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Flat Jointing Boards - Question

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Forum topic by James posted 07-17-2013 09:01 PM 1293 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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James

102 posts in 1252 days


07-17-2013 09:01 PM

I have a router. I have a No. 14 hand plane (Stanley No. 5). I have an electric hand plane. I have a thickness planer. I DON’T HAVE A JOINTER.

What is the best way to get a flat joint on a board? I use the router most often but I always have one or two spots that I’m unhappy with.

Also, does a real jointer/planer get a flat edge with no snipe like its supposed to? Does it take all the guess/mess work out of it?

-- James - Semper Fi


30 replies so far

View brtech's profile

brtech

904 posts in 2388 days


#1 posted 07-17-2013 10:12 PM

You certainly can get snipe from a jointer, but usually you need to do something wrong – like not have it supported as it goes through.

Are you talking about edge joints – joining two boards edge to edge flat to make a wider board?

I think you will find that putting both edges in your vice side by side and using your plane on both of them at the same time will get you the best joint, but it takes a bit of technique to use that plane, and of course a really sharp edge on the blade. You can also “spring” the joint a bit by planing the middle a touch more than the end.

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James

102 posts in 1252 days


#2 posted 07-17-2013 10:41 PM

Which planer do you speak of? I’m edge jointing them yes. The router gives the most consistent but I want perfect. How do I get perfect?

-- James - Semper Fi

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shampeon

1716 posts in 1649 days


#3 posted 07-17-2013 10:45 PM

If you’re edge jointing, clamp the pieces together like a closed book, then plane the combined edge with your No. 5 hand plane. When you “open the book” you’ll have a perfect edge. Using this method, it doesn’t matter if you’re off angle, because the two edges together will mate into a 90 degree joint.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Buckethead's profile

Buckethead

3140 posts in 1334 days


#4 posted 07-17-2013 10:54 PM

I have heard that the Stanley #7 or #8 is the hand tool for that job. I have yet to try one.

I did just buy a jointer for $150 which I found on CL:

It could use the knives sharpened but it is working well. In my situation:

I wonder if it would be more practical to use hand tools exclusively. I’ve got setting up in the driveway down to about 20 minutes, but if rain comes… Mad scramble.

I stalked Craigslist for weeks, missing jointers, watching guys think their old jointer was worth a new truck, and generally fretting. I am certainly happy with its performance though.

I will still watch for that sweet Stanley # 7 or #8. Those might be tougher to get a deal on than than jointers.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View David Dean's profile

David Dean

604 posts in 2364 days


#5 posted 07-17-2013 10:55 PM

are you joining two boards to gather I have never heard of useing a router I got a jig to help you with that but you have to use a table saw,

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shampeon

1716 posts in 1649 days


#6 posted 07-17-2013 11:24 PM

A jointer plane (No. 7 or 8) would be better for edge jointing longer pieces, but a No. 5 will also work.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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David Dean

604 posts in 2364 days


#7 posted 07-17-2013 11:35 PM

Sorry guys this is a hand planer thing.

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James

102 posts in 1252 days


#8 posted 07-17-2013 11:36 PM

Yeah. Currently I’m using a router with a flush trim bit with a 1/2” shank. The straight edge is aluminum t-track that I put under the board.

-- James - Semper Fi

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James

102 posts in 1252 days


#9 posted 07-17-2013 11:36 PM

Buckhead, do you get any snipe?

-- James - Semper Fi

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shampeon

1716 posts in 1649 days


#10 posted 07-18-2013 12:32 AM

You’re going to get a wavy surface with a router, even more so than a machine jointer. That’s just the nature of a spinning bit. But you can use the same trick of bookmatching the boards with a router & straightedge to edge joint, assuming your router bit is long enough.

For that matter, bookmatching the pieces on a machine jointer is a standard way to edge joint. But the absolute best surface is achieved with a hand plane.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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James

102 posts in 1252 days


#11 posted 07-18-2013 01:08 AM

I don’t think my hand plane is sharp enough to make a perfectly smooth joint.

-- James - Semper Fi

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shampeon

1716 posts in 1649 days


#12 posted 07-18-2013 02:19 AM

My advice would be, before you buy another tool, learn to sharpen your blade(s). Sharp tools are safer and easier to use. Look up Paul Sellers and his sharpening technique. It’s fast and pretty simple. Once you take a sharp plane blade to a piece of wood, you’ll get it.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7923 posts in 1845 days


#13 posted 07-18-2013 07:27 AM

In addition to the excellent advice above, you can build a router table and set it up as a jointer.

http://on.aol.com/video/how-to-use-the-router-table-as-a-jointer-302212484

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Marcus's profile

Marcus

1149 posts in 1485 days


#14 posted 07-18-2013 11:57 AM

I’ll echo what Ian said. I have an 8” jointer, but I still find that putting the two slabs together as “book” and hitting w/ the hand plane gives the quickest/best results.

View Buckethead's profile

Buckethead

3140 posts in 1334 days


#15 posted 07-18-2013 12:11 PM

James… Snipe is minimal to non existent on my jointer. I think watching the grain is the key whether jointing by hand or maching. I’ve only used it on very tightly grained hard maple, and walnut, but with good (and easily attained) results. I watched a video, read a blog, which detailed some finer points about reading the grain. (Rays, more so than grain) I think it was Schwartz. Very helpful.

Read up on how to set up your jointer, as well as things to look out for. There are a gazillion threads here covering jointers. While you’re stalking Craigslist is a good time to learn. I think I benefitted greatly having read up about problems with setting knives, infeed and out feed coplanar issues, maintenance of tables…. Etc…

My $50 CL thickness planer is another matter entirely. It’s a piece of garbage. I didn’t spend a lot, and got my money’s worth. :-)

I third what shampeon said. My jointer needs to have blades sharpened, as does my thickness planer. My hand planes were purchased from a fellow LJ (http://lumberjocks.com/MarkE) who had them in top working condition when I received them. They are still sharp, and I am still learning how to use them properly.

Sharpening.

One word that covers the broadest scope of planing, both by hand and machine. It’s the biggest reason my TP is performing poorly, and my jointer knives have some dings as well. I need to get serious about learning sharpening. Every project comes to a screeching halt until sharpness returns to the scene. Of course you can pay someone else, or replace knives and blades. Pricey.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

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