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Tricks for truing lumber without a jointer

Boards on table saw
Enlarge Image
Ruler on board
Enlarge Image
To identify wood distortion, sight
down the length of the board and
across the top edges of winding
sticks in contrasting colors.

No jointer? No problem! You can still mill flat boards with square edges. Your grandad may have reached for a hand plane (see More Resources for a video on flattening boards by hand, on last slide), but today there's an easier way. With a few common power tools, you can use any of these five easy methods for flat boards in no time.

Quick Tip! Before starting, identify any wood distortion with winding sticks: a pair of short, straight lengths of wood or metal, as shown below.

Continued on page 2:  For a cupped board


Comments (4)
2ward2 wrote:

If one has no jointer, cutting the wide board into thinner strips will mean each strip is flatter to the table saw than the complete board. If one reglues the strips, the same cupping tendency will remain, but if alternate strips are turned over, that tendency will be evened out. Edge "jointing" the strips with the saw should help to achieve better glue-up. Of course, a hand plane, or even a router table can help those edges.

8/19/2014 01:35:18 PM Report Abuse
2ward2 wrote:

This method will guarantee a thin board. I think wood thickness can be better preserved with less wood loss by ripping the board into thinner strips, jointing the edges then re-assembling by edge gluing the strips back together. Most of the cup will be gone and irregularities can then be planed off manually or with a planer.

8/19/2014 01:28:13 PM Report Abuse
billself60 wrote:

Yeah. I saw that to (pardon that pun, hun). =-)

1/16/2014 11:02:43 AM Report Abuse
schneierm wrote:

"Too" thick

1/16/2014 09:53:10 AM Report Abuse

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