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Talk me out of- or into - buying a jointer?

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Forum topic by JohnMcClure posted 01-05-2018 02:02 PM 882 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JohnMcClure

181 posts in 668 days


01-05-2018 02:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer

The last thing I need in my small space is another power tool. Especially an expensive one. And I have a lunchbox planer already.
But I recently milled a lot of logs into lumber. I think the jointer is the next step after drying.
Thing is, the cheap ones are only 4” beds – doesn’t sound like much good on a 10” wide board. And anything bigger is both large and expensive.
What do you guys think? Is the jointer indespensible? Unneccessary? Recommended “best value” option?
Thanks!

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail


26 replies so far

View LittleShaver's profile

LittleShaver

328 posts in 647 days


#1 posted 01-05-2018 02:20 PM

If space is tight, get some hand planes.
I’m a hobby woodworker, but I have been working rough lumber without a jointer for about 10 years now. Still have to use my lunchbox planner for thicknessing. For flattening and trueing and edge…hand plane all the way.

-- Sawdust Maker

View jonah's profile

jonah

1727 posts in 3326 days


#2 posted 01-05-2018 02:23 PM

The Cutech 6” bench top jointer is supposedly decent. It has really short beds, so you can’t joint longer pieces, but it’s certainly compact.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117126 posts in 3604 days


#3 posted 01-05-2018 02:27 PM

It depends on how much and what kind of work you do whether you needa jointer. I use mine all the time, many people get by with 6” jointers fine and they can be found on Craigslist in the range of $100-$ 250, in my area stay away from benchtop jointers their beds are way too short.

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos wood crafting & woodworking classes

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

790 posts in 1246 days


#4 posted 01-05-2018 03:40 PM

if working from roughsawn, the jointer and planer go hand in hand. i think with many 6” jointers, its possible to face joint wider than 6” stock.
for myself, theres very few times i’ll use a 10” wide solid board in a project. i prefer a glue up for stability.

View msinc's profile

msinc

430 posts in 531 days


#5 posted 01-05-2018 03:55 PM

Just my opinion, so take it for what it’s worth….my first joiner had a 4 ft bed and it was difficult sometimes to get a good straight edge on some boards. My new one has a 62 inch bed and works a whole lot better. It will make or I guess I should say I can make a 10 foot board dead flat on the edge with it {it’s saying a lot more if “I can do it”}. Bottom line is if you don’t have room for a longer length joiner {now of course some loser will post that his table is 65” and mine is too short} then I’d say don’t waste your money because you probably wont be happy at the end of the day.
I agree with the above posts that given your situation you might be better off with a nice hand plane for the edges. I also agree that glued up pieces are way more stable and tend to not warp. I don’t know what kind of planer some of these folks on here have, but many want/have huge joiners…12” and 16” seems to be the desirable sizes these days and since I have yet to need to edge a 16 inch thick board, they must be using these things in lieu of a planer???? I don’t even like to build any panels with boards wider than 6 inches unless I luck onto some very special fancy grained knockout wood, most being about 4 inches wide. Not saying a galacticly large ridiculously huge joiner isn’t necessary for something…I might wake up tomorrow and have to have one myself. But for now at least my 6 inch is doing it.

View Thalweg's profile

Thalweg

97 posts in 3433 days


#6 posted 01-05-2018 04:28 PM

I can’t give advice on whether a jointer would be good for you, but I’ll tell you my experience. I’ve had several benchtop jointers over the years, and now I’ve got a 6” Delta jointer that was a hand me down from my dad. I can’t make the darned things work properly. I know they work for other woodworkers, so I’m sure that I’m the problem. No matter what I do, I end up making a curved edge. I’ve tried going through the set-up thoroughly to make sure everything is square and parallel. I’ve tried differing pressure on the infeed and outfeed tables. I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong. So, I believe that there is a certain amount of skill required to get good results that no one ever mentions. Therefore, I use my table saw. I’ve got a very good saw, and very good blades, so I can get nearly glue ready edges with it. I often hot glue a straight edge onto a board to run against the fence. That works for me. It’s a bit cumbersome, and clearly not the best way, but you do what you’ve got to do….

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2630 posts in 2910 days


#7 posted 01-05-2018 04:45 PM

I have a 12” jointer. It’s great and saves me a lot of work, but if I had to make a choice b/t the jointer and the planer, the jointer would go in an instant. There’s nothing that it does that I couldn’t do with hand planes and a little effort. Jointing by hand is not a particularly difficult or time consuming skill.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Loren's profile

Loren

10476 posts in 3675 days


#8 posted 01-05-2018 04:48 PM

For wider boards in a hobby shop it’s really not
such a big deal to face them by hand with
bench planes. A wide jointer is much faster
but expensive and takes up a good amount
of space.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1346 posts in 1251 days


#9 posted 01-05-2018 04:50 PM

There’s always the idea of selling the planer and buying a jointer/planer combo.

The beds are usually shorter for the jointer but it’s an affordable way of getting a wide capacity jointer from 12-16 inches and usually pay less than if you bought a dedicated jointer of the equivalent width.

View JohnMcClure's profile

JohnMcClure

181 posts in 668 days


#10 posted 01-05-2018 05:02 PM

Thanks all for the insightful comments. I will continue improving my hand-planing skills, and will not purchase a jointer until I have a specific project that I feel would justify the purchase.

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

View Andre's profile

Andre

1888 posts in 1833 days


#11 posted 01-05-2018 05:09 PM

I will go with Krenov.s philosophy, if you want to spend your time prepping the wood instead of working with it to create something great! I would rather mill it quickly then get to the building. Went from a 6” to a 12” combo machine, wish I had started with it! Yes I do have way to many hand planes and yes they do work great on a lot of projects but usually a quick pass over the jointer is very satisfying to look at a near perfect finish in 30 seconds.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View BigMig's profile

BigMig

440 posts in 2641 days


#12 posted 01-05-2018 05:54 PM

What about using a thicknes splaner for the face of a board – and a decent 6” jointer only for the edges? I use my thicknes planer to flatten – using a sled and wedges, so I get the faces of boards pretty good with the thickness planer. I’m considering a good (but not super expensive) 6” jointer for edges of boards that are longer than I can hand joint effectively. I’m with Andre adn the 30 second solution.

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

4211 posts in 2336 days


#13 posted 01-05-2018 06:42 PM

There is nothing like starting out with saright, flat, square lumber for your projects. I couldn’t live without one. Its need to be wide enough you can face joint your most common sized stock. Good stock prep isn’t just jointing the edge.

I’m not into all the work arounds and building time consuming jigs. Get a decent jointer and Get ‘er Done.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

1234 posts in 2022 days


#14 posted 01-05-2018 06:54 PM

Your planer can do face joining. Either build a sled for it, or get a hand plane and plane a board just flat enough it won’t rock. Run that side down through the planer tok flatten the other side, then flip it over and run it through again to flatten the other face and make it parallel to the first. For edge jointing, you can do this with a h and plane or do as described above to get it done oon a table saw.

These are good techniques to master considering the following two rules of powered jointers:
1. Get the widest one you can fit/afford
2. You will always find a board wider than your jointer.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1764 posts in 2887 days


#15 posted 01-05-2018 07:08 PM



Just my opinion, so take it for what it s worth….my first joiner had a 4 ft bed and it was difficult sometimes to get a good straight edge on some boards. My new one has a 62 inch bed and works a whole lot better. It will make or I guess I should say I can make a 10 foot board dead flat on the edge with it {it s saying a lot more if “I can do it”}. Bottom line is if you don t have room for a longer length joiner {now of course some loser will post that his table is 65” and mine is too short} then I d say don t waste your money because you probably wont be happy at the end of the day.
I agree with the above posts that given your situation you might be better off with a nice hand plane for the edges. I also agree that glued up pieces are way more stable and tend to not warp. I don t know what kind of planer some of these folks on here have, but many want/have huge joiners…12” and 16” seems to be the desirable sizes these days and since I have yet to need to edge a 16 inch thick board, they must be using these things in lieu of a planer???? I don t even like to build any panels with boards wider than 6 inches unless I luck onto some very special fancy grained knockout wood, most being about 4 inches wide. Not saying a galacticly large ridiculously huge joiner isn t necessary for something…I might wake up tomorrow and have to have one myself. But for now at least my 6 inch is doing it.

- msinc

msinc,

You seem to totally miss the primary purpose and use of a wide bed jointer. Your comment addresses only using the jointer to smooth/straighten the edge of the board and you state that people rarely would need to joint a 12 or 16” thick board.

The primary use of wide jointers is to flatten one face of the board as the first step in preparing a truly flat, straight and square board to use in building quality products.

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

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