The jointer and planer are a team

How-To

Flat and square stock starts at the jointer to get one face flat then to the planer to get the opposite face parallel to it.


Apr 18, 2022

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Going from rough lumber to finished, flat, square boards is a really important part of woodworking. There are different ways to go about doing it, but using a jointer and planer is a common method. There’s some confusion about the two different machines in terms of what they do and how they work together. The jointer has a cutterhead in the bed and is good for getting one face dead flat. If we were to flip the board over, we could get the second face dead flat, but it wouldn’t necessarily be parallel.

The planer does a really good job of getting one face parallel to the opposite face. This is OK if you’re starting with a flat board, but if you’re starting with wavy stock, all you’re doing is creating a parallel face that matches that same wave.

Together, the joiner gives us one flat face, and then the planer makes the opposite face parallel to the first. So start at the joiner to get a flat face, head to the planer to get the opposite face parallel to that, then go back to the jointer to get one square edge. And we’re off to a really good start.

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