Jointer advice

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Forum topic by shopmania posted 08-20-2010 01:13 AM 1360 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View shopmania's profile


698 posts in 2602 days

08-20-2010 01:13 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question jointer milling joining

Fellow LJ’s, I’m thinking of buying a jointer to straighten some boards I have that are only finished on 2 sides, and some have some bow in them. I did my last project with this lumber, and got it straight using my tablesaw, but it was time consuming and left some burn marks on the wood that needed sanded. A jointer seems like a perfect solution, but I’m wondering how much I’ll use it after this project, if I buy mostly pre-finished lumber. Or would my money be better spent on a planer, which I also want.. i’m not sure what to get first, or if i shuld even get a jointer. I’m on craigs list looking for a used one, 6” I think, or maybe a new 6” Grizzly, which is about 450 with shipping. That will make it the most expensive tool I’ve bought yet, my Ridgid R4511 granite top table saw being about that much also.

Any input is appreciated.


-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

12 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2494 days

#1 posted 08-20-2010 01:19 AM

If you’re using primarily pre-finished lumber, your need for a jointer will be minimal.

Even with pre-finished lumber, there is a need for a planer. Often it is necessary to get your board to just the right thickness.

Many of us, including myself, prefer rough sawn lumber. If you are using rough sawn lumber you really need both a jointer and a planner.

FYI – rough sawn lumber is much cheaper and you have access to a much wider variety of woods. I almost choke whenever I see what they charge for pre-finished oak, walnut, maple, cherry and a few others at the big box stores.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1877 posts in 3092 days

#2 posted 08-20-2010 01:26 AM

Why not get a jointer/planer combo? Then you could kill 2 stones with one bird!!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View AaronK's profile


1436 posts in 2884 days

#3 posted 08-20-2010 01:31 AM

to add to what rich says:

1. you can joint edges with a router using a jig or a shimmed fence on the router table – do a google search, you’ll come up with tons of stuff.

2. you can also use a router to flatten and thickness boards, but the jig you’ll need to built is substantially more involved than the edge jointing jigs.

3. you can joint faces on a planer using a “planer sled” – again, google that for tons of ideas.

4. all that said, having a REAL jointer makes things so much easier, since you don’t need to have a special setup for other tools. I have a small “portable” 6” jointer, and even that is still better than the jigs I was using before. You should be able to find a good 6” jointer on craigslist without too much trouble.

that’s all in addition to the more fundamental issue of your work being much more versatile when starting with rough lumber.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2390 posts in 2342 days

#4 posted 08-20-2010 01:41 AM

I have a small $100 Delta jointer that suits me fine. I only use it to joint edges for glue-ups when i need a wider piece of wood.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View TomFran's profile


2952 posts in 3414 days

#5 posted 08-20-2010 02:16 AM


I have a 6” Grizzly that has served me well and saved me a lot of time too.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View edgarO's profile


68 posts in 2325 days

#6 posted 08-20-2010 04:22 AM

check your local home depot. some of them are clearing out 6” ridgid jointers for 107

View mathom7's profile


69 posts in 2331 days

#7 posted 08-20-2010 04:49 AM


i definitely use mine more then I thought I would. I picked it up for $50 on craigslist, kinda on a whim. Saw the low price, and read the decent reviews, and figured I couldn’t lose much.

I got a Sun Hill 6” bench top.

I picked up a used Delta planer a few weeks later, 13” -380 for $150, and haven’t bought a piece of S4S since. I’ll say I use my planer more then I ever thought I would as well. I oftentimes cut my boards a 1/16” over sized and run all of them through the planer to get them exactly the same size with ready glue lines.

View shopmania's profile


698 posts in 2602 days

#8 posted 08-20-2010 05:28 AM

Thanks for the feedback guys. I heard about the clearance at Home Depot, and called both local stores, and neitehr one had a jointer in stock, at any price. I found a listing on Craigs list for a 6” for $200, but no pictures in the listing. If I can get the guy to email me a picture, and it looks pretty good, it’ll be worth the 90 minute drive. I’ve seen some jointers that look like they were the first ones ever made and buried in mud for decades. The search continues, or I may just break down and order the Grizzly.

-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

View Chris 's profile


1877 posts in 3411 days

#9 posted 08-20-2010 07:10 AM

Until very recently I did not own a power jointer. I always jointed and trued up my boards by hand plane or router. That was fine for the smaller pieces I had been building. However, I started on a larger project and was allowed to use a friends jointer; boy did that speed things up. As a result I now own a Powermatic 6” jointer.

Man is that thing a time saver, especially in this hot Florida weather were 5 minutes in the shop will leave you sweating as if you just ran a 5k race. I still use my hand planes to finesse the fit at times and get a lot of satisfaction from them.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View TVW640's profile


4 posts in 2302 days

#10 posted 08-20-2010 07:23 AM

I think you need to evaluate where your woodworking may be in the next few years. If you plan on doing smaller projects with dimensioned lumber you may be making a wise investment in good hand tools. These will require some practice and come with a relatively steep learning curve, but can produce excellent results in addition to being quiet. Larger projects with rough dimensioned lumber would be better served with a seperate planer jointer, or if your budget allows, a combo tool. The combo tool offers greater jointing capacity and the convenience of only one machine footprint.. I currently use a 6” long bed powermatic jointer and a 13 in Makita portable planer. Both perform adequately but I long for greater capacity as my projects move toward larger tables and such.

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 2484 days

#11 posted 08-20-2010 01:50 PM

I agree with Rich. I use my planer alot. Even pre finished lumber you can get a difference in thickness, at times. If you don’t think you will use a jointer that much. You can use a hand plane, or purchase a small power planer that has a edge guide with it.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 2564 days

#12 posted 08-20-2010 05:22 PM

Ridgid JP Jointer are still on sale for $299 at HD, for a 6” jointer it is comparable or better than Jet/Delta.

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