Basic question about jointers

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Plywood.
It's always flat.
And you can buy a lot of it for what you'll spend on this.
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Joe C. wrote:

(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Dear OP
At the risk of prolonging this thread, the 12" jointer referenced above is $3800.00. If you assume that you could have your wood supplier dress your wood for $1/bf, you could make 3800 ft of shelving before paying for the jointer, neglecting the cost of the power. Of course, you could probably get that wood dressed for MUCH less than $1/bf. 4000ft of shelving is a LOT of shelving unless you are making it for sale.
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wrote:

Flatten 12" boards with a planer. Create a straight edge with a jointer. I have a DJ-20 which has 8" blades and a nice long feed table, great for doors.
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Phisherman wrote:

One has to ask: If you are of the opinion that a jointer only need be used to create straight edges, and a planer for faces, then why do you have an 8" jointer?
PK
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How else would you put an edge on 32/4 stock :)
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I saw some of that at the Borg the other day, quartersawn, but they only had it in widths of 3/4" and 1-1/2".
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On Wed, 19 Jan 2005 21:16:10 -0500, Paul Kierstead

Use the proper tool for what you want to do. Using a jointer in attempt to flatten a board will give you a board with an uneven thickness. A jointer is no substitute for a planer. As for the DJ-20, I bought it mainly for the bed size and the mechanism of adjusting the bed rather than the size of the knives. I can also cut a rabbet with the DJ-20, but there are better tools to cut rabbets.
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Phisherman wrote:

See, thats the thing. There is a reason they are called *thickness* planers. They are indeed real handy for making things consistent thickness. They do not flatten a board.

Indeed. I am curious; if you are so convinced that a planer is for the faces and a jointer is for edges, why do you suppose there are 16"+ jointers?
PK
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Just to be fair, they CAN flatten a board, even though that is not their primary purpose. I'm sure you are referring to the fact that if you have an 8/4 board 12" wide with a twist, repeated passes through a planer will give you a thinner and thinner twisted board. (same with cup or bow)
But if I were asked to flatten that board without my hand planes, my 13" planer would be the tool of choice. I would make a carrier (a box beam the width of my planer and length of the workpiece), use wedges (with double-stick tape) to provide support under the high corners and edges of my workpiece, then run it through the planer. The carrier and wedges will hopefully keep the rollers from flattening the piece, thus keeping the planer from doing its job of cutting to uniform thickness. Then once I have a surface planed parallel to my flat box-beam reference surface, I can flip the board and use the planer as it was intended to bring the board to uniform thickness.
So I would use a planer to flatten a board by jury-rigging a way to keep it from doing its intended job!
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alexy wrote:

<snip good description of planer sled>
Very true. However, a router can do this as well, but nobody would say it is the "right" tool for the job; just a tool that could get the job done in a pinch. I have also heard that if you set a planer to *really* light passes, it can flatten a fair deal, though to be honest my DeWalt puts quite a bit of pressure on the board before cutting at all; i.e. the rollers seem to be a fair be lower then the head. So I don't know about that one.
PK
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I guess I can see that for cupped lumber, or bow in a short, thick piece, where the pressure/feed rollers (they are one and the same on small bench-top planers, aren't they?) don't have the "muscle" to straighten out the warp. But I can't see it at all for twist, since the board will rock freely with the lightest pressure from the rollers.

Same with my Delta. Seems like they would have to be to do their job.
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Which is, of course, why you run the board through a thickness planer afterwards.

Neither is a planer a substitute for a jointer.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
Get a copy of my NEW AND IMPROVED TrollFilter for NewsProxy/Nfilter by sending email to autoresponder at filterinfo-at-milmac-dot-com You must use your REAL email address to get a response.
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What a silly question. Why, to joint the edges of VERY thick boards, of course! <g>
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It's possible to use a smaller joiner to flatten a wide board. In a pinch, yes you can emove SAFETY Equipment and plane the right 6-8 inches until flat. Then place on a mdf sled and run through a planer being supported by a 6-8 inch sled. Then flip oner and finish the first side with a planer. Don't expect to plane both side of the same board parallel with just a joiner. It takes both a planer and a joiner. 12" is rare in a machine but grizzley has one.

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Wow, I'm surprised and really very pleased that my original post generated so much traffic. Let me clarify my situation somewhat. I realize that a new 12" jointer will run me at least $2k, and that it will require help to place, move, and power. I'm not independently wealthy, but I do believe in saving up and buying the tool that will do what I want and last me for a good long time.
I do have a good 13" planer (Christmas present), and I've been very impressed with the way that it produces a finished plank from a flat, rough-sawn piece of lumber. But I'd like to be able to remove the cup that so often shows up in wider lumber, and the planer doesn't do much of that. You can, I've read, stick some shims against the concave side of the board before sending it through the planer, but the planer has enough work to do just feeding and cutting a wide piece of hardwood.
I do build a lot of shelves and I'd like to start selling them, since quite a few folks have asked me to make them for them, and books are a big industry here in Charlottesville. I use a PC plate joiner and some clamps that I made myself (from 2x4's and threaded rod-they work great) to put them all together, but I'd like to avoid having to join two narrow pieces for the sides because 1. it's a bit of a pain, and 2. it doesn't look as nice even with two halves of the same original board, thanks to the kerf.
If I can remove the cup from a wide board with an 8" jointer (and it sounds to me like I can) then obviously I'd rather save the extra thousand dollars for lumber, electricity, and food. 8^)
Oh and, though I'm not trolling, I AM making a 7' by 30" bookcase out of walnut at present. I can get it from the local mill for $4-6 per b.f., which isn't too bad when I can find enough flat stock. Lowe's wants almost $4.50/bf for clear pine, so it's not all that much to pay for such gorgeous wood. I'm going to make the normally unseen back halves of some of the shelves out of a cheaper wood and join them with biscuits. Thanks very much for all the info; I'm going to read it all carefully.
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A "good 13" planer" should have bed rollers and a serrated steel infeed roller? If so, piece of cake to get the cup out, as the planer will feed a board with almost zero infeed pressure after adjustment. If you sight the board and do even some crude work with a hand plane you can get a _lot_ of twist out easily, plus local lumps around knots and such. Of course, those would take some effort even on a jointer. Can't slavishly slap the board down and hope for flat and thick, pays to be crafty and take off only the high stuff first.
Neat thing about a 30" bookcase is that you can make a sled for a 30" board and do 'em all, if you care to. You are crosscutting a bit long prior to surfacing?
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No such luck -- it's a DeWalt 735. It works well for me because I'm patient and don't work with huge quantities of wood at once. I've got the feed tables (not really optional accesories, IMHO) and some roller stands, and so far I haven't had any problem with snipe at all, even on ~12.5 x 100 x 1.1 walnut. I don't think that I can adjust it they way you can a good shop planer, though, in order to remove cup.
Your point about the hand plane is a good one. I'm always amazed by how much it can do, but I've never tried using for getting rid of cup. Maybe I'll try it on some cupped pine and see what happens. Thanks!
I haven't crosscut my walnut at all because I want to see which pieces look best after planing, so that I can use those for the sides. I figured I'd start by just getting the biggest rectangles I can out of each board before doing anything else.
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Not for cup, for twist, where you knock down opposite corners, and intrusion where you've got a lump close to a knot. Quite a bit of effort for cup, especially as you can work the side opposite of the crown, two high edges, on the jointer one at a time.
My advice - use your mark one mod zero eyeballs , and maybe a wipe with mineral spirits to estimate "best looking" boards, and get them closer to manageable size before milling.
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IMHO, this is good advice. smaller pieces mahine much more accurately. Suppose you have an 8' board from which you want to make 3 30" shelves. milling an 8' board flat and straight is actually quite tough (unless you have pretty large equipment) and you will loose alot of material to a bow or twist. Rough-cut to 32" and it's a snap on modest equipment and you will have minimal loss of material.
This concept even applies to chopping up plywood. Full sheets are hard to manage and can drift off slightly off course if they are not really well supported.
BTW you can cheat and push your board through the planer for a light pass before flattening to help you see what's going on with the grain.
-Steve
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Stephen M writes:

Common practice, not cheating. It's called skip planing or hit and miss planing.
Charlie Self "One of the common denominators I have found is that expectations rise above that which is expected." George W. Bush
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