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Thread: Do you always start with the jointer?

  1. #1
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    Do you always start with the jointer?

    Just curious, do you always start by flattening every board?

    I do not. Often my stock is fairly flat to begin with

    But reading here seems like some of you always flatten just out of principle

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beckett View Post
    Just curious, do you always start by flattening every board?

    I do not. Often my stock is fairly flat to begin with

    But reading here seems like some of you always flatten just out of principle
    A critical element here, methinks, is deciding what parts of the board are going to become what parts of the piece, cut them roughly to size, and then joint _that_.

    It's all a big massage, and it certainly increases the yield.
    Last edited by Doug Dawson; 02-16-2019 at 12:12 AM.

  3. #3
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    Buying rough lumber is cheaper and leads to flat boards since you have more room to work with to get an true 4/4 board. I’ve seem enough 4/4 that isn’t flat so you don’t have much to work with.

    I use rough lumber and cut it slightly long then joint it, let it rest a day or two, joint it again so it’s flat on one side then use the planer. Let it sit then plane to the final thickness. You can then edge joint and cut to the final size. You have a better chance of having consistent wood.
    Don

  4. #4
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    The only machine that touches the wood before the jointer is the RAS to cut to length.

  5. #5
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    In general, yes, I do start with face jointing. I like flat material and the majority of the time, I wouldn't be happy with "fairly flat". I face joint and then thickness. Edges I leave for my slider and rarely do them on the jointer.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
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    It depends.

    For me the closer the rough wood is to the desired finished size, the easier it is to make the pieces flat, especially if there is bow or twist in them.

    Sometimes I joint an edge and rip to width on the tablesaw, before jointing one face.

    Also, as mentioned by another above , I will use my RAS to shorten boards to close to the desired length for the same reasons.

    The jointer always seems to precede the planer in my shop.

    By the way, your post is unclear regarding what you do in your shop...
    Too much to do...Not enough time...life is too short!

  7. #7
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    I always sight a board first, but don't remember the last time I saw one straight enough not to visit the jointer first in process.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beckett View Post
    Just curious, do you always start by flattening every board?
    Always.
    Always, always, always!
    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beckett View Post
    Often my stock is fairly flat to begin with
    Often? What about the other times? Fairly flat is not flat.
    The joy of working with perfectly flat stock, can not be exaggerated.

    The experience after I sharpen and replace the knives in my jointer and planer is remarkable. After jointing, planing and stacking a dozen boards for a project, they are so flat they actually stick together a bit.

    I love that!

    But seriously, it depends on the project. Absolutely for cabinets and furniture and not so much for every day things. But buying rough lumber and surfacing it yourself does two things- it will be dead flat when you start your project and if the rough lumber is flat to begin with, you can yield much thicker stock than the pre dressed retail stock.

  9. #9
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    The key statement is "fairly flat". If fairly flat is fine with you, then okay. But fairly flat is not okay in my shop. I usually buy my stock hit or miss planed to 15/16". That gives me material to further flatten and thickness to size.

  10. #10
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    Yes, everything is jointed. It’s always nice when a board is cleaned up on one face after a 1/16” pass. Instantly know that wood was sawn and dried properly to only be out 1/16”. 95% of the time the boards are not out 1/16”, they are out an 1/8” or a 1/4” if I’m using wide and long boards.

  11. #11
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    I determine what sections of a board will be used, cut these a very little oversize, and then joint. This will reduce the amount of waste removed when a board is cupped or has a twist.

    Bandsaw, handsaw or tablesaw comes first.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  12. #12
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    Well, I may be breaking some cardinal rule. But yes I chop things up to smaller sizes as a starting point (the smaller the piece the less out of flatness propagates). But from there, 'it depends' if I will ever surface the face (in fact sometimes I will thickness plane without facing). Cant imagine the neanders get everything dead flat using hand planes.

    Whether I face it depends on the use of that particular piece. For example, door rails/stiles I always surface and want them as square as possible. If resawing I might surface one face as a reference for the fence, but subsequent slices may go right to the planer (relatively thin panels arent rigid enough to where it matters anyway). A panel glueup I might not, and instead cut the finished sub assembly to size/squareness or sometimes run it through the belt sander. Other pieces in a project it just may not matter that they be exactly flat/straight. Sometimes it does affect joinery depending on how you do it (machine cut joints are easier to setup if flat/square than hand cut as example)

    The responses here was what I was observing. Most of you flatten everything early in the process no matter what. Maybe I should be as well... am going to think through some projects and which pieces I flattened and which pieces I didnt, whether it caused grief during the build that would be solved by flattening.

    (projects are mostly furniture; cabinets, drawers, bookcases, chests, chairs, etc - a lot of arts and crafts, shaker, mission style (not too many complex curves/shaped designs))

    Was just asking as a curiosity.

  13. #13
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    Nearly flat boards may start at the jointer, but I only have a 6" jointer and most of my wood isn't what I would call nearly flat, so at this point I need to cut it down to fit my machine first. That means at least a crossscul to a few inches over final length (my planer snipes something awful, but that's another post topic) and often a rip to something under 6". Running a 10 ft bowed board on the jointer first would very often result in nothing left, while 3-4 ft long pieces from the same board can be jointed and planed to 3/4 or 7/8. Wider boards that need to stay that way get flattened one side with a hand plane, again not over a much longer length than needed.

    My joinery is bad enough without dealing with extra dimensions of variability.

  14. #14
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    I always face joint first. When joinery is involved I'll sometimes joint then plane to within an 1/8" of final dimension, then sticker everything and let it rest for a few days to a week.

    As well, I try to take off equal amounts of each rough edge where practical.

  15. #15
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    If there is no twist or bow I go directly to the planer. If it is cupped, I take "gentle" cuts on the planer first on the convex side. My stuff sits freely on rubber feet so near perfect flatness is not critical. Having said that, my rough sawn lumber is generally very flat. If a blank develops a slight twist later it goes to the jointer but only the bottom side. I am lazy
    .
    Ask a woodworker to "make your bed" and he/she makes a bed.

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