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Thread: More Jointer vs. Planer questions

  1. #1
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    More Jointer vs. Planer questions

    There's something I'm still trying to understand regarding a jointer versus a planer.

    I have read some people say that after they glue up boards, they run them through the planer.

    What I don't understand is, after you laminate boards together, if they aren't flat, wouldn't you run them through the jointer, and then the planer? Wouldn't you need to make sure one side is perfectly flat and the other side is perfectly flat *and* parallel? Why run them just through the planer?

    And, if they were perfectly flat on both sides and parallel before you glued them together, why plane them again? or why joint *and* plane them again? I mean you would already have the boards at the thickness you want, right?

    What am I missing here?
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
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  2. #2
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    Cynthia, all I can tell ya is do a glue up your self and your questions will be answered
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    Cynthia, often when gluing up panels, they end up not perfectly flush with each other after the glue dries. Might only be 1/32" or less off, but it might also be more. Planing the faces of the panel after gluing it up fixes that unevenness. Hand planes work, but powered planers are generally faster and easier for most folks. Since the panel is still (hopefully) very close to flat, it can be run through the planer for a few light passes on each side to really get it flat.

    I don't really know of a reason to need to run the panel on the jointer after it's glued up, though. By the time it's glued up it's usually too wide to run the faces over the jointer effectively, and the two exposed edges should already be parallel. The ends will likely still need to be trimmed to square them up, and any un-squareness between the sides of the panel can also be cleaned up with some trimming. These trimming operations are done most easily on a tablesaw (in my opinion).
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  4. #4
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    what vaughn said,
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
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    Here are a couple of good links to the process of glue ups that might help.

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=-i4Y...boards&f=false

    http://www.fine-woodworking-for-your...duppanels.html
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  6. #6
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    Oh yea, See larry I do remember how to do some flat work
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  7. #7
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    Vaughn explained it perfectly.
    I couldn't get along without a joiner or planer. I use them both on every project.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  8. #8
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    I think you have your answers. Doing a dummy glue-up for the experience is probably a worthwhile investment of time and will help you get the idea. After some practice, unless something goes wrong, a card scraper will take care of any minor "oops" in alignment on a glued-up panel.

    Many glue-ups exceed my planer's 15" capacity so using it as a fix is only partially viable. Changing thickness on parts in the middle of the build causes its own set of issues. If you are trying to decide on one or the other, I would recommend a good quality planer. You can edge-joint boards on the table saw and face joint boards with a planer sled.

    The planer/sled/tablesaw combo can get you by for quite awhile. You will understand better what you plan/want to do and what types of pieces you are drawn to after making some items. Once you have a better idea what you are going to like doing, the importance of certain machines will become clearer. This really helped me focus where to spend my precious tool dollars.
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  9. #9
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    Maybe this will help.

    The jointer's job is to clean up edges and, if it is wide enough, clean up faces of boards. It cannot make boards parallel in their width nor evenly thick.

    The planer can make boards an even thickness and not much else.

    The tablesaw can make board edges parallel.

    At this point in your woodworking journey, I'd suggest the tablesaw with an accurate fence, a really good, sharp blade and a planer with sharp blades.

    After a glue up, some joints may not be perfectly flat. Better clamps and clamping skills will make this better as you go along. However, if you must fix the joints to get them flat after the glue up, then a hand scraper, a cabinet plane, or a block plane is your friend.

    BTW, when I say that a tool "cannot" do something does not necessarily mean that literally. With sleds and jigs and stuff we often can make a tool do something not intended in its original design.

    However, at your skill level now, you will be best served to stick to the basics. Later. as your knowledge base with each tool grows, you can experiment with variations.

    I can do a clamping and glue-up tutorial as I did when teaching if you wish. I am back from a very busy month and things have slowed some.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    I think you have your answers. Doing a dummy glue-up for the experience is probably a worthwhile investment of time and will help you get the idea...
    Even trying a couple easy projects like a cutting board or simple trinket box can help you get a feel for a lot of these operations that are seeming kind of foreign to you right now.

    Christmas is coming, and cutting boards make handy (yet appreciated) gifts.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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