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Forum topic by jpw1995 posted 04-26-2007 05:14 PM 21378 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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376 posts in 4498 days

04-26-2007 05:14 PM

What are some of the methods you use to flatten and square up rough lumber without having the convenience of a jointer?

-- JP, Louisville, KY

9 replies so far

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 4268 days

#1 posted 04-26-2007 05:19 PM

You could use planes. Maybe make cross cuts and reassemble the parts for a flatter surface. There are many articles about building a router guide above the piece in a manner that allows you to use a straight bit and slide it over the entire piece. I’ve heard of people leaving the wood outside over night which allows it to collect moisture from dew. This is supposed to help flatten the board. I am skeptical.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

767 posts in 4373 days

#2 posted 04-26-2007 05:34 PM

For straight-edging a board, you can easily get by with a straight edge and a router. I believe Niki has a blog or topic entry on this?

Here it is…

There is a process for making a wide board totally flat with a router; it’s a bit complicated, though. You have to set up rails for the router to slide across, slowing making the entire board the same level. It works similarly to a CNC setup. I think it is more commonly used for something large, like reflattening the top of a workbench.

-- Ethan,

View WayneC's profile


13783 posts in 4297 days

#3 posted 04-26-2007 05:38 PM

You can use a sled in a planer.

You could probably get by with 3 handplanes for under $100 if you went used.

Need a #5 for rough stock removal, then #7 or #8 Jointer for flattening and a #4 or #4 1/2 to finish the surface.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View jpw1995's profile


376 posts in 4498 days

#4 posted 04-26-2007 05:39 PM

I found this article in American Woodworker on using your planer as a jointer. It seems like a simple way to flatten a wide board.

-- JP, Louisville, KY

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 4406 days

#5 posted 04-26-2007 05:50 PM

Hi Jp;
—-maybe I’m old fashioned but I like to keep it simple, so I will often do it the way they did it back then….’winding sticks’.

I wrote a blog on ‘winding sticks’ here; and then I often remove the waste with a belt sander, timber slicks….keeps it simple.

Also for the sides of the wood I still use a table saw, of course the saw has to be tried and true….


-- --frank, NH,

View jpw1995's profile


376 posts in 4498 days

#6 posted 04-26-2007 06:00 PM

Wow, Frank! That’s an amazing way to flatten a board. Great blog!

-- JP, Louisville, KY

View niki's profile


426 posts in 4279 days

#7 posted 04-27-2007 12:10 AM

After searching, I found only one picture on “Planing with router”, go to photo 10

I think that Marc (Thewoodwisperer) used one on his videos but I cannot find it.

Hope it helps

View gizmodyne's profile


1780 posts in 4289 days

#8 posted 04-27-2007 04:38 AM

I second the planer jig. Fine woodworking had an article not far back and a video posted on their site.

Then you can use a router or tablesaw with sled to make one edge 90 degrees to the face.

Plane the other face and rip on the table saw.

If you don’t have a planer… hmmm. Buy dimensional? Or learn to plane.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10321 posts in 4252 days

#9 posted 04-27-2007 05:15 PM

Here is a SIMPLE method I have used… quickly & in a pinch…

Although this is targeted toward flattening a benchtop that has no Level Reference, I have used the main jig just clamped over the workpiece on a workbench.

... other jigs, etc. that may be of interest…

Hope this helps… It helped me…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

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