End Grain: Jointer Beats Planer for Stock Prep

Hammer-Jointer-PlanerCombined with a band saw, this is my go-to machine for wood preparation.

by Derek Cohen
page 54

In “Why Portable Planers are Better” (February 2016, issue #223), Christopher Schwarz presents the case for a planer (“thicknesser,” on my side of the Pacific) in a small shop as the main aid in preparing stock. I think a jointer is the better machine for this, especially when paired with a band saw.

The first thought that comes to mind about the lunchbox planer is that they are extraordinarily noisy! The universal motor wails like a banshee in heat, and is a mating call for the environmental police, panicking neighbors, and complaining family.

And flattening one side of a board with a jack plane preparatory to sending it through a planer? It is not usually a case of waving the plane over the board, and all is done in a matter of minutes. It can be hard work.

First off, let’s get past the issue of size – that the portable planer has a small footprint while an 8″ jointer takes up more space than Texas. One may indeed tuck a portable planer away in a smaller corner. In use, however, both machines require about the same space for the infeed and outfeed of longish boards.

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From the June 2016 issue, #225
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