Questions about Planers/Jointers

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Forum topic by chickenhelmet posted 07-07-2009 04:30 PM 1543 views 1 time favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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99 posts in 3307 days

07-07-2009 04:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question planer jointer

I am currently looking into recycling old pallets. Great source of free lumber, but most of it is cupped. I do not have a planer or a jointer. Even used two machines don’t exactly come cheap. So, just to flaten not to edge join, which is the frist of the two one should buy. The end result I’m looking for are 2 1/2’’ X 24” strips for LP storage boxes. Thanks everyone!

-- Larry , Colorado

16 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3643 days

#1 posted 07-07-2009 04:34 PM

if you have a router, or a handplane or a table saw (with a jointing jig) , you can edge-joint rather easily. flattening to an even thickness however is more of a challenge and would be easier accomplished with a planer. hence – planer should be your first purchase.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 3987 days

#2 posted 07-07-2009 04:50 PM

i have to agree with purp their are many easy ways to joint but only one good way to plane, a planer

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

View Elaine's profile


113 posts in 3618 days

#3 posted 07-07-2009 04:51 PM

How about a hand plane? Learn now and you’ll be able to take blade marks from the power tools off and very little if any sanding. Flea marts (swap meets) and yard sales are good places to start.

The other thing I’d look at is the cupping. Most pallets are left outside, exposed to weather. If you bring them in after taking them apart, they are now drying. Do you sticker your wood? Are you putting weight on it or tying them some how into bundles? I’ve always treated pallet wood like green wood unless my young friend needed to make a gift ASAP, meaning he should have started on it two weeks ago.

If you find an easy way to get the nails out let me know…or are you using the long skids??

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#4 posted 07-07-2009 05:33 PM

Well larry
I would suggest a metal detector first. Before you plane you need to have one side flat thats done on a jointer , With material of that size a jointer will do both operations both tools would be much easier.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3643 days

#5 posted 07-07-2009 05:50 PM

Actually, I have to disagree with Jim on this one – a jointer will NOT do both operation if you consider planing 2 sides parallel as one of the operations – only a planer / handplaning will accomplish that. on the other hand – a planer CAN plane 1 side flat using a sled. so in essence, with a planer, and a couple of jigs (accompanied with a table saw/router) one can completely mill lumber – whereas with a jointer – you’ll always end up with 1 face that still needs to be milled parallel.

EDIT: references for you regarding flattening 1 face without a jointer:

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View DOF's profile


2 posts in 3240 days

#6 posted 07-07-2009 09:17 PM

I use a sled like that quite a bit to flatten twisted stock and I have both a joiner and a planer. Also the planer is far more portable.

View chickenhelmet's profile


99 posts in 3307 days

#7 posted 07-07-2009 10:45 PM

Thanks for the replies!
PurpLev- Thanks for the clarification! Those articles are great. I think the modernwoodshop one is the ticket. So too clear it up, simple yes or no… am I to understand that just running a cuped board on each side through a joiner is NOT correct? All I do know is running boards that are not flat through the table saw seems difficult and dangerous.

-- Larry , Colorado

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3643 days

#8 posted 07-07-2009 10:54 PM

running a board that does not have a straight edge against the table saw’s straight fence is dangerous and I do not know a single woodworker that would consider it acceptable. the problem is that as the nonstraight wood moves along the fence – it might (high probability) catch on the back of the blade, and kickback in your face = a quick visit to the ER in most cases.

As far as the jointer question – it’s a simple NO.

a jointer WILL flatten a face of a board. but it cannot reference the other face – which is what the planer does. so in essence if you use the jointer on 1 face, flip it and use if on the other face -you’ll have 2 FLAT faces of the board – but the likelihood of them being parallel to each other is practically zero- again – this is what the planer is for. the Planer on the other hand creates a surface that is parallel to the opposing face. the limitation here is – that if your first face is not flat – than the planer will only make a 2nd face that is not flat – but perfectly parallel to the first face. IF however the first face is flat , than the planer will create a 2nd face which is parallel and in essence – also flat.

by using a planer sled, or router sled, or hand plane to create a first flat face, you can then use the planer to create the 2nd face parallel and flat – leaving you only with the edges to worry about – which are also easily addressed with a handplane, router, or tabel saw+ jointing jig.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View chickenhelmet's profile


99 posts in 3307 days

#9 posted 07-07-2009 11:06 PM

You have been VERY helpful PurpLev, thank you!

-- Larry , Colorado

View laflaone's profile


59 posts in 3675 days

#10 posted 07-08-2009 02:40 AM

One of the comments made earlier by Jim is one of the most important so far, that being a metal detector first. As a retired over the road trucker, I have dealt with more pallets than I care to remember. They are full of nails, broken off nails, metal imbedded from sliding on metal floors, staples, you name it. There are some very good, and relatively inexpensive metal detectors available on a number of the common vendor sites. I do not run any, repeat any, wood thru my jointer and planer before checking for metal. I also wire brush the wood to get rid of ground in grit. My blades very rarely get a nick, and stay sharper longer. This may sound like extra work, and it is, but I consider it time well spent.

-- "non illegitimis carborundum"

View chickenhelmet's profile


99 posts in 3307 days

#11 posted 07-08-2009 04:45 AM

Good point! Thanks for bringing that back up. I did put that on the list OVER the planer or jointer.

-- Larry , Colorado

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2821 posts in 3585 days

#12 posted 07-08-2009 04:52 AM

I agree, metal detector and planer.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3983 days

#13 posted 07-08-2009 05:21 AM

Planer is all you really need as stated above.

The method Purplev posted is a method I came up with for long pieces.

I use the other method all the time for shorter pieces that are more than the 6” width of my jointer.

And as stated a Metal Detector.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View chickenhelmet's profile


99 posts in 3307 days

#14 posted 07-08-2009 07:26 PM

Thanks everybody! Metal detector and planer it is (for now). I’m sure there will be a “need” jointer sooner or later.

-- Larry , Colorado

View hairy's profile


2701 posts in 3527 days

#15 posted 07-08-2009 11:42 PM

Nice hat! I got one of these last month for $13, it’s definitely ok for $13.

-- My reality check bounced...

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