. On a planer you don’t want to apply any downward pressure (if anything you might lift an end up to avoid snipe). The jointer is usually lower to make it easier to edge joint and allow downward pressure. The planer is a little higher to make it easier to see the boards as they are being planed.

I would make your table compatible w/ your planer, but I would not use it for the jointer, as the jointer bed is supposed to be dead accurate and there’s no way your table will be able to match that (well, maybe you could put a machined slab of granite on it, but I digress).

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 3775 days

#2 posted 04-08-2010 02:29 AM

A simple answer to your posted question is no. Most planner tables move up and down with the thickness of the cut as the cutter head is over head. The infeed of the the joiner be adjusted to set the depth of cut, but the out feed will always be set flush with the cutter. I don’t think it possible to build either one into a single bench.

On the other hand, a cross cut or RAS table can be incorporated into a long bench with a router table. ie, I have both my vertical and horizontal router tables mounted in the same 15 foot long bench, And will soon have my almost restored RAS table at the same height. As for electrical, 20 amp duplex outlets 40-48 inches off the deck, every 4 feet all the way around the shop if you can afford it. And add the 220 outlets as you add epipt.

Good Luck

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View toddbeaulieu's profile


814 posts in 3026 days

#3 posted 04-08-2010 03:04 AM

Very interesting and informative responses. Thank you both!

I think I need to relax and not try to make the perfect layout when my skill level is that of a swamp toad at the moment.

Again, I really appreciate the input – it will help a lot!

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3090 days

#4 posted 04-08-2010 03:46 AM

The table height of a tool should be whatever height is most comfortable for you while you use it. For example, my bandsaw has the table fairly high which makes it easy for me to get in close to “eyeball” my cuts. I wouldn’t dream of trying to use my table saw at that table height, however. – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View kennyd's profile


103 posts in 3022 days

#5 posted 04-08-2010 03:51 AM

Hi Todd,

Here’s a link to a miter saw bench w/ storage cabinets beneath. I’m also building my shop and chose this design because I can modify the center section where the miter saw mounts. Instead of permanently mounting the saw to the table/cabinets I’ve made that area removable so that I can mount my planer, drill press, and even my dovetail jig on interchangable plywood sections that fit into the center opening between the 2 cabinets. The only difference between each section is that they’ll mount at different heights between the cabinets so that the planer infeed/outfeed will line up flush with the stationary cabinet tops. The same for the other tools I’ll mount there. Different heights for different tables and or fences.

Take a look. Maybe it’ll work for you, too.

Miter Saw Station

Good luck with your project,


-- Kenny... The man who needs a tool he doesn't have is already paying for it.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics