LumberJocks

table top joining

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by NEwtoowood posted 09-05-2012 02:50 PM 2005 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View NEwtoowood's profile

NEwtoowood

7 posts in 749 days


09-05-2012 02:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table joining

Help, I am new to furniture building and have limited tools. I am trying to build a dinning room table out of 4/4 ash various widths about 7 ’ long. I have a table saw and biscutjoiner. The wood has been plained but the edges need to be straightened up. The problem is my saw is not up to the task , the rips are not going well and the edges look no better than the what was there. Any ideas? I am not looking for perfection but I do want it to look decent.

Any help is appreciated.


13 replies so far

View newplane's profile

newplane

159 posts in 2736 days


#1 posted 09-05-2012 03:07 PM

Do you have a router table? You can offset one side with a flush bit and use a jointer.

-- Dont just dream it, get up and live it!

View GlennsGrandson's profile

GlennsGrandson

432 posts in 968 days


#2 posted 09-05-2012 03:13 PM

I’ve had to do something like this before and ended up with decent results. Hopefully I can put it into words..

Table Saw Joining
Take a piece of wood that you know has a straight edge (MDF for example is usually straight, check it though) that is at least as long as the boards that you need to join. Lay the MDF on top of the board that you need to join, then slide the MDF to the side of the board so it overhangs an inch or two trying to keep it as parallel to the already rough cut edge. Here’s the unfortunate part, you have to screw the MDF to your good wood, so put a screw on each end and either cut those ends off when you’re done, or use short enough screws that they don’t go all the way through, then you can fill the screw holes and call that the “bottom” of whatever you are making and then you can use multiple screws to hold it. The MDF will actually ride along your table saw fence, not your wood. Set the fence so you are barely skimming the edge of your good wood as to not waste more than you need. Keep the blade on the TS just high enough to cut your wood and only nick the MDF. If done correctly you should have a pretty straight edge.

I saw a video on it once, cannot find it now unfortunately, but it has worked for me.

Hand Plane
Or find yourself a nice old Stanley Bailey jointer hand plane,(#5, #5 1/2, #7 etc) and do it old school.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

-- Grant - S/N Dakota

View BilltheDiver's profile

BilltheDiver

230 posts in 1544 days


#3 posted 09-05-2012 03:15 PM

If you want to use your table saw, get a piece of mdf or plywood with a factory edge and rip it on your saw. Then attach one of your planks to the board (double sided tape) and run the other edge of the mdf against your fence. This should produce a good edge on one side of the plank. Flip it and reposition the fence to dress the other edge.

-- "Measure twice, cut once, count fingers"

View GlennsGrandson's profile

GlennsGrandson

432 posts in 968 days


#4 posted 09-05-2012 03:17 PM

I’ve had to do something like this before and ended up with decent results. Hopefully I can put it into words..

Table Saw Joining
Take a piece of wood that you know has a straight edge (MDF for example is usually straight, check it though) that is at least as long as the boards that you need to join. Lay the MDF on top of the board that you need to join, then slide the MDF to the side of the board so it overhangs an inch or two trying to keep it as parallel to the already rough cut edge. Here’s the unfortunate part, you have to screw the MDF to your good wood, (some say they use tape or clamps, you can try that) so put a screw on each end and either cut those ends off when you’re done, or use short enough screws that they don’t go all the way through, then you can fill the screw holes and call that the “bottom” of whatever you are making and then you can use multiple screws to hold it. The MDF will actually ride along your table saw fence, not your wood. Set the fence so you are barely skimming the edge of your good wood as to not waste more than you need. Keep the blade on the TS just high enough to cut your wood and only nick the MDF. If done correctly you should have a pretty straight edge. Now once you have a good cut straight edge on your board you can take off the MDF or whatever you used and move your fence and then put your new edge along the fence and cut the other edge parallel.

I saw a video on it once, cannot find it now unfortunately, but it has worked for me.

Hand Plane
Or find yourself a nice old Stanley Bailey jointer hand plane,(#5, #5 1/2, #7 etc) and do it old school.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

(I edited this and for some reason it posted twice, sorry)

-- Grant - S/N Dakota

View jdmaher's profile

jdmaher

281 posts in 1238 days


#5 posted 09-05-2012 03:38 PM

I don’t have a jointer, so I use the tablesaw method (described above), all the time.

But stick the MDF to the good wood using 3” strips of double-sided tape, about every foot. You don’t need to screw the boards together. The double-stick tape (carpet tape) is plenty strong enough. In fact, right after you cut, separate the boards and get that sticky stuff off your good wood!

Much harder (for me) is getting a nice flat glue joint. The longer the joint, the more fussiness required. Clamping, over and under, with cauls (very slightly curved boards) seems to help – along with clamping across the glued edges, of course. Still, there’s always a bit of cleanup necessary from squeeze-out and slight mis-alignments. A hand jointer (#7) or scraper or even sandpaper works well. The more careful you are, the less cleanup.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15699 posts in 2877 days


#6 posted 09-05-2012 03:40 PM

From your description, it sounds to me like the blade is your problem. Any properly-set-up table saw with a good blade should be able to rip an edge suitable for glue up on 4/4 lumber.

What type of blade are you using, and do you know if it is sharp?

A photo of the ripped edge of the board would be very useful in diagnosing the problem.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 923 days


#7 posted 09-05-2012 04:35 PM

If you just can’t get it done with the advice above for a tablesaw and if you have access to a router (and suitable bits), there are some other options as well.

Option 1: Using a flush cut bit you and the machined side of an MDF sheet, you can make a flat edge by clamping the two together and recessing the MDF enough to remove the necessary material to flatting the ash.

Option 1a: You could do a similar edge with just a straight-cut bit and moving the MDF back far enough so the bit can pass along the edge needing flattening.

Option 2: Here is a technique to edge joint boards to each other. Lay your table top out as you would assemble it. Separate the boards from each other 1/8” or less. Clamp them down to your work surface. Use the above methods (MDF sheet plus router) to position a 1/4” bit so it cuts both boards simultaneously. Any deflections or waviness will show up on both boards but have them matched to each other.

With ash, I’m thinking this may take a while depending on the power of your router and the cutting edge of the bit.

Hopefully what I just said makes sense. I’m sick and on meds. LOL

Option 3: Last but not least, as Grant said, get a #7 or #8 Stanley jointer and get it done. You can buy those for under $100. Heck, you might even be able to score an old jointer on craigslist for not much more (if you have the funds and room).

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View NEwtoowood's profile

NEwtoowood

7 posts in 749 days


#8 posted 09-05-2012 05:20 PM

CharlieM, here are 4 pics of the rip cut and blade. When I was cutting this I needed to push more than I wanted , causing the board to move a bit. It was tough to keep it going in straight. I do not know what type of blade it is as it came with the saw. Thanks I appreciate your help

View NEwtoowood's profile

NEwtoowood

7 posts in 749 days


#9 posted 09-05-2012 05:46 PM

Grant, I am not sure I understand.
I get you attached the MDF board (because its straight) to the board and run the MDFs edge against the fence.
1. Why would this be better than running the board against the fence directly?
2. Once you rip the first side of the board , how do you do the other side and make sure they are parallel ?

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 923 days


#10 posted 09-05-2012 06:35 PM

NEwtoowood,

1. I think the part that wasn’t made clear is that the MDF is making contact with the fence and not the tabletop board itself. The MDF provides a straight reference point for the blade (if the blade and fence are parallel of course).

2. To make the other side parallel, you remove the MDF and then reference the newly cut, straight edge on your tabletop board by allowing it to now make contact with the fence.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View GlennsGrandson's profile

GlennsGrandson

432 posts in 968 days


#11 posted 09-05-2012 07:08 PM

As Doss said NEwtoowood. Sorry for the confusion.

The reason you run the MDF against it and not your board is that the MDF’s manufactured edge is usually a true straight edge. If that is what you are trying to achieve on your board I assume that your edge is not perfect and while running this “not perfect” edge against the fence it will leave you with a similar edge to the one that you ran along the fence to begin with. Also I feel that this method lets you keep more stock and scraping less of it.

-- Grant - S/N Dakota

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15699 posts in 2877 days


#12 posted 09-05-2012 08:33 PM

NEwtowood, the advice some of these guys are giving you is for cutting a straight reference edge on a board that has two wavy edges. I don’t think that is the issue here. You’re just talking about the quality of the cut. Using the MDF straight edge method is not going to improve your cut.

I’m still leaning towards one (or a combination of) these:

1. dull blade
2. inconsistent feed rate
3. fence not perfectly parallel to blade

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10865 posts in 1665 days


#13 posted 09-05-2012 08:51 PM

Or you are having a tough time keeping the wood moving without angling it one way or another while you feed it into your blade. Featherboards will help you keep the feed straight during long rip cuts like this. These are also great safety devices. Do you have anything on the outfeed side of the tablesaw or just the back of the table itself? You dont want to be gripping that board for dear life to keep ot from teeter tottering on ya, so some “deadman” roller stand would help

http://lumberjocks.com/toddc/blog/12006 – roller stand

http://lumberjocks.com/Gord/blog/2080 – featherboard blog

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase