Getting a straight edge on rough planks

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Forum topic by revanson11 posted 01-11-2012 04:32 AM 2937 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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91 posts in 1753 days

01-11-2012 04:32 AM

Hi, I’m a new member and a novice woodworker. A while back I was given about 150 board feet of red oak boards. I ran them through my planer and now they are nice and smooth and range in width from 3” to 10” and are about 8’ long. My problem is that none of the boards have a straight edge on them and I was hoping that someone here could give me advice about how to go about achieving that. Thanks in advance.

-- Randy, Central MN

7 replies so far

View HerbC's profile


1567 posts in 2279 days

#1 posted 01-11-2012 04:50 AM

Use a jig made of a 10” wide, 8’ long piece of plywood or mdf. Attach the oak boards (one at a time) to the jig using a couple of screws, aligning the edge of the oak board to overhang the jig board. Use the jig as a guide against the rip fence of your table saw and rip the edge straight. Once you have one edge straight, remove the boad from the jig and use the table saw to rip to it to width, straightening the other side.

Good Luck!

Be Carefull!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View ajosephg's profile


1878 posts in 2981 days

#2 posted 01-11-2012 04:54 AM

I take a piece of plywood equal or greater than the length and less than the width of the board to be straight edged and screw it to the work piece (one screw on each end) with the plywood offset from the edge of the work piece.

-- Joe

View Loren's profile


8159 posts in 3068 days

#3 posted 01-11-2012 04:56 AM

I prefer to bandsaw a straight edge, following the clearest line to a
straight-grained board. Then you can rip the other side parallel
on the table saw. More waste this way, but you get nice boards.

The other thing is that you very seldom need an 8’ long straight
board, so I’d say pick your projects and lay out the parts on the
boards so the grain is most pleasing, then crosscut, bandsaw the
parts 1/4” oversized and so forth.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2390 posts in 2342 days

#4 posted 01-11-2012 10:37 PM

”.......The other thing is that you very seldom need an 8’ long straight
I agree. I wold cut them to approximate length and run one edge over my jointer to get it straight, then move on to the table saw.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View ETwoodworks's profile


92 posts in 2113 days

#5 posted 01-11-2012 10:50 PM

I don’t have a bandsaw so I just snap a chalk line across it and cut that with the circular saw. then you can rip the other edge on the table saw.

-- Building quality in a throw away world.

View pmayer's profile


847 posts in 2485 days

#6 posted 01-11-2012 11:01 PM

I use the band saw for this as well. Quick and simple. A jig like this one used with a circular saw would work as well:

-- PaulMayer,

View revanson11's profile


91 posts in 1753 days

#7 posted 01-17-2012 01:07 AM

Many thanks to all who replied to my posting. I now know how to proceed. You’re all great.

-- Randy, Central MN

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