WOOD Magazine Staff
Invest in a benchtop planer and it will soon pay for itself in the money you’ll save by buying roughsawn lumber—often from a local sawmill—instead of plunking down full price for fully surfaced boards. And it opens the door to building projects requiring stock in thicknesses other than 3⁄4 ".
Although most tools in the shop do one or more jobs solely on their own, two machines depend on each other to create lumber that’s flat, square, and of precise thickness. The jointer flattens one face of a workpiece and squares an edge to that face. And a planer makes the other face parallel and reduces the workpiece to the desired thickness.
Nothing beats a bandsaw for quickly cutting curves, as well as ripping, crosscutting, and resawing stock into more manageable pieces. These machines run a thin-steel, continuous-loop blade, making possible cuts not easily (or even safely) accomplished on a tablesaw.