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  • How to make the edge of a piece of lumber straight

    I think I may have finally beat my arch-nemesis, the jointer. I discovered the below method for straightening 1 edge of a piece of lumber. It works fantastically!! 1 pass and the board was totally straight with a minimal amount of waste.

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    meaded and woodguy7 like this.
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  • #2

    Re: How to make the edge of a piece of lumber straight

    That method does work very well, also if your lumber gets to long for your table saw you could use a router with a flush trim bit or a track saw type jig with your circular saw.
    That's experience talking from when I didn't have a jointer, I have one now but still use these methods for when the piece is to unwieldy for the table saw.

    Vince

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    • #3

      Re: How to make the edge of a piece of lumber straight

      But if you learn to use your jointer you get a straight, square, dressed edge 3 for the price of one, how do you know you are holding your power saw square to the face of your wood.
      Or have you screwed those blocks on and run it over the table saw so now you have screw holes in the wood????

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      • #4

        Re: How to make the edge of a piece of lumber straight

        Originally posted by bkrits View Post
        But if you learn to use your jointer you get a straight, square, dressed edge 3 for the price of one, how do you know you are holding your power saw square to the face of your wood.
        Or have you screwed those blocks on and run it over the table saw so now you have screw holes in the wood????
        That is a jig I made for the table saw. The clamps clamp the wood down the top of the jig using top pressure only. It is elevated above the table by the jig thickness, about 3/4".

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        • #5

          Re: How to make the edge of a piece of lumber straight

          Here is the Jig in action.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTjY0maxxF8

          woodguy7 likes this.

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          • #6

            Re: How to make the edge of a piece of lumber straight

            It's a well known trick. I use a sled sometimes when I need to straighten the edge that is curved the wrong way.

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            • #7

              Re: How to make the edge of a piece of lumber straight

              As a bonus it can also be used as a taper jig.
              bkrits likes this.

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              • #8

                Re: How to make the edge of a piece of lumber straight

                Originally posted by bogmer View Post
                It's a well known trick. I use a sled sometimes when I need to straighten the edge that is curved the wrong way.
                I don't understand what is the wrong way all bent wood can be made straight on a jointer con-curve or convex, or twisted, its all about how you hold your mouth?

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                • #9

                  Re: How to make the edge of a piece of lumber straight

                  Originally posted by bkrits View Post

                  I don't understand what is the wrong way all bent wood can be made straight on a jointer con-curve or convex, or twisted, its all about how you hold your mouth?
                  On a Jointer the best way to get rid of a cuve is to chop off the corners until the board is flat. With this jig you can cut the crown off and depending on what parts of the wood you want to keep the best way isn't always to do it on a jointer. If you use a jointer and take off the convex curve it's not the right tool. Concave sure but not convex You will take out a ton of material to straighten a concave curve.

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                  • #10

                    Re: How to make the edge of a piece of lumber straight

                    I think an additional advantage of the jig over a jointer is the jig requires less skill to use. Lot's of stories out there about people chasing their tail trying to square up a badly warped piece and producing more chips than usable wood. Of course the jig only works as a edge jointer.

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                    • #11

                      Re: How to make the edge of a piece of lumber straight

                      Draw a line on either a concave or convex piece of wood then what ever method you use jointer or jig on a table saw you remove the same wood, if you take it all off with a table saw in one hit and the wood moves you still have a problem, if you remove it slowly bit by bit you have the chance to avoid the second movement or correct it as you go, as Doug says its a toy for the less skilled.
                      If you have to straighten the concurve side start with the board over the cutter head maybe almost half way dependent on the curve and take a few cuts maybe turning the board around working from both ends, keep looking down the board to see what you are doing.
                      I often start my first cut with the end of the board on the out feed table then after the first cut flip the board end for end and again start with the end of the board on the out feed table, its about practice and watching what is happening a sharp machine is one where the wood won't ride up on the knives if the knives are blunt of the tables set wrong you are in trouble before you start.

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                      • #12

                        Re: How to make the edge of a piece of lumber straight

                        You'll also see in the video I posted he is straightening a long piece of wood. The jig is especially useful for that where your stock would be unwieldy on a jointer bed. I have never had any luck at all with my jointer. If it was in the way, quite frankly, I would get rid of it. I can count on 1 hand the number of times I have been successful straightening a piece of wood. This jig is a Godsend for me. 1 pass and the wood is perfect.

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                        • #13

                          Re: How to make the edge of a piece of lumber straight

                          Bob I have a sled for long wonky boards and use it on occasion too.

                          Jointing is not as easy as it looks and there is a bit of method and technique required. The very first thing to do is cut your long board into useable lengths. If you have a wonky 12 footer and need a 6 foot piece of straight material why would you try to handle a long piece instead of a short piece?

                          The long sleds work fairly well but generally do not give you dead straight stock. The piece you cut will only be as straight as the piece your jig is made from. Accuracy of the saw fence will also play a part as will feeding into the blade dead straight and consistent.

                          Jigs like this should be made from sheet goods not conventional lumber which will move as it dries thereby ruining your jig.

                          We have covered this subject many times here. I think I may have posted a pic of my jig many years ago. if not I know others have. It works but only to a degree. The jointer or a hand plane will still be required if you want perfection.
                          "Do it Right!"

                          Comment


                          • #14

                            Re: How to make the edge of a piece of lumber straight

                            Originally posted by Rusty View Post
                            Bob I have a sled for long wonky boards and use it on occasion too.

                            Jointing is not as easy as it looks and there is a bit of method and technique required. The very first thing to do is cut your long board into useable lengths. If you have a wonky 12 footer and need a 6 foot piece of straight material why would you try to handle a long piece instead of a short piece?

                            The long sleds work fairly well but generally do not give you dead straight stock. The piece you cut will only be as straight as the piece your jig is made from. Accuracy of the saw fence will also play a part as will feeding into the blade dead straight and consistent.

                            Jigs like this should be made from sheet goods not conventional lumber which will move as it dries thereby ruining your jig.

                            We have covered this subject many times here. I think I may have posted a pic of my jig many years ago. if not I know others have. It works but only to a degree. The jointer or a hand plane will still be required if you want perfection.
                            It is a little hard to see in the picture, but I made my jig out of MDF. In the video, that guy made his out of a piece of lumber, which I agree is not a good idea if you want to use it more than once.

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                            • #15

                              Re: How to make the edge of a piece of lumber straight

                              Originally posted by bkrits View Post
                              Draw a line on either a concave or convex piece of wood then what ever method you use jointer or jig on a table saw you remove the same wood, if you take it all off with a table saw in one hit and the wood moves you still have a problem, if you remove it slowly bit by bit you have the chance to avoid the second movement or correct it as you go, as Doug says its a toy for the less skilled.
                              If you have to straighten the concurve side start with the board over the cutter head maybe almost half way dependent on the curve and take a few cuts maybe turning the board around working from both ends, keep looking down the board to see what you are doing.
                              I often start my first cut with the end of the board on the out feed table then after the first cut flip the board end for end and again start with the end of the board on the out feed table, its about practice and watching what is happening a sharp machine is one where the wood won't ride up on the knives if the knives are blunt of the tables set wrong you are in trouble before you start.
                              Unless I have two solid points to stop the wood from rocking I don't do it on a Jointer. I have used a sled on the table saw and the other option is to hand plane the high spots until you have two points of contact. If your wood rocks a little you will never be able to get it dead straight. The Jointer is one of the most dangerous tools in a workshop so to start a balancing act on it isn't what I call fun going especially when there's other options that are quicker and yield good results.

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