Huge problem need some help

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Forum topic by Iggles88 posted 02-04-2012 02:37 AM 3044 views 1 time favorited 66 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2602 days

02-04-2012 02:37 AM

Hey all, I started woodworking not too long ago and have been having problems getting my wood squared up. I use a jointer, planer, and tablesaw (no bandsaw) I take all the steps that ya need to do to get your wood squared up but once I’m done the wood isn’t square… unbelievably confused because the two opposite corners read as square but the corners next to the square corners don’t read square. (hopefully that made sense) I checked my table saw miter slot, it was perfectly parallel to the blade. Then I checked my table saw fence, that was a bit off but I adjusted it. I thought I had found the problem but I was wrong, then I readjusted my outfeed table on my jointer. After doing all of that I got the same exact results. I know my squares aren’t wrong because I have 4 squares all reading exactly the same (2 starret combo squares, 2 incra try squares.) I’m beginning to get very discouraged and I’m completely lost on what the answer to my problem could be. As everyone here knows I can’t do any projects without square wood so i need to solve this problem ASAP. Thanks for all advice in advance

66 replies so far

View Bsmith's profile


330 posts in 2911 days

#1 posted 02-04-2012 02:45 AM

Start over and every time you make a cut, check it for square-ness. I had a similar problems with my jointer. Be sure both the indeed and out feed tables are co-planner with each other. If one is leaning in and the other out it will be out of square. The blades must be parallel with the table also. I’m sure you’ll get other great advice too. Good luck.

-- Bryan

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3889 days

#2 posted 02-04-2012 02:53 AM

You may have two problems:

1. incorrect jointer technique or a misaligned jointer The knives
must be aligned across their width with the outfeed table. The
fence may deflect or be bent.

2. Squaring a miter gauge is trickier than your table saw manual
makes it out to be. This is one reason sleds are preferred by
experienced cabinet makers when working with sub-industrial
saws. The miter gauge face/fence may be out of flat which
can cause problems. Check it. An icepick held against the miter
gauge face should kiss the carbide on a given tooth in both
the forward an backwards position of the blade, rotated about
3 degrees to do this check. The tooth may be marked with
a magic marker. Check the blade for runout. If runout is present
and substantial (over 1/100th inch) , try a different blade. The
saw arbor may have runout, which is not easily correctable.

Finally, the pattern-maker’s method of squaring a miter gauge
or crosscut sled. Taken an 8” wide board with a straight edge
and rip the other edge parallel. Crosscut the board (ply, solid,
just as long as it is straight), then flip the offcut and butt
the long sides against a real straight edge (a long level works) –
the amount of miter gauge error off 90 degrees is doubled
when the ends are butted. Adjust the saw trunnions as needed
to perfect the square cut.

View ChuckV's profile


3184 posts in 3768 days

#3 posted 02-04-2012 02:54 AM

Have you made sure that the fence on your jointer is square to the tables? Are you checking for square right after milling or after a while. I ask because the wood could be moving on you.

Keep at it – as Bsmith suggested, take it one step at a time.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View a1Jim's profile


117421 posts in 3818 days

#4 posted 02-04-2012 02:57 AM

Are you checking your jointer fence for square and have actual checked you squares for square? It could also be that your jointer tables are not parallel and or your not jointing your material the correct way.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2602 days

#5 posted 02-04-2012 03:01 AM

I have checked my jointer fence for square and it is, the fence isn’t bent I know that for sure. I do check for square on every single cut I make and get the same results every time, two corners square two corners not square. It’s one of the most frustrating things…I just can’t think of what it could be. I thought about bad jointer technique but Ive changed and tried different techniques and always end up with the same results so I don’t think it’s that. I am thinking I’m getting a taper at some point in the process because that’s the only thing I can think of that would cause two corners to be square and two to not be.

View 308Gap's profile


337 posts in 3244 days

#6 posted 02-04-2012 03:21 AM

when you say cut are you talking about using the jointer only. In your first post you mentioned 3 machines. I have gotten alot of help here, but being very specific about one machine at a time helps. What helped me alot was watching videos from reputable woodworkers.

This sounds like your problem….

-- Thank You Veterans!

View yammi450's profile


25 posts in 2903 days

#7 posted 02-04-2012 03:25 AM

You keep saying two corners are square and two are not, but there are 8 corners on a board. Is it out of square after you joint it, plane it, rip it, or cross cut it?

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2602 days

#8 posted 02-04-2012 03:39 AM

It’s not square after I finish the entire process. I joint a face, plane opposite face parallel, joint an edge, rip opposite edge parallel, crosscut both sides. That should get me square if Im not mistaken? And I’m talking about four corners on one face not both faces. If your looking straight at a board the top left corner will be square and bottom right corner will be square. Top right and bottom left read out of square. I know it’s not easy to understand what I’m saying I don’t think there’s a good way to explain it. 308 gap no I was talking about after the whole process, I was answering to one of the previous responses. Sorry guys and thanks for the advice

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3889 days

#9 posted 02-04-2012 03:48 AM

1. How long and wide is the board?

2. What species?

3. Did you check the long edges for straight prior to checking for
square? (I use a 78” level for this on longer boards) If so,
what does your straight edge tell you?

4. How long is the the fence on your miter gauge? Is it

5. are the opposite corners of the board equidistant?

View yammi450's profile


25 posts in 2903 days

#10 posted 02-04-2012 03:51 AM

Check the two ripped edges and see if they are parallel. if they are then its probally the mitre gauge thats not square. If the ripped edges are not square then its happenning when you rip it. Are you ripping it before making the crosscuts?

View Iggles88's profile


247 posts in 2602 days

#11 posted 02-04-2012 03:56 AM

What’s the best way to check if the first two sides are parallel

View AndyB's profile


12 posts in 2861 days

#12 posted 02-04-2012 03:59 AM

It sounds like you’re doing everything right but I think you may have a twisted board. You can easily check this out by sighting along the length of the board or using winding sticks. If it is twisted you’ll have a job on your hands to plane a flat surface but there are techniques for doing it on this site and at Fine Woodworking. Good luck!

-- Andy, Texas,

View lewis62's profile


73 posts in 2880 days

#13 posted 02-04-2012 04:07 AM

If I undrstand right, you are cross cutting on table saw using mitre gauge.
Did you add any sand paper to front face of mitre gauge, contact cement it on, so stock does not slip on its face as you crosscut. I think this is your problem why opposite corners do not come out square. As you push forward the long end will always move on you no matter how hard you hold it , causing some slip and play as it moves forward ,I quit using mitre gauge all together ,long ago , same problem.
A cross cut sled will slove that problem.It should not take you a couple of hours to make a nice one, lots of them posted on LJ.

View yammi450's profile


25 posts in 2903 days

#14 posted 02-04-2012 04:08 AM

Just measure the width of the board across the top (left and right) and the bottom (left and right). The more precise the better.

View oluf's profile


260 posts in 3280 days

#15 posted 02-04-2012 04:20 AM

Your plainer is not cutting true. The boards are comming out parallel end to end, but thay are not parallel side to side.. Use the most accurate measuring device you have and measure the thickness of a board as it comes out of the plainer on each side. If they are not exact you will never have square finished wood. I will not insult you with questions. You have clearly given the information needed to solve your problem.

-- Nils, So. Central MI. Wood is honest.Take the effort to understand what it has to tell you before you try to change it.

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