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Flatten wide boards on a narrow jointer

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The best way to make a really wide board flat is to rip it into narrow boards first, face-joint them, and then glue them back together. Not only does this solve the jointer-capacity concern, but it also results in a more stable panel because the rip-joint-reglue process relaxes tension in the wood. And, if you're careful, the joint line blends almost seamlessly into the grain.

But, what if you want to flatten the face of a highly figured board without a ripline interrupting the figure? Or what if the board is just a little too wide, and not worth the hassle of rip-joint-reglue? Here's a quick way to joint it that requires only a strip of scrap plywood and your planer.

Note: This technique will work on boards up to about twice the jointer's capacity, but we suggest no more than one-third of the board's width be unsupported or overhanging the jointer table -- any more and the board may tip as you pass it over the cutterhead.

Continued on page 2:  Changing of the (cutterhead) guard


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