8 Best Jointers | March 2017
- produces full-size mortise joints
- optional trim and cross stops
- compatible with other festool tools
- powered by 10 amp motor
- lightweight and portable
- fence tilts 90 to 135 degrees
- helical cutterhead keeps blade sharp
- adjustable cam corners
- backed by 5-year warranty
- best suited for use on wide boards
- precision-ground iron table
- backed by 2-year warranty
- extremely quiet operation
- great customer service
- special two-way tilting fence
Jointers Versus Planers
A jointer is designed to square an edge or flatten and straighten a warped piece of wood. Planers are designed to help a woodworker create a uniform thickness throughout an entire board and make the two faces parallel.
Bench style jointers will have an infeed table, which is where the board enters from, and an outfeed table, which is where the board will be exiting the machine. Inside the machine, there is a cutter head mounted between the two tables. Its cutting blades will be aligned flush with the outfeed table, while the infeed table gets lowered an equal distance to the amount of wood you want to remove from the board.
When the board gets passed through the machine, the cutting head removes the desired amount of wood, and then the cut board is supported by the outfeed table on its way out. If one is trying to straighten a warped board, an adjustable fence will be used as a guide when the board is place through the jointer.
Planers should be used after a board has been passed through a jointer to make the entire board a uniform thickness and make the second side parallel with the side that has been flattened by the jointer. The planer will remove wood from the entire length of the board from end to end.
Bench style planers will have some time of feed roller, which grabs the board as it is feed into the machine. As it gets pulled through the machine, it runs past a cutting head, which removes some of the wood. Depending on the amount of wood to be removed, the board may have to be run through the planer multiple times. Planers are not effective at straightening wood as they will often just follow the curve in the wood as they plane, resulting in a thinner, but still curved, board.
Determining If You Need A Jointer Or A Planer
The first step before starting to work on a piece of wood, is determining what tool you should be using. This can be done by understanding what type of wood you are purchasing and fully examining it before starting. Purchased wood will usually come in three forms; S4S, S2S, and rough. Rough wood is completely unfinished. It requires the most work, before one can start building their project.
If starting with rough wood, it will most likely require the use of a jointer and a planer. S4S wood has already been surfaced on all four sides and typically does not require a jointer or a planer, unless it is too thick for your desired use or it has warped terribly during storage and transport. S2S wood has two finished sides and may often require a jointer to smooth out the edges before it can be joined with other pieces.
Once you have your wood, check the edges to see if they are uneven. You should also check the surface along the entire length of the lumber. If the edges are uneven, of if the surface has an unacceptable amount of bumps, a joiner should be used to correct these issues. Next, check the flatness of the wood. If the wood is warped or cupped in any way, a jointer must be used before one starts planning.
If working on a project that requires overly long or wide lengths of wood, it may require that wood is joined from end to end. This is where a jointer can be especially useful. It will allow you to flatten and smooth the edges to be joined so that they fit together seamlessly once construction has started.
If the lumber you are using already is already perfectly flat and smooth on all the necessary sides, but it is thicker than is allowable for an intended application, then it is time to pull out a planner and start making the board thinner. A planer is also the perfect tool if you have lumber with some minor surface blemish or imperfection. It can be used to remove just a small amount of wood, revealing an under layer which is free from any surface issues.
Simple Tips For Using A Jointer Effectively
There are a few simple tips that can ensure you get the most from your wood and your jointer. Always make sure you are jointing with the wood grain in the right direction. The grain should be running towards the outfeed table and away from the knives' rotation. If the grain runs in multiple directions, try and position it in a way that the majority of the grain is running the correct way.
Double check the height of the outfeed table before starting to ensure that it is perfectly aligned with the knives. If it is too low, the cut will be heavier at the back end of the board. If it is too high, then you will wind up with a concave surface on the board.
One should always start by jointing the face first. After the face has been jointed, you can then joint an edge square with it. This gives you a perfectly flat surface as a reference for later milling and a trued edge for ripping.
The depth of the cuts should be enough that it makes a noticeable difference on each pass, but not enough to tax the motor needlessly. You will achieve better results with multiple passes than by trying to cut everything on one attempt, which can result in a rougher edge or surface that isn't perfectly flat.