jointer/planer combination

In the past few years, the tool manufacturers have come up with low cost options to larger, more expensive tools (e.g. the portable planer) and innovative tools that solve problems that have existed forever.
One conflict that still exists that I have not seen a good solution for is a jointer that matches the width requirements that an average woodworker has. I have boards that are nearly always wider than 6 inches. Not by much, but wider none the less. I don't want to rip them. I can hand plane them and I know there are several innovative solutions for jointing wide boards, but a jointer that more nearly matches the planer but is not thousands in cost, hundreds of pounds in weight or 10 ft. in length would be as innovative as the portable planer was when it came out. I know the general consensus is that you can't get around the length or weight (and therefore the cost), but I am sure most people thought that you could never get a $250 planer 15 or 20 years ago. Most 7 inch wide boards are not 10 ft. long. when I joint them.
There have been combo jointer/planer machines in the past, but they have been pricey and apparently not viewed as the solution because I don't see them in quantity for sale anywhere. Most of the posts discussing them on the rec date from about 1996.
Well, does anyone else feel this way, or am I alone in being concerned about this?
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On 29 Sep 2004 03:28:22 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Eric Anderson) wrote:

Have you looked at Europe ? The typical machine is a combination, for 10" wide and up to 6" thick.
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Reason is simple. You really don't _need_ as wide a jointer as you think you do. Knocking the high spots off / shimming the low spots up prior to planing a wide board, or fully supporting it on a planer sled will handle even the worst case scenario. Most boards plane adequately by taking light cuts and alternating properly.
The piddling European machines Andy mentions have jointer tables which, according to the rec "wisdom" are too short for proper use.

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I assume you refer to the Inca 550 type machine. I agree their short tables aren't great, they have a bolt on extension feature which works well. I've used a 550 for years now and it does a fine job. I often joint 8' long boards on this machine.
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You might note that I don't have one myself. Mainly because they're too narrow though - I thickness lots of 13" timber.
Some of them are a reasonable length - the Sedgewicks are as solid and well made as anyone might wish and they're plenty big enough for anyone short of a straight-edge factory.
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From another point of view, he's looking to face plane, not edge joint. In those cases, say with a 6'x10" board, it's rare that you really need a board that's flat along the entire length of its face. And, if it were so, it probably wouldn't stay that way for very long. Other than for a workbench slab, that is.
As it'll typically be locked down to a frame or other supports, you do need it flat across the width, and flat for a short distance along the length of the face. Your thickness planer suggestion meets those requirements. I've done that with quantities of rough lumber. GerryG

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I would guess that those boards would be about as long regardless of the intended use, wouldn't you? Of course it makes sense to crosscut _any_ stock prior to joining/planing to reduce the amount of adjustment required to get it flat, which characteristic, by the way, is what allows you to join it at right angles to the face.

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Agreed, but consider the mechanics here when joining at right angles against the face. If the face board is long related to its width, it'll probably not stay exactly flat, but will be drawn against the edge of the connected board. It's when the face board is short and wide that it needs to be really flat, as it's then difficult to draw it in with fasteners. While a thickness planer is generally thought to be only making the two faces parallel, it also makes it flat across the width, and will also make it reasonably flat across the length of the bed. It's those last two items that make it more useful for many projects, especially when alternating faces as you suggested. GerryG

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Well, as nearly as I follow, I have to disagree. When you use a jointer to make the edge perpendicular to the face, its perpendicularity depends on the flatness of the face riding against the fence. Upon this depends the entire joint, regardless of external help. Out of perpendicular, unless you're lucky enough to find a complementary error, is a gap.
I am also not an "alternate" smile type on glueups. I'm a sap to sap, heart to heart best match type, and, sadly one of the few who would agree with you that careful thickness planing can take minor defects like crown (cup). It is, however, incapable of taking out twist or bow. For that you need the jointer or plane.

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On 29 Sep 2004 03:28:22 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Eric Anderson) wrote:

sounds like you should be shopping for an 8" jointer.

that'd probably have to be 25 years ago. ryobi came out with the ap10 at least 20 years ago.

I'd love to have a 16" jointer and a 16" wide planer. I have neither the floor space nor the capital for it though. and a combination of the two sounds like a nightmare to keep serviced.
here's one of the problems with combining the two- in order for it to make any sense from a machinery point of view you'd want to dual purpose the cutterhead. since planers generally have the cutter over the table and jointers have it under you either have to be able to remove the upper half of the planer (and be fiddling with the tables all of the time) or have 2 sets of tables, with the planer running under the jointer, which pretty much leaves you with really short jointer tables. there are machines that get around this by having 2 cutterheads side by side, but they have narrow jointers.
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An 8" jointer would probably do it, but it is heavy, expensive and large.
What about taking the motor and cutterhead of a 12" planer and turning it upside down, putting a steel bed and fence on it? Would we not have the jointer equivalent of the cast iron planer turned into the stamped steel portable planer?
By the way, I often use the planer on rough sawn planks, as described above, that are in good condition, but to be entirely kosher about it, a planer turned upside down with a well formed stamped steel short bed and fence seems like a possible way of going. Sure would not be the nice, quiet machine that the present jointers are, however.
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On 30 Sep 2004 13:38:52 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Eric Anderson) wrote:

sounds like a lot of dinking about to achieve a kludge. if what you like is dinking about with machines it could be worth it. I DO like dinking about with machines, but that one's going on the list of things to think about again in 10 years.
I paid $600 for a 70's rockwell delta 8" jointer. it's on wheels. it's big, but for my shop it's about right. I'm not sure how you're going to get long enough tables on your 12" frankenplaner to be useful without running into the same space issues. heck, with a sled in the planer you can joint short wide pieces in the thicknesser and still have it as a thicknesser.
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For what it's worth I have a 20/30 Makita planer joiner gathering dustthat i would like to get rid of. The rollers need to be resurfaced ,around here that runs about $100 each.
The machine, [And I am no fan of makita] has a 12" planer 6 " joiner combination.both produce excellent results. the joiner has a long bed ,as long as my grizzleguts 8" joiner.
One advantage is the rollers not being metal allow very fine thickness adjustments without the impressions left by a serated infeed roller. The drive being basically a 3 horse router motor results in high revving cutterheads and superb surface finishes .mjh
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So what is that unit worth? It was about $1500 new I think back in 1988. I bid $500 on one from a shop I used to work at. It did not have much use.

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

machine and does what it is supposed to do BUT what a pain changing from one setup to another. In retrospect I would have been off with 2 dedicated machines. Will never get a combo machine again. Get a machine to do its specific job and not have to fart around adjusting settings from one setup to another. The cost of 2 machines would have been a bit more than the combo but well worth it.
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I have a Hitachi combination planer/jointer and there is no set-up change to be done. Have had it for 8 years and it has done very well so far. Was Best rated in Wood Magazine at the time.
Chuck Callaghan snipped-for-privacy@virginia.edu
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On Fri, 1 Oct 2004 12:56:43 -0400, "Charles Callaghan"

yabbutt.... what size is the jointer?
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Jointer/planer combos that exist have been brought up several times. My whole point was price and width of the jointer.
Why do these combo machines not make use of the wider planer blade that is available (I have never seen them up close, so the reason may be obvious).
I can understand that a combo machine might be difficult to make at a pricepoint that would be competitive to a 6" jointer and planer combo. Such a machine should sell for under $800 in order to be comparible to buying both machines (between $350-$400 for planer, $400-$450 for jointer).
Still think a jointer built around the idea of the portable planer that is around 10" would be a good companion to the portable planers of today. Such a machine should have a pricepoint around the cast iron 6" jointer. Dewalt seems like the company that would come up with such a product. Hey, Dewalt--just send the royality checks to my Paypal account.
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On 3 Oct 2004 07:32:39 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Eric Anderson) wrote:

you're talking about a machine that is jointer only? so you'd end up with a 12 to 14" jointer with short sheetmetal tables, probably a benchtop machine. this might be a good place to use the parallelogram configuration of some of the newer delta and griz machines. it'll be hella loud and obnoxious for a jointer, and with the small diameter cutterhead will be hard to get smooth surfaces on handheld boards. interesting idea, though....
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