I am a fairly new woodworker, and may have become a little over zealous. :) I am expecting a new baby on July 25th, and decided I wanted to make the cradle. I chose ash, as it has a beautiful grain, is a little less expensive, and was reported as being a little easier to work with.
I have been jointing with my table saw, and a little work with a block plane (I know, the right tool for the right job...). I don't have a jointing plain, as the only one I can find is the Record on Grizzley at 129$. My joints have been ok, with only about a 1/32 between boards. Just couldn't get it much less than this without causing more misery. Seemed to come together well with the clamps at least.
Well, I had this great idea to make the two sides of my project angled. Lets see if I can explain this OK. I jointed several of the boards, then made a 15:2 r/r angle through the middle of the new panel, so that I could then flip the boards, and joint them along the cut edge to form a nice central effect. Well that went well, but now, without a jointer, I have about 1/16th of an inch gap along that seem. I haven't glued it yet, just dry fit it with the clamps... Well my little block plane will do nothing against this cross grain edge. I has suspected that it wouldnt, but tried anyway.
Now, I tried running the edges with a power planer that I borrowed, but that made it worse. Back to the table saw... Now, Do I find someone with a Jointer, or do I just dress the edges with a belt sander, or is there a better suggestion.
I'm not sure if I'm understanding you correctly, but I'll give it a shot. You're having problems getting jointed edges flat, right? The first thing you should do is sharpen that block plane. Typically, block planes are the tool of choice for jointing end grain. (usually they're low-angle block planes, but if yours is sharp and set for a shallow cut, it should work.) Although the block plane doesn't have a long enough base to do jointing very well, you could probably make it work for the time being by just hitting the high spots with it. For example, if the 1/16" gap is in the middle, plane the edges of one board and it will cut down the gap a little.
I don't know how far along your wife is in her pregnancy, (i.e., how much time you've got) but you might want to look for a used plane and
tune it up. Most good woodworking books will have a section on how to tune and sharpen planes. You could look on ebay, garage sales, or flea markets.
I suspect the reason you don't have a jointer is because of budgetary reasons. I stopped woodworking for about a year until I saved up and bought a jointer and planer, and my pleasure has gone up a lot since I got them. It's not so frustrating to try and put things together which don't fit. FWIW, the jointer was $400 and the planer was $380. If I had it to do again, I would have dropped another $100 and gotten the Jet 1 HP 6" jointer. It's money well spent, IMO. Good luck.