How to get a straight edge on a rough cut board that has irregular sides without a jointer. I don’t have the space in my shop for all of the tools to make everyday task easy. My shop is in my garage and just not enough room for a jointer. For myself it works out most of the time because I plane and joint most of the boards for a project in my families shop up in north Carolina that I visit about once a month. But what do you do if you need a board right now? Well there are a few different options. If you know someone that has a jointer you could always ask to bring your boards over to run them through their jointer or your area may have a community workshop that is available. But if these are not options there are a few tricks that can help.
The first way is to mark the edge you want to straighten with a straight edge and marker or use a chalk box to mark longer boards. Once you have a good line to go by clamp the board on its edge and use a hand plane or hand held electric planer to remove wood down to your line. This seems like a difficult task with a hand planer but you will find a well honed hand plane can make quick work of it. Once straight you can run the board through a table saw to rip to width.
Another method that I like is to take a straight edge and with a hot glue gun tack it to one side of the board. Once set just run the board with the straight edge against the fence through the table saw. This is my preferred method as the hot glue only takes seconds to dry. With a light tap the straight edge comes right off leaving nothing behind on board.
-- Chris Adkins, http://highrockwoodworking.com/