In the somewhat near future I would like to start finishing my own
lumber and I think I need both a planer and a jointer (and probably a
band saw as well). I always thought jointers were just for edging, but
after much reading I see that to finish your own boards, you need to
square up and edge and a face on the jointer before thicknessing,
If this is the ways things are done, that means that there is no way
to prepare boards more than 6" in width? If thats true, why would one
ever need a 12-13" planer when you are always running boards 6" or
less? Or do you glue up your wider panels and then thickness them?
Just wondering about the whole process.
Thanks for any info.
p.s. Is there any reason to have just a jointer or just a planer then,
or are they always kind of used as 'a set'? If there is much use
separately, which would be most useful to buy first?
Pretty much. Once you go beyond 8" for a jointer, you are getting into big
Some of the European companies make great combination machines, also for big
bucks: MiniMax, Felder, Laguna, Hammer (from felder). They all start with 12"
jointers and work up from there.
You can get by with just a planer if you have to. If you have a board
with a lot of twist or warp, you can shim the bottom to get a good
reference face. (this is also handy when you have wide boards that you
don't want to cut down to fit the jointer) You can also plane glue-ups,
etc. made up from narrower boards.
Actually it's joint the face then the edge. That first face is the important
one. Can't get a good edge without a good face to put against the fence.
You can get large jointers also if your pockets are deep enough but,
generally, panels are just glued up from narrower stock. There is also, of
course, the premium that you have to pay for really wide boards. Being
scarce, and getting scarcer, extra wide stock usually has a premium tacked
You "face" one side on the jointer since any spring in the wood tends to
survive the planer. And doubtful you will ever achieve a uniform thickness
on a board if you rely solely on a jointer as the pressure exerted comes
from you and can vary as the board moves across the tables. Hence the
answer to your latter question is that you should have both if you can
That would be good, but you can take one step at a time.
Because after you glue them up to 12" you can run them through again to take
out any imperfection of the glue up.
I have a 13" planer but no jointer yet. Why? I can buy lumber that is skip
planed and then I finishit to the dimensions I need. I can buy wide boards
like that also. In fact, my supplier will give me a straight edge also.
Eventually I'll have the jointer, but you don't need both right off.
I get to almost the final thickness, then glue, then finish plane.
Others will make the case for the jointer and no planer to start. Still
others will tell you to buy a set of hand planes instead of a machine. Not
a question of right or wrong, just differing approaches that will work.
If you get a planer, I strongly recommend a dust collector.
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