Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 18: Pop for a Jointer
This check and some of your savings purchase the first half of your one-two punch for dressing lumber. With a jointer, you can easily flatten the face of a board, and then square one or both edges to that face. Starting with square surfaces simplifies joinery, measuring, and assembly. While a jointer can flatten a face, it can't make opposite faces parallel. That's the planer's function, and you'll acquire that essential machine three paychecks down the road.
In a nutshell, to use a jointer, run a board face-down across the cutterhead to flatten the face. This may take several passes. Then press the freshly flattened face against the fence to square an adjacent edge to the face. Learn more details about how a jointer works and how to use it here.
Next, Paycheck 19 provides a home for your growing collection of tools.