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Just a basic jointer question...

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Mornin' gents!

Hey, as I've mentioned in a previous post, I'm new to the hobby. I have a basic question about using a jointer.

Looking around online I see that most of the jointers are 6 inch machines. I know there are larger ones out there but for a hobbyist or small shop the vast majority are 6 inchers. What happens if you want to work with a board that is 8 inches or even bigger like a 2x12? 

Is it possible to run it through then rotate it and do the other side? That doesn't seem like a good idea to me or am I missing something?

Thanks in advance guys!

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The eternal question :).  My 6" jointer lasted months.  Despite many warnings that I should get an 8" I had to find out for myself that the things I made often required milling material wider than 6".  A lot of people do fine with a 6" jointer and either rip material to widths of 6" or less, mill them and glue them back together, use a planer sled or some other method for wider stock.

The resounding answer to so many seemingly simple questions is "it depends".  For me most things I needed to mill were wider than 6" but, only occasionally wider than 8" (just recently as a matter of fact as shown here).  I had a similar problem on my tablesaw; a 30" rip was inadequate for most things but, a 40" rip was fine for most things.  This was me, your needs will be different.

If you build solid wood furniture you will probably glue up panels for table tops, shelves, floating panels and so forth.  You can certainly make these panels out of four 6" boards instead of 3 8" boards.  There is also the type of materials you will use, cost, space and other factors that will enter into your decision.

I use a lot of figured material.  The prevention of tearout and the lower cost of ownership over time of an 8" helical head jointer and a helical head planer have long since paid for themselves and reaped benefits ever since.  If I made a lot of kitchen and bath stuff, a slider format tablesaw would have shown me a similar benefit.  Its all about the right tool for the job, for you shop and for your budget. 

It should also be mentioned that you don’t always mill boards and the break them down into parts. This presents an alternate problem of not having your blanks too short to be milled safely. It’s always something. . . Enjoy the ride ;)

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to answer the other question ... this is a few ways of how to do it

https://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/videos/milling-wide-boards/

 

Now to @gee-dub point ... since you are new, you really do not know what you will like to make all the time, or if it will just vary widely for a long time. 

The common consensus around here is buy the best tool you can afford. If you can afford a PM 8" and your shop will fit it, then why would you not get the best? (not bringing in the $8-10K plus machines guys)

I have seen people do amazing work with just a benchtop 6" jointer. I have seen people do bad work with an 8" jointer. It just depends.

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10 minutes ago, bushwacked said:

The common consensus around here is buy the best tool you can afford. If you can afford a PM 8" and your shop will fit it, then why would you not get the best? (not bringing in the $8-10K plus machines guys)

You rang? ;) 

It does depend... Short answer is to get the widest jointer with the longest beds that you can afford. There are a couple of guys on here (and I really mean there are probably only 2) that love their 6" jointer... I wasn't one of them. I have a 16" Felder jointer/planer. (look around here for the review) (some will say I overcompensated)

I can say that in my experience, since I bought a wider jointer I can joint damn near anything I want with no issue and without any wasted time. I can buy material without thinking about how I'm going to mill it. Since I've owned it (around 2 months or so), I have had 5 people come over to mill wood on my machine. Two have an 8" PM, one with a 12" Grizzly, one has a 14" Minimax, and the other has a 6" Grizzly. 

Yeah... I don't have a "hobby machine"... But here's the thing. The goal of the jointer (and planer) doesn't change because you are a hobbyist or a pro. You still need flat wood to work with. 

I am in no way telling you that you need to go out and spend a ton of cash on a 16" Felder... Just saying that it depends. It depends on your goals as a woodworker, and how much time you are willing to spend looking for another way to get a board flat. Router sled, planer sled, drum sander sled... etc...

Anyway, there ya go.... my .02

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No you cannot rotate the board to take a pass from the other side if it's too wide for the machine. There's more than one reason why .

I have a idea lets not worry about problems that don't exist yet.:)

Aj

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There is nothing wrong with 6" jointers and depending on what you want to make there may be no reason for anything larger. The linked video tells you how to mill wider boards. 

I am a lot shorter on funds then some of the folks here so almost all of my machines are purchased used and I refurbish them for my own use. I used a 6" jointer for years and the only reason I upgraded to an 8" was due to one becoming available for cheap at an auction.

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14 minutes ago, Llama said:

You rang? ;) 

 I have had 5 people come over to mill wood on my machine. Two have an 8" PM, one with a 12" Grizzly, one has a 14" Minimax, and the other has a 6" Grizzly. 

Anyway, there ya go.... my .02

LOL! there you are :)

and damn! I need friends like you with their 8,12,14" jointers lol ... all mine come to my shop haha

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1 minute ago, bushwacked said:

LOL! there you are :)

and damn! I need friends like you with their 8,12,14" jointers lol ... all mine come to my shop haha

Did I mention that my planer has zero snipe? :) 

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46 minutes ago, bushwacked said:

I have seen people do bad work with an 8" jointer.

You rang?

There are a lot of ways to do it. I use the Jay Bates method hanging the edge of the board over the jointer and then using a space board in my planer. I've done this up the the capacity of my planer multiple times with great results. You're always going to find a board wider than your jointer that you want to use, even in mel's case. I have some slabs that are 20-30" wide.

That being said get the biggest you can afford, you'll ALWAYS want a machine with more capacity.

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48 minutes ago, Llama said:

Did I mention that my planer has zero snipe? :) 

I am curious what the difference is. My hammer has snipe on the exit side only. I am not sure what would cause this?

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36 minutes ago, Cygnus A said:

I am curious what the difference is. My hammer has snipe on the exit side only. I am not sure what would cause this?

Most snipe on planners is caused by pressure bars or rollers set wrong. Thousandths of an inch matter here. You will need a device capable of making that measurement and then need to know the proper relative levels of your rollers and bars. My 40 year old parks 12" planer has no snipe. It wasn't Superior craftsmanship but a lot of tedious fiddling when I set it up.

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2 hours ago, Cygnus A said:

I am curious what the difference is. My hammer has snipe on the exit side only. I am not sure what would cause this?

The Felder 9 series has four ball screws instead of one in the middle as on the Hammer and 7 and lower series Felder. This removes all flex from the table.

2017-08-17 17.18.32.jpg

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1 hour ago, Llama said:

The Felder 9 series has four ball screws instead of one in the middle as on the Hammer and 7 and lower series Felder. This removes all flex from the table.

2017-08-17 17.18.32.jpg

You are just making me have regrets every day now haha.

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Just now, Cygnus A said:

You are just making me have regrets every day now haha.

Sorry... Read my signature :)

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2 hours ago, Immortan D said:

So there is a Jay Bates method for jointing wood? Wow, last time I checked he was all about ply and pocket screws.

Jay has gotten alot better in the last couple years. He still does alot of plywood projects, but hes got some pretty nice solid wood projects too.

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To the OP's question- IMO, it is better to have a solid, long bed 6" jointer than a short, light weight 8" jointer. 

This, from a guy that has a short, light 6" jointer. Unsatisfactory in so many respects. I can use it to flatten boards up to 48" long with some effort. Anything longer, I would be better of to flip it over and run it like a hand-held tool.

Nice wide helical cutters would be great, but I would upgrade to longer beds first, in my case.

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After 25 years of building furniture, 5 years ago I upgraded from a 8" Delta to a 12" Hammer A3-31 with spiral blades. I really do not feel the need to upgrade again. 

My rule of thumb is that the bandsaw needs to have a resaw capacity that fits the jointer and the planer/thicknesser. Frankly, boards in excess of 12" are very rare, and if wider than this, I can (and have) used handplanes. 

Regards from Perth

Derek

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1 hour ago, derekcohen said:

After 25 years of building furniture, 5 years ago I upgraded from a 8" Delta to a 12" Hammer A3-31 with spiral blades. I really do not feel the need to upgrade again. 

My rule of thumb is that the bandsaw needs to have a resaw capacity that fits the jointer and the planer/thicknesser. Frankly, boards in excess of 12" are very rare, and if wider than this, I can (and have) used handplanes. 

Regards from Perth

Derek

Are you saying your wood is rarely that wide, or you rarely use wood wider than 12" in your work?

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The rough sawn timber I obtain is rarely wider than 12". I work almost entirely in hardwoods. These are slow-growing trees. Here in Western Australia, all the very old-growth forests have disappeared, and it is rare to find boards in Jarrah,  Sheoak, and other local hardwoods wider than 12". More commonly, the wider boards are 10-11". 

I recently built a kitchen in Hard Maple (from the USA). The rough sawn boards were 9-10". I was told that this was as wide as it gets for Hard Maple. Making panels involves a lot of bookmatching ...

KitchenComplete_html_m7d30b8fc.jpg

This Sheoak tabletop is bookmatched ..

SofaTableAllTheWayToCompletion_html_m56ead4c1.jpg

Now doubt you can obtain fast-growing softwoods wider than 12", but I would not use them (I do use softer woods, such as Tasmanian Oak, as secondary wood in drawers as it is obtainable quarter sawn). 

Another point (which springs to mind as I mention bookmatching) is that many wide boards are simply unnecessary. Unless it is for a table top, if the piece you are making requires some symmetry, then you are likely to bookmatch and cut away a lot of waste (as I did in the kitchen). Boards under 8-12" wide are more likely the target range.

Regards from Perth

Derek

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This really is a YMMV or "it depends" 

It is interesting that your boards are so narrow. Because your stock is under 12", it makes sense to have a small bandsaw and J/P. They certainly take up less room! 

I have some 14" wide hard maple boards in my shop that I cut up for my Shaker workbench legs which are 1/4 sawn. Not sure why you couldn't get wider? Maybe a shipping issue? Or**

My goal is to get the widest boards possible to ensure grain/color match for my work. I can think of plenty of hardwoods that are readily available over 12" here. This is where the YMMV comes in. Cherry, walnut, maple, oak, etc... also consider woods such as curly maple and the ability to resaw and mill larger than 12" becomes important.

Not sure if you have a planer wider than the one on your 12" combo, but for me having a wider planer is essential to my workflow. 

**If you're making kitchen cabinets 12" makes sense for a number of reasons. Especially if you're ripping on the bandsaw before milling. 

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