I'm in the process of building some pieces out of wormy maple. I have
the lumber but in order to edge join the boards into panels I first need
to joint them and then glue them up.
I've found a mill that can joint the boards for a fee but someone told
me that jointed boards will warp or bend slightly and I'd need to do all
of my glue up fairly soon after getting everything back from the mill.
Is this true? I've tried several suggested techniques for doing the
jointing myself both with a small table saw or a small router table and
I can't get a straight enough edge for the length of wood I'm using.
There is no way I can afford to have enough clamps to do all of the glue
up at once and most days it is too cold in my garage shop for glue to
set correctly. I might get one glue up a week accomplished
It is common enough to be well aware of the possibility, but it could also
be a non-problem. The fee for edge jointing can't be that much, so. it
you've tried all else I would not hesitate to suggest that you have it done
and then see what happens. Once done, try to keep the freshly jointed stock
'stacked and stickered' in a consistent environment until you're ready to
The other choice, if you don't have the proper power tools, is to use/learn
to use a hand plane ... it was done that way for literally hundreds of
They either one work, pretty much the same. And well used, it's a
I haven't talked myself into one of those yet. There are some very nice,
vintage Stanley models in the tool cabinet (6, 7 & 8) that quite suffice
for now, and the three of them didn't cost what the LN version goes for
If the maple is pretty dry, you'll likely be OK. Just pay attention to the
carriage and storage of the wood, post jointing, and you shouldn't have too
How long are these pieces?
That's doable on a router table made with a four-foot piece of MDF or ply.
Fence is one of the same, one half saw kerf thinner on the leading side of
the bit cutout.
I do plywood that way, because I can't afford carbide jointer cutters.
Real problem comes when ripping, because the wood seeks a new equilibrium to
match its new shape. More and greater differences than variations in
moisture content and the movement that goes with.
Unless you're really doing long pieces, you should be able to tune edges
with your router table and an uneven fence. Not going to work well with
twisted or cupped stock, but should be enough there for touchups. For
really long stuff, only jointerless solution is a sled, clamps, and tablesaw
fiddling if the differences are great. If they're minor, you could skin
alternate sides until you get a best average. Got to have a plane surface to
start with there, as well.
Got an IA program at the local High School or JC? Most sawdust types are
more than happy to oblige another one after hours.
the boards are 5 foot long
even an MDF fence over that length bends a bit
I've debated one of the machined straight edges ie joint tech but one
guy selling them at the woodworking show told me that even those will
have more flex then I'm wanting
IIRC OP said he was having the boards jointed at the lumber yard?
If so, while they can bow or move after jointing, most likely he will
be able to glue them up into panels without any real trouble.
If not being jointed at the yard, there're several ways to get a
straight edge suitable for gluing up panels that don't require a
jointer on S2S. Here's a method that works for me:
Use a piece of plywood with a good, straight edge. Usually the factory
edge is fine. Exact dimensions don't matter much but it should be
a little longer than the boards being edged. Clamp, double side tape,
screw, tack, or otherwise affix this plywood guide board to the
workpiece such that straight edge can ride against the
table saw fence, and the wavy edge of the workpiece can be cut off by
the saw blade.
I like to use a guide plank about a foot wide. For
straightedging workpieces up to around 8 - 10" wide, I put
the guide board on the saw table, straight edge against the fence,
with the fence set to the width of the guide board. This lets me
use toggle clamps or screws & blocks to clamp the workpiece on
top of the guide, with the wavy edge overhanging the edge on the blade
side just enough to be cut off to make a straight edge. When doing it
this way, the edge of the guide board that runs next to the blade
shows you exactly where your cut will be made.
For workpieces that are somewhat wider, I put the workpiece on the saw
table with the guide board on top. This works just as well but doesn't
allow as many options for clamping the guide to the workpiece.
Instead of a plywood guide board, you could use a piece of angle or
channel, flat bar, etc, anything with a straight edge that you can
somehow attach to your workpiece.
At any rate, push the whole thing through the table saw, remove the
guide board, flip the workpiece, reset the TS fence, & rip the
other edge. Takes longer to type it than it does to do it, really.
If you have a good blade, you may be able to stop right there; if the
edge is a little rough for glue up, a couple passes with a jointer
plane or jack plane will clean it up.
This basic method has a few variations that are more or less
appropriate for different size workpieces. The basic idea is the same,
though. Any decent table saw book will explain this probably better
than I can here.
I don't own a jointer but even if I did, I believe I'd continue to use
this method in many cases. Although, come to think of it, I did buy an
old 4" Craftsman jointer for $20 at a yard sale a few years ago. Hmm,
I wonder where that thing is, anyway...
Make it as simple as possible, but no simpler.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - email@example.com
If you do not have the proper equipment I would suggest that you team up
with a friend that has the tools or outsource the your work to first get
I have been there and back.
At first I used a radial arm saw to rip the rough maple board to about 3 to
4 inches in width.
In order to do this I had to make a sleight on to which I would secure with
toggle clamps the crooked maple board.
Using a planning ripping saw on the radial arm I would push the straight
edge of the sleigh against the saw guide of the table.
Failing to mount to crooked board or any rough maple board could end up a
To rip a board using a table saw or radial arm saw the board has to be
square with the ripping blade at all time when feeding.
By using a planning blade and a ripping sleight I was able to glue the board
without using a jointer.
BTW. 75% of the furniture in my house have been build using the later
As this method was dangerous for kick backs I graduated to a cast iron table
saw and heavy duty jointer.
Maple and ash have to be well seasoned before ripping, jointing, gluing and
surface planning. I make an effort to rip boards to 3 to 4 inches wide
using biscuits and waterproof glue. As for gluing I use a bar clamps every
12 inches, one under and one over.
I also alternate the grain of the board one left then one right and so on.
Over the years I have accumulate 3/4 dia. bar clamps and when I see some on
sale I still buy an extra one now and then.
After learning over the years I now use only high quality carbide ripping
saw like Freud or better.
william kossack wrote:
> I've tried several suggested techniques for doing the
> jointing myself both with a small table saw or a small router table and
> I can't get a straight enough edge for the length of wood I'm using.
Use the router freehand instead of in a table.
Clamp a straight edge (I use a 2x2 aluminum angle) to the piece, then
run router along straight edge.
except I'm trying to joint a 5 foot board. I looked at some of the
metal stock to use as a straight edge at home depot and Lowes but it
looked too flexible to be used over such a long length
Lew Hodgett wrote:
Likely the metal they sell there is light weight. You're right, to flexible.
Get a sheet of MDF and rip a strip off one edge. The factory edge is quite
strait and a strip 6 or more inches wide should be quite ridged.
william kossack wrote:
> except I'm trying to joint a 5 foot board. I looked at some of the
> metal stock to use as a straight edge at home depot and Lowes but it
> looked too flexible to be used over such a long length
You're looking in the wrong place.
2x2x1/8x96 is a standard aluminum angle extrusion.
Huh? A 6" wide piece of plywood or mdf lying flat, perhaps a narrower
standing up if your boards are thick, only reinforced with another in a L is
mighty damn inflexible. And every router table can use a jointing fence.
The 2x4' sheet that becomes your table when you bore a hole for the bit and
attach the router can be stiffened by a couple of rails for flat and clamp
guides for the workmate. If you want to do the fiddle, stiffen your angle
iron with a bit of the same, and hand hold you router, though I much prefer
the table mount.
As before, you can take half a kerf off the leading side or stick some
formica on the trailing to make an uneven "table" for that spiral bit in the
router. Voila, a jointer.
It's great to have a setup like this at the ready, because with a little bit
of work it becomes the jointer for plywood hexagons and such.
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