Jointer sizes question

I am looking to start sizing my own sawn timber rather than paying the extra to get it planed down to size, partly to save cash and partly to be able to use reclaimed timber like old church benches that kind of thing. I also have a large stash of oak cut offs, some of which are more parallelogram than square than i'd like to turn into a kitchen work top.
My first thought is that i would need a thicknesser and am looking at something like a Dewalt 733. However, reading up, it seems that a thicknessner will over give me a square cut if I start with one face already flat. So it would appear that I also need a jointer to give a starting edge to start with. Unless anyone knows different.
My problem is that while something like the Dewalt will handle wood up to 12 inch wide, the jointers I have seen only handle up to six inches. Is that just the way it is or can I buy a 12 inch model? Or can I get buy with a six inch one? If people would be kind enough to avoid six/ twelve inch innuendoes that would be great.
TIA.
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It just so happens that the QVC D-I-Y programme yesterday featured two examples of these machines, a planer-thicknessers and a planer-jointer. AIUI: -They seemed to be somewhat similar in operation albeit it with the exceptions you've described; the 'thicknesser' was 12" wide and the 'jointer' 6" wide. The thicknesser had its cutting blades _above_ the workpiece while the jointer had its cutting blades below the workpiece. Obtaining a flat face on the planer/jointer was achieved by adjusting the height difference between the in-feed table and the out-feed table: on the thicknesser; the in-feed and out-feed tables are of uniform height and the planed surface achieved by lowering the cutting blades _onto_ the workpiece. Via both machines obtaining two parallel faces on the workpiece was achieved by passing the workpiece over/through the devices by flipping it. I think that's your first question addressed; the demonstrators started with rough sawn timber and achieved a first face 'flat' by repeatedly taking off a mill or so. After three-ish passes the sawn timber was nicely flat - thicknessing was then achieved by working on the other face.
The differences that I could see (without practical experience of either machine) was that ;- with the jointer, one could obtain an exact right-angle on an edge to the workpiece -but could only 'thickness' by gauging how much more wood to plane off a surface; with the thicknesser one could obtain parallel faced workpieces of a precise thickness ... but could not produce an edge perpendicular to a surface. I imagine that other methods of obtaining an edge, table saw; router, etc, could be used after thicknessing a workpiece - but am unsure how to obtain precise thickness off a jointer
I'll pause here for the inevitable postings of ;- 'With this jig and a complete 2, 000 sqft workshop you can create cathedrals out of matchsticks and umpteen gallons of glue!"
--

Brian



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On Mon, 27 Feb 2006 11:30:03 GMT, "Brian Sharrock"

I don't know about this one, but normally the outfeed table and cutter block remain fixed relative to one another and the infeed table is adjusted up and down. The work is passed over the cutter head pushing down initially on the infeed side and then the outfeed side as it goes through.

The planed face is placed downwards on the thicknesser bed and either the cutter lowered to meet the top face, or on some machines where the cutter block is fixed, the bed is raised to meet the cutter.

Sort of. With a planer (aka jointer), you can produce exact right angles. On some, the fence can be angled and you can taper edges as well.
You can thickness with a planer, but then you have to measure carefully as you go taking off a little at a time. This is true with a planer as well, although usually there is a scale for setting thickness.
You can do right angled pieces on a thicknesser, but there are limits. This involves clamping a known right angled piece of material to the side of that being thicknessed.

A table saw (decent one with a good blade) can produce quite an acceptable edge for a lot of purposes. It's not as good as a planer, though, so I tend to cut slightly over size and do a final pass or two over the planer to complete the task.
A router in a table can also produce a square edge, although again does need to have an adequate supporting surface for the size of material.

Bricks out of compressed chippings?
--

.andy


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wrote:

We had a thread on this area a week or so back. Look in Google Groups for John Rumm's article on the DW733.
You can get a reasonable way with just a thicknesser if your main objective is to prepare sawn timber and it isn't for precision joinery.
If you are trying to edge joint timber accurately to make wider boards, then I am not sure that that can be done all that well without a planer (jointer in Merkin). I tried it as an exercise once and ended up with places where the glue joints weren't that good.
I am dubious also, for this application, especially with heavy material like oak, whether the planer on a portable planer would give a good enough result. For one thing, manipulating the wood safely would be pretty difficult. The main issue is having solid support (e.g. cast iron) for the timber on infeed and outfeed tables on a planer.
You can certainly buy 150 and 200mm stand-alone planers. For example, the Jet ones like the 54 at about 750. However, the 200mm are 1100 or so.
I think that a floor standing planer/thicknesser would be a better bet for your application. There are basic ones like the Axminster AW106 for about 500. This is 250mm width. Reasonable 310mm ones like the Jet JPT-310 are around 1300.
I use a Felder CF731 combination machine which has a 310mm planer/thicknesser. You can have the planer/thicknesser separately, these start at 3k.
If you are willing to spend around 1500, then it's worth looking at Felder's Hammer range. There is a 310mm planer/thicknesser in that range which is very good and solid. These are all made in Austria.
Another product range at a similar price point is Rojek (made in Czech Republic). These seem to get consistently good reviews.
If you are going to look at planer/thicknessers the important things to look at apart from the tables are the feed arrangements and ease of conversion between the two functions. On my machine this takes about a minute. You have to raise the planer bed, swing the collection hood over and move the thicknesser table. This is not a big deal at all since one can normally plan operations in sequence. For example, plane a side and an edge on several pieces first, then thickness, rip to width and finally plane the sawn edge.
With a wider planer/thicknesser, it's mandatory to have chip and dust collection. I don't know of any that will self clear like a portable thicknesser will. Therefore you have to also budget for a decent extraction system. The toy things with a 50mm hose won't do the job. Larger planer thicknessers start with 100mm or 120mm extract outlets. The extraction system needs to have enough power to move a specified volume of air (often over 1000 cu.m/hr). These start at a few hundred pounds.
Another thing is to check power supply. Most have a single phase motor option but some are three phase only. You also have to consider the power requirements for the planer and the extractor running simultaneously......
It does need to be planned carefully.....
--

.andy


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Personally I prefer the Axminster CT330. Seems to have a bit more grunt and the extra inch or so of width lets me end up with a usable 12" board. Both good machines though, as are most of these thicknessers that have a "head lock".

It will indeed. It will also give you a pair of opposing flat surfaces, starting from cupped boards. You do _not_ need a wide surface planer, a thicknesser is adequate.
A surface planer alone will give you wedged or tapered boards and is not a viable option. A thicknesser alone is.
The only thing a thicknesser can't fix is severe twist. But it's doubtful if a surface planer is much better, or if you really ought to be using that board anyway.
Some people put cupped boards onto a sled before running them through a thicknesser. I don't. I start them concave side down, I keep the cut pressure light and I knock off the worst high-spots beforehand with a scrub or power plane. This is quicker than throwing long boards around the workshop.
Using a thicknesser is a two person job, as it's three times faster than working alone, especially with long or heavy boards. It also needs plenty of clear trestle space alongside to stack the boards you're working on. I typical thickness maybe a dozen boards at a time, taking them down together.

A "jointer" is a surface planer with a tall fence, so that you can do edges on it. Americans call planers, jointers and they call thickness planers, planers. They can't help it. It's rare to see a surface planer that isn't a jointer.
You certainly don't need a starting edge beforehand. I store most of my timber thicknessed and dry (inside the house) but the edges are still rough. Think about edges after both surfaces. Certainly don't expect that jointing two "90" angles will give you parallel faces! This is joinery, not geometry,
A good cabinet saw will give you clean 90 edges that only need a wipe with a plane to be done. You can live without a jointer.
I rarely use my thicknesser, but when I do I hammer it hard for a couple of days solid. It has paid for itself in cheaper timber several times over. My jointer is used regularly, for a short time and then back under the dustsheet. I could manage without it. I mainly use it for surfacing small work, particularly squares that were never thicknessed, and not often for edge jointing.
You've already noticed the width issue. I have a 12"+ thicknesser and a 6" jointer, simply because the commonplace 10" convertible machine would have been too narrow. A 12" planer is nice, but you're looking at a combination machine costing a couple of grand to get that.

This is Usenet. If the sensible people can't give you enough divergent answers, just ask one of the idiots.
--
Cats have nine lives, which is why they rarely post to Usenet.

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On Mon, 27 Feb 2006 21:08:30 +0000, Andy Dingley

Depends on the feed rate. Mine has two (6 and 12m/min) and I can feed a bunch of boards through myself on either setting...
--

.andy


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And on the size of the board. I can throw a 6' long oak bard around, but not if I'm holding it from just one end. It's easier with two people, one each end, and just having to shift them sideways between the in and out piles.
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William Spokeshave?
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On Tue, 28 Feb 2006 01:01:51 +0000, Andy Dingley

I see.
As you like it :-)
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Andy Dingley wrote:

An interesting sport; a combination of Highland Games and Eisteddfod?
Owain
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Tossing the waffler?
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extra
to
have
Thanks to the people taking time to write such detailed replies. I reckon I'll go with a thicknesser first and then asses a need for a jointer later. Cheers.
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