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Forum topic by Chris208 posted 06-15-2012 04:22 PM 845 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Chris208's profile


237 posts in 1692 days

06-15-2012 04:22 PM

I’m working on building a small end table. I milled up all my wood for the apron using a jointer to joint an edge and a face, my table saw for the opposite edge, and a planer for the opposite face.

But after I cut tenons, I discovered that some of my tenons were slightly undersized. I determined that this is because that piece of wood had somehow been planed thinner that the other 2 pieces. After looking more closely I also found that the board is also slightly wedge shaped, with one end of the board being a thick 32nd over the other end.

I milled all the boards at the same time through each step of the process.

How did this happen?

Also, how can I make the undersized tenons on that piece fit the 1/4 inch mortises? I was considering glueing a small shim on, and sanding it to a slip fit.

6 replies so far

View jmos's profile


716 posts in 1792 days

#1 posted 06-15-2012 04:26 PM

When you ran the boards through the planer, did you check each one as it came out to make sure the planer took material off the entire board? I usually scribble on the top with a pencil.

It’s very possible that while you were face jointing you ended up with one board that was thinner than the others. If you didn’t pay careful attention, you may never have planed the opposite face.

I often end up setting my stock thickness by the thinnest board I have when I start planing (the S2S 4/4 lumber I get never yields 0.75” finished thickness)

Other than that I can only think there is some problem with your planer moving during operation, which sounds unlikely.

Edit – yes, it is very easy to make wedges on the jointer. Don’t ask me how I know… Practicing your technique helps a lot.

-- John

View Chris208's profile


237 posts in 1692 days

#2 posted 06-15-2012 04:29 PM

I did not make sure that it had planed the board evenly. The pencil trick is a good idea.

View Richforever's profile


750 posts in 3142 days

#3 posted 06-15-2012 04:59 PM

I use a test piece to determine if my boards are all the same thickness. Sometimes the gauge on the planer indicates another pass can be made, but the thickness matches my test piece. That’s when I stop planing that particular board.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8104 posts in 2851 days

#4 posted 06-15-2012 05:02 PM

I’ve had debris get under a board. If a bit got under either end, it could cause it.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2391 days

#5 posted 06-15-2012 05:20 PM

The only time I’ve experienced planing a taper was when one side of a planer knife was high – it moved when I was tightening the retaining bolts.
With regard to your skinny tenons, you could glue on a shim to thicken it up and take it back down to size. If you want a quick way of doing it, iron on some veneer edging on one side, get it back to a nice fit, when you’re gluing it drive a couple of pins through the tenon – on the inside of the leg where they won’t be seen.
Not ideal, but quick and plenty strong enough for an end table.

View Bobmedic's profile


312 posts in 2224 days

#6 posted 06-15-2012 07:28 PM

Planer snipe on the end could be a cause too.

-- Save lives, ease suffering, reduce morbidity and mortality, stomp out pestilence and disease, postpone the inevitable, and fake compassion. The Paramedics Creed

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