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OK, I have $600 to buy some tool(s). What would you buy?

1. Planer
2. Jointer
3. Bandsaw

I already have a good table saw, decent miter saw, good drill press, ROS and finishing sanders, HVLP sprayer, good router and router table, etc. So I am looking at buying one of the 3 choices above. I would like to buy new as well.

I mainly build small things like clocks, cabinets, mirror frames, and such. I would like to build some end tables, coffee tables, headboards and stuff like that in the future. On some of my projects I would love to be able to cut curves so that is why I threw in the bandsaw.

So, what are your thoughts?

Thanks - Bob
 

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Do you use hand planes? I do, so I have a bandsaw and neither of the other two. If I didn't do most of my work while everyone was asleep upstairs or if I was trying to make money, I'd probably have needed the planer and jointer before a bandsaw.
 

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Jointer before planer. You can't plane flat if you don't join first. Actually a well equipped shop needs all three, and if judicious shopping of the used market, the band saw and the jointer can be had for less than $600.
 

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Planer, then jointer....preferably both! With the help of a planer sled, the planer can be coaxed into flattening a face....it's not as efficient at it as a jointer, but it'll work.

Use a jig saw for curves until you can score your band saw.
 

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Old Methane Gas Cloud
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Think back to that Woodshop class in middle school.

The first tool that you learned to use was the vise followed by a hand plane. The hand plane was used to square up the stock which is the function of a jointer.

With a jointer you can get three of the four sides of the stock flat and square. To make the fourth side (face) flat and parallel to the first face you need a planer or hand plane.

Grizzly has some nice power tools for woodworkers at reasonable prices. There are two jointers in your price range. IMHO a jointer should be your first purchase then followed by a planer.
 

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Planer, band saw, jointer.

I recently just bought a jointer which isn't even useable yet and I've built plenty I furniture without one. Honestly if it wasn't for it being a good deal on Craigslist I'd have never bought one.
 

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I recently bought all three, haven't received the band saw yet it comes Friday. Haven't touched my planer yet but did use the jointer and it is awesome. I'll probably use my jointer a lot since, with narrow pieces, I can just joint both faces as well as edges and be done with it. I got the bandsaw mainly for resaws. I plan to use the crap out of all three though. A bench top drill press will be next.
 

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I too would list planer, bandsaw and jointer in order of preference.

That being said, I have all 3 and use the bandsaw the most. Mostly because I'm also a turner and the bandsaw lets me prep stock for the lathe.

The jointer is one of the most difficult tools in the shop to set up and get good results from. Even after 30 years with it I still make tapered boards. It's easier for me to rough one side flat by hand and use the planer to get a board trued. If I had to give up one of the 3 it'd be the jointer.
 

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where's my table saw?
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I agree

Jointer before planer. You can't plane flat if you don't join first. Actually a well equipped shop needs all three, and if judicious shopping of the used market, the band saw and the jointer can be had for less than $600.
The jointer is the first machine in the preparation of rough stock. It will yield a flat face which then can be referenced to give a square edge. Edges can be squared without a jointer by using a straight line sled on a table saw, but there is no way other than handplaning to get a flat face...easily.

The planer relies on the flat face of the jointer to get a board with uniform thickness. There is no other way to thickness a board uniformly other than a planer. The planer was the last of the 3 machines I purchased, but now I really use it because I work with rough sawn wood almost exclusively.

The bandsaw is more for resawing, furniture making with curves, and cutting out bowls for turning although I use mine for making tenons. It can be setup to cut very straight surfaces. You generally don't make cabinets with a bandsaw. :no:

A jointer is a simple machine and can be setup easily IF you know how. There are lots of 'how to's" on the web. Setting the knives is also easy if you know what to do. Don't be concerned with those aspects. We can help.
 

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* Jointer

* Bandsaw

* Planer

In that order. I think a jointer is a necessary piece of equipment. There are many cuts where a bandsaw is needed. A planer is nice to have if you want to use rough cut wood.

George
 

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It's funny how views are so different. I find a jointer a nicety, not a necessity. While I find my planner impossible to work without. And yet at the end of the day we all get work done.
 

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I'm about to upset the entire apple cart.

Do you have a router table? If so, forget the joiner for now and get the planer. A straight bit in a router on a table can do maybe half of the work done at a joiner.

If you just can't see yourself living without a joiner, never plan to use thick wood that will need to be resawn, and only work in 6" and 8" widths, go ahead and get that joiner.

Personally, I have all three and I doubt you'll find a really good 14" ( the smallest one that is worth the space it takes up IMO) bandsaw that won't cost over your $600.00 limit by the time you have it shipped to you..

Having said all that, I'd opt for the planer.
 

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You could have the craftsman clone rikon bandsaw and a steel city planer for around 700ish.....or keep an eye out for used on Craigslist? I recently picked up two jointers for 120 bucks combined.....anyone wanna buy one off me?
 

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Do you need to work with rough lumber? If you are content to buy S4S lumber then I would get a bandsaw first. You should be able to find a good used bandsaw within your budget. If you want to use rough lumber then it's a toss up as to which to get first, jointer or planer because, in my opinion, you really need both. If you mostly build small things the bandsaw would be a help there also.
 

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where's my table saw?
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jointer because ....

A table saw has a fence and flat table which meet at 90 degrees no matter where you slide the fence. A board must have the same condition, a flat face and an edge at 90 degrees, to register against the fence. Otherwise, if the board is curved or not laying perfectly flat on the table it will bind on the blade and cause a kickback. :eek::thumbdown:

The jointer is the only machine that will create this needed condition with just a few passes and within a minute or so. This is a safety issue, not a which tool do I like best or want the most. It's what you need for the safe operation of the table saw. :yes:

When I need to level out a very uneven plank or log I go to the bandsaw because it is much more forgiving IF the bottom surface is not perfectly flat. Where as a tablesaw would be dangerous under those conditions. Have I snapped a bandsaw blade, sure, but a bandsaw will not kickback like a tablesaw if the piece is not flat on the bottom.

A 6" jointer can be used to flatten any number of 6" boards which can then be joined together in sections or all together to make a flat table top.
 

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Maybe

You could have the craftsman clone rikon bandsaw and a steel city planer for around 700ish.....or keep an eye out for used on Craigslist? I recently picked up two jointers for 120 bucks combined.....anyone wanna buy one off me?
Where you located?
 
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