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Jointing With A Planer








I came across some wonderful oak boards for a small table I wanted to build. The problem was the boards were too wide for my jointer and I didn’t want to rip them any narrower. I solved my dilemma with this planer sled that allows me to use my planer as a jointer. The trick is to keep the board from rocking during planing. A wood shim under the high corner is all it takes. I add hot-melt glue to the shim and all four corners of the board to keep them from shifting on the sled during planing. Once I have one side planed flat I take the board off the sled, flip it over and plane the other side. The boards for my table were only 4-ft. long and the sled is about 6-in. longer. This technique works equally well for longer boards although you will need a longer sled and you may need additional shims along the sides. 






Frank wrote re: Jointing With A Planer
on 05-06-2009 1:44 PM

I don't get it.  Jointing is squaring an edge, not smoothing the face.  How does this joint the boards?  The blades on the planer are still on the top, and only cutting into the face of the board.  I keep looking at the picture and reading the text, thinking that I am missing something, but I still can't see how this helps joint the board, unless I am missing something in the terminology being used.  Maybe my definitions are backwards.

Mark Chiasson wrote re: Jointing With A Planer
on 05-10-2009 8:29 PM

Jointing a board means getting a flat face and a square edge so you can plane it flat. You can't put a rough piece of stock through a planer because it won't cut right. The piece needs to be flat before you put it through the planer, and if your jointer isnt wide enough to get a flat face, then a sled, shim, and a stop is necessary to get the board flat enough to smooth out one of the faces.

(Correct me if I'm wrong, anybody; I'm only 16.)

Frank wrote re: Jointing With A Planer
on 05-11-2009 10:54 AM

See, that's what I'm a little confused about.  I do all my woodworking at the local wood hobby shop on Camp Lejeune, NC.  Not being very experienced with woodworking I can't speak from my vast experience, but when I became interested in woodworking I read everything I could get my hands on and learned from the people running the shop and other enthusiasts.  They have a planer in their shop which they use to plane both faces of boards from rough lumber.  In fact, that's why I like them so much.  They sell rough cut lumber cheap and then the use of the shop is extremely cheap so I can just plane it and joint it in there.  But they use the planer for both faces and the jointer for the first edge and then the table saw for the final edge.  I guess there is more than one way to skin a cat but I can't see how you can get surface the edge of a board using the planer, that's what I'm confused about, and the picture doesn't show that.  

Frank wrote re: Jointing With A Planer
on 05-11-2009 10:58 AM

Okay, after reading it again I realized what the guy was doing.  Now my question is why the guys at my shop not use a sled when planing the faces of the rough cut lumber?  And why do they need to?  The stuff that comes out of the planer seems perfectly flat to me.  Maybe their planer is made for this kind of thing?  Or maybe this guys boards were just way to warped?  I guess my lack of knowledge and experience is really showing here.

Mark wrote re: Jointing With A Planer
on 05-12-2009 8:51 PM

Mark your right, You have to run a rough sawn board on a jointer first, to smooth the face then do one or both edges, then you can go ahead and use the thickness planer. Or like you said, make a sled to run the board.

pbarra wrote re: Jointing With A Planer
on 06-28-2009 5:59 AM

The jointer will give you a perfectly flat face after one or more passes (depending on the piece of wood). Then the edges can be made perpendicular to that flat face that was jointed. The surface planer is then used to make the second face parallel to the jointed face. The jointed face, being perfectly flat goes down on the platen? of the surface planer and then the knives above the rough face make contact with the highest points of the rough face. With each pass through the surface planer the highest points are removed until the top face has no high points and the top face is flat. That face may be run through the jointed to remove any knife marks that are sometimes left by the surface planer. The result is two perfectly smooth and PARALLEL faces with perpendicular edges.

Kris wrote re: Jointing With A Planer
on 07-24-2009 10:47 PM

Just to be clear, if you are running a board with two rough "faces" or, more likely, two non flat faces, through a planer without the sled you are not just doing it differently, you are doing it incorrectly. If the bottom face is not flat (I am not saying smooth) your top surface will not be flat when you finish. The author is probably using a jointer to flatten the edge. People use this method to joint faces on boards that are wider than their jointer. Most jointers are 6" wide and some are 8" wide while most planers are 12" or wider.

fire_n_the_hole wrote re: Jointing With A Planer
on 08-26-2009 11:25 AM

As some others have eluded to...a curved, bowed, twisted or cupped board run through a planer without a sled and shims will come out on the other side a smooth curved, bowed, twisted or cupped board.  The sled and shims flatten, just like a jointer.  

clayrobinson wrote re: Jointing With A Planer
on 09-23-2009 3:02 PM


pwdr_river_cwby wrote re: Jointing With A Planer
on 01-21-2010 12:23 AM

facejointing is to make a surface flat and smooth,, be it done on a jointer or through a planer w/ shims to eliminate twist and rocking of the plank,, planeing is to reduce the plank to the proper thickness useing the faceplain surface as a register for the machine,,

pwdr_river_cwby wrote re: Jointing With A Planer
on 01-21-2010 12:34 AM

the operational comment was " the trick is to keep the board from rocking during planeing",, a jointer makes one surface flat so there is no rock as you run it through a thickness planer,, basically w/ the shims and sled he eliminated 'rocking' , surface jointed a wider face than his jointer would handle,, then turned it over and , without the sled, planed it to thickness from the other side,, eliminatein bows, warps and cups as would happen on a six inch board that had been 'jointed' on one surface,, piece of cake

Frank wrote re: Jointing With A Planer
on 05-13-2010 4:09 PM

ok everybody ihave it figured out now.  i have brought it up to the boys running my local shop and they said something about their planer being able to overcome that problem combined with their technique of flipping the board over each pass.

Brent_GLD wrote re: Jointing With A Planer
on 06-04-2010 9:16 AM

I used to use this method of flipping the board over each pass, it works ok but it doesn't get out all twist, especially if you have a large twist or your board isn't very think to start with.  People use the jointer for the face because there isn't much pressure pushing down on the wood when it passes over the blades, which makes the high points get cut off.  When you run it through the planer, it pushes down hard on the wood, making the twist work out of it before the blades get a chance to cut the high spots.  Once the wood passes out through the planer, the twist shows up again.  The technique shown above doesn't allow the planer to push the twist out of the board as it moves along.