Woodworking jointers are one of those tools you didn't know you needed, until you have it. A jointer is the machine of choice to use when in need to make perfectly flat and square finishes to the edge or face of a board. Dealing with a warped or twisted piece of wood? Need perfectly flush edges to make cutting boards? A jointer fascilates this process quickly. Here is a brief breakdown on how jointers work and why you need one.
When you look at a jointer, in basic terms, what does it really consist of? When you peel back the guards, adjustment knobs, and cast-iron fence, you start to see the fundamental parts of a jointer. The essential parts are the infeed table, cutter head, and outfeed table. The longer and wider your jointer tables are, the bigger stock they can handle. The question that you may be asking yourself now is, do I need a planer and also a jointer? Don’t both machines flatten boards and panels? The answer is no, they actually don’t. Only a jointer can create a truly flat surface and make square edges. That's not to throw any shade on a planer, because planers are in fact a worthy tool, but their main purpose is to remove material thickness. On its own, a planer cannot straighten a board to a square finish, that job is specifically made for jointers only. This article also goes in depth on differences between a planer and jointer.
Are the Feed Tables Level?
At first glance, it may seem that the infeed and outfeed table sit perpendicular, but are the tables actually level on a properly adjusted jointer? It’s fundamental to understand how a jointer actually works. A planer is different because the infeed and outfeed table is unison and level, which is why the tool operates as expected.
If you were to remove the guard and peripheral equipment from a jointer, it would become clear that the infeed table sits lower than the outfeed table. The vertical distance between the tables is where the depth of cut is made, this allows the jointer to get a perfect square cut. Therefore, we would say that the tables are parallel, but not exactly level.
Variery of Table Widths
People often underestimate the value a jointer possesses and how much it can accomplish. It’s the only tool that can take rough-sawn lumber on the infeed table, and send perfectly flat boards onto the outfeed table. The value of a wide jointer is obvious. A 12” jointer can handle wider stock than an 8” jointer, but that doesn't mean you you should aim to get the wider jointer. When factoring how wide of a jointer you need, it mainly depends on what type of work you plan on doing. A longer infeed roller increases effective infeed table length, helping you take on most jobs regardless of the size of the project. However, a 8" Laguna Jointer also works wonders for smaller jobs.
The Best Features All in One
The all-new JX Laguna jointers feature an innovative infeed roller. This makes it simple to extend the effective length of the infeed table to handle longer boards. The JX Jointer line covers entry-level models like the JX6 and JX8 ECO featuring QuadTec I, which comes with a segmented cutter head and is priced with a balance of cost and performance in mind. Go a step further for the JX8 with ShearTec II helical cutter head for unmatched performance. Taking on big jobs? Then you’ll want a JX12 or JX16 wide bed jointer for the ultimate stock-handling capacity. If you're ready to alter the quality and finish on your woodworking projects, check out the entire line of Laguna Tools Jointers here.
Willie Sandry is a Freelance Writer for several popular woodworking magazines, tool tester, and crafter specializing in arts and crafts style furniture and leather upholstery. Check out his latest projects and tutorials on his YouTube channel The Thoughtful Woodworker.
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