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Do I need a planer?

27630 Views 18 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Verndog
Do I need a Jointer?

I have a major project in my future doing a complete remodel of our kitchen. I will be doing raised panel doors and have a table saw, radial arm saw, router table, biscuit joiner, planer, Kreg jig etc. Do I really need a jointer if I purchase 4/4 stock that is supposedly flat on one side and one edge? I have heard of using the router table as a jointer for the panels etc. I ran into a gentleman at the woodworking show this weekend and he claimed that the jointer and the planer were the most important tools in the shop. It really got me thinking? Do I really need this monster? The jointer he recommended was a Delta DJ-20 and is around 6 Feet long and probably a couple feet wide. I feel that my shop is full now and I haven't even started to fill it with materials. There is obviously a lot of good advice on this forum and I definitely need some! Thanks in advance for your assistance!
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There are many ways to accomplish most tasks and everyone approaches things differently. You don't need a jointer or a planer anymore than you need any tool, but they sure are do make wwing easier and more accurate. A jointer is the best tool for making the face of a board flat, straight, and square to an adjacent edge. The jointer is the first step in my dimensioning process for rough sawn lumber....flatten a face, square an adjacent edge to the face, then plane the opposite face parallel to the flat face. There are work-arounds but no tool is more efficient at it than a jointer IMO. Regardless of how you accomplish it, a flat face is the main point of reference for all other surfaces, and without it, your joinery won't be as accurate. If you skip the flattening step, your edges won't necessarily be a perfect 90° to the face.

You can build a sled for your planer and flatten the face of boards using the sled's surface as the primary reference, and then do your edge jointing with a router or TS. You can also flatten with a handplane but it's a lot of work and takes time. Or you can also pay a supplier extra to flatten a face for you.

My shop and budget limited me to a 6" jointer...I wish I had an 8" but I get by with the 6".
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The few boards that are cupped beyond what the planer fixes, I use for mouldings or thinner strips.....
So it sounds to me like you're still doing some face flattening, but solely with the planer, which I think is the point that Bill was getting at....
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