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Forum topic by mIps posted 10-10-2012 09:47 PM 1215 views 1 time favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mIps

175 posts in 806 days


10-10-2012 09:47 PM

Greetings all from a fairly new worker. I was hoping some o you out there would be able to give me some ideas on a way to square stock. Here are my limitations: by far my best and most accurate tool is my table saw. I do not have nor can I afford a jointer or a planer. What I have been doing so far: 1) get the straightest, most even wood I can. So far been working with cast-off pieces of 2×4 with little to no warp, bend, twist or cup. 2) Pick the flattest face, put that down onto the table saw and just trim 1 edge. Then rotate the piece 180 and just trim the other edge. 3) Rotate 90 putting the chosen face against the saw fence and just trim the opposite face. Finally rotate 180 again and just trim the first face. This gets me a piece about 3” wide and 1” thick to work with.

Is this the best method or is there another process that would work better?


Thanks in advance for any and all replies.

-- Be honest, honorable, kind, work hard, and generally be awesome.


21 replies so far

View lab7654's profile

lab7654

254 posts in 998 days


#1 posted 10-10-2012 09:57 PM

What I would do is build a router planing jig to take care of the faces and use a flush trim bit on the edges, referencing off of a known flat edge. Otherwise, buy your stock pre-milled, either from a lumberyard or a home center. Watch out for the home center lumber though, it is often pretty warped and you may have to dig a bit to find decent boards. Good luck.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3565 posts in 1564 days


#2 posted 10-10-2012 10:13 PM

Sounds like you are getting by as best you can. I think woodworking gets safer and much more enjoyable with a jointer and planer. Even with milled stock, the boards are never straight.
There is something so satisfying about assembling a project, and all the pieces come together with only light clamping pressure.

You can joint an edge with a router or router table, but it is slow and cumbersome.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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teejk

1215 posts in 1436 days


#3 posted 10-10-2012 10:15 PM

given your tools, assuming you have a good TS with a trusted fence and a good blade, your method works for me!!! I find that the jointer is one of the least used tools in the shop anymore.

but you are only squaring the edges. once done with that, a good miter saw will finish the job if you have a flat board to ride against the fence..

View Deycart's profile

Deycart

402 posts in 1009 days


#4 posted 10-10-2012 10:17 PM

I think your cheapest solution would be to buy a used #6-8 Stanley or equivalent plane from ebay and a #5. You can pick up a decent number 5 for 15-20 bucks and they do not have to be “tuned-up” they just need a sharp blade. They are mainly used to remove material to get it ready for making the wood flat. That being said having a perfect body on it is pointless it does not do precision work. The #6-8 needs to be fairly flat with a sharp blade. After bringing the board in to shape with the #5 you use the longer plane to make it straight. There are various techniques out there, but I like to use winding sticks. Anyway long story short you could buy a lot of equipment or you can join two edges of the board with a hand plane and then use your saw to make them perfect. Plus there is a deeper satisfaction when you use hand tools. I think you will be surprised.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6968 posts in 1665 days


#5 posted 10-10-2012 11:58 PM

Build a table saw sled. You can square corners and cut angles like a champ, easily:
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/57667

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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Dallas

3205 posts in 1238 days


#6 posted 10-11-2012 12:26 AM

I doubt you will get a very straight piece running it through the TS that way. The variations on the backside of the board, (against the fence), will work against you.

I use a straight piece of aluminum square tube extrusion 8’ long with a stop block at the end.
I then attach the wood I want to square at several points with deck screws to a shallow depth.
Run it through the table saw with the square tube against the TS fence and you have a square, straight, plumb, true side.
Remove the screws and attach from the side you just cut…. run it through again and you have 2 parallel sides.
Do the same on the uncut sides and you are approaching square.

Now….. I am going to weld a chunk of 2X2 angle to my tube for the whole length. That will give me a bottom and side reference so the whole process should take much less time.

Good Luck and welcome to the sawdust madness!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View mIps's profile

mIps

175 posts in 806 days


#7 posted 10-11-2012 01:36 AM

Thanks for the replies and input, I really do appreciate it all.
- lab7654: I am hoping to get a decent router soon so that may be an option in the near future. any suggestions for a “known flat edge”?
- teejk: I’m not sure I understand what you mean. It sounds like you are saying don’t try to mill the faces flat. I know that at least a couple of the pieces I have had have had at least a light cup to one face, which means a slight crown on the other. I don’t think a miter saw can deal with that. Unless I am not understanding, which is quite likely.
- HorizontalMike: Looks like you might share another of my hobbies: Motorcycles. A table saw sled is definitely in my future (yours looks quite nice, BTW). I was thinking of using some hardboard or melamine-coated particleboard as the base. I know where I can get a old dry-erase board fairly cheap so I might do that.
- Dallas: Quite possibly true but, at least for now, this is the best method I have. I got a inexpensive metal saw guide for my circular saw and was thinking of trying to somehow clamp, screw or glue it to the piece temporarily and use that as my straight edge but couldn’t figure out a way to do it without putting unwanted holes in the piece. Might need some more thought on this.

-- Be honest, honorable, kind, work hard, and generally be awesome.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6968 posts in 1665 days


#8 posted 10-11-2012 01:55 AM

And I have had my frustrations with the aluminum extrusion that comes with those Incra miters, as they flex way too much, though they are very pretty anodized colors. Anything over about 18in and the flex results in unacceptable errors, IMO.

I would venture to bet that my FULL 2in X 5in (NOT dimensional but TRUE 2inX 5in) hardwood fence WITH TWO 1in aluminum T-thread bars at 90 degrees to each other, embedded into the hardwood fence, is better than your claimed “aluminum extrusion.” I would, at the very least, NOT expect to be bad mouthed by those that have such, as it is obvious that you have your personal agenda without the experience thus noted above. BTW, this has NOT flexed AT ALL in the past year, that it has been built. And have you looked at the temperature related expansion rates of aluminum only solutions?

Linear Temperature Expansion Coefficient – α-
Aluminum 22.2 12.3
Wood, fir 3.7 2.1
Wood, oak parallel to grain 4.9 2.7
Wood, oak across to grain 5.4 3.0
Wood, pine 5 2.8

Personally, I would worry about the aluminum, particularly where it intersect with other metals/woods/etc. as it will cause bending due to uneven temperature induced shrinking/swelling. But then again, what do I know about such things…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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HorizontalMike

6968 posts in 1665 days


#9 posted 10-11-2012 02:00 AM

MIps,
Skip the melamine and go with 3/4 plywood base and a hardwood fence. It does make a difference.

And thanks about the “motorcycle love” stuff… me too. And I thought you wanted to talk about the stars and such (my OTHER hobby). Funny me… ;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3205 posts in 1238 days


#10 posted 10-11-2012 02:47 AM

Whoa Mike, don’t get your testes in a torque.
I wasn’t answering you post but the OP’s.

Your starting to sound like PK.

My basic point was that unless you hold the back side of the wood stationary the thickness will change as you go.

Whether you use a sled, hard wood, aluminum, steel or carborundum…. it doesn’t matter, as long as the piece going through the saws stays stationary to the blade it will have a square cut.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View mIps's profile

mIps

175 posts in 806 days


#11 posted 10-11-2012 04:07 PM

- horizontalMike: you said “my FULL 2in X 5in (NOT dimensional but TRUE 2inX 5in) hardwood fence WITH TWO 1in aluminum T-thread bars at 90 degrees to each other, embedded into the hardwood fence, is better than your claimed ‘aluminum extrusion.’” I am not going to disagree because it sounds like you have more knowledge than I on this, but I will ask for a clarification on your fence because it doesn’t really make sense to me. Are you saying you have run 1” threaded rod through your hardwood fence? If so, I could definitely see how this would made a solid fence.

-- Be honest, honorable, kind, work hard, and generally be awesome.

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DKV

3194 posts in 1255 days


#12 posted 10-11-2012 05:57 PM

What I would do is read the other hundreds of posts on this site addressing the same question.

-- Have fun and laugh alot. Life can end at any moment. You old guys out there know what I mean...

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mIps

175 posts in 806 days


#13 posted 10-11-2012 10:07 PM

- DKV: This may come off sounding crappy and for that I apologize. Your post came off sounding like “this has been asked before, why are you asking it again?” I don’t know if it was intended that way or not. Rather than say “This has been asked before, go find the posts”, it would be more helpful to newbies to say ”this person discussed their method for doing this in this post, it may be helpful for you.” Again, sorry if I am now sounding snarkish or sarcastic. This was not my intent.

-- Be honest, honorable, kind, work hard, and generally be awesome.

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Dallas

3205 posts in 1238 days


#14 posted 10-11-2012 10:41 PM

mIps: +1 Like.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View DKV's profile

DKV

3194 posts in 1255 days


#15 posted 10-11-2012 11:04 PM

Mlps, this may come off sounding crappy but how else are you going to learn to search the wealth of information on this site unless you search for the wealth of information on this site? If you still have questions after doing your research then ask the question. On the other hand if all you want is company and conversation then I suppose you can ask the question without doing the research.

-- Have fun and laugh alot. Life can end at any moment. You old guys out there know what I mean...

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