Edge Joining Boards - Planer or benchtop jointer?

I will be building a number of small cabinets soon, and will need to edge join a fair number of pine boards to make panels. I don't want to spend a lot on tools, so I'm wondering how I can best prepare the boards for joining.
I already have a planer, so I'm curious if I could rip the boards to identical widths, then gang them together and run them through the planer to smooth the edges?
I might spring for a small benchtop jointer (~$200) if I thought it was worth the money. But, never having used a jointer, I have no idea what to look for, or whether a benchtop jointer is even worth the money? I don't have the space or the desire to spend a lot of money on a fancier jointer.
I've edge joined a few boards in the past by just ripping them to width on my table saw. For my eye, the panels turned out quite nice without any further treatment. Is there a reason I would even need to plane/joint the edges in the first place?
Thanks,
Anthony
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As long as you can come up with an edge to put against the fence, it'll work. I rip a board once and then rip it again, just taking off 1/32" for the glue edge. If you get a panel made up that is not acceptable, you can rip the panel exactly on the glue line and re-glue the joint to fix it.
If you buy your wood from a supplier that is a real lumber yard, some of them can give you S2S1E (smooth two sides and one edge) that will be planed to thickness and straight on one edge. It costs me an extra 15 cents per board foot for this service.
I use a 607 Bedrock hand plane to straighten a lot of my boards and then joint them on a tablesaw with a WWII combination blade.
The planer will work with a straight side to ride against the table. If the board is crooked, the new edge will be parallel to the crooked edge.

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OT :) Every time I see that, I read it as "World War Two," and a WWII combination blade means, to me, a Fairbairne dagger...
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"Keep your ass behind you."

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HerHusband wrote:

These work well for me.
http://shop.woodcraft.com/Woodcraft/product_family.asp?family%5Fid203&gift lse&mscssidEEDE11F0224EC3AC829873995A883A
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Donnie Vazquez
Sunderland, MD
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Easy enough to build a sled to do it, too.
djb
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"HerHusband" wrote in message

If you're primarily dealing with dimensioned lumber, or S1S/S2S1E hardwoods (or if you're good with a hand plane), you can certainly get by without a jointer.
At a minimum, a long bed 6" jointer should be in your plans if you're serious about woodworking. But I would rather have a benchtop jointer than none at all, for you may be surprised at how useful the tool can be .. and not just for jointing and surfacing stock.
One of the problems with buying a benchtop is by the time you've bought it, you've gone a good way to paying for a stand-alone.
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wrote:

with a jointer, either the electric or neander type.

that will get the edges smooth, but not necessarily straight.

consider buying a #6 or #7 jointing plane. lots of fun, stores away easily and makes cool curly shavings...

if you're getting good enough results that way, why did you ask this question?
a well tuned tablesaw can produce joint ready edges on straight boards. it's when you are dealing with less than perfect lumber that a jointer shows it's stuff....

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If you have a reasonable quality tablesaw and you use a good blade, you should be able to make cuts that are clean enough to use for glue-up.
Woodchip

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