Basic question about jointers

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Hello, I'm looking to buy a jointer and, having never used one, I'm not sure what size to buy. I make a lot of shelves and so I'd like to be able to flatten 12" boards. I have read two conflicting sources, one of which said you can remove the blade guard (or whatever you call the spring-loaded piece that pushes the stock against the fence) and work with boards up to nearly twice as large as the blade length. Other sources (several) state that the jointer will only handle stock that is as wide as its knives are long.
It would be nice to get an 8-inch model if it will do what I need, but if not, I'll wait until I can afford a 12-inch. Any guidance will be appreciated.
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skipsizemore wrote:

I'm just a hobbiest, but 12" models are extremely expensive, and I'm sure very rare, except in production shops. I'd imagine that you'd be spending several thousand dollars at a minimum for such a machine, and to make shelves??!
Seems to me that you might want to consider doing what most of the rest of us do, buy a 6" model, joint 2, 6 inch boards and glue them back together as one, flat 12" board. You could even send the whole thing through a 12" planer at that point, and you'd have a very nice 12" board. Heck, you could buy an excellent 6" jointer and a 13" planer for a lot less than what you'd spend for a 12" jointer.
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I agree with doug. I don't see any need for a 12 inch jointer. I don't know about you lumber supplier, but mine carries much more 6 inch wide lumber than 12. So I can be much chooser and pick thru the 6 inch stuff for favorable grain patterns, less defects, fewer knots, etc.... than the 12. Plus the power requiremnts for a 12 must be incredible. I may be wrong, but we should be talking 220V at a minimal and probably three phase power. Takes a lot of HP to true up one face before running it thru a planer. I bet the joiner would weigh a ton, too. Plus after you look at the price of a 12 inch joiner one could buy a 6 inch joiner, a 12-13 inch planer, a decent biscuit jointer, and some Besseys or Jorgys to clamp them together ( and depending on the brand of 12 inch joiner, mayber a 16 or 18 belt sander to smooth out the joined boards). Joey

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Correction: 16 -18 inch drum sander not belt sander.

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A 12 incher? You are seriously considering one? I'm impressed! I know 18 man cabinet shops that don't have one of those and get by just fine. Just how MANY solid wood shelves are you turning out per annum, if I may ask?
David
skipsizemore wrote:

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A jointer is typically used to flatten the edges of boards. If you're flattening the faces of boards on a regular basis, then it's a planer that you'd want. You can flatten boards on a jointer, but for the price of one that could handle 12" boards, you could buy both a planer and a jointer that would likely handle all your needs. For squaring the faces and edges of stock, a planer and a jointer are often purchased as a pair.
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Upscale wrote:

Oh dear, yet again...
A planer will thickness a board, but it will not produce a flat working face to start from....that's the jointer's job first (or a hand plane or other technique).
To OP, if you start looking seriously, you'll find a 12" jointer will be <very> expensive and probably too large and heavy for your shop plusalmost all will be for 3 phase power.
If you have the room and budget, I'd recommend 8", but 6" will do adequate work. Look for longest bed you can get as one feature--the longer the bed the easier to handle longer work which w/ bookshelves will be a possible issue.
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And the faces.

No, it absolutely is not. A planer makes opposite surfaces of a board parallel. It does not make boards flat. For that, you need a jointer.

Yep. That's what jointers are for.

Quite.
And used as a pair, too -- by flattening one *face* of a board on the jointer, then using the planer to make the opposite face parallel to it.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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Of course you are right, but if you start with decent lumber a planer will produce wood flat enough for shelves. (In all likelihood; he didn't tell us anything about his shelves.)
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Of course this surfaces (HAHA) often, because there are many who flatten just fine on their planers by using good sense and procedure, but there's also the planer sled. Get yourself a copy of FWW and check it out.
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enough to fit on my jointer... the jointer is a _whole_lot_ less work.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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<< >If you're

No, it absolutely is not. A planer makes opposite surfaces of a board parallel. It does not make boards flat. For that, you need a jointer. >>
Gentlemen,
I've never understood how a planer can make opposite sides parallel, if it doesn't also make them flat? If one face-joints one side of a board, then runs the opposite surface through a planer, is the planed surface considered flat? Does the board then need to be face jointed on the planed side? When I look at a board that has been planed to thickness, it looks flat to me. How flat is flat?
I'm not trying to be a wisenheimer. I really want to know.
Curt Blood
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(CBlood59) wrote:

The surfaces of two concentric arcs are parallel, are they not?
I suppose it's more accurate to say that a planer makes a board a consistent thickness, that the two faces are a constant distance from each other whether measured side to side or end to end.

Of course. But suppose you have a board with a slight bow in it, and you run it through a planer without face-jointing it first. You get a board that is a consistent thickness, smooth, and still bowed.
Same thing applies to twist. If it's twisted going into the planer, it's gonna be twisted coming out.
Unless you use a planer sled with shims, as others have pointed out -- but please note that the purpose of doing so is to allow the planer to perform the work of a jointer. I prefer to joint with the jointer, and plane with the planer. Seems to be easier that way.

NO! If you do that, you no longer have any guarantee that the opposite faces are parallel, i.e. no guarantee that the board is a consistent thickness side to side OR end to end.

If it was jointed first, by whatever method you choose, it *is* flat.

For some folks, S4S lumber from the Borg is flat enough. It just depends on how picky you are.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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says...

A jointer is typically used, by those who know what they are for, to, first, flatten a reference face on the stock so that you can then put that face against the fence and get a jointed edge at a true ninety degrees to that face. From there the table saw and planer will establish the other faces by referencing off the jointed face and edge.
While, with smaller not to badly warped stock, it is not impossible to successfully get a flat face on a piece of stock with a planer it does take some dicking around and jigs to do it. A planer however will not, can not , give you a trued edge.
If I had to do without one or t'oer I'd go without the planer. Any fool can establish a true board with a hand plane, resawing on a band saw or table saw or, god forbid, a belt sander, once one face and edge is true.
Considering the weight and mass of a 12" plank it would be virtually impossible to "joint" such a board unless one had and industrial sized planer and was willing to do the dicking around necessary. I'd have to assume anyone with such a planer would also have and recognize the value of an equally competent jointer.
--
Mike G.
Heirloom Woods
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

inch jointer. Better yet, after you have looked at what a 12" plank will cost you
--
Mike G.
Heirloom Woods
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skipsizemore wrote:

Don't forget to budget for floor re-enforcements.
PK
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I agree with most of the replies that an 8" jointer would do just fine in most shops. But if you insist on 12" look here: http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?ItemNumber=G4178 I think its pretty reasonable if a 12" jointer is what you really want. It even comes with a free pair of push blocks.
IMHO even if I was dealing with stock that wide for a shelf I would rip it just for strength and to help relieve any stress.
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joeD wrote:

Actually, I have to say, I looked at a couple and they were not much heavier then the 8" models. I had assumed they were extremely heavy, going on the 8" models (which I have looked at quite a bit). Even a General weighs in at only 1000 lbs or so.
In any case, one can only conclude one of the following: - the OP was trolling. I am surprised he didn't say he wanted to make them of walnut or something. - the OP isn't really familiar with the tools, prices and sizes - the OP has waaay more money then necessary (good for the economy!)
PK
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Contrary to everyone else's opinion, i say go for it. Sure, they cost much more, but also will handle wider stock. Personally, I've been going to auctions and keeping an eye on classifieds for a larger jointer for months now, >8". Eventually it'll happen. When i bought mine, all i could afford was a 6" and, although it's a good machine, it didn't take long to realise that a 12" would be more suited to my needs. My local lumber mill usually has wide boards (heck, i have some left over oak >20" wide) in stock. Although most shops cannot handle real wide stock without ripping it down, IMO, ideally, the width of your jointer should match the width of your planer. Sure'd be nice to be able to face a 12" wide board. --dave

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Hi- I agree with Dave. If you can find an old 16 inch jointer go for it. My son buys rough sawn lumber from mills and his 16 " is about right. Wider jointer will allow you to run the stock thru on an angle to get a shearing cut. Trying to face joint a 6 inch oak board on a six inch jointer is not a pleasant experience. It will tell you you are taxing it. A 240V. three phase motor can be handled by a rotary phase converter, no big deal. Keep your sights high. Jim.

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