Is it a safety issue to plane lumber without Jointing? ANYTIME

  • Advertise with us

« back to Safety in the Woodworking Shop forum

Forum topic by sandhill posted 07-13-2012 03:59 AM 2014 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3920 days

07-13-2012 03:59 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question planer joining safety

I am writing the safety documents for our wood working club and in the documents I have taken the quotes from the manuals.
“10. Do not feed material that is warped, contains knots or is embedded with foreign objects (nails, staples, etc.) Kickback can occur as well as damaging the cutters beyond repair. ONLY JOINTED boards should be run on the planner.

I was told this was not so as a safety issue and a few members said they hardly ever use the jointer but they do attach the board to a rip jig to get a straight edge for glue up. I would never do this because it would not be the best joint fit and may not look all that great.

Aside from the merits of aesthetics can anyone say the statement in bold is safety issue?

20 replies so far

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2185 days

#1 posted 07-13-2012 04:29 AM

I am not sure about the safety issue (seems unlikely to me that kickback would occur) but if the board being fed into the planer is not flat (flat enough anyway that the planer does not press it flat or cause it to wobble) on the table side you are basically wasting you time planing it. If it has nails etc in it, well that’s an even bigger indiscretion. The latter will trash the knives but I doubt it will cause kickback.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View whitewulf's profile


454 posts in 2933 days

#2 posted 07-13-2012 04:47 AM

Can u say “thickness planer “

-- "ButI'mMuchBetterNow"

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3920 days

#3 posted 07-13-2012 04:49 AM

I think the issue is they do not want to joint the boards before planing. But is it a safety issue or a work practice issue?

View jmos's profile


827 posts in 2366 days

#4 posted 07-13-2012 10:59 AM

I suppose if you had a board that was quite irregular on both sides and fed it through the planer its possible the feed rollers could loose contact with the board during planing and the blade could cause the board to kick back. Seems kind of unlikely though, but it only takes one lawsuit, or the fear of one, to have them add warnings to the manual.

It is definitely best practice to have one side flat before planing, otherwise your results will be unsatisfactory. This can be done with a sled instead of jointing a face to start with, where the sled provides the flat reference surface.

I’m kind of confused about your comment about the rip jig, as that would be for edge jointing, and the planer is for board faces.

-- John

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3920 days

#5 posted 07-13-2012 11:59 AM

That’s what they are saying they just glue up right from the table saw. And plane both faces, not me though but to each their own I guess,

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3132 days

#6 posted 07-13-2012 12:29 PM

On one occasion I needed to thickness some 2×4s down to about 1” thickness. I didn’t plane them first and they had bend and twist. It was not a very good idea; they did not feed reliably on their own so that I needed to help them along. In a couple of spots I had to make sure they didn’t rock while in the middle of the cut. So having done the experiment I observed that it is a safety issue if you feed a thickness planer a board that is not going to stay stable against the bottom table and feed smoothly through the planer.

-- Greg D.

View Bertha's profile


13525 posts in 2689 days

#7 posted 07-13-2012 12:50 PM

I guess we’re talking face-jointing here, right? I suppose that makes sense, although I’m guilty of not doing it. Either way, I only joint one face and I only have a 6 inch jointer. With only 6 inches, I often just feed through generally flat, larger stuff.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 2982 days

#8 posted 07-13-2012 01:00 PM

I’m having a hard time imagining trouble caused by a board that wasn’t jointed, as I run it through the planer. huh. I’ve never been told that before.. I do it all the time… it’s never caused me hassle.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2185 days

#9 posted 07-13-2012 06:04 PM

If it`s already flat on the face that bears on the planer bed it is effectively jointed, otherwise it should be run over a jointer. Basically, a precondition to running a board thru a planer is that it is flat enough that the forces imparted on it by the planer do not cause it to flex or wobble otherwise you are wasting your time and wood. One should always check boards that have already been surfaced because wood moves and they may no longer be flat on that bottom face . . .

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2919 days

#10 posted 07-13-2012 06:11 PM

I’m with Lis. I run boards thru the planer,cut them down to size and then run them thru my Incra to joint the edges. Never had a problem. Maybe it’s because I’m very selective in picking boards? I have a jointer that has been gathering dust in the corner for 2 years.

-- Life is good.

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3645 days

#11 posted 07-13-2012 06:16 PM

+1 on MonteCristo reply. the safery issue arises when the non-jointed board has very irregular faces which can cause it to flex under the pressure of the rollers and cutterhead resulting in a kickback. probably not your average case, but for safery reasons you have to take worst-case scenario into consideration as to not have to judge safety on a case-to-case basis.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5657 posts in 2809 days

#12 posted 07-13-2012 06:21 PM

A board that goes into a planer shaped like a banana, will come out of the planer shaped like a banana. Just a little thinner. The only power tool that will make rough lumber straight and square is a jointer.
I have not had many safety concerns with a planer, however I still want to build only with straight, square stock so I always use a jointer on two edges, then plane to thickness.
The only safety issue I have heard of – if the thickness varies greatly from one end of the board to the other – it could overload the planer and cause it to fail catastrophically. Jointing first would minimize this.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3920 days

#13 posted 07-13-2012 07:32 PM

The issue was safety not condition of the board. I think I got my answer . Its not a safety issue and I have removed the part saying they could not plane a board that was not jointed. If some of the club members choice to just plane there boards so be it, its not my project I however DO joint my boards face and edge and even hand plane if need be. Thanks so much everyone that answered it was a lot of help.

View knotscott's profile


8011 posts in 3372 days

#14 posted 07-13-2012 08:13 PM

Sandhill has his answer, but I wanted to point out for anyone who uses a different method…..virtually every woodworking show I’ve watched on TV that use power tools all face joint rough sawn lumber on the jointer prior to it going through the planer to flatten a face. Norm, David Marks, The Woodsmith Shop, and Rough Cut Woodworking, etc. While I realize that other methods exist for various reasons, I’d assume they’re using the best method for dimensioning lumber.

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

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3920 days

#15 posted 07-13-2012 08:26 PM

Well said Knotscott, I sincerely thank everyone for helping out with this and I think that is what the general consensus is.

showing 1 through 15 of 20 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics