Boy, I can ditto that sentiment. I found myself out of 1/2 in stock one
weekend and found out the hard way what it costs for 1/2 drawer stock. Next
time it happened, I resawed a piece of clear 2x4 and ran it thru the planer.
Whole helluva lot cheaper than buying it.
Same here. My main supplier will put the boards throughthe big planer and
take it to size in one pass. Included inthe price.
Every time I think about getting a jointer, something else comes up that
just seems like more fun. Some day I'll have one, but I'm not in a rush.
Can't get by without my planer though. Good for cleanup after resaw. Good
for thing that you don't want to be 3/4" because that is the stock you have
If I was cutting and air drying my own wood, the story would be different.
I'm not so I'll stick with planer first.
Jointer is good for (and this may be an incomplete list)
-flattening bowed/cupped/twisted stock
-cleaning up ripped edges prior to glue up
-edge jointing two pieces at one go to insure a perfect fit on glued
-rabbeting the edges of panels (you can do this with a router or dado
stack as well, of course)
For my buck, the flattening ability is worth it alone- I don't know if
you've ever had stock warp after sawing or milling it, but I have, and
it's like gettting punched in the belly if you don't have a way to get
it back to where it needs to be. You can still use that wood for
*something*, but I've had to abandon projects because the stock I had
warped while working on them.
I've got a feeling it'd be used heavily, if you end up getting one-
though your projects will obviously differ from mine.
FWIW, 50 cents a pass is a steal, unless they're intentionally taking
a whole lot of extra passes just to charge extra. Lots of places
charge by the hour, and it ends up costing an arm and a leg.
Now that's a different story- of course you should let your wife buy
you any tool that she wants! Here I thought you had to pay for it
I hardly use mine, but when I do I hammer it for a couple of days solid
and save myself a fortune by buying rough timber rather than
commercially planed. It's an excellent investment.
I'm still surprised just how useful my bandsaw was.
Check on actual sources of rough lumber for the cost differences. In my
area, rough lumber is in limited availability, and not priced significantly
lower, unless I am willing & able to deal with it green. All of my green
stock is now fuel for the lathe, so ...
S3S from a good, volume supplier is SO much easier to deal with that the
jointer and planer have far less work to do. That's good, because there
are parts of the process I enjoy a lot more than initial stock prep.
With the emphasis on sources, not just grades..
Rough vs. planed is a tiny saving, if I buy them both from the shiny,
tidy retail shop. But if I can deal with it rough, then I can buy from
the tree hippies instead, who only cost a quarter as much and have nicer
My tree hippies are at least a 100 mile round trip. Or more. While we're
not paying Euro prices for fuel yet, it's still a ways, for my meager
volume. The deal has to be GOOD.
The bigger the volume, the better the cost savings. As usual.
Very carefully! I've done a fair amount of rough lumber w/my DW733(?)(The
older DW planer) before I had a jointer. If it has any cupping, put convex
side up, VERY light cuts so the feed doesn't compress the cupping until you
have it flat enough to turn over & work other side. Won't work if the wood
is too twisty/bowed, but then again, the jointer isn't going to cure serious
problems like that either.
The greatest headaches are those we cause ourselves.
I don't know, but I keep reading threads like this and I question how
you can get parallel surfaces from using only a planer without first
flattening one side of a board, whether by using a jointer or face
jointing the board with hand planes.
Wood moves. S4S stock not freshly jointed and planed at the supplier
and promptly planed to thickness at home will have cupping or twisting
to some extent, and must be surfaced flat if you want to plane to a
reduced thickness and have the faces parallel, IMHO. I suppose if you
are only talking about 4 or 5 board feet of stock, you can fiddle-fart
around with the techniques described using only a planer, but I simply
can't imagine preparing 20 bd ft of stock or more that way. Planers go
hand in hand with jointers, or with a scrub plane, jack plane and
smoother. My first jointer was 6", and I had three 8" wide rough 4/4
figured maple I wanted to make into a panel and couldn't see ripping it
in half to face joint, and thus did it by hand, about 10 bd ft, and
believe me that was a bit of a workout.
Well, think about it. Assume worst condition - wind (long "i"), which can
be repaired by knocking down the high corners by a jointer or hand plane, or
by hand feeding a planer, holding the stock flat to the table as it enters
and leaves, the interior not even touching. Pretty much as on a jointer.
Second, crown, which can be done by knocking the center down by hand, or, as
others have mentioned, by setting your planer so thin that it barely feeds,
if, you have an iron planer with a serrated infeed roller, or so it won't
feed at all on a lunchbox with rubber rollers, and taking the first pass or
two by hand..
You can also make a sled for the absolute worst case, shim and feed. to take
care of anything.
With thin wood, you use grooves or other methods in the legs/frames or
rabbet a fixed distance from the flat face to take care of cup and twist
which can still be in the board.
You must also realize that the wood on most furniture made before machinery
was not made with parallel sides, often with just scrub on the back of the
board where it wasn't seen. The only important fit was on the front, and
construction was planned to put the best face forward.
Oh, believe me, these techniques are very valid and do work, but to my
taste it's just too much fiddling around for "normal" stock prep. when
otherwise I'd just give it a few passes on the jointer and plane away.
I've got a sled with shims that I have used to surface one side of
really wide (+12") stock on special occasions, and it works really
well. I guess I'm just too linear minded and like to start off with
square and parallel stock....
Beggin' your pardon, but two planes that don't intersect are indeed
parallel. First plane is the top face of the board, the second is the
bottom face of the board. If one face of the board is skewed, extended
out enough distance it will intersect with the other face. I don't
understand your comment at all.
Yes, I joint by hand. It is so fast and easy, I never saw the need for a
jointer. If going through a planer, the stock need only be flat enough so it
doesn't rock. If edge gluing, it takes about 2 minutes to prepare a joint.
Good deal. I have some hand planes, + a (powered) planer. But no
powered jointer. I'm a beginning hobbyist, so wanted to give it a go
by hand before I tried trading cash for skill. Thanks for the
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