I have seen many posts talking about the need for jointers and planers, I do not doubt their usefulness. So far, I have a tablesaw, CMS, and router, and I was hoping to start on some basic projects soon. Possibilities are items like a coffee table, some small, simple boxes, display case for collectables, and maybe a steamer trunk.
Am I going to need a jointer and planer for these projects, or will I just be wasting my time and money? I was planning on buying finished lumber, which I thought would eliminate the need for those tools. The home depot by my house has red oak, maple, poplar, aspen, and cedar that is finished on all 4 sides. I have looked at many pieces there, and they generally are straight, flat, and knot-free. I know its more expensive to buy finished lumber, but is it economical for the first bunch of projects?
Also, I have been seeing the Delta 12.5" planer on Ebay for ~$200 refurbished. I believe the model number is 22-540. Would this be a good choice for a first planer? If I used my router as an edge jointer, would this allow me to complete projects like these?
Well, you can go with S4S (Surfaced four Sides) from HD, but I've found that the thickness varies up to 1/16". This is especially true when you have different base widths.
Also, most of their lumber has rounded edges, if you're going to glue up you'll have to trim that off.
It's *expensive*. I can get rough cut oak for about 40% less than HD sells S4S ($3.85/bf vs $5.65/bf). With a savings of almost $2/bf you only have to plane a couple of hundred BF to pay for a $400 planer.
If you're just tinkering and starting out go with what you have. When you get to the point where you feel you need it, then buy. They're a good investment, but I worked for a year without one. You couldn't get mine away from me at gunpoint.
I built several projects without a planer although it took more time and care. I did learn alot and when I did finally get a planer, I appreciated that much more.
As far as a joiner goes? I don't have one. I want one and I hope to get one in a year or two, but believe me when I say that you don't need one.
I really think that the best way to find out what you need is to build, build and build some more. Learn to do with what you have. Find out what you really need and then spend the bucks on something you'll really appreciate and use. Don't get power hungry.
I do use my planer often and think it is amost a must, but I did make many big projects long before i had one. I have the 12 1/2" Delta which is a very good machine.
Like all tools the main reason for a Jointer or a planner is to make the job a bit easier. Both tools prepair stock for use. When you look at a S4S board at the home center it might look like it is straight, but if you take a straight edge along it most of them has some level of bend or warp. This is not a big issue and only effects you if your are going for fine presision.
When you build furniture you want to get your stock dimentioned in length, width and thickness. If all of your stock is the same thickness it makes laying out and cutting the joints much faster and easier.
You can build almost anything with a few hand tools, It just takes more time, skill and effort.
When you find that you enjoy the process then you can decide on buying more tools or not.
You can make a jig to go with either your router or table saw to straight line stock for glueups, etc. A planer can change the thickness of stock and turn a rough board into prime stock. I've had two jointers and got rid of both of them. I wouldn't even consider being without a planer. Buy the planer as soon as you can afford to.
The right tool for the right job.
I don't have a jointer myself, at least not one I'd call a jointer as of yet. I have a thing that was once a bench top jointer I might try and revive, mostly out of the challenge of it.
But how I do get by is after thickness plaining my stock and dimensionally ripping it, I stacked it on edge, clamped it securely with small quick clamps on the ends that would clear the sides of my planer and jointed the stack's edges by running the sandwich of boards through like a glue laminated beam.
That's one way I was able to get a volume of boards from salvaged wood for toy boxes I built.
I do plan on getting a good jointer soon and am in the shopping part of it, researching.
But like any tools, the right tool for the right job will get you leaps and bounds in the final finish.
I use a fine finger joint cutter on my router for glueing up panels. I've also used tounge and groove cutters for panels.
So you may want to look into those possibilies.
Good Luck in your shop & work safe!
I saw some plans in one of the woodworking magazines that would allow a router to be used like an edge jointer. It was basically a 6' long bed, and had a fence where you could add 1/16" inch shims to one side of the fence, and then you could put in a straight bit to cut about 1/16" off of the edge. I was thinking that this could be a good place for me to start. It seems that I can get a good thickness planer for around ~$200 with some of the refurbished models I've seen, but jointers seem much more expensive.
[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Feb-28-01 AT 03:34PM (CDT)[/font][p]I agree with Sonny on this point. Instead of trying to make a Jointer out of a router. I think this is a waste of time, you will never be able to do it right as a Jointer. Buy a glue joint bit for your router. This bit is used to make a very nice glue edge for panel glue ups. You get the equivalent of a jointed edge with the registration of a biscuit joint.
The difficult issue is setting the bit to get the correct alignment but the end result is much better than you would get with any other panel glue up method.
I am a big Jointer fan. It is used more than any other tool in my shop other than my TS. But, I don't use it a lot for panel glue ups. It is a basic stock prep tool that gives you stock that is square and true and easy to work with. That you will never get from a router table.