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Thread: Jointer - how necessary?

  1. #1

    Jointer - how necessary?

    This year my father was kind enough to give me a thickness planer for Christmas (Porter-Cable PC305TP). It is the first planer I have had and there is something I have never given much thought. In the instruction manual it says that a jointer should be used before running a board through the planer. Since I have not gotten into purchasing rough boards, is that going to be necessary? As long as the boards have no serious defects (badly warped, bowed, etc) it should really be an issue.

    Looked at hand planes . . . aside from the learning curve, a power jointer would be less expensive from the ones I looked at (outside of refurbishing legacy planes). My father offered to give me his 6" jointer if I wanted, he says he has not used it as much as he thought he would (he has been woodworking since high school in the 1950's) so he wouldn't miss it much.

    What are your thoughts as more serious wood workers to a hobbyist?

  2. #2
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    A planer makes the two side of a board parallel, it does nothing to correct for bow or twist.

    If you want to work with rough lumber, you really need a jointer. If you're only buying S4S lumber, you probably don't need one.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Tippin View Post
    A planer makes the two side of a board parallel, it does nothing to correct for bow or twist.
    Right on the money. ^^^^^^ There are ways to get by without a jointer but life is too short to live with work-arounds. If you don't want to use hand planes, I suggest you take Dad up on his offer of the jointer.

  4. #4
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    It seems to me that when using the jointer to ''remove bow or twist' you must not press down on the piece too hard because that will remove the bow and the jointer will just trim the piece evenly. Basically its the same thing as running through the planer if you press down so much.

  5. #5
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    Take the free 6" jointer. You either need a power jointer or really really want to learn how to use hand tools.

  6. #6
    Remeber too the planer will do relatively nothing to remove cup. That's a task for the jointer. That said, in my shop (full time business) I rarely plug in my jointer. It sits in the corner gathering dust most of the time. A lot depends on the type of work you do, and as has been stated, the type of material you work with.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Bolton View Post
    Remeber too the planer will do relatively nothing to remove cup. That's a task for the jointer. That said, in my shop (full time business) I rarely plug in my jointer. It sits in the corner gathering dust most of the time. A lot depends on the type of work you do, and as has been stated, the type of material you work with.
    Type of work and materials has been one thing I have been thnking about. For the moment I have zero intention of doing custom work or work requested by others (well, other than my wife). That is what I do in making jewelry and I charge accordingly (with nuisance charges ). Working for myself I think I can fairly easily stick to buying wood that doesn't need special attention. But . . . free tool . . . not a cheap tool, either (Delta-Rockwell 6" jointer, belt driven, at least as old as I am).

  8. #8
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    Another way to look at justifying the cost/need of a jointer, is that having one will make it possible for you to purchase and mill s2s or rough materials, which you can get at a better price than s4s, and in most cases this will give you access to a much broader range of species and wood/grain quality options.
    Last edited by Mike Ontko; 12-17-2014 at 2:22 PM.

  9. #9
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    Take you dad's and get to making shavings.

  10. #10
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    There are planer sleds that can be used to flatten one side of a twisted board or cupped board. Then you can turn it over and plane the other side parallel. I have one on my to build list. I saw a video of one being used and I thought it looked like a real nice addition. I do have a 6" jointer but the sled would be great for wider boards.
    Sometimes decisions from the heart are better than decisions from the brain.

    Enjoy Life...

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    Take the free 6" jointer. You either need a power jointer or really really want to learn how to use hand tools.



    This. Most of my work is with hand tools, and most of my lumber is S2S when I get it. But I still need one. thankfully right now I ahve a jointer at work I can use and a friend nearby who has one.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Silver View Post
    Type of work and materials has been one thing I have been thnking about. For the moment I have zero intention of doing custom work or work requested by others (well, other than my wife). That is what I do in making jewelry and I charge accordingly (with nuisance charges ). Working for myself I think I can fairly easily stick to buying wood that doesn't need special attention. But . . . free tool . . . not a cheap tool, either (Delta-Rockwell 6" jointer, belt driven, at least as old as I am).
    Itd be hard to disagree with taking your dad's jointer as long as he wont miss it. No brainer for sure.

    Custom work or not, you can do virtually all of your edge prep for glue-ups and so on on the TS with a good blade and a long straight auxiliary fence (one thats twice the length of any board your working with). We do absolutely zero jointing for glue-ups or straight lining on the jointer. Its all done straight of the saw. Having your dads jointer will be handy though for occasional face jointing for flattening and for cleaning up saw marks on an edge that will go without a profile. Thats about all I ever use one for.

    As long as your not buying your material at the home center its hard to argue working from rough material. There is simply no way you can do it as cheaply as the yard can. That said, having the ability to take advantage of it if it ever were to happen isnt a bad capability to have.

  13. #13
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    I agree completely with the power jointer crowd. I just love hand tools, and especially the feel of a beautiful tool with a razor sharp iron as it cuts through wood. Nothing better.


    Get the power jointer.

  14. #14
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    One or two projects with rough lumber w/o a jointer will convince you to graciously accept Dad's offer.

    John

  15. #15
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    They work as a team. I used a planer sled for about a year and a half while I saved up and cleared space for an 8" jointer. The time spent making the jig paid big dividends and I still pull it out now and again for wider stock. Would I have liked to continue without a jointer? No. Even your S4S lumber is not straight. The jointer makes a surface flat, a planer makes the opposite surface parallel. Your tolerance will depend on what you are making but, most of all, don't let anything stop you from enjoying yourself. If you have room for the jkointer I would take it in a heartbeat. If you don't, make a sled and rock on.
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

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