Woodworking Tool Tips: The Jointer

Do you struggle making your glue up joints perfectly straight? Perhaps you have trouble creating invisible glue lines on your projects. An easy way to remedy this problem is with a jointer. Once you have a jointer in your wood shop, you will never remember how you created any project without one!

Because a jointer is not considered one of the essential, bare minimum tools you may want to wait until you have the basics of your wood shop in place before you consider the addition of a jointer.

An experienced wood worker will tell you that you can create beautiful projects without a jointer, but it is much easier to create a professional finished look with this tool.

A jointer does just what its name implies. It is a tool that creates perfectly straight edges and ends that can be glued up to create perfect, seamless joints. This in itself is an excellent reason to own a jointer, because it can be very frustrating to try and make perfect joints without one, however, a jointer can do so much more.

Jointers can also be used as thickness planers with relatively good results. This tool is most effective in this manner in creating smooth boards or facing boards. The jointer is also perfectly suited for rabbeting, which is creating a step cut on the face of a board. This can be accomplished by removing the guard on the first blade. If you have a thickness planer in your shop as well as a jointer, you will likely use the jointer first to create a smooth edge before feeding the material into the planer. These two tools complement each other very well.

A jointer is made up of three blades. The front blade can be easily adjusted to account for various depths of the cuts. You can choose between a bench top jointer and a free standing jointer. For a suitable home use, you will want to get a jointer that falls into the 4 to 8 inch range; however you can find jointers that are 12 inches.

It is important to consider the length of a jointer before choosing one for your shop. If you plan on cutting long material, you will require a larger jointer that has a longer table area. If you plan on using this tool a great deal, purchase the largest one, with as much power as you can afford and will fit into your shop.