a) how well you have your table saw tuned
b) how good a blade you have on the TS
c) how good your technique is on the TS
d) your personal tolerance for imperfection
Bottom line: if the table-sawn edge produces a joint that is close enough to
satisfy you, then you don't need to joint after ripping. If it leaves gaps in
the joint that you think are too big, then you need to joint.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
Some saws may produce a good edge for you but a secondary treatment either a
jointer or router and straight edge is recommended.Aligning the edges with
glue may be a more difficult task. Biscuits? Brads? splines?
If you have a jointer, you might as well run the edge to be glued over it.
Can't hurt, and why settle for something that could be second best :)
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Place the boards together. If you see a gap anywhere along the seam
or the edge is rough, you need to joint the edges. Make sure your
jointer is 90 degrees. Get this inspection step right, it's too late
after the glue-up.
Hard to tell until you see how the boards stack up side by side. If you're
not satisfied with the looks of things, joint. Even with a sharp Forrest
WWII and well tuned cabinet saw, I'll often run opposing edges through the
An additional step you can do to insure that the two edge joints you're
gluing together match perfectly is to:
1. Layout your boards on your bench and put them in the best looking
orientation to make the top.
2. Using chalk or pencil (lightly) mark the boards with a big V that goes
across all boards. This marks the top face of each board and they can be
easily placed back in the same order after jointing and keeping them in
order for glue-up.
3. Be sure your jointer fence is perpendicular to the outfeed table.
Perfection is nice but if your fence is off a bit due to warp, twist etc.
don't be to concerned because the error will be cancelled out.
4. Take the first outside board of your top and place the working face
(marked face) against the fence and joint the glue edge. I like to run a
pencil line down the entire length of the board so after I joint it, the
pencil line is totally gone verifying there are no low spots. I have my
jointer set to take a .015" (15 thou) deep cut.
In a perfect world, the edge you just jointed would be at 90deg to the
working face - assuming your fence and technique were perfect too. They're
probably not perfect so...
5. Take the next board in line and joint the edge that will mate to the
first board by having that edge pointing down (obviously) and the working
face (marked face) away from the jointer face. When you joint this edge, it
will be the complement and any error from 90 deg on the first edge joint
will be cancelled by the opposite amount of error on the second boards edge.
If that doesn't make any sense, make up small practice table top using some
scraps and practice and then the light will come on providing I didn't screw
up my instructions above. Doing it becomes intuitive after awhile, writing
it down makes you think - did I say that correctly? If I didn't, thousands
will chime in and let you know.
As for gluing the boards, the technique I find that works nicely for me is
to spread glue on one edge on one board, then slip the next edge up to it
and then slide the boards back and forth on their edges to spread the glue
evenly. This tends to help me from applying to much glue by not applying
glue to both edges and gives me extra open time to insure board alignment.
Agway's do a dry run first and go thru all the motions of glue-up but not
using any glue. Have your clamps ready, culls and whatever else you may use
to keep boards aligned.
Some people do that but you can never be sure of the out come that results.
If you joint every cut edge you cannot ever be sure to have boards with the
"exact" width that they should be and most likely the edges of the boards
will not be parallel.
If you follow the rules, you use the jointer only to flatten or straighten a
board prior to using a thickness planer or ripping the board. If you joint
each edge to be glued, you will end up with a taper as a jointer does not
afford a way to keep the board edges parallel. Ideally you will joint the
boards on 1 edge only to make that edge straight and then make the opposite
edge of the board parallel on the table saw. If your table saw cut is not
as smooth as the jointed edge, you need to evaluate that problem and
consider tuning up your saw and making sure you are using a blade that makes
clean smooth rips.
Back a month or so ago I did a fairly controlled test of glues (yellow vs poly)
and also sawn edge vs milled edge. With both glues the milled edge was at least
50% stronger than sawn using maple. It surprised me too.
You found that a smooth glued surface was stronger than a more rough glued
surface and were surprised?
That is the way it is suppose to work.. While I indicated that you should
use a TS to prepare one of the board edges as a glue edge vs. using a
jointer for both edges, I do not want to mislead that the TS produces a
rough cut. My TS and blade combination puts my jointer to shame when
comparing smoothness of edges.
;~) I was not even considering fence alignment being out of square. Even
a perfectly set up jointer will give you less than perfect results with non
parallel edges if you joint both edges of the board.
I think you're missing the point, Leon. :)
Edges do not have to be parallel to glue up flat without gaps, they just
need to be complementary angles that equal 180 degrees.
Granted, this is "non-standard" usage of your jointer, if you will, but
still effective when necessary.
tip.... I think I probably did not explain why glueing up non parallel
boards is "not always" OK. I build a lot of furniture with contrasting
color woods. Very often the tops will have multiple color woods around the
perimeter. With glued up pieces of contransting wood for these borders and
these being 45ed in the corners the individual pieces must absolutely have
parallel edges or they will not lighn up properly at the joints.
Ahhh ...I see what you're talking about. Yes, you are absolutely correct
and I agree. You would certainly want the outside edges of the panel to be
dead 90 degrees to the face and parallel to its opposite edge. It was the
interior joints of opposing boards I was referring to.
Sorry for the confusion.
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