Can you use a jointer, using the fence, to plane all four sides of a wood piece, into four, plane, square and parallel to each other? I mean each side square to the adjacent and all sides parallel to non-adjacent sides.

Do you really need a thickness planer for this or using the square fence on the jointer would be enough?

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    As an aside, a much more common scenario is having a planer but not a jointer. Planers are much smaller and more affordable than jointers, so a home shop is much more likely to have a planer than a jointer. You can easily work around not having a jointer by skip planing (by hand) one side flat enough to run through the planer, planing the opposite side, then planing the original side smooth. Edge jointing can be done with a router with a straightedge, a tracksaw, on a tablesaw with a sled, or a router table with offset fences. Aug 15, 2018 at 23:33

1 Answer 1


No, you cannot. This will make the board square, but it will NOT ensure it doesn't taper. With the jointer you can only make each corner square. You can't make the opposing faces parallel with each other.

For example, imagine you're milling a board that tapers from 10" wide at one end to 5" wide at the other. You'll start by face jointing, then joint one edge. When you go to joint the second edge the board will rest on the infeed table, but the first edge you jointed will not be parallel with the table. One corner will be 5" from the table, and the other will be 10" from the table. If you make full passes you'll remove material evenly until the second edge is straight, but it still won't be parallel with the first edge.

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    +1! What if the board I need to joint is the same width and height (not to mention length) all around? If the fence is square enough shouldn't the technique cover the scenario? Aug 15, 2018 at 0:08
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    If it is the same width and height all around, then why do you need to joint an edge? Which is to say, it is never the same until you joint it and thickness plane it. Aug 15, 2018 at 2:47

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