Advice needed: Jointer vs. planer

I am getting ready to purchase a new tool for the ol' workshop (B-Day)! Originally, I had planned to buy the Grizzly jointer, however I am also considering the Delta 580 planer...they have a $50 mail in rebate going now. I can only get 1 tool and it will be probably a year before I can get the other. Any suggestions? Also, if anyone has any advice on a good jig for the table saw or router so that I can use them as a jointer and limp by in a crunch I would love to have some ideas. Thanks for the help.. Scott
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Get the jointer and but S2S wood until you can get a planer. In order to properly square you wood when you plane it you'll need the jointer to surface one side.
Joey in Chesapeake

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I think Joey's right, but only if you can get S2S boards that are in the same batch and same thickness. So buy your wood carefully.
Usually, if you have boards, you plane to a thickness, then joint an edge and rip to the width you need if you're glueing up a top, etc.
That said, I happend to find an old Rockwell 4" jointer for $75 in a local paper. It needed some of the markers(for thickness, etc. scales) that I got from Delta. A buddy gave me an old wooden stand and I was in business. Even got it to work with the Dust-Boy. So at that point I could make the jointer work, even with long boards so I bought the thickness planer, a Delta, new and I thus could have both for a little more than the planer. The 4" has served me well for some 10 years. With the small shop it's still ok. I'm sorta glad I don't have a larger one, although sometimes. (If it gets too problematic for a project, I could use my buddy's 6" Delta...ahem..)
--
Jim Polaski
"The measure of a man is what he will do
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Bzzzzzzzzzzzzt - wrong - You cannot get a square board using just a planer.
This is one of the problems with having the hardwood guy plane your boards. Usually they just run it thru a planer. If the board was warped going in, it's going to be warped coming out. Same with twisted boards.
jb
wrote:
me batch and same thickness. So buy your wood carefully.

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Steps for truing stock.
Absolutely necessary. A flat face to work from.
Joint (make flat and straight) one face (reference face) so you have something to true (reference) the remaining three sides to. Not to be done on a planer because the feed rollers will push out any warp and it will reappear as the stock exits the planer. For the same reason use very little down force when jointing.
Joint one edge with the reference face against the jointers fence. This will give you a straight edge that is at 90 degrees to the reference face. Also an edge to reference the next edge.,
Rip a second edge on the table saw with the reference face against the table and the reference edge against the fence. Try to do it on the jointer and it will give you a straight edge but not one necessarily parallel to the first edge.
Now you can plane the piece to a proper thickness with the reference face flat down on the planers feed table. Since the reference face is flat the planer has no warp to press out so the face being planed will be not only be flat but parallel to the reference face.
The jointer performs the two most critical steps in the process (the reference face and edge) but, with sufficient dicking around, there are work arounds. but, without the dicking around, the planer will not perform the functions of a jointer and the jointer will not perform the functions of a planer.
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Mike G.
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Scott Linn wrote:

The question come up here frequently. Do a search on Google groups and you will find many threads.
I have a planer, but no jointer yet. It serves me well, but there are time I've passed on a good wood buy because it was just not nearly good enough to use withoug a jointer. I'm able to buy wood and have it thicknessed and an edge jointed so I have good material to start.
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Ed
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I tried to get by with a jointer only for a short period, but ran into immediate problems when my S2S was 13/16" and I needed 3/4". I thought I could face joint it to size and found out why they have thickness planers. The real problem was reducing my 6/4 to 1 1/16".
I suppose of the two, the jointer is more vital, but you really need both. (I got the Delta JT160 from Amazon for $150. Yeh, it is a toy, but it works. I did it more for space than price; I spent $400 on the lightest planer I could find.)
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Not only should you buy a jointer before a planer, I think a jointer should be bought before a table or bandsaw. Unless you are very good with a scrub and jack plane that is.
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On 09 Feb 2004 14:42:08 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (DarylRos) wrote:

I think that's going too far. jointers are nice to have, and frankly essential for the quick, efficient production of work above a certain quality level. not too many of us start out at that quality level, especially before we have a sawing machine, and a neander who prefers to handsaw all of the time is going to hand plane also.
careful work with the table saw can get you around a lot of the edge straightening, and a bit of prep with a hand plane before feeding the thickness planer can handle faces. those were my main truing methods before I got a jointer, and they do work, slowly.     Bridger
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Good advice. Well said.
-Rick
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should be

and
Accurate maybe, but not practical advice. Given that most of us have a tool budget a jointer will do little good with no other tools to use with it. I bought S4S wood for a long time before I bought a planer. The jointer is still 4 to 6 months away. Meantime, I've been enjoying about 4 years of woodworking. Ed
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Jointer, though you might want to slide away from the Grizz, based on my experience.
You may not have as big a sucker as me in your neighborhood, but I'm sure a lot of folks with planers will help you thickness your stock for the sake of a board or two, or some potable or other.

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Short answer, you need both. They go hand in hand.
Long answer, what do you plan on making? What tools do you have? I was in the same boat about two years ago and decided on a planer first. In my circumstance and think I made the right decision . I wanted a 8" jointer so that made the planer easier to obtain on my limited funds. Also I had a cheap home made router table to do light edge jointing. When I started out I made a couple of Shaker style tables using plans from Woodsmith and s2s lumber from Home Depot. I thought being able to thickness opened up more opportunities since I already had fairly flat stock. With care you can take some cup out of a board with a planer but you can't thickness very well with a jointer. Getting a straight edge on a curved board as long as one side is flat can be done on a table saw with a straightening jig.
Checkout these links:
http://www.plansnow.com / http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~flip/plans.html http://www.plansnow.com/tablesawacc.html http://www.benchnotes.com/Taper%20and%20Straight%20Edge%20Jig/taper_and_straight_edge_ji.htm
Take everyone's opinion and your own circumstances into account when making your decision.
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I don't know about table saw jigs, but it is pretty easy to joint a board using a good old handplane; even a very rough, fair sized board can be jointed relatively quickly. With rough wood I usually joint by hand anyway. Flattening boards by hand is quite a bit more work and takes some practice. Thicknessing a board by hand is a nightmare.
So although I love my jointer, I don't think I could do with my thickness planer. For wider stuff (I have only a 6" jointer) I often flatten by hand anyway when I don't want to rip.
So get the thickness planer first; get a couple of good hand planes and joint/flatten by hand.
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Why not a good used combination machine .Both Hitachi and makita made excellent combination machines. the bed on the joiners were longer than most sinngle purpose machines .....mjh

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=========================================================This question comes up about every other week (or so it seems) and honestly you really need both....
But after 40+ years in the hobby (serious woodworking) I have to vote for a joiner before a planer... unless you spend hours and hours picking thru S4S lumber ...even the best S4S lumber I puchhased still was not that good when I got it home and started using it...
I will admit however that this old boy never learned to master a hand plane to joint or surface a board..IF you are so inclined and have the patiece to learn how then my answer would be the planer...
Bob Griffiths
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I had this exact same dilemma a couple of years ago. I bought the jointer first, and it was definitely the right move. You can find lumber with usable faces (S2S) or (S3S) but its hard to get by without a jointer (unless you are good with hand planes).
IMHO - You really should use a jointer on any lumber before you plane it anyway. I just bought a new Dewalt planer - In the owners manual step one is to joint one face of your lumber - if you don't your just thicknessing crooked lumber.
Alternatively, there are router tricks and table saw tricks to joint edges (I've seen them in various magazines and even tried the router trick which is just a straight bit and a thin shim on the outfeed)...
But seriously, get the jointer.
On 2/8/04 8:09 PM, in article oZBVb.30236$ snipped-for-privacy@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com,

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I would buy a planer first. You can joint a board with you table saw. I did it for a while until I got my jointer. Boards you buy S2S are not the same thickness and can cause you problems when making various joints. If you can by boards S2S you can also buy them straight line ripped.
Ted

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