jointer or planer first?

I've got a project coming up and it'll be the excuse I need for a new piece of equipment. I'm looking for opinions on whether a jointer or planer would be 1) better for this project, and 2) better to have for a while (years) until I get the other. I'd likely get either the Delta JT360 6" jointer or 22-580 13" planer. The planer is $150 less after rebates.
The project is milling handrails, approx 1 1/2" by 5 1/2". For this project I need smooth and flat faces and edges, but they don't have to be perfectly parallel (the faces) or perpendicular (faces and edges) since the boards won't be glued up. I'll be starting with rough 6/4 white oak.
Seems like I could use the jointer for faces and edges, or use my RAS and router for jointing edges and the planer for faces. Opinions?
Thanks, Michael
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I wood (joke) go for the joiner first. I primarily only use the planer for reducing thickness. The joiner has many uses. If you purchase unfinished edge lumber, it is invaluable.

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In addition to what Don wrote, the planer doesn't do you any good UNTIL you can flatten a board and for that you need a jointer.

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Michael Press wrote:

I have a planer but no jointer yet. I've gotten buy a couple of years this way. The decision will be based on the qualityof wood you buy. I'm able to get rough saw wood that is very straight and flat. I can get an edge jointed by the supplier, or I can use a sled on the table saw. If I had warped or twisted wood I'd not be able to get by like that. I've passed up a couple of good buys on wood because I know it would not go through my planer properly without jointing it first.
Eventually you need both, but I value the ability to thickness plane over the jointer. - Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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In most cases, I would think that you would want to start with a square edge. You could use the jointer to get that first square edge and then use a TS/RAS to make the opposite face/edge parallel. If you leave those a little oversized and you can go back to the jointer to clean those up a little. Or for another point of view.... get the more expensive one now and it's easier to talk yourself into the cheaper one later (or sooner).... ;-))
Woody http://www.woodhashing.com

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I agree with Ed in that if I could only have one, I'd get the planer first. In actuality, you really do need both, but I think that you can get by without a jointer longer if you buy S4S wood. Being able to run it all through a planer to guarantee that it's all the same size is invaluable. If you're going to start with rough wood, then you really do need both, and I'm not sure I'd recommend buying either until you could buy both. All this is with the understanding that you could use hand planes instead, but that's another avenue altogether.
Mike Dembroge

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I was in the same dilema, so I bought . . . both! My wife found the jointer used in the classifieds, which seems to be a common item in our area. At a cost of $175, this made it possible to buy a jointer and a (new) planer at the same time.
I won't even tell you about the thickness sander I bought last night! Let's just say that these past two weeks have blown my tax return (which has yet to be filed . . .)
;>)
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On Tue, 27 Jan 2004 04:39:15 GMT, "Mike Dembroge"

I bought the planer first. I figured that I could joint well enough with the table saw and a plane, which is what I did. now I have a jointer. what a pleasure...     Bridger
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On Mon, 26 Jan 2004 20:38:27 -0500, Michael Press

Both. <G> This is hashed out here monthly: <http://groups.google.com/groups?q=jointer+or+planer+first&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&btnG=Google+Search
Barry
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Ideally, both at the same time, as it takes both to properly edge, face and thickness even dimensioned lumber. That said, and doing primarily furniture, my jointer gets more use than my planer, by a factor of four.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 1/23/04
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Repost of reply to bi weekly question.
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.
--
Mike G.
snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net
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These tools are so different. You can't really substitute one for the other. I use my jointer 10X more than the surface planer. A jointer and table saw are two peas in a pod.
On Mon, 26 Jan 2004 20:38:27 -0500, Michael Press

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