This article is from the Woodworking FAQ Collection 3, by multiple authors.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Sieweke, Michael A)
A jointer will take a warped (cupped, twisted, bent) board and flatten the
sides and the edges. A good jointer will also rabbet an edge. Imagine
a long hand plane turned upside down and with the blade motorized. Then
add a fence so it can make a 90 degree corner. That's pretty much all
there is to it.
If you only deal with perfectly flat pieces of wood and your tablesaw
produces an edge good enough to glue, you don't need a jointer (or if
you like using hand planes). It is indispensible in the production
shop for getting a straight, smooth glue-able edge and for cleaning one
side of a board before it goes into the planer.
A jointer can also be used as a sort of thickness planer, but it is
difficult to keep both surfaces parallel.
From: shankar@RND.GBA.NYU.EDU (Shankar Bhattachary)
Incidentally, I have my friendly lumber source square stuff and straighten
critical edges for me sometimes. My experience has been that the edges left
by the jointer show the same kind of ripple that router bits leave.
I find that if the edge will be exposed, I have to plane off a shaving to
get a cosmetically satisfactory finish. That may be of interest to you, but
is obviously of limited importance. And it is not surprising anyway.
From: email@example.com (Paul Townsend)
With a tablesaw, bandsaw, drillpress you have 3 of the "basic 5"
woodworking tools. A jointer and planer are the others.
A jointer is used to
(i) put a perfectly straight edge on a board. You can do this with
a hand plane with some practice -- I have to admit that I'm not
very good at it.
(ii) to remove warps. If your stock is warped or cupped you can run
it through the jointer and it will put a flat, smooth surface
on the stock. Again this can be done with a hand plane.
A planer is used to reduce the thickness of material. A planer requires
one side of the material to be flat and straight. Hence, a planer is
usually accompanied by a jointer in a shop.
I have basically the same tools as you do. Not having a jointer and planer
means that I buy dimentioned S4S stock, rather than buying less expensive
unsurfaced and undimensioned stock. I could do the surfacing and
dimensioning with the tools I have plus hand planing, but I in the past
I haven't been pleased with the results. This doesn't mean it can't be
done, it just means that I need more practice ;-)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Steve McEvoy)
Date: 2 Feb 90 00:37:10 GMT
I'm an essentially novice woodworker, although I've done some
framing (built a cottage) and recently completed an evening
cabinet making course in which we built tool cabinets with
raised panel doors out of pine.
I'm interested in continuing woodworking as a hobby and have
been gradually adding items to my shop.
So far I bought a table saw and a compound miter saw,
both from Sears.
If it tells you anything about my level of sophistication I've
been quite pleased with both
What I'm interested in now is a jointer.
I've watched this newsgroup for a while and have occasionally
seen discussions on jointers that we just don't see here in
My question is twofold.
Is there a Sears-produced jointer of reasonable quality for a
If not, is there anything available in Canada in the price
range $500-700 that anyone can heartily recommend?