Smoothing and Flattening Thin Pieces for End Joining

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Forum topic by Trucker posted 07-09-2015 02:34 AM 706 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Trucker's profile


20 posts in 1079 days

07-09-2015 02:34 AM

Topic tags/keywords: joining planing

Hi Everyone,
I have started making cutting boards (long grain) and would like to use some thinner pieces in future boards, but I am concerned that they won’t be completely flat and thus have small gaps in the joints (maybe my table saw skills are just not up to par just yet too). Can thin pieces (1” or less) be safely run on a jointer? Should I put them on a sled and run them through a planer? I have both a 6” bench top jointer and a lunchbox planer to work with in addition to a table saw. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


5 replies so far

View ForestGrl's profile


450 posts in 1083 days

#1 posted 07-09-2015 03:53 AM

What kind of blade do you use on your saw? What kind of saw and fence? Personally, I’d get a better surface on my saw (with a glue-line blade) than on the jointer with pieces that small. You could gang them together and run them through the planer. Don’t know what the official verdict is on using a jointer, but it wouldn’t be my first choice. Eeek.

-- My mother said that anyone learning to cook needed a large dog to eat the mistakes. As a sculptor of wood I have always tried to keep a fireplace. (Norman Ridenour)

View Picken5's profile


254 posts in 2689 days

#2 posted 07-09-2015 05:42 AM

You could joint an edge of a wider board, then rip off a strip 1” or less on your table saw. You could then glue the newly jointed edge to another board (with a previously jointed edge). Once the glue has dried, you could joint the sawed edge. Just repeat the process till it’s as wide as you want. Not very fast, but it’ll keep you from trying to joint something that small. ForestGrl’s method also works — which is how I usually make cutting boards. (But mistakes do happen, so jointing sections already glued up can help correct those.)

-- Howard - "Time spent making sawdust is not deducted from one's lifetime." - old Scottish proverb

View rwe2156's profile


2925 posts in 1478 days

#3 posted 07-09-2015 11:21 AM

I don’t think you’ll be very successful running wood that think on a jointer because its going to flex too much.

Thinking about it, all you basically have here is a panel glue up, right?

So think about the normal procedure for that and you’re on your way.

I would also start out with wood that is at least 1/8” thicker than desired so you have some wiggle room to get it flat.

1. Flatten one face and plane to thickness (remember – oversize it!)
2. Edge joint one edge and rip to thickness.
3. Rejoint egde and rip another piece and repeat process
4. Plane or joint rip cut edge if not acceptable.
5. Glue up panel.

What kind of rip blade are you using? Try a Freud glue line rip.

After glue up, if you’re panel isn’t flat, then you can flatten one side with hand plane or use a sled and run through the planer. Then you can plane to thickness. Pay attention to taking equal amounts of wood off each side or you will encourage warping.

You may want to consider breadboard ends because you will most like be dealing with some warping after glue up.

I’m sure someone else will have other suggestions.

Good luck.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Trucker's profile


20 posts in 1079 days

#4 posted 07-09-2015 11:28 AM

Thanks for the advice so far! I’m using a DeWalt DWE7480 tabletop saw (factory fence) with a Diablo 50-tooth combination blade. I figured that jointing such this pieces would be a bad idea. I’m also in the process of building a stand for the saw with extended in- and out-feed tables, which should help stabilize the pieces that I am cutting and let me get cleaner and more consistent lines.

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1174 days

#5 posted 07-09-2015 11:48 AM

I have successfully ripped 8/4 walnut and maple strips 1/32 inch thick on the left side of my Forest WoodWorker II blade that were ready for glue up. I used a Delta 1.5HP contractors saw.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

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