Flatten natural-edge tabletops...without a router sled
Want to make a tabletop from a wide slab with natural wavy edges, but don't want to go to the hassle of making a router sled and railed platform for flattening the slab? Here's a simple way to get the job done with a portable circular saw, jointer, and thickness planer.
First, rip the slab into boards no wider than 6" using a straightedge. (A thin-kerf blade minimizes material loss, better hiding a glue line.) Joint the sawn edges and one face. Then thickness-plane the boards. Arrange the boards in natural order, and glue them back together, using strips of extruded foam as clamp pads. The foam conforms to the irregular edge to protect it, and gives the clamp jaws a somewhat-square surface to press against.
—Bob Hunter, WOOD® magazine