Using a planer as a jointer

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Forum topic by kyscroller posted 03-21-2013 07:04 AM 3213 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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49 posts in 2094 days

03-21-2013 07:04 AM

I have a planer and I was wondering how safe it would be if I wanted to use it as a jointer. I would make a sled out of MDF to support multiple layers of wood to plane the edges for gluing. I know I would have to stack enough wood to make it thick enough for the feed rollers to pull it thru. Any thoughts?

22 replies so far

View richardwootton's profile


1701 posts in 2156 days

#1 posted 03-21-2013 07:47 AM

I’m curious to hear about this also. Any info would be greatly appreciated!

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View Ken90712's profile


17594 posts in 3390 days

#2 posted 03-21-2013 08:31 AM

My pops and I have done this before having jointers. The key is having it wide enough (Few peices together) and supported so they don’t tip over. We use small clamps preventing them from moving. Light passes and support is the key.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3162 days

#3 posted 03-21-2013 10:30 AM

Genius! I am wanting to build a table for the Mrs. and don’t have a joiner. I was wondering how to get all the boards the same width. Now I know! Anyone have photos of how to put the boards together? Does this involve any type of sled to hole them in place? Not real sure of sending metal clamps through a planer. For me, Murphy’s Law comes into play too many times.

View Quanter50's profile


278 posts in 2497 days

#4 posted 03-21-2013 11:06 AM

In my opinion, under no circumstances should any metal object be passed through a planer. You are inviting disaster. Yeah, ok, occasionally you may catch a hidden nail in a piece of wood, but could you imagine the sound a clamp would make?? I can see it now “Today on mythbusters, can a wood workers clamp actually be launched through two floors and a roof from a basement workshop?”

View LoganN's profile


435 posts in 2101 days

#5 posted 03-21-2013 11:38 AM

Honestly I’ve done this more times than I can count. I have done it with single boards and with multiple ones. I don’t usually clamp them together, but I do make sure they can stand on their own. It might help that I take very little off – just enough to ensure they are flat and the same width. I didn’t even use a sled.

View SPHinTampa's profile


567 posts in 3886 days

#6 posted 03-21-2013 11:58 AM

If you have a router or a table saw, it might be easier to use an offset fence to do edge jointing.

Lots of articles on line on how to do this. here is one:

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View Tennessee's profile


2893 posts in 2715 days

#7 posted 03-21-2013 12:01 PM

As long as the warp is only one direction, I’ve done that. Light passes. My Grizzly spiral head won’t do it, it clamps down on the wood too tight with the rollers. If I do it, I do it in my old Rigid lunchbox planer.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View GusG's profile


15 posts in 2095 days

#8 posted 03-21-2013 12:16 PM

I’m with Logan. As long as the edge can stand on it’s own pass it through the planer. You will be fine. I have done this on occasion. I will use my jointer plane to finish one edge and then send it through but I only take like 1/32” of each pass.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11064 posts in 3629 days

#9 posted 03-21-2013 12:23 PM

As Shawn said, a router and off set fence might be better.
If ripped with a good blade and good technique, (Using a sled to rip one straight edge is advisable) using the planer on the edge will work.
I’ve done it with the planer in order to insure that they were all the same width.

-- 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

View kyscroller's profile


49 posts in 2094 days

#10 posted 03-21-2013 02:49 PM

I had planned on ripping one good edge on the tablesaw and making sure that all the boards were really close to the same height. My thought of the sled would to sandwich the boards between two pieces of MDF with bolts on the ends to clamp the boards together to plane down the edges. Adding a piece of MDF on the bottom and securing it to one of the vertical MDF boards would make it one unit then. You could add bolt holes along the length of MDF to accomidate different length boards. It would work better with shorter boards though than longer ones only because of the clamping pressure needed to hold everything secure. I don’t know if I would use clamps only because what if one hangs up in the planer sides. That wouldn’t be a good thing. Let me make one up and I’ll post some photos.

View waho6o9's profile


8519 posts in 2778 days

#11 posted 03-21-2013 02:56 PM

May be drill a 1/4 hole in the ends and run a dowel
through several pieces of lumber and run them doweled
together through the planer.

Using metal clamps is ill advised.

Good luck on your endeavors.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2891 days

#12 posted 03-22-2013 02:54 AM

I do this often with my Ridgid planer and have never used a sled or clamps. I just stand the boards on edge and send em through. They really do not have a tendency to tip over as long as the face against the table is flat and square to the face. I do use a sled/carrier board to face joint boards that are too wide for my jointer.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11064 posts in 3629 days

#13 posted 03-22-2013 02:25 PM

Like Andy said, a sled or clamps are not necessary with 3/4” thick stuff. Thinner might be problematic.
And everything, it seems, is too wide for my jointer. I too, use a sled for surfacing with the planer. I built mine from plans in FWW several years ago. A bit complicated in use. Others use wedges and hold them in place with hot melt glue. An easier solution, methinks.

-- 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

View kyscroller's profile


49 posts in 2094 days

#14 posted 03-22-2013 04:11 PM

Most of my wood I use is 3/8” or thinner. I try and use real wood and not plywood when I scroll saw items. It has a better look and feel to it and it draws more people into our craft tables. I try and use all local wood from a local sawmill that kiln drys all their own wood which helps. I just need to get them to cut thinner material or find someone near me to resaw. Hoping next year to maybe get a bandsaw but the boss has to approve that. :)

View sprucegum's profile


324 posts in 2198 days

#15 posted 03-22-2013 05:08 PM

Pretty simple to make a bed board out of MDF and put some well braced guide boards on it to hold your board on edge. My old folley Belsaw planer molder came with a bed board and adjustable aluminum guides. There are holes in the cast iron planer bed to bolt the bed board down with but I always found it faster just to clamp it down. I never used it to straiten boards for glueing and I am not sure it would be accurate enough. I put a skill share post on here a while back on how to perfectly joint boards for glueing on a table saw. I think it was posted as poor mans jointer never fail glue joint if you care to search for it.

-- A tube of calk and a gallon of paint will make a carpenter what he ain't

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