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Author Topic: Tool question re: what should be priority?  (Read 1638 times)

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Offline Grizzly

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Tool question re: what should be priority?
« on: December 07, 2017, 10:07:38 AM »
My daughter and a couple of friends are interested in woodworking. She keeps talking about getting a planer but I've suggested that might not be a good first priority. She asked to me question you all about this. She has access to tablesaw and sawmill and some other handtools but to prep wood for assembly would a jointer/planer be a better step? Or what comes first? This is for smaller projects not big boards.

I've read too much on here about tool priorities and I want to help her spend her money right.
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Offline Den-Den

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2017, 01:12:56 PM »
Since rough lumber will be available, a planer makes sense to me.  If they were using purchased lumber, I would suggest a jointer before a planer.  A serious hobbyist will eventually have both.  With a sawmill, table-saw, planer and some hand tools, lots of projects are practical.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2017, 02:12:29 PM »
Planer is the first step.

Jointer is handy, but you can work around it. Basically choose your rough sawn wood so it doesn't need any serious jointing (if you have a sawmill you have plenty to choose from). Tablesaw takes care of the edge jointing.

Then it depends what you want to build. But I'd probably put a router (with table and sled), and drill press before a jointer, at least for the stuff I build.
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Offline Grizzly

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2017, 02:51:33 PM »
Ok. Not what I expected. (but that ain't strange)  What about all the discussion that a planer will make a board consistent thickness but will not flatten it? Seems I've read a lot that you need the jointer to flatten wood. Or is that a step for a more experienced woodworker?
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Offline WLC

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2017, 03:00:09 PM »
I would go with a planer as well, and did.  I can always use a sled on a table saw as a joiner.  I will eventually get a joiner, but a better planer than my current lunchbox planer is on the list first.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2017, 03:27:08 PM »
You essentially have to have all three, planer, jointer, and tablesaw to do woodworking.  I would go tablesaw first, planer second, jointer third, but it would best to go ahead and get all three.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2017, 07:39:29 PM »
Ideally you would have all three, but if you are starting with rough sawn, I think the most essential is the planer. If you need to straighten a board, you can always roughly joint it with a hand plane, so it's "flattish". Then the planer will clean it up. Or use a sled with the planer, or use a router sled for larger pieces. And you can cut wood with other types of saws. So there are ways to work around the missing jointer and table saw. In fact I use a bandsaw rather than a table saw. Has different pros and cons, but you can still cut things. 

OK technically you can also plane boards with hand tools. But that needs skills above my pay grade and patience level  :D
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Offline Grizzly

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2017, 07:42:58 PM »
So buy the biggest she can afford? Or the best? And which would those be?
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Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2017, 11:52:16 PM »
My brother decided to go with a track saw (the name escapes me at the moment) that is way expensive but super light weight.  It cuts so straight that jointing is not necessary.  I vote on a surface planer as well with a sled to make things flat.
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Offline Don P

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2017, 08:02:09 AM »
I prefer a 15", they are heavy enough to take rough sawn down in reasonable time. The little 12" lunchbox planers are light and frustrating for rough sawn IMO.

I use a long fence in the tablesaw to straighten edges and a router mounted under a table with long fences if I need glueline jointing of the edges.

One of the guys I used to work with said "you can do anything with a router", he was right.

Offline Grizzly

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2017, 11:15:23 AM »
I have a fairly good tablesaw but I'll check the fence on it. And I'll let her know to not buy the small planer if she can do better. Thanks.

We'll be asking more about this sled thing later.
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Offline bags

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2017, 08:59:57 PM »
Most furniture shops revolve around a good table saw--- not those portable little big box store deals of the day--- followed by a thickness planer will keep things move'in along in the shop.

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2017, 01:40:55 AM »
I have a fairly good tablesaw but I'll check the fence on it. And I'll let her know to not buy the small planer if she can do better. Thanks.

We'll be asking more about this sled thing later.

I built this table for my son to use as a computer table/desk out of repurposed oak lumber from some old bunkbeds that were taken down and replaced.




I used this sled/tablesaw jig to joint the boards since I don't have a joiner.



Was easy to make out of coated mdf (slides like grease on the tablesaw) and a couple of clamps.  It was originally made to edge some 8 foot stuff but I cut it down to four feet for this project.  You only have to run one edge with the lumber in the jig.  The other side can be run through the tablesaw as you will already have one straight side.

I'd also be interested in seeing the planer sled if someone is using one.  I guess I've been lucky and haven't had boards cupped bad enough to need something else besides just running through the planer.

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Offline Ianab

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2017, 04:39:41 AM »
For production you need a heavy duty planer. But for a kid doing hobby woodworking a 'lunchbox" planer will get the job done, even if you have to run the boards through a few times to plane them down. I've build a heap of stuff with boards run through my old Dewalt 733.

So for a hobby woodworker, I'd get a "lunchbox" style machine. Because i doesn't really matter if you spend an extra 15 minutes planing boards. Then you have some money left over for other tools  ;D Routers are super versatile, and I love my old wood lathe etc. Choice of tools depends on what you want to make. Hard to make intarsia  without a scroll saw, or a bowl without a lathe.

Now for a commercial shop it's different, but then one of my computer clients is a timber processing company. They have a couple of 6 figure$ Weinig machines running. That's a complete different level. I can make the same shiplap or  T&G boards, just they make it in one pass, basically as fast as they can feed the rough sawn boards in. I might spend an afternoon running what they can push through in 5 mins.
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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2017, 07:09:44 AM »
One of the most important shop wood working tools to me is a
bench top belt sander. There is so much you can do with one.
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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2017, 07:35:20 AM »
A cutoff saw of some sort. I use a radial arm most of the time. That used to be tool #1 for a home shop, they are the most versatile saw but also probably the most dangerous. Most folks have moved to the sliding compound miter saw or the powered miter saws.

Offline Grizzly

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2017, 11:55:23 AM »
So a tablesaw sled is a longer proven straight edge to ride the fence while holding the workpiece securely allowing it to be given a true straight cut. Do I have it right? That certainly makes sense. Dad would fuss over the fence ensuring it was set straight and then fussed again just to make sure. But he never built a sled like that. Just a bunch of good furniture. We still have a dresser doing its job and its got to be 40yrs old now. The reason that sounds good is that it's on 3rd generation of rough boys.
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2017, 12:22:06 PM »
Grizz, what I would suggest (for non production level woodworking), is that she obtain a combination jointer/planer, such as one from Jet.  I would suggest a 10" minimum, and 12" would be better if she can handle the cost.  A 12" with a spiral cutterhead is the best.

This will allow her to flatten, dimension, and edge joint - all with one machine.  Owner reviews are very positive on the Jet combo machines too.

The european equipment makers also have combo jointer/planers, but at a higher cost than the Jet.

You can make a straight line rip sled for a tablesaw, but I find that prefer to use a track saw for straight line ripping.  I have a Festool TS55 with a couple of tracks (9' and 5'), and the cut quality is excellent.  Personally for non-production use I find the Festool more versatile than my 12" cabinet saw.

For sanding, hands down try to get her going with Festool.  The product quality is great, and the dust collection is extraordinary.  The greatest risk to long term woodworkers is dust inhalation, and the combination of Festool dust collection with their sanding and sawing equipment is the best in the industry. 

One of my employees has been using the track saw all morning and neither one of us is wearing a dust mask - the efficiency of the dust collection is that good.

Now if the budget is really tight then I'd change some recommendations.  I can promise you that if you follow my advice you will not regret it.

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Offline Grizzly

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2017, 05:38:13 PM »
Now if the budget is really tight then I'd change some recommendations.  I can promise you that if you follow my advice you will not regret it.

The budget is small but she'll still shoot for quality. Why do I wonder if that last sentence comes with a smirk?  :D
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Offline Grizzly

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2017, 06:07:04 PM »
So this is the Jet combo scs is recommending? Looks like good quality.
 

 

And this is one example of a lunchbox planer? As a couple of others have recommended?
 

 

I'm just wanting to know I'm understanding correctly.
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Offline Den-Den

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2017, 08:14:28 PM »
Yep, that is a "lunchbox" planer.  You can do quite a bit with one of those.  Fine for making an occasional bookshelf or table.  I had one and upgraded to an older version of this: http://www.grizzly.com/products/G0815?utm_campaign=zPage&utm_source=grizzly.com
The heavy machine does the same work MUCH faster and the blades last a lot longer too.  IMO a woodworker with a sawmill needs a planer equal to the one linked above (or bigger).
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2017, 09:36:21 PM »
While the Grizzly planer Den-Den links to is certainly a much better machine, a decent lunchbox planer will still get the job done, just you need to be a bit more patient  :D The accuracy and finish on the smaller units is just as good.

The bigger machine also needs more power, that one is 240v @14A, so you are going to need more than a standard domestic outlet to power it. Just something to consider if working in a regular garage at home.

I agree that if you are planning on processing a lot of boards, then the heavier unit is the way to go. But for a beginner with a small workshop, the little portable lunchbox will work, and leave some $$ to spend on other toys.  (like a jointer)
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Offline 21incher

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2017, 09:52:37 PM »
If you keep a eye on Craigslist or whatever buy sell sites available at your location, there are some good deals on used equipment that pop up. Just avoid tools with built in motors that cannot be easily replaced and look everything over good. :)
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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2017, 11:49:57 PM »
My list of priorities:
1     Bandsaw  (I have three, 14", 20" and a 16" 3-wheeled unit and use them all.)
2     Jointer
3     6"x48" belt sander
4     Planer  ( am not happy with the lunch box planers, ridged or the expensive Dewalt )  ( I love my heavy duty cast iron Grizzley planer)
5     Tablesaw
6     6 or more small Harbour Freight routers each with a dedicated bit. No time wasted changing bits I use very often. 
7     Big Bosch router.
8     One or more cordless Milwaukee Drills. (In fact I have and use 6 Dewault, Bosch and Milwaukee cordless drills and yes, need them all!!)
9     Bosch jigsaw, either corded or cordless.
10   Orbital sander. 

Oh, almost forgot, the REAL #1 is a bandsaw mill, never run out of wood.............................................

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2017, 02:34:02 AM »
So a tablesaw sled is a longer proven straight edge to ride the fence while holding the workpiece securely allowing it to be given a true straight cut. Do I have it right? That certainly makes sense. Dad would fuss over the fence ensuring it was set straight and then fussed again just to make sure. But he never built a sled like that. Just a bunch of good furniture. We still have a dresser doing its job and its got to be 40yrs old now. The reason that sounds good is that it's on 3rd generation of rough boys.

Yes. A sawmill board will dry somewhat crooked, or a lot crooked depending.  The sled I used gives you a true straight edge to ride the fence and get one edge of your board straight.  You can then run that straightened side against the fence to rip the other side straight.  IMHO its not as good as a jointer, but I work with what i've got.  If/when I start needing to straighten a lot of boards I plan on getting a jointer.  But for now, and what I need/do this sled works.
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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2017, 07:24:49 AM »
Just a thought WLC--- you could build a cheap little 3' X 4' out feed table to butt up to your table saw--- don't have to worry about tip off with your sled.

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2017, 07:43:02 AM »
For putting an edge on a board I'd be lost with a short jointer like on that combo machine, I'd get a better edge on the tablesaw. For facing a shorter, wider board that jointer looks better than the 6" ones. If shop space is at a premium I've made that outfeed table bags mentioned using a couple of horses built to hold boards on top at tablesaw height. Put the horses back there, lay on a row of 1x lumber and I have a quick outfeed table. A friend recently bought my style of 15" planer on Craigslist for $500, so far so good, I paid $1200 for mine 20 years ago.
My lunchbox was a pawn shop special $100. Bandsaw was bought on a log home job with 7 arch top windows, it paid for itself but doesn't see much use. I've used a coping or jig saw for most board or thinner curved sawing.

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2017, 05:41:14 PM »
Just a thought WLC--- you could build a cheap little 3' X 4' out feed table to butt up to your table saw--- don't have to worry about tip off with your sled.

Yes.  I've got a "dual use" 6 ft outfeed table/work bench.  I built my work bench to the same height as my tablesaw.  It just happened to be in use when I ripped these boards.  I really need to build a collapseable outfeed table like I saw on the net somewhere as it won't take up much room and folds flat when not in use.  Using one would definitely be safer.
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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2017, 06:49:07 PM »
There has been lots of discussion on jointers and planers but for small projects I get along just fine without either one - a good router can do either job and a lot more besides. So:
Tablesaw
Router
Jigsaw
Drillpress
Lots of jigs for the above
every sander ever sold  ;D


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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2017, 07:41:29 PM »
Since you already have a tablesaw, my next priorities machine-wise would be
lunchbox planer
Compound mitre saw like Dewalt compound sliding mitre saw. 

I started out with a Dewalt DW735 with the optional infeed and outfeed wings.  It's great for the hobby woodworker.  I've outgrown it now since I have a sawmill and need to plane a lot more. 

A planer sled is made from some 3/4 mdf.  So if you have a board that is not flat(rocks on a flat surface).  Put it on the sled and shim it and tape the shims in place so the board doesn't rock.  Run it through the planer a few passes until that side if flat.  Then you can remove the board from the sled and plane the other side normally now that you have one side flat to reference against the planer bed.

I still don't have a jointer.  I've gotten away with the planer bed above for boards, and using the table saw and a good thin glue joint rip blade and a table saw sled when needed to make glue up joints.  I need to upgrade to to a jointer soon though.
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Offline Grizzly

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2017, 09:55:14 AM »
Interesting. I already have some of the tools mentioned.
Tablesaw
Miter saw (not slider)
Router
Jigsaw
2 or 3 sanders

The biggest thing I lack for all that is a woodworking shop. My shop is used for mechanical repairs and welding and such and so we always have that greasy dust or dusty grease hanging around and we're always scared of doing much finishing in there. So, Chet how big is that immaculate shop of yours????   :D
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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #31 on: December 11, 2017, 10:17:01 PM »
This channel is worth a look if they are short on cash and long on learning.  (Matthias Wandel)

Lots of homemade woodworking tools, jigs, tips, and tricks.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCckETVOT59aYw80B36aP9vw
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline Sprucegum

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2017, 05:16:09 PM »
Hey Grizz - I just realized we are neighbors! Sorta; I live in Lloyd.

I have a Mastercraft 12" lunch box planer I would trade for a couple boards. I can take a picture if you are interested but it looks a lot like the one in your gallery.

Offline Grizzly

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2017, 06:59:17 PM »
That's a deal we can probably work. What kinda wood do you need? We weren't planning on milling till spring but we might have something on the ground already. Or is it spring now? I'm kinda confused when I go outside.
2011 - Logmaster LM-2 / Chinese wheel loader
Jonsered saws
   2149 - 111S - 90?
Cooks Cat Claw & Dual tooth setter
2000 Miners 3-31 Board Edger

Offline Sprucegum

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2017, 12:44:49 PM »
PM sent

Offline Grizzly

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #35 on: December 23, 2017, 05:07:21 PM »
Well, member Sprucegum made a deal with my daughter and made the roadtrip today to get it done. She gave some lumber and recieved a lunchbox planer! Sprucegum said he was happy with the deal but Stacey figures she came out way ahead so I guess everyone's happy and all is well. What she got:

 

 
2011 - Logmaster LM-2 / Chinese wheel loader
Jonsered saws
   2149 - 111S - 90?
Cooks Cat Claw & Dual tooth setter
2000 Miners 3-31 Board Edger

Offline Grizzly

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #36 on: December 23, 2017, 05:10:13 PM »
Not sure what's correct in this setting but I was thrilled this all worked out and made a donation to the Forum on behalf of those involved.
2011 - Logmaster LM-2 / Chinese wheel loader
Jonsered saws
   2149 - 111S - 90?
Cooks Cat Claw & Dual tooth setter
2000 Miners 3-31 Board Edger

Offline Dan_Shade

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    • Shade Custom Sawing
Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #37 on: December 23, 2017, 09:49:07 PM »
I started off with one of those, I upgraded to a Grizzly 20" machine
Woodmizer LT40HDG25 / Stihl 066 alaskan
lots of dull bands and chains

There's a fine line between turning firewood into beautiful things and beautiful things into firewood.

Offline Ianab

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #38 on: December 24, 2017, 03:29:48 AM »
Even a little planer like that opens up a whole range of things if you have a good source of rough sawn wood. Plenty of others tools you can get to compliment it, but if you are starting wIth rough wood, that's the tool you need the most.
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline tomsteve

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #39 on: December 25, 2017, 05:46:46 PM »
good on ya's with the planer. it would be wise to run a couple scrap pieces through it to see how much snipe it makes. that wat itll be known how much longer material should be rough cut to length.

and now onto a jointer search . ;D

Offline shinnlinger

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Re: Tool question re: what should be priority?
« Reply #40 on: December 28, 2017, 08:26:05 AM »
It looks like the OP has been settled amicably but I have this 12" jointer /planer in my high school shop and feel much as the guy in this video. 
Its a good compromise that provides a nice wide surface for face jointing which is important for flattening boards.  Grizzley tools has copied it for a few bucks less, so that may be a decent way to go too.  If you had a 24' surface sander you might be able to avoid a planer altogether.

IN full disclosure We have a dedicated 20" planer and 6" jointer as well so our combo unit is primarily used for face jointing so the planer feature doesn't get used much but it works very well.  The guard is great for surfaces IMO but it can be a bit balky for edge jointing.
Shinnlinger
Woodshop teacher, pasture raised chicken farmer
34 horse kubota L-2850, Turner Band Mill, '84 F-600,
living in self-built/milled timberframe home

 


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