Wide boards, small jointer

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Forum topic by HarveyDunn posted 01-13-2014 05:56 PM 884 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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326 posts in 1147 days

01-13-2014 05:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Is it really possible to safely mill wide boards using a wide thickness planer but only a small jointer? If so, it would solve a lot of problems for me. FYI, this is not my idea, I found it in the comments on a FWW article.

It goes like this:

Joint edges on 6” jointer.
Use hot glue gun to attach sacrificial “rails” to provide a flat reference surface, leaving these rails about 3” longer on each end to eliminate snipe.
Run the assembly through the thickness planer until the board is fully surfaced on both sides.
Remove the rails on the table saw.

6 replies so far

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 3508 days

#1 posted 01-13-2014 07:27 PM

I do this from time to time.

I have a 15” planer and an 8” jointer and still run into this type of situation.

I’ll send a board through with rails until 1 surface is nearly flat. I skim just enough so that both edges of the board being planed have been touched throughout it’s length. I’ll removed the rails and surface the other side, then flip to cleanup the first side I sent through.

Snipe is usually a problem with the in-feed/out-feed tables. If you feed in one side that is already flat this becomes less problematic.

-- Nicky

View BentheViking's profile


1763 posts in 1980 days

#2 posted 01-14-2014 01:04 AM

Check that video out

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View HarveyDunn's profile


326 posts in 1147 days

#3 posted 01-14-2014 03:24 AM

Thanks Ben! Interesting. But is it needlessly complex and heavy?

I think my favorite part was his three-point system that removes the need to acctually lift the assembly in order to return it for the next pass.

View pintodeluxe's profile


4823 posts in 2229 days

#4 posted 01-14-2014 04:34 AM

You don’t need any hot glue. Simply remove the guard on the jointer, and make a couple passes on the wide board. Once you have a nice ridge running down the length of the board, stop jointing.
Place the partially milled board on a plywood sled (nothing more than a 6-8” wide piece of 3/4” plywood with a cleat on the trailing edge. The cleat keeps the board and plywood moving together as one). Overhang the rough part of the board, with as much flat surface contacting the plywood sled as possible.

Run the sled through the planer to fully surface the top side. Then flip the board over, and finish planing the other side.

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

View nwbusa's profile


1017 posts in 1702 days

#5 posted 01-14-2014 04:51 AM

Pinto nailed it.

-- John, BC, Canada

View wbrisett's profile


201 posts in 1765 days

#6 posted 01-14-2014 10:38 AM

So, I’ve been working with raw slabs for wood for a while now, my process is a bit different (and I admit I haven’t run into too many warped boards).

First, I do exactly what he is doing in the video, except I don’t use a bed. I simply find the high spots on the wood, run them through the thickness planer so that just the high spots are removed. Then repeat a second time. Then, I usually flip over the wood and repeat. But this point, my wood tends to be flat enough that I can flip it over again and then flatten the other side a wee bit more using a couple of passes. Again the board gets flipped and I do this for the other side of the board. After doing this a couple of times, the board really is ready to be flattened on a single side.

I’ve been doing this for a while now and haven’t run into any issues without doing anything else. I’ve yet to find that my wood is not totally flat when I get done.

I’m wondering what I’m loosing by not using a sled like the guy in the video.

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