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Planer or joiner?

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Forum topic by JCamp posted 02-26-2017 01:06 AM 1369 views 2 times favorited 53 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JCamp

342 posts in 241 days


02-26-2017 01:06 AM

I’ve never been around either so to you folks out there that know much more than me….. which should I get first and why?
My main purpose would b to clean up rough cut lumber.

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might


53 replies so far

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MT_Stringer

3046 posts in 2921 days


#1 posted 02-26-2017 01:15 AM

You need them both.

Mow yards, wash cars, save up and go git ‘em.

This question has been asked a lot. Search for it and see if you can find the answer you want to hear (or not).
Good luck.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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coxhaus

43 posts in 585 days


#2 posted 02-26-2017 01:33 AM

A planer makes a board flat on one side. A planer makes the other side not flat match the flat side. So you need both.
You also need a table saw trued so you can cut a jointed board square. If you joint the board then cut it with the table saw off because it does not cut true you are in trouble. I would say buy a good table saw and jointer then buy a planer.

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Walker

29 posts in 163 days


#3 posted 02-26-2017 02:09 AM


A jointer makes a board flat on one side. A planer uses that flat side as a reference and trues the opposite face. So you need a jointer first.

Fixed that for you.

A thickness planer has rollers in it that push the board through as well as push it down some. Because the planer only ‘sees’ a small portion of the board at a time, if you plane a bowed board, you’ll end up with a bowed board. You need the jointer (or hand planes) to make one face flat first, otherwise the planer is mostly useless.

That being said, there are varying opinions. You’ll have to decide which one is more useful for you to own first, but in the end goal is to have both as they compliment each other.

-- ~Walker

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Walker

29 posts in 163 days


#4 posted 02-26-2017 02:30 AM

To add to that, I’ve read some articles that suggest purchasing the planer first. Then you would purchase already milled lumber (often 13/16” thick) and use the thickness planer to bring it down to the thickness you want to work with.

My problem with this approach, is that milled lumber still moves. I’m lucky to have a specialty lumber store nearby. Everything they sell is Kiln dried and kept in a temperature and humidity controlled environment. Their wood is as stable as you could ask for. However, my basement is not. My basement is drier than most and underground enough where the temp is fairly consistent year round, yet I’ve had boards that started perfectly true at the store warp overnight. At that point they need to be jointed again.

Point is, I can do things with the jointer that don’t require owning a planer too. But there’s almost nothing I can do with the planer without first using the jointer. YMMV.

-- ~Walker

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JackDuren

257 posts in 650 days


#5 posted 02-26-2017 02:42 AM

You’ll need the planer first as you can find other ways to achieve a straight edge….

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Madmark2

296 posts in 279 days


#6 posted 02-26-2017 03:05 AM

Planer & TS will handle 95% of the lumber you encounter. Don’t BUY severely warped lumber in the first place. Sighting the edges only takes a minute and can save you hours of frustration & work.

M

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canadianchips

2580 posts in 2687 days


#7 posted 02-26-2017 04:42 AM

Ask yourself : What size lumber will you be cleaning up ?
How wide are the boards?
In my case I use my jointer every week. I use my planer every six months…...maybe.
I started with table saw and a jointer. I added planer to shop MANY years later,
Each woodworker will have a different preference.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

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Slider20

86 posts in 212 days


#8 posted 02-26-2017 05:55 AM

Get a planer first, just do a little googling, you can make a sled to make both sides parallel. Also, you can use a hand plane.

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clin

695 posts in 686 days


#9 posted 02-26-2017 06:44 AM

Another vote for planer first. I have a planer, I don’t own a jointer.

Planer is for thickness, not flattening. Jointers are for making a truly flat surface or edge. But you can use a table saw sled or clamp on straight edge and table saw to make a jointed edge. There are even ways to make a jointer fence for a table saw (though I have no experience with those).

As Slider mentioned, you can use a sled with a planer. I’ve done this a lot. Like any machine a jointer does a specific job very fficiently. And if you need it a lot, then sure buy one. If you only need it occasionally, there are good alternatives.

And don’t forget, both planing and jointing can be done with hand planes.

-- Clin

View RogR's profile

RogR

100 posts in 555 days


#10 posted 02-26-2017 07:07 AM

I vote for jointer first – even though I bought a planer first. Flat and square are the basic prerequisites for most woodwork, and the material you buy is more likely to be of consistent thickness than with straight edges. In a pinch, a jointer will get you closer to thickness than a planer will to flat.

Like canadianchips, I find I use the jointer much more often than the planer. (Get a long bed.)

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7661 posts in 3066 days


#11 posted 02-26-2017 12:43 PM

A jointer flattens a true reference face across the length of a board, and squares a reference edge adjacent to that face. A planer makes two faces parallel with each other to a uniform thickness, though it can provide some flattening via the reduction of high points.

Having both a jointer and a planer is best because it’s the most efficient and accurate method. If I had to choose one I’d go with the planer first, because with the help of a planer sled, a planer can be coaxed into doing one of the primary tasks of a jointer….flattening a face. Then you can square the edge using a TS or router technique, which ultimately gets you the flat reference face and a squared reference edge that a jointer provides, then you can go about obtaining a uniform thickness and two parallel slides from the planer as intended. It’s next to impossible to get the jointer to do the tasks of a planer however.

You can also get a board flat enough with a hand plane to finish the flattening with the planer, if you’re adept with a hand plane and understand the process.

Worth noting is that many folks use just the planer (without a jointer or planer sled) to get a “flatter” surface without obtaining a true reference face, and try to square the edge from there . The issue I see with that process is that the “flatter” surface, isn’t uniformly flat across the entire length of the board, meaning that the squared edge isn’t necessarily a true 90° to face. This can suffice, but is more likely to produce less exacting results.

A planer using a planer sled to flatten a face:

Jointer:

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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JackDuren

257 posts in 650 days


#12 posted 02-26-2017 02:00 PM

There are times you wish you had a jointer


I vote for jointer first – even though I bought a planer first. Flat and square are the basic prerequisites for most woodwork, and the material you buy is more likely to be of consistent thickness than with straight edges. In a pinch, a jointer will get you closer to thickness than a planer will to flat.

Like canadianchips, I find I use the jointer much more often than the planer. (Get a long bed.)

- RogR

You know a heavy amount of wood is purchased everyday without the need for a jointer. Most suppliers don’t even sell rough lumber or will with no deduction in cost. Most wood purchased is surfaced and edged before purchase..

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bonesbr549

1400 posts in 2757 days


#13 posted 02-26-2017 02:20 PM

You need both as they do completeley diff purposes. If I could only get one then I’d get the planer as you can set it up to be a jointer, but by default a planer only gives you two parallel surfaces. You can create a sled with wedges to joint a surface then plane.

I’d get the planer, and buy a #7 or #8 jointer plane. You could start your work by jointing 1 surface flat then plane to parallel.

I did this for a long time. I suggest you find a copy of Rob Cosmons rough to ready great vid.

Power is easier for sure, I have a 12” jointer now an an 18” planer, but a hand plane will get it done. Good luck.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Kirk650's profile

Kirk650

460 posts in 439 days


#14 posted 02-26-2017 03:00 PM

If the OP is relatively new to woodworking, he needs the jointer first.

View Loren's profile

Loren

8972 posts in 3338 days


#15 posted 02-26-2017 04:36 PM

If you have hand planes, a good bench and
sharpening equipment, you can do without
both. Considering the low prices and enormous
labor savings of benchtop planers, I suggest
getting the planer first unless you can find
a used 6” jointer for $150 or less in your area.

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