Jointing w/o a jointer...

chucker

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i'm a cabinetmaker. hand planes and table saws can work but are iffy and need skill. you can use a router with a straight bit. clamp a known straight edge, the edge of mdf or plywood, metal, or a straight wood board, to the workpiece and that will guide the router straight. you can do the same with a straight bit with a roller and guide the bearing against the straight edge. tutorials online will illuminate this.
in real production shops jointers aren't used for production work. they are okay with a board or two taking your time. otherwise things are done on a straight line saw or sliding table saw and the correct blade.
 

RobSzat

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I use a Freud Glue line rip blade. Right side board on right side of blade, left on left, so far so good. If I get ANY light coming through on a top, I use a shooting board. Haven’t had any issues with a full thickness blank
 

tomasz

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I use a jack plane for the majority of jointing (bodies, backs, top plates), usually clamping both pieces together (think book matched). For smaller stock, like head plates, I use a shooting board and a smaller handplane.

What gave me confidence is realising, that you don't have to be perfectly square, as whatever angle you introduce while planing both pieces at once, will still match. similarly if you would use a long router bit and route the edges to be jointed with a single pass - whatever curve you will introduce will still match. Hope this helps :)

All those pieces are actually joined using a plane:
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archtop_fjk

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I have a Record jointer plane like this one. It's the Cadillac of planes and with a sharp cutting iron will make quick work of most guitar jointing tasks.

REC07.jpg
 

Full-Tilt-Tele

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JRF_Tele_14.jpg
I've put a couple 'Partscasters' together lately. I started out with some scraps of 'Sothern Yellow Pine' out of the construction's bins. That Pine has great 'Resonate' quality. Actually, I use a 'Dwelt Fine-Finish' saw and it comes out so smooth and straight,
JRF_Tele_2.jpg
I joint without a problem.
 

Vizcaster

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A top-quality carbide blade with a high tooth count (50-60 TPI or better).

Yes a quality blade is important, but the tooth count alone is not sufficient to determine whether it's appropriate. I agree a very high toot-count blade would be appropriate for veneered work or crosscutting. Blades made for ripping lumber to rough dimension tend to have low blade counts but they cut fast.

For this task, some of the best combination blades from Forrest have only about 50 teeth. I have always used Freud blades as a benchmark for quality and features, but the Forrest is by far the best I've ever tried.

So if you have a quality straight cut off the table saw, you won't have much work to do with the hand plane.

Also consider the species of wood. Pine never wants to ride straight for me on the saw, and always wanders maybe it's the hard/soft early/late wood rings or pitch, and then planing it doesn't behave either. Maple works beautifully unless its figured and you need to watch for tear-out. Mahogany is a dream to work with if you go in the right direction.

Which brings up another important point worth reinforcing: always check and test to see if you can get a smoother cut with the hand plane in one direction versus the other.
 

hnryclay

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Hand plane, also you have to face the board on one side to establish a square angle for the edge. It seems this is missed so far in the conversation. If you want to true a board one face has to be flat, or as close to flat as possible. I always start by flattening a board, then joint one edge, followed by ripping to size with the jointed edge to the fence. You can then use a thickness planer to achieve the final dimension with the faced side on the planer bed. If both pieces are not faced and then joined it will leave a lot of finish work after the glue up. Just my 2 cents there are a lot of ways to get to the end product. This is the easiest for me, but I have been building furniture the majority of my life.
 

trapdoor2

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Rule of thumb for hand planes: any hand-plane will nicely joint ~3x its own length. IOW, you don't need a "jointer" plane (Stanley #7 or #8) to produce perfect joints in the length of a Tele or Strat. I use my favorite #4 for my Tele bodies. Works perfectly. I have a #7 and a #8 (and an even longer #32). I used them to joint (and level) the boards for my 8-foot workbench top.

If you want to try out hand-planes, don't go out and buy a fancy/expensive jointer plane. Start with a #4, they're inexpensive and ubiquitous. If you really think you need something longer, a #5 is 14" long (and usually also cheap, they made millions of them).
 

Jim_in_PA

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Jointing without a jointer is not tough at all to get as good or equal results. It's as easy as getting a ~30x5 inch piece/remnant of quartz/stone counter top - check the flatness with a level or fret-leveling bar...
View attachment 879795

Then, cut the wood on a table saw, sand it flat with 220 grit paper on the counter-top remnant do some test fits and glue it up.

Zero line...
View attachment 879796

I've tried to do this with a router+table as well as using a super fine table saw blade - that worked OK. I do have a great jointer as of about 4 years ago, but I still do it this way for projects I want to be quick and easy. There is nothing to this method - just being careful.
How are you ensuring that your material is perpendicular to the material surface? Jointing isn't just about a flat surface....it's about making the surface your processing perfectly perpendicular to the face. That said, for getting a clean edge glue-up, this technique works very well as long as it's ok that the wider faces of the panel may not be flat or parallel. I'm only raising this for folks to be able to consider all the facets of the jointing process.
 

srolfeca

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I don't have a favourite way to cut, but I have a favourite way of checking my work.

It has saved me literally dozens of times. After all, it's not just about whether you managed a straight cut: Any time you rip a board, you release stresses and expose new surfaces to the air. Wood being wood, you'll inevitably get pieces that move around after they're cut.

The way to check? Orient the two parts so that their weight holds them together. Now, shine a bright light at the joint from behind. Anywhere you can see light from the front, you've got a gap that would benefit from correction.
 

devrock

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I bought a jointer as my first machine....and am glad I did. A quality jointer is a joy to woodwork with unless you like messing with hand planes. I found out early I don't have the patience for hand planes.

I foolishly bought a Craftsman 6" jointer that wasn't worth a crap. I sold that off and then bought an early Jet which I still use . It gets used as much as my bandsaw, drill press, and planer. I wouldn't be without one.

I don't have a decent enough table saw to even attempt a good joint, so I guess I'd have to rig up a good router to do jointing if I needed to. There was a thread a couple weeks ago talking about using a jointer fixture and a router to make joints.


Jointing two bits of wood | Telecaster Guitar Forum (tdpri.com)


No machine in my cave gets more use than my jointer/planer. I was recently asked by some close friends to make small table/countertops from reclaimed wood and it's been running constantly lately.
 

jsiddall

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I ran into this same issue when I built my first body. I tried a shooting board with a sanding block (since I didn't have a big expensive plane) but results were poor. Then I tried cutting the glue joint with better, but still not great, results. Eventually I built myself a jointing jig for the table saw:
jointing_jig.jpg



and the results were amazingly good. The joint here is at the tip of the red arrow, not the line a little further to the right that looks like a joint but is actually a grain line.
joint_with_arrow.jpg
:
 

Mojotron

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How are you ensuring that your material is perpendicular to the material surface? Jointing isn't just about a flat surface....it's about making the surface your processing perfectly perpendicular to the face. That said, for getting a clean edge glue-up, this technique works very well as long as it's ok that the wider faces of the panel may not be flat or parallel. I'm only raising this for folks to be able to consider all the facets of the jointing process.

The table saw gets the wood perpendicular and then the planer or drum sander will get it all flat. My sanding process only takes off the top (guessing) 1/128" - 1/265" to get a clean glue edge. I've used fences before too - that's always a good idea when the wood is less than 1 1/2" on the edge that is being sanded.
 
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cap47

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I know there are a few different methods, so I'm wondering what y'all like the best for getting that perfect invisible joint for multi-piece bodies and laminate necks.

I have a decent table saw, so the thought is to use that. However I'm not sure that would be used for the finishing touch for the tightest joint.

Thanks!
You can clamp the wood to a jig that is straight and use a Tablesaw to give true edge to your wood, easy job! The jig would have to have a guide that fits the Miter Slot in the table.
 

Jim_in_PA

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The table saw gets the wood perpendicular and then the planer or drum sander will get it all flat.
Only if the face of the board is already flat first will the edge be (largely) perpendicular off the table saw. My question was more to just stimulate some thinking for folks about the whole jointing process. In normal times, I actually do use the table saw for edges...my machinery setup is optimized for that with a wide J/P and a sliding table saw. Unfortunately, in my temporary shop at present, the slider is not present so I have to go back to edge jointing on the J/P for a bit.
 

Telemaestro

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i'm a cabinetmaker. hand planes and table saws can work but are iffy and need skill. you can use a router with a straight bit. clamp a known straight edge, the edge of mdf or plywood, metal, or a straight wood board, to the workpiece and that will guide the router straight. you can do the same with a straight bit with a roller and guide the bearing against the straight edge. tutorials online will illuminate this.
in real production shops jointers aren't used for production work. they are okay with a board or two taking your time. otherwise things are done on a straight line saw or sliding table saw and the correct blade.

In production casework shops that is definitely the case, but I know that at least PRS, Taylor, & Godin are using jointers in guitar production facilities. We most often used a four head moulder when creating S4S stock for glue ups in the last commercial casework shop that I worked in.
 

Telemaestro

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Jointing without a jointer is not tough at all to get as good or equal results. It's as easy as getting a ~30x5 inch piece/remnant of quartz/stone counter top - check the flatness with a level or fret-leveling bar...
View attachment 879795

Then, cut the wood on a table saw, sand it flat with 220 grit paper on the counter-top remnant do some test fits and glue it up.

Zero line...
View attachment 879796

I've tried to do this with a router+table as well as using a super fine table saw blade - that worked OK. I do have a great jointer as of about 4 years ago, but I still do it this way for projects I want to be quick and easy. There is nothing to this method - just being careful.

I work for a countertop manufacturer, and I am always surprised at how out of flat most of our slabs actually are. Relatively flat, but a far cry from my granite surface plate.
 

Mojotron

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I work for a countertop manufacturer, and I am always surprised at how out of flat most of our slabs actually are. Relatively flat, but a far cry from my granite surface plate.

Yep - they can be. I dumpster-dive (after asking them first) at a countertop maker near my house and I go out there with a really good straight edge. The manufactured quartz pieces and natural stone pieces - which are flattened - I end up taking home from their remnants are very flat - but not all of them.
 




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