Noob Jointer / planer questions

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Forum topic by smboudreaux posted 06-08-2011 12:42 AM 1063 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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51 posts in 2560 days

06-08-2011 12:42 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

alright fellas, i have been doing woodworker for a couple years now but fine woodworking, mainly cabinets and furniture has sparked my interest something fierce here lately. the bug has bite and i’m hooked.

from what i have read jointers are used to create a flat surface, basically the first step in prepping lumber for a project. i picked up a dewalt dw735 planer when i built the cabinets for my shop. cant i accomplish this task with a planer? what are the benefits of a jointer vs a planer?

8 replies so far

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4090 days

#1 posted 06-08-2011 12:53 AM

You use them in conjunction with one another. Jointers make boards flat and square. Planers make the sides parallel and of a specific thickness.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View stevenmadden's profile


174 posts in 3082 days

#2 posted 06-08-2011 01:07 AM

smboudreaux: You can use a thickness planer to face joint a board, but you need a sled to do it. I built this planer sled from Fine Woodworking and it works great:

To view the plan, you need to have a membership, but watching the video will give you the concept.

While this method works, I still use my No. 7 or No. 8 jointer plane to make sure that the face is indeed flat. Good luck.


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51 posts in 2560 days

#3 posted 06-08-2011 01:26 AM

very useful article there steve.

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51 posts in 2560 days

#4 posted 06-08-2011 01:30 AM

now this may be a dumb question but the majority of the lumber i buy is 1 straight edge and 2 milled sides. would this lumber need to be run through a jointer or would it typically be flat enough run through a planer w/o a sled?

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1782 posts in 2557 days

#5 posted 06-08-2011 01:32 AM

very cool video steven thanks for sharing

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View yrob's profile


340 posts in 3645 days

#6 posted 06-08-2011 01:33 AM

The S2S lumber is rarely perfectly straight. If you hold a straight edge to it, you will discover that unfortunately some of the boards will be bowed due to less than ideal storage or similar issues after they were surfaced. The edges are also not always 90. The machines at the mill are tuned regularly but sometimes they are slightly off.

-- Yves

View mrg's profile


823 posts in 2992 days

#7 posted 06-08-2011 01:39 AM

It is milled already soyou could just run it thru the planer to final thickness.

-- mrg

View stevenmadden's profile


174 posts in 3082 days

#8 posted 06-08-2011 01:57 AM

smboudreaux: It depends on how flat the surfaced board is. A planer will not fatten a board that is not already flat, it will only reduce the thickness of the board. If the board is in the shape of a Pringle when you begin, then you will have a slightly thinner (possibly smoother) Pringle when you are finished sending it through your thickness planer.

I built a bookcase with three drawers (using one board for all three drawer fronts) and purchased the board already surfaced. It had some bad twist that needed to be taken out before the drawers could be dovetailed (or they wouldn’t fit properly). I used the method mentioned above and finished off with some hand tool work to ensure that the three boards were flat and true. The original board was 13/16th thick and I ended up with a board that was 5/8th thick, which worked just fine.

Hope that helped.


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