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Forum topic by bbasiaga posted 04-07-2015 05:25 PM 1048 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1234 posts in 2020 days

04-07-2015 05:25 PM

I’ve been looking for a larger jointer lately, but am somewhat limited in shop space. I keep reading and getting the advice that a longer jointer is always better. For me the move to a larger machine has been driven by wanting a greater width more so than the longer length. Right now I have a 6” benchtop jointer, and am looking to move to an 8” wide model.

So this advice that longer is better makes me question my workflow. Here is what I normally do.

1. Get my cut list set up.
2. Make rough markings on the rough boards for what pieces I will cut from where on the boards.
3. Cross cut on my miter saw or table saw, usually about 1-2” over sized.
4. Rip to 6” (max) (if necessary, depending on the size of the rough board) so i can….
5. Run them on the jointer.
6. Plane to desired thickness
7. Cross cut and/or rip to final dimensions.

In this workflow, I never have the need to joint a whole board unless I have a project that will be that long (which I haven’t yet). So in my work flow, and assuming the 2x bed length rule of thumb, I’m thinking that a 66” jointer bed which allows me to do 132” long pieces seems plenty long enough, compared to a 72” bed.

That leads me to ask – is there a better/faster/more efficient workflow process that I’m not thinking of? The wider jointer allows me basically to eliminate step 4 for wide pieces such as table top glue ups. (Most boards are less than 8” wide these days). I could see how you might joint, then plane a full board to thickness, then crosscut/rip. Is that a more efficient way? Or do so many folks like the longer jointer beds because they are making really big projects?

Or is it just that even on say a 6’ long piece, the convenience of being able to have more than half of it on the in-feed bed when you start is worth it? I’m sure part of the reason I developed the workflow I have is to deal with limitations of my jointer. Just curious what you guys do. It should help me decide what the right jointer is for me.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

10 replies so far

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2529 days

#1 posted 04-10-2015 05:15 PM

Brian, what kinds of projects do you typically build? I don’t see the use of a bandsaw on your list so I assume you buy your boards cut to your project thickness?

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View bbasiaga's profile


1234 posts in 2020 days

#2 posted 04-10-2015 05:20 PM

I usually buy 4/4 lumber. Most of what I make is furniture for our house, and I make most of the parts 3/4” or so thick. I find I can usually get them jointed and all the same thickness on the planer by 3/4”. If I can leave them thicker and still get them all the same thickness I often will, as long as it doesn’t affect the design. When I do want a part that is thinner, I will insert the band saw/resaw step in between steps 5 and 6.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View joey502's profile


537 posts in 1543 days

#3 posted 04-10-2015 05:43 PM

I think your workflow is fine and probably very similar to most people that have a fully outfitted shop. When I start a project I use the same flow as you listed except there may be a little band saw here and there. I have a 6” stationary jointer with a 48” bed length that most of the time does not get used to capacity. With that said I would like to have an 8” model but probably don’t need it.

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2529 days

#4 posted 04-10-2015 06:52 PM

Brian, unless I’m wrong the only reasons I see for moving from a 6” to 8” jointer are you have the disposable income to do so or you’re doing production work that requires lots of panel glue ups. Am I correct?

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View TheFridge's profile


9608 posts in 1511 days

#5 posted 04-10-2015 07:02 PM

8” jointers are awesome. Better to have and not need it. Dimensioning is a bit faster. Glue ups are a bit faster. For me

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View bbasiaga's profile


1234 posts in 2020 days

#6 posted 04-10-2015 07:27 PM

Well DKV, right now my 6” jointer is a benchtop. So upgrading is something I want to do to get 1) a better quality tool 2) remove some of the limitations I have with my current tool and 3) if applicable make things faster/easier.

If I’m already upgrading to a floor standing model, the cost difference between a 6” and 8” jointer isn’t super massive. $300-400 is still real money though.

Like Fridge says, it would simplify some projects by taking out a step for some pieces – i.e. slicing boards down in width just to glue them back up to bigger panels. While I don’t do production, I feel it still makes some sense to optimize my hobby time where appropriate.

Based on everyone’s feedback though, it doesn’t look like I will drastically shorten/improve my work flow just by having a larger jointer. Though it will help for some things, it won’t change my overall process. Guess I’ll have to make the judgment call on another basis. If I am still looking at 8” in the end, it doesn’t look like I’ll miss the extra 8” of bed a 74” jointer gives vs. the 66”, for the types of projects I seem to do anyway.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 1256 days

#7 posted 04-10-2015 07:37 PM

I have always planed, jointed, ripped then crosscut.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2529 days

#8 posted 04-10-2015 07:40 PM

Sirlrb, I always thought you needed a flat face before planing?

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2715 days

#9 posted 04-11-2015 12:19 AM

I use the same sequence as you do. Cutting to rough length saves a lot of jointing time as you can often markedly reduce the bow/warp/twist but cutting your long stock before jointing. There is a very simple technique to joint 8” boards with a 6” jointer that I use often.

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

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2556 days

#10 posted 04-11-2015 02:25 AM


If space is an issue, and you want a wider jointer, why not consider a combo machine? They usually have shorter beds. And you’ll free up some space.

BTW, your process is very typical for breaking down and prepping stock.

It would be fairly unusual to joint stock 11’ long. Maybe for architectural work (think boardroom tables), but very limited use for that kind of length in residential work. Dining room tables rarely go longer than 8’, beds top out around 7’. If the need ever arises, though, you can add well-adjusted roller stands to effectively lengthen the jointer tables.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

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