I am debating between buying a power jointer or a hand plane. If you guys
have any pros and cons on this please enlighten me. Do hand planes work as
well as a jointer. Will I still need to sand after hand planing. I am
looking at Veritas planes so I am not looking at cheap planes. Any help or
Hand planes need more skill but are more satisfying. Clifton planes are
also worth looking at alongside Veritas - I like my 4 1/2. I've bought
Record and Stanley planes off e-bay and been lucky - you can still get
the irons. Power tools get you square more easily - do you need to
I have started to try to reduce my power tool use, partly due to
'carbon footprint' considerations but also because I want to count
myself as more skillful and am rarely in a hurry. This has included
using my Father's old wooden moulding planes - very satisfying and
great fun. Having said which I wouldn't be without my band saw, which
is both productive and creative, particularly for cutting curves.
If you're buying a plane for jointing try and find a 7.
Some craftsmen claim that they don't need to sand after planing. Well I
do! Higher quality timber will plane smoother. Of course the iron needs
to be sharp and the plane set up properly for its purpose - try Garret
Hack's book - 'The Hand Plane' - brilliant. At my level I usually end
up power sanding through the grades and then hand sanding with 'wet and
dry' for a super smooth finish. If using hard wood try cabinet
I hope this is what you wanted and apologies for drivelling if it
buick 58 wrote:
I can clamp a 7 foot board and joint it silently in my basement shop
using the #8 I inherited from Grandpa along with the Veritas magnetic
jointer fence, vis
<http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&pA716&cat=1,41182> at 6
am without waking up SWMBO.
That counts for something...
And with a Scary Sharp (TM) blade in that #8, there's no sanding
involved prior to glue-up.
I can't understand this "between buying" part. "Between using" maybe,
but there doesn't seem to be much question about whether to buy the
hand plane or not. The machine is optional, but there's little good
reason to not buy some sort of long plane.
You can joint edges with either. If you have a decent bench and a
modicum of skill, you can hand joint them. It's not even slow to do,
assuming a reasonable quality of rip cut to begin with. Personally I
tend to joint things on my jointer when I'm already using it to prepare
surfaces, but for "table tops" of big boards that are already flat,
I'll joint them by hand just because it's more pleasurable and quieter.
I imagine that I'm like most people in that I own a powered 6" jointer
because they're fairly cheap and most of the time I'm using it without
the fence as a surface planer. It pays for itself because I need that
planer, and anything else is a bonus.
It's still an expensive machine though and my jointer planes (old S/H)
cost me a fraction of this. I've a set of #6, #7 & #8 of which I almost
never use the #8 (too clumsy, unless you really need the width), I use
the #7 for big things (doors and tables) and use the #6 for small stuff
(boxes and portable casework) because it's lighter. For huge work
(flattening glued-up tables and smoothing barn timbers) I'll use an old
wooden jointer, again because of the weight.
Yes, and with a better finish. Jointers always leave some degree of
scalloping on the surface. You can glue this as-is, but if it's a
visible edge it'll light up like Vegas when you've got the finish on
If you're buying new, that's an excellent place to look. Don't forget
second hand Stanleys though.
I think that it depends on what you are doing for projects. If it's making
relatively large quantities of flooring or flat casing the jointer is
probably better simply due to the production speed possible and the human
fatigue factor. If you are making one of a kind furniture, hand planes are
more than adequate and will often times allow you to plane things you could
never do on a jointer or thickness planer, e.g., level pins and tails for
hand cut dovetails, or flatten and smooth a large glued up table top.
Me personally, I use both an 8" jointer and various hand planes. The jointer
is typically used for big what might be called architectural projects along
with hand plane smoothing, while furniture and accessory projects are often
done entirely with hand planes.
There is a place for both in most shops... unless perhaps you're more of one
of those rec.crafts.woodturning guys.
Pros of hand plane:
-Smoother finish (No sanding or hand-tool cleanup required to remove
-Curly shavings, not dust & chips (no DC required)
-Probably faster for a single workpiece (less setup)
-Doesn't take up valuable floor space
-Burns calories, not electricity (therefore no extra wiring required)
Pros of power jointer:
-Probably faster for a production-scale run
-Some models can be used for rabbets, which would require a separate
-No skill or visual checking necessary to joint to exactly 90 degrees
(once machine fence is set up properly, and unless you have the "hand
plane fence" mentioned in an earlier post)
-Easier to remove a precise amount of waste, and to shape multiple
No. A sharp hand plane on wood with fairly straight grain leaves an
extremely smooth surface. I've even heard (though I'm not sure it's
true) that roughing up this ultra-smooth surface with 150-grit
sandpaper gives a better glue surface. That may depend on the type of
wood, the type of glue, amount of clamping pressure, etc.
Just my novice opinions - take them with the appropriate grain of salt.
I'm not anti-handplane, but the only time I choose to hand joint is when I
have a really big board that I don't want to rip. I think my LV LA Smoother
is the cat's meow, but I have at least as much affection for my 8" power
True, but in this specific case (jointing), it's irrelevant. An edge-jointed
surface will be hidden, and a facejointed surface will likely be remachined
anyway. If you're hand-planing you'll probably retouch it with a smoother.
If you're machine-jointing you'll follow up with the planer.
DC is nice but truely optional on a power jointer
I beg to differ. I can hit the on-button as fast or faster than I can clamp
a board in my front-vise.
YMMV; in the absence of skill, it can be quite frustrating to get a good
I'll add one biggie.... not limit on the size of stock that can be jointed.
You would have to try really hard to invent *any* scenario where machine
jointing did not win for speed.
OK, but there's more than one way to skin rabbit.
That's not the job of jointer... waste is much more efficiently removed by
ripping on the TS.
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
Generally, I agree. But one situation that comes to mind is
short/narrow stock. Assuming you value your fingers, you need to
devise a way to run through the jointer safely. Certainly doable, but
I'd reach for a plane instead.
Another is beveling an edge at an angle that the table saw won't
handle. I find it easier to mark the edges of the new bevel, band-saw
away most of the stock, then plane up to the marks. Maybe it's just my
technique or set-up, but I always get a tapered bevel when trying this
operation on the jointer.
When I finally got a jointer, and got it set up correctly, I found
that my planing improved. I now use the jointer for grunt work, then
decide whether the result is good enough (for many purposes it is), or
whether I want to touch it up with my planes.
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.
Even after the bandsaw I have had trouble keeping the shoulder of the taper
square. I tried firsat with the jointer and I was unhappy with the results.
I too found that operation much easier to "finess" with a hand plane and/or
I interpreted the OP's question to be limitted to the operation of
"jointing" rather than all operations that a jointer can do. Having reread
the original post, perhaps I was incorrect.
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
Jointers work. With handplanes, _you_ work. I'm not going to screw around
producing something I can't see, so I won't join with hand planes.
For touch-ups, got to have a block, a smooth, and perhaps even my new toy,
the edge plane. "The edge plane?" Yes, to touch up the edge you dinged,
burned, or didn't quite flush up with your joinery. Or trim box joints,
You could also use it to square edges, though for joining boards, square is
merely a factory convenience where all fits all. Old boys laid 'em side by
side and ran that (slightly wider, notice?) plane down the length.
Complementary angles. Might even spring joint.
My planes are lighter than my tabletops. Sometimes taking the tool to
the workpiece is less work than carrying timber back and forth, even if
I have to push the tool. We're only jointing here and with a decent rip
cut to begin with, that's only one or two passes.
Keep in mind that the jointer plane itself is not the only thing you'll
need. You will also need a *solid* bench and way to clamp the piece you are
jointing on that bench. A wobbly bench with a solid vise doesn't count, nor
does a solid bench and a flimsy vise. You must have both. The plane must
have a flat base and a sharp blade that you can resharpen & hone with skill.
Finally you'll need to learn how to use the plane properly, which apparenly
comes easier to some people so that you make square, straight edges and not
wooden letter U's (like me).
Of course there will be ongoing maintenance required on the power jointer,
but "out of the box" it does not require much skill.
It is more fun to use the hand plane even if I'm still learning to do it
properly. If you really want to have fun, get a scrub plane and go crazy
with it on some rough stock...wheee!
A hand plane followed by a scraper can eliminate the need for sanding. A
jointer will not.
It is difficult to joint a board by hand if the grain reverses several times,
which seems to be the general case nowadays. It's hard to find a board with
the grain all running in the same direction. A jointer will also have some
trouble with such a board, but not as much.
A jointer is much more efficient if you've got a lot to do. A hand plane is
much more satisfying to use.
Well thanks for all the help so far. I can see this is definately a 50-50
mixed group on this subject. I am still undecided although I think it would
be nice to use a hand plane. It makes the phrase built by hand actually mean
someting. I am going to the columbus show this weekend and will hopefully
find out some more info. It is definately going to be about personal
preference because a few good hand plane cost the same as a jointer so the
cost issue is out of the question. Dont know if this matters or not but must
of the stuff I am building is mission style furniture.
I was in your position a few years ago. I bought a new Record #5,
which even has the much-maligned plastic handles. It has a lot of
backlash in the depth adjustment, but really it has worked just fine.
Later I bought a 6" (power) jointer. Woodworking got a lot easier with
that. What helped the most is that I could easily get a reference
surface on a board. When you are learning to plane, I have found it
much easier to learn when I start with something flat and square and
then try to plane, just to maintain flat and square.
I guess what I want to emphasize is that it really isn't an either-or
question. You will probably eventually want to get both and you don't
have to get both right now. You also don't have to start out with a
new Veritas plane, even though they are supposed to be very nice. You
could start out with a new or old plane that is much less expensive and
view it kind of like a kit that needs to be tuned. Tuning a plane is
really not very difficult and you'll find instructions everywhere on
how to do that. Also, on the hand plane side, make sure you leave
money in your budget for a square, straightedge, and sharpening
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