Can i make things withought using a plainer & or a joiner? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-21-2013, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
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Can i make things withought using a plainer & or a joiner?

I am learning to make stuff with wood but I don't have a plainer and a jointer. Am I able to make stuff like a table, a book case, and benches withought using a wood plainer and jointer? Thanks
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-21-2013, 03:48 AM
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Um Certainly!
I make tables all the time and don't have a planer or joiner. Now mind you there are times when I take my tops over to a local woodworker/cabinet maker and pay him a few $$'s to run my tops through his planer. He is able to plane as wide as 48" with a panel sander.

Much depends on what you want to build.

When starting out, the expense of equipment can be daunting, especially for the good stuff. I certainly cant/won't pay $$thousands out for equipment that is not often or rarely used.

Last edited by Da Aardvark; 05-21-2013 at 03:59 AM.
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-21-2013, 06:00 AM
where's my table saw?
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all depends on your wood source

1. If you want to use rough sawn lumber from a saw mill, then you'll need some hand planes to joint and plane the surfaces.
2. If you want to use wood that has been surfaced and planed in a lumber mill (S4S is the code) then you don't need a jointer or planer, but you'll still want the hand planes for truing and touch ups.

3. Is you want to use plywood and face the edges and mix in some hardwood, then you won't need the jointer or planer, just the hand planes.

Also depends on the project. Large tables made from planks glued together will require some means to flatten the surface. Hand tools will work and you may enjoy the process. As Advaark says you can have them sanded in a cabinet shop. on a wide belt sander. Smaller projects can be easily done with all hand tools, like boxes and chests. Chairs are another complex project that can and almost have to be made with hand tools.

One tool that often goes unmentioned is a bandsaw, one of my favorites. It is the most versatile shop machine, and will get you 80% of the way to a surface that need only to be planed smooth by hand. It can also resaw thicker boards into thinner for use on the smaller boxes. I would get a bandsaw before a jointer if just starting out.

My first shop tool was a table saw, then a 6" jointer and a planer came much later. I was only 18 yrs at the time and didn't have a clue, a mentor or even a good book on woodworking. I bought presurfaced wood and plywood and made a workbench and a stool. Now 50 years later, I have a several tablesaws, jointers and planers and a 24" drum sander as the size and scope of my projects increased and I wanted to make accurate edges and surface with less hand work and save time.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 05-21-2013 at 06:02 AM.
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-22-2013, 02:47 PM
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Well, yes - go to an antique furniture shop. Chances are a lot of the pieces were made without any power tools. My Grandfather did some fine work without even a table saw.
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-22-2013, 03:01 PM
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One of the hardwood suppliers I use has the ability to plane/joint any of the rough cut lumber they sell. They have very high end machines and will create a perfect glue joint and thicknesses. I had them do the edges of some walnut I bought because they were long pieces I didn't have a jointer at the time. They charge me $1 per board (not board foot). That's cheap, but their lumber is pretty expensive, so..... The only issue is that their planer leaves marks that need to be sanded out more than my small planer, which leaves a finer finish.

You can also buy 6S6 lumber from the borgs (HD & Lowes), but the quality is suspect and variety is very limited.
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-22-2013, 03:01 PM
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I make things without those two tools. The lumber yard I go to charges 0.15 bf to straight line rip, and 0.15 bf to plane the lumber. That is pretty good compared to buying those tools and it's a pretty good start to flat and square.
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-23-2013, 10:59 AM
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There are methods for jointing boards with a table saw or router which involve building a sled. Also a good jointer hand plane can be used and for surfacing and flattening boards a scrub plane and a jack plane work well plus is a good way to get out any frustrations you may have.

Enjoy and don't let limitations like not having certain tools stop you in any way. You can borrow tools if needed for big projects.
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-23-2013, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by abelara View Post
I am learning to make stuff with wood but I don't have a plainer and a jointer. Am I able to make stuff like a table, a book case, and benches withought using a wood plainer and jointer? Thanks
The short answer is, Yes.

I stopped at an estate sale the other day and there were a lot of nice tools both hand and powered for reasonable prices. I left without buying anything. My thought was "I have enough tools".

I've seen many shops that seem to be a place to collect tools, which is fine but I like shops that get stuff done. Having the right tools for the job can both improve quality and increase productivity but there is a limit.

I am a carpenter as well as a cabinetmaker, so I do much of my work on job sites. That in itself limits the amount of tools you can bring and invariably you leave the tool you need the most back at the shop. That is when ingenuity becomes important.

I can build just about anything with the tools I can carry, although somewhat cruder than what I might be able to produce in my shop. That doesn't lessen my sense of accomplishment. It's fun to see what you can build with as few tools as possible.

Give me a couple of hours and I can build a perfectly usable chair with a hand saw, a chisel, and a hammer. The joy of creating something with your hands is not diminished by a lack of a few tools.

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post #9 of 9 Old 05-23-2013, 12:35 PM
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I think for the most part everyone here has given good answers and advice. I would also like to add. Learning to sharpen your hand tools will require almost as much skill and knowledge as using them. This will require you to invest some time and money into sharpening equipment too.

Just getting started your not really going to know just how important it is to sharpen and tune hand tools. There's also more than one right answer and a whole lot of not so right answers on the subject.

It's easy to dive in and really get frustrated with the results your not getting. The guy in the video probably isn't showing the lengthy process he went through to get that mirror finish on his tool. Hang in and look for answers, nobody nails it on the first try. Working with hand tools and power tools doing woodworking, is truly an life long lesson and journey.


Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.

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