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Author Topic: Tool question re: what should be priority?  (Read 950 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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Jonsered saws
   2149 - 111S - 90?
Cooks Cat Claw & Dual tooth setter
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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.

Offline WLC

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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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Offline Kbeitz

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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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Offline Don P

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