Planer vs Jointer

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by ndemt posted 02-01-2009 07:32 PM 2503 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ndemt's profile


3 posts in 3639 days

02-01-2009 07:32 PM

I’ll start out by saying I am very new to woodworking. I bought 14 doors for my home to replace the hollow core I have, and of course the first two fit right in; but when I went to put the next one in it is too wide. I have 31 7/8 openings and 32” doors. I am trying to take off about 1/4” from 6 panel doors. I have been using a hand plane but this is taking forever! Can I use a handheld electric planer or jointer? Which is better for this and why? I would appreciate any help I can get.

-- ndemt

7 replies so far

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3700 days

#1 posted 02-01-2009 07:40 PM

I would think that you would be able to use the power planer to hog off the majority of the material. As you get closer to final fit my preference would be to go back to the hand plane. I feel that I have more control and dont run the risk of removing too much material. As for the jointer I would say no. For one thing to try and balance a door on edge and run it over the jointer sounds like a scary and dangerous operation to me. I would stick with the hand tools. Good luck!!

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4363 days

#2 posted 02-02-2009 08:37 PM

You don’t say what your budget is, but how about a saw on a rail, like the Festool or the DeWalt?

I’ve been semi-lusting after the Festool hand-planer with the stand that turns it into a small jointer, but everyone I’ve talked to about such things says “just get a fixed base jointer, it’ll be useful for more than just trimming doors”, and then I tell ‘em I’ve got the Festool saw and they say “you really don’t need the hand planer”.

You’d either need a looong rail or two rails and joiners, but you could make a jig for positioning (or use a combo square) and it’d be “position one end, squeeze the clamp, position the other, clamp, double-check, run the saw”, probably take you two minutes per door.

If you have an obliging vendor locally they might even let you bring in a few (6?) doors to try out the technique. Best way to make a sale on tools people aren’t used to using is to let folks try ‘em. Be warned, though, you may end up buying a full kit.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2658 posts in 3764 days

#3 posted 02-02-2009 09:10 PM

1/4”... A drum sander if you can.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4363 days

#4 posted 02-02-2009 09:47 PM

Kindlingmaker, he’s taking it off an edge, not a face.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View SteveKorz's profile


2139 posts in 3952 days

#5 posted 02-02-2009 10:04 PM

If you have a portable power planer, that would probably be your best bet. If you don’t then your only other option would be a hand plane. I wouldn’t try to balance a big door on a jointer. If you don’t feel like hand planing forever, you could put a new paneling blade (fine toothed blade) in your circular saw and run it along a straightedge to hog off most of the material. Leave about 1/32 or so. That way you can use your handplane to take it down to fit and control how much you remove. I don’t know what kind of finish your doors have, you may want to put masking tape on it before you push a circular saw over it in order to minimize any chipout. You may want to make your fist cut with the saw at blade width just to see how it’s going to do, so that you don’t botch the first door. Go slow and controlled.

I’ve also run a router along a straightedge in the past to take off material from solid wooden doors. I use a straight spiral bit, that seems to leave the best finish. If you have a strong, well clamped straight edge, you just about won’t have to handplane anything. It should come out pretty smooth. Take off a little at a time, nice and controlled, don’t try to hog it off all at once.


-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View gerrym526's profile


275 posts in 4046 days

#6 posted 02-04-2009 01:09 AM

I’ve trimmed doors using a wood straight edge clamped to the door and a flush trim router bit with a top bearing.
Route from left to right (looking down at the door face), and stop about 2 inches from the end. Then route carefully from right to left (a climb cut).
Creates a very nice edge if you have to take off about 1/4 inch, and you do it in one pass-a real time saver.

-- Gerry

View JimmyC's profile


106 posts in 3640 days

#7 posted 02-08-2009 02:12 PM

Buy the power planer, you can get one (Back and Decker) for about $100. The job that you are doing is exactly what these were designed for. I’ve had one for years and always seem to find a use for it. One note though, it will take the door down fast, so be careful not to tale too moch off.

Good Luck.

-- -JimmyC...Clayton,NC- "Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave"

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