A planer and jointer just to get started?

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Forum topic by MikeInGA posted 09-03-2012 12:23 PM 2422 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 2233 days

09-03-2012 12:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question jointer plane planer milling

Ok, so I’m new to woodworking and this might be a silly question but I don’t know the answer: How can i get decent hardwood for making furniture? I know i can head down to Lowe’s or Home Depot and see a (very) small selection of red oak but what if i want something different? I assume I can find a local lumber yard (I live in suburban Atlanta, if anyone has suggestions) that would have what I want but my assumption is also that whatever I find will be rough cut or only semi finished. Is that the case? I’m really trying to determine if i can even “get started” before buying a thickness planer and jointer.

I’m sure there are traditionalist among you that would say i could do everything with a hand plane and while I’m sure that is true, I’m equally sure I’m too inexperienced to make that work and buying a few good hand planes seems to be nearly as expensive as buying a planer and jointer.

Any thoughts?


9 replies so far

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2657 posts in 2944 days

#1 posted 09-03-2012 12:38 PM

Look for “Hardwood dealers” not lumber yards. That is where you will find the rough wood you are looking for. You could ask at the lumber yard where a hardwood dealer is , locally. They may know. Yes a jointer and planer are needed to mill the wood before building much of anything. At my local hardwood dealer they will joint and plane wood, for customer ,for a fee.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2599 days

#2 posted 09-03-2012 01:28 PM

I don’t have a planer or jointer yet and haven’t for the 9 years I’ve been woodworking; you can use your router table or table saw to get a straight edge and sanding works for flattening. I buy most of my wood from bell forest. It arrives very straight and just in need of sanding.

There’s nothing wrong with borg lumber; it’s already surfaced and ready to go. Just let it acclimate to your shop for a few days and make something purdy out of it.

I do very badly want a planer though. Sleds can be built to flatten straight boards.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4947 posts in 3982 days

#3 posted 09-03-2012 02:52 PM

Mike, Highland Woodworking (Virginia Highlands area of downtown) features a hardwood supplier on their videos. Call Highland and ask who and where. 800-241-6748.
It has been a while since I lived there, but I used to buy from Atlanta Hardwoods-off 240 on the East side.


View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4996 posts in 2515 days

#4 posted 09-03-2012 03:16 PM

Like Jim said, most of the hardwood suppliers will plane it smooth for a fee. The one I use has a good stock of carry out wood already at 13/16” for shoppers to peruse. A lot of those suppliers will also straight edge one side of the board, but if they don’t you can do that your self with a circ saw and strightedge (or a whole litany of other methods). The wood at the borg can be nice, but it’s so damn expensive if you buy much at all you’ll quickly pay for a lunchbox planer.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Lumber2Sawdust's profile


139 posts in 2887 days

#5 posted 09-03-2012 03:26 PM

For my small shop, I have adopted a hybrid approach for milling boards. I already had a decent jack plane, and got myself a jointer plane, too. Between these 2 planes, I am able to flatten boards and don’t need another standalone machine, the jointer, to do the job. I picked up a Dewalt 735 planer from craigslist which I use for thicknessing all of the lumber after I flatten it by hand. If you just got yourself a good jack plane, that would be enough to get you started, and not lay out to much cash.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4240 days

#6 posted 09-03-2012 03:43 PM

What you want to buy, either at a lumberyard or online, is S2S lumber. That means “surfaced two sides”, and you won’t need a planer to work with it. The edges will be rough, but that doesn’t matter since you will normally be ripping it to width anyway. Don’t get me wrong…. a planer is great to have, and opens up a lot of options for you, but it is definitely not something you “must” have to enjoy woodworking.

As for a jointer, I find edge jointing is not really necessary for glue joints if you you have a table saw with a good blade. Jointing the face of a board is only necessary if it is not flat. If you buy decent quality lumber, you won’t have too big a problem with twisted boards. If you do have an occasional twisted piece, you can generally still make use of it by cutting it up and using it for smaller pieces.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Prplhrtjarhead's profile


80 posts in 2128 days

#7 posted 09-03-2012 04:43 PM

I have to agree with most of the posters here. While I do have a Grizz benchtop planer, I do not have a jointer, but I am still able to get straight pieces of lumber with my sled and table saw. I buy a little of everything, S4S, S2S and rough or quarter sawn lumber. The jointer can be nice, if you have the space (and cash) to do so. But, it’s not completely necessary.

Good luck.

-- "We'll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness." R. Reagan, "The Speech", 1964

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3670 days

#8 posted 09-03-2012 04:55 PM

Get a used 6” jointer and a portable planer. You can
find the planer used as well. Lots of people try woodworking
for a while and buy the machinery so many of the
smaller used machines on the market are far from
worn out.

What you need to buy really depends on the style and
sophistication of furniture you want to build and how
dedicated you are to making it happen.

View WDHLT15's profile


1747 posts in 2498 days

#9 posted 09-04-2012 01:48 AM

If you are serious about woodworking, get a used planer and jointer. They will serve you well.

Also, I have a small sawmill just outside of Perry, GA, and I cut, air dry, and sell hardwood lumber to woodworkers. I am about 2 hours south of Atlanta, so if you get down this way, let me know and I can show you some wood! I have walnut, red oak, white oak, Yellow poplar, sweetgum, sycamore, red cedar, etc. Price is less than half of what you see in the Big Box Stores for oak or poplar, but the lumber is rough sawn, not planed.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

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