I am building a table and I need to glue together several long and
wide (5' X 10") boards for the table top. I cannot put them through
jointer as they are long and heavy. What's the best way for
straightening their edges so I can nicely glue them together?
tablesaw with a sled. take a strip of plywood with a strait edge on it
and attach your board to it with cleats or screws and run it through
the saw with the ply or mdf against the fence. voila strait boards!
On a Table saw or with a Circle saw.
For a table saw use a straight piece of plywood and screw some hold down
clamps to it so that you can have your stock sit on top with the edge to be
straightened hanging over the straight plywood edge.
Or clamp a straight edge on to your stock to be straightened and use that as
a guide for a circle saw or router.
depends on your tools. if you have a router you can make a shooting
board for it which will quickly do a very nice job, assuming that the
boards don't have any twist to them. the same type of shooting board
can be made for a circular saw, which generally will leave a little
rougher finish than the router.
if you're in no hurry and enjoy the process and learning new things
consider doing it with hand planes. with planes you can fit the edges
extremely well together, and you can also get the faces flat and true.
this route will teach you about sharpness and sharpening, about wood
grain and stuff like that. in the end hand tools are some of the most
fun to use and explore.
The very best results can be achieved with hand planes, but it takes a
small amount of skill and a willingness to spend the time to get it right.
Otherwise I'd use a long straight edge and a straight bit in a router.
A 5' x 10" board is too heavy for you? OK, rip them in half. A good
idea too because you are much better off with a table made of glued up
5" boards than one with fewer 10" boards...not likely the 10" one
would stay flat.
Bingo ... IME, almost guaranteed, with today's hardwoods, warp/cup depending
upon the type of wood/cut of the stock (flatsawn, rift, etc).
Best chance of mitigating that, IME, is to rip to comfortable jointer width,
face and edge joint, then re-glue ... done right, you shouldn't be able to
The tablesaw or circular saw option will work well if you have a good
blade. I flip the boards so that I am cutting the first board face up
and the second face down. That way if my blade is at 89.9 degrees
instead of 90 the boards will still be flat when glued.
I would straighten the edges on a table saw using the carrier-board method.
With a good blade (Forrest WW2 or equiv) the cut is often adequate for
glue-up without further work, but if necessary it could be fine-tuned with
a jointer plane. I don't own a jointer and this is the method I always
use, with good results (Actually I do have a tiny little 4" jointer I
got at a yard sale years ago, but I've never taken the time to set it up)
There are no stupid questions, but there are lots of stupid answers.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar. org
After using the table saw sled method, I have used a sanding disk on the
table saw (make sure your disk is square to the table / fence) and take very
light passes with about 120 grit disk. I have jointed many glue ups in the
past using this method.
Dennis Slabaugh, Hobbyist woodworker
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