Looking for advice

I dont own a lot of woodworking tools but basic’s table saw, miter, few others. This going to be my fist cnc My question is do i need a jointer and a planer or just a planer? i know my projects need to be flat. seen a trick to use a flat sheet of steel and place your lumber on the sheet then feet it into the planer so you can get both sides parallel not sure if it works? looked promising

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I’d say it depends on what kind of projects and what you buy as raw stock. I live without either but would consider both to be part of a complete wood shop, so?

All depends on the wood you are working with. Personally, I am hoping for when I do need to flatten a board I can have the CNC do it.

the kinds of projects… My goal is to start off with wood then move to Aluminum wile i still do stuff in wood. making signs, furniture, making the workshop itself so prob a shelving system to a degree. (for the work area) once i learn what im doing then ill move into aluminum. I have some stuff i designed with fusion 360 for my 3d printers that just cant hold up as plastic parts. I dont run a bis. but interested in a startup. I just enjoy making stuff. but i am limited in space. Raw stock for wood will prob be coming from home depot guessing?
Think im just going to get a planer and just try to get buy with it. finding work arounds for the jointer all over.
I thought about like what Garrett1812 stated I think a planer would do the job in 5-15 sec. using the CNC to flatten the board is going to take guessing 30 min + cost of bits vs blades on a planer

@St0mp - I have all three (and more), but my CNC is inside in my home office. I’d say a planer is an absolute must if you are working with rough cut lumber. If you don’t mind spending the 2-3x to buy S2S or S4S lumber, then you can skip the planer (but eventually the extra cost of the wood would have paid for the planer).

As for the jointer, I have an 8" desktop jointer (video here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCVvx3PnAfyf8Naha08us1aLBCJsQ7djh) - it works fairly well but you can only reliably joint boards that are less than 24" long. To upgrade to a “real” jointer would have more than quadrupled the cost ($400 vs 1500-2500). So for now, the one I have is good enough.

I really only flatten “larger” panels on my CNC. It’s great for signs and cutting boards - things that are larger than my planer (13") or jointer (8"), but smaller than the CNC (~29"). The CNC is completely impractical for jointing dimensional lumber prior to making table tops and cutting boards – for that you will need a joint using your table saw or router table (plenty of videos on YouTube showing how to do that).

In the end your circumstances will dictate what mades sense for you, so hopefully this helps with additional information.



I have a small shop and have had to comprise on what tools I can fit in the space. I use a track saw instead of a table saw and while it takes more time, I’m ok with the free space. I do have a small planer and with a few jigs I use it as a jointer as well.

For long boards that I am glueing together I went old school and use a no 7 and no 8 hand jointer plane. They are expensive, but they works nicely and there are a few tricks that can help make a better joint than an electric version.

I also use a jack plan to help prepare for the planner, espically witb cupped boards.

I also have a router sled that I can setup when needed that works as a planner/jointer. It works great with live edge lumber. I also collect fallen trees and use them as wood. It takes some effort, and a lot of time, but it’s free. I have a descent amount of mesquite I have collected. Great for cutting boards, hard on woodworking tools.

I am looking forward to the CNC, it should add a lot to what I can do.

I’d second the track saw - great for large sheet goods. If you’ve ever tried to get a 4x8 onto a table saw and make any sort of an accurate cut, you’ll know what I mean.



I break down large sheet material using a circular saw and a straight edge as a guide.

I put a sheet of foam insulation onto my shop floor or driveway first. Then set the cut depth slightly more than the plywood thickness. As such, a sheet of foam insulation will last a long time.

I actually cut my sheet into two 4’x4’ panels to make it easier to store and handle. Especially on windy days.

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Track saw’s are nice to have and use. I just started using a circular saw with the kreg xl accu cut. So its kinda the same thing. along with a table saw. now i just started using this accu cut. I started experimenting just yesterday with using the accu cut for the edge then place that edge on my fence for my table saw seams like its working to make parallel sides. I just got the accu cut thing the other day. So in conclusion of my own question. i need to buy a planer and skip on the jointer. going to use table saw, accu cut for the sides. CNC can do top if needed. until i get a planer
Change my mind?

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You have a Onefinity now…start cutting them at 32 and 64 to get 3 full panels for the machine capability, each of which can use tiling to make up to 48" high stuff or can be mounted with extra hanging off front or back until it’s too swiss cheesed.

Planer first then jointer if you are starting with rough lumber.

If you are starting with surfaced lumber (S2S or S4S) then Jointer is helpful, but not required as you discovered.

Table saw or track saw will let you simulate a jointer for sides, and planer will get you the faces.

Just remember, a planer alone (e.g., no router sled) makes your two faces parallel, NOT flat. If there is a bow or twist, you will only make the other side bowed or twisted the exact same amount (unless you use a flattening jig). That is the main advantage of a jointer - it flattens your board. Then you use the planer to get two parallel (and flat) faces.

So, planer first :wink:


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