Shop Trick - Simple Jig to Flatten/Mill Lumber Longer or Wider Than Your Jointer Table

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Project by ChuckM posted 06-10-2013 08:59 PM 4190 views 17 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

You can build sophisticated jigs like this to solve your milling problem: (Check this out by another LJ:

Handplaning is another option but to mill lots of lumber, I go with my thickness planer. Here’s my simpler “jig” to flatten some of my twisted, bowed and warped stock:

1) Cut a flat sheet (plywood, MDF, etc.) to size that is longer and wider than the rough lumber, but not wider than the capacity of your thickness planner
2) Place the rough lumber on the jig (sheet) and use glue (from a glue gun) and shims (,43456), if needed, to “stabilize” the lumber so it doesn’t rock (Tack a couple brass pins behind the end, if desired)
3) Plane one side flat and then plane the other side (Take even material from each side and also cut your lumber to rough width before milling it).

Even if you have a jointer longer and wider than your twist lumber, you may not know or have the proper technique of removing the twist. It is different from milling a cupped board. This simple method is almost fool-proof.

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

7 comments so far

View Dusty56's profile


11822 posts in 3861 days

#1 posted 06-10-2013 09:27 PM

Nice and simple , Chuck . I like that : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View YoungWilly's profile


101 posts in 2242 days

#2 posted 06-11-2013 12:35 PM

Simplicity is key, and this is as simple as they come! Thank you, this will definitely be my go to milling solution since I don’t have a jointer (I do have a thickness planer though).

-- -- Measure twice, cut once; why, did the wood grow?

View LoydMoore's profile


105 posts in 2130 days

#3 posted 06-11-2013 03:53 PM

I use a similar system but for boards over 12” I use my drum sander with 36 grit paper. I also recommend gluing sandpaper on the sled. I use simple lumberyard shims but as so as I find a free shipping coupon for LeeValley I plan to order the shims you posted. Would really chap my butt to pay more for shipping than the product costs.

This is also handy for planning or drum sanding thin stock.

-- Loyd, San Angelo, TX

View Sodabowski's profile


2375 posts in 3006 days

#4 posted 06-11-2013 11:05 PM

Clever dude is clever :) I use a similar system too, but instead of a board I made a jig out of masonry aluminium rulers, sandpaper, and some wood scraps and misc hardware. Maybe I’ll shoot it next time and show it off to you guys. Main reason for doing it: I don’t have a jointer (yet).

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View Wingstress's profile


339 posts in 3688 days

#5 posted 06-12-2013 12:16 AM

Nice, I like it. If you ever have really small parts, try this…
Click for details

-- Tom, Simsbury, CT

View tjdv's profile


66 posts in 2866 days

#6 posted 06-12-2013 12:18 AM

Chuck, for me this gets tip of year. I took a piece of cherry, put a couple of globs of hot melt glue on the high corners (no shims), attached to a very straight board, and ran it through the planer. It worked great. Many thanks.

-- At least in the Navy no one ever told me to put the seat down.....

View ChuckM's profile


612 posts in 3840 days

#7 posted 06-12-2013 11:29 PM

Thanks for all the comments as well as Tom’s heads-up on planing short pieces (handplaning is an alternative there, too).

tjdv – you’re right, shims are not necessary if the twist is not serious and hot melt glue alone could be enough.

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

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