Planer/Jointer Tabletop Recommendations

schmidtsp3

Steve
Senior User
I have a small shop and can't accommodate a standard planer or jointer. I would appreciate recommendations for a combo tabletop planer/ jointer. I do small projects, bandsaw boxes and scrollsaw ornaments and birdhouses. Buying project ready hardwoods is getting expensive. Thanks Steve
 

Bas

Recovering tool addict
Bas
Corporate Member
Jointer/ Planer combo machines come in two flavors: Large, heavy duty machines with induction motors that can handle wide stock costing $2K - $4K, or small lightweight machines with universal motors costing $500 - $1000. JET and Rikon make machines in both categories. The lightweight machines can generally only handle material 8" or 10" wide, which is good in terms of jointing but not in terms of planing.

In general, people tend to be disappointed with the lightweight machines. They can be difficult to set up/ change over, have limited power, and are not always the most durable. You might be better off just buying a regular planer, and do the jointing by hand or using a planer sled. You'll spend less money and get better results. You can also edge joint using a router (router table or straightedge).

Inca used to make a good J/P machine, but it has been discontinued. If you can find a used one, that might fit your needs.
 

Martin Roper

Martin
User
You can face joint boards on a lunch box planer with a sled and shims then flip them over to plane them.


A lunchbox planer could easily be stowed away between uses.
 

pop-pop

Man with many vises
User
Lately, I have been using another approach to boards with wind (lengthwise twist). If you try to remove the high spots just with a jointer, sometimes you end up with a board too thin (DAMHIKT).

If the board rocks side to side on a flat surface, use a pair of winding sticks to identify the high corners. Then, use a scrub plane across the grain to remove the high areas (it takes just a few minutes). Check your progress with winding sticks. Finally check for rocking on a flat surface and for light underneath.

Next to the jointer if you have one. Otherwise, the board should be flat enough for the planer with the scrub-planed surface on the bed. YMMV
 

Brian Patterson

Bstrom
User
I have the DeWalt DW734 which can do edge jointing in your size range if propped up properly, etc. It is a valuable tool for me as well as I procure my wood from local sawmills.
 

Sourwould

Taylor
User
If you see a Makita 2030 or Hitachi f1000 for sale anywhere, let me know and I'll sell you my table top combo machine.
 

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