Using a Thickness Planer for Jointing

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Forum topic by andy6601 posted 02-23-2012 07:35 PM 15410 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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91 posts in 2670 days

02-23-2012 07:35 PM

Hello everyone I have a question, can I use my thickness planner for jointing or should I use a jointer for joining. I have a 12” Grizzly thickness planner and it is great, but i have a whimpy 4” craftsman jointer that is, well, whimpy. So can, or should I find a 6” jointer and use that, or just use my thickness planer to join the borads. What I do is I get wood that is rough and knock saw marks off, really I only care about surfacing the faces of the boards, I have a jointer hand plane that I can use to shoot the ends of the boards for making panels say for a chest of drawers, etc. So my next question is would I even need a jointer and really what are they primarly used for? I know this is a 5th grade question but most books and magizines I read never cover how to take a board from the rough and get it to the point to which you start to use if for projects. Then say if I was to get a 6” jointer I don’t want to have to cut all my boards down to 6” or less because then I end up with a bunch of boards that need to be glued together if I am making a large panel. Any thoughts on this would be great. Thanks.

5 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11066 posts in 3630 days

#1 posted 02-23-2012 07:53 PM

On occasion, I have ganged drawer sides/backs and fronts and clamped them together to run through the planer.
More to insure perfect equal widths than for jointing.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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8149 posts in 3577 days

#2 posted 02-23-2012 08:02 PM

A planer and a jointer are different tools and really different purposes. A jointer flattens a face and squares and adjacent edge. A planer smooths and reduces the thickness without regard to true flatness.

A planer doesn’t have a true reference point for flattening or squaring boards, which a jointer does have. If you use a planer sled that’ll act as a flat reference point, you can flatten the face of a board. Without the sled, the planer is mainly just duplicating the natural shape and undulations of the board’s surface….twisted board, twisted board out.

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

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3189 days

#3 posted 02-23-2012 08:17 PM

Here is another post on using your planer to face joint boards.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

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Bill White

5128 posts in 4162 days

#4 posted 02-23-2012 08:30 PM

I use a slave board like shown with pretty good results. Having said that, I don’t use a lot of solid woods for panels in cabinetry.
I keep a bunch of wedges and dbl. sided tape at hand.


View Lumber2Sawdust's profile


139 posts in 3067 days

#5 posted 02-24-2012 04:27 AM

The way I read your question, I believe I’m doing the same thing you are talking about: I use a jack and jointer plane to get a flat face. At this point, I run it through the planer – flat face down. The jointed face is the reference that the planer needs. I then use the jointer plane to create a straight edge, checking it with a square as I go. I use a table saw to rip the opposite edge parallel to the one I jointed.

I could make space for a corded jointer in my shop, if I really needed it, but I kind of prefer to have the extra space. It doesn’t take that long to flatten the boards by hand, once you get the hang if it and I prefer the quiet rhythm of the planes to a jointer.

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