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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back in the day in high school, there used to be a monster of a jointer that we would always run our boards through to get them flat before putting them in the planner. We did it just like you have always been told and always read about and always tell those that ask how to do it. So when I had the opportunity to buy one of those 12-inch monsters I bought it. After about a year or so I got tired of it taking up so much room and I seldom used it. I sold it for a nice profit and moved on to a much smaller, half the size but still an excellent jointer. I kept that one around for a few years but again got tired of it sitting there taking up space so I sold that one too for another nice profit. I've been without one for years but never have missed it. I have no problem at all getting glue ready edges on my table saw and no problem getting perfectly planed surfaces. As a matter of fact, I prefer to do the edges of the boards in batches on the planer because all the boards come out exactly the same size. When I did them on the jointer it seemed like I always ended up with one board that I had to put through for one last pass which screwed the rest up and would have to take the others down to get the same width.
 

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As a matter of fact, I prefer to do the edges of the boards in batches on the planer because all the boards come out exactly the same size. When I did them on the jointer it seemed like I always ended up with one board that I had to put through for one last pass which screwed the rest up and would have to take the others down to get the same width.
The proper procedure is to joint one edge, then cut or plane to finish size.
The jointer is the only tool than can straighten an edge and flatten a board without using an additional jig or fixture.
Run a bowed board through a planer, and the bow will still be there no matter how many times you run it through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not so unless you are trying to do a wide board, say 10 inch or so and that isn't the width that you would typically want to glue together or for that matter work with. I suppose if you really wanted to use a board that wide (which is more likely to warp) then you could use a router sled, You don't need a jig to get a straight edge just a straight board attached to the edge of the crocked one. But if the board is already at an angle all the jointer will do is give up a smooth crooked edge that is not parallel to other side of the board. But as I said in the original post the way you say to do it is the way I learned to do it and always read that it should be done. But after 60 years of experience, I have learned that what I read wasn't necessarily the only way to do a task.
 

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If you are careful to buy the straightest, flattest stock you can find, you can use a sled with your planer. You can get a small warp or twist out of thick stock using a long hand plane. Once its flat enough to stop rocking, you can use a planer sled. You can straighten the edge with a jig on the table saw. But nothing will salvage a board with a significant warp or twist, just don't buy it. I like my jointer for putting a flat surface on a resawed piece.

Only problem with a planer sled is how much space it takes up. As the picture shows, a planer sled can be pretty simple, especially if you are careful in selecting fairly flat wood for your projects. There are many very fancy sled designs, but I'm a fan of simplicity. Note that the convex side goes up.
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Theo
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If you are careful to buy the straightest, flattest stock you can find, you can use a sled with your planer.
No jointer, but have a planer. If I want to do the edge of a board(s), I use 1 of my homemade planer sleds. Get the edges straight, flip the boards, and I can get boards exactly the same width. I used some of my cam clamps to make clamps for my planer sleds, and shim if only 1 or 2 blades. Got several sleds, different widths. Been using them for years, and work like a charm. The largest is wide enough to just fit thru the planer, the smallest is about 2-3 inches wide.
 

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You don't need a jig to get a straight edge just a straight board attached to the edge of the crocked one
Which is basically a jig...

If you want the flattest, straightest boards, a jointer is the fastest and easiest ways to get them.
Yes, there are lots of ways to duplicate a jointers function, if you don't have the room or don't want to spend the money on one.
 

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I have a Freud Glue Edge blade in my saw that produces baby benind smooth rip cuts, ready to glue. If you use a jig to cut one very straight edge, then use the fence on the straight side and you've got a mighty find piece of wood.

When I buy from a big lot store I often go through most of the stack to find a few pieces that are really straight and flat. I kind of keep track of when the stack is refreshed and try to buy the best of the lot. I've had really good luck with finding 1.5 inch wide face frame material. I like the narrower look better than 2 inch wide. The concrete floors are generally pretty flat, so I lay the candidate pieces down and flip all four sides to see if there's any bowing or twisting. Twists are outta there.

The thing I've noticed about big box lumber is even if you straighten it out, if there's much of a warp, it will warp again fairly soon. The biggest limitation is that you're buying 3/4 hardwood there so by the time you mess with it, you're down to 5/8ths after light milling, half an inch if you've really gone at it.
 

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Doug
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I was originally in the "no jointer" crowd because I didn't have one / couldn't afford one. I made do with my router planing system and a jointer fence on the router.

I got my first jointer by accident (a 4 incher) in 2008, as I had to buy it to get another tool I wanted, and after fixing it up began to appreciate the time it saved. I traded up from that one to a 6 inch jointer, and I would love to have the room to go bigger. I was always envious when my daughter was in shop class in high school, they have a 12 inch jointer and a 15 inch planer. The shop teacher always reminds me that I can swing by if I need the extra capacity.

The 2 reasons I like the jointer is it saves money, but more importantly it saves time. Yes, I can surface boards with a router, or by shimming on a planer. Setting up and doing it that way VS passing it over the jointer takes much longer. Buying boards in the rough, using recycled lumber, or stuff I find on the side of the road saves money. Also, planing down smaller pieces is a little safer on the Jointer than the planer (as long as the sides were parallel to begin with) because I don't have to glue them down to a planer sled.
 

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I was originally in the "no jointer" crowd because I didn't have one / couldn't afford one. I made do with my router planing system and a jointer fence on the router.

I got my first jointer by accident (a 4 incher) in 2008, as I had to buy it to get another tool I wanted, and after fixing it up began to appreciate the time it saved. I traded up from that one to a 6 inch jointer, and I would love to have the room to go bigger. I was always envious when my daughter was in shop class in high school, they have a 12 inch jointer and a 15 inch planer. The shop teacher always reminds me that I can swing by if I need the extra capacity.

The 2 reasons I like the jointer is it saves money, but more importantly it saves time. Yes, I can surface boards with a router, or by shimming on a planer. Setting up and doing it that way VS passing it over the jointer takes much longer. Buying boards in the rough, using recycled lumber, or stuff I find on the side of the road saves money. Also, planing down smaller pieces is a little safer on the Jointer than the planer (as long as the sides were parallel to begin with) because I don't have to glue them down to a planer sled..
Still not sold
Wood Hardwood Ceiling Plywood Lumber
Wood Hardwood Publication Lumber Plywood
 

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I want to note that I have a 6 inch Powermatic jointer, and it is a marvelous tool and I think it's a must if you use rough sawn wood. My posts about planer sleds are about alternatives for those who can't afford a dedicated jointer, or who don't have space. My Powermatic takes up quite a bit of shop real estate, and I bought it years ago during my highest earning years, but I am always going to think and write about alternatives.
 

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I think if all you need to do is edge jointing that can be easily taken care of by a track saw, your router table or even a bandsaw if you are skilled enough. If you need to level out a boards face you can use a sled on your planer but it is a lot of work. I'm building a small table with my nephew out of some old cherry I had laying around. The top is made up of six 4" wide by 48" long boards that all needed a little straightening on one face before we could run then through the jointer. Cleaning up those 6 boards took about 30 minutes on my little 6" jointer. It probably would taken most of the day if I had to use a sled to straighten those boards on a planer.
 

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Theo
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Also, planing down smaller pieces is a little safer on the Jointer than the planer (as long as the sides were parallel to begin with) because I don't have to glue them down to a planer sled.
Glue to a planer sled? Never heard of that. I had never even heard of a planer sled, but when I did sounded like a great idea. So made some, without ever having seen one. To hold the wood in place, I used some left over cam clamps I had made, and incorporated the heads to clamp the wood in place. And it worked great, and still does. I have the same sleds I made somewhere over 10 years ago, and they are still used when I need them.
 

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Doug
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Glue to a planer sled? Never heard of that. I had never even heard of a planer sled, but when I did sounded like a great idea. So made some, without ever having seen one. To hold the wood in place, I used some left over cam clamps I had made, and incorporated the heads to clamp the wood in place. And it worked great, and still does. I have the same sleds I made somewhere over 10 years ago, and they are still used when I need them.
Theo, Some short pieces I glue longer sacrificial pieces to the sides so that it becomes long enough to safely run through the planer. Other times I use a planer sled and shims to hold wobbly boards, and I secure them and the shims in place with hot glue. The back of the sled has a fixed lip that holds from behind, which is where the real strength is, the hot glue just adds more stability.
 

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I think if all you need to do is edge jointing that can be easily taken care of by a track saw, your router table or even a bandsaw if you are skilled enough. If you need to level out a boards face you can use a sled on your planer but it is a lot of work. I'm building a small table with my nephew out of some old cherry I had laying around. The top is made up of six 4" wide by 48" long boards that all needed a little straightening on one face before we could run then through the jointer. Cleaning up those 6 boards took about 30 minutes on my little 6" jointer. It probably would taken most of the day if I had to use a sled to straighten those boards on a planer.
Most times if the boards aren't straight I simply take clamps and see if they pull together nice. If the joints look good I just glue them up. If not I'll run them each side a few time through the tablesaw to put a good edge on and check again...
 
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