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Forum topic by Rob posted 02-18-2014 04:37 PM 1638 views 0 times favorited 55 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rob

65 posts in 248 days


02-18-2014 04:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip trick resource walnut maple mahogany blade clamp tablesaw sander milling finishing joining sanding arts and crafts rustic traditional modern butcher block cutting board end grain fix repair correct corrective help

Let me start by saying, I’m a completely self taught newbie so be gentle. HA…So the latest project I’m working on is an end grain butcher block. I spent around 150 bucks on wood and I’m already in for 50 bucks on materials (wood, sandpaper, etc). So I ripped all my boards to length on my table saw, then glued and clamped. Everything perfect so far. My next move was to crosscut the entire board into two inch strips, and then turn them over to expose the grain. This is where I messed up. I cut all of my two inch strips, and when I put them together and turned them face up, they are all jaggedy, and there are a bunch of gaps. I obviously was using a not so straight edge to guide the wood against the fence. So now I’m trying to correct this mistake, by taking off just a millimeter or two on both sides of each strip to straighten them out. This sounds very easy and basic, but when I plan the details to actuallly execute this corrective cutting, it seems like it will be not so easy.

So my question is;
What’s the best way to cut straight lines, on a long narrow piece of wood. The pieces are about 18” long, and 2” wide. Should I just use the miter guage on my table saw? That seems to be not so sturdy and it would lack support, and probably be dangerous on top of it. And sanding would just create even more inconsistency I think. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I’ve included some pics, so its easier to vision what I’m talking about. Thanks!
P.S.
I do not own a joiner yet.

-- Rob, Middletown NJ


55 replies so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12295 posts in 2787 days


#1 posted 02-18-2014 04:42 PM

Looks like a job for a hand plane. :)

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

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

1693 posts in 487 days


#2 posted 02-18-2014 04:43 PM

1) very good, very sharp blade. Since that is a crosscut, I would think one of the fine finish crosscut blades.
2) Firmly placed featherboard. I use a magswitch one that really helps.
3) a really firm grip on the wood with a pushblock. I use a Grr-ripper and it is very helpful in keeping the wood tight to the fence.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View TraylorPark's profile

TraylorPark

32 posts in 288 days


#3 posted 02-18-2014 04:47 PM

I agree with Wayne. Just clamp them in a vise and plane the sides until they mate up seamlessly. It’ll work best if you number the sections so you don’t get them mixed up before glue up.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4142 posts in 1070 days


#4 posted 02-18-2014 04:48 PM

Your boards were not flat, so when you flip them on their side there are gaps. Doesn’t seem to have anything to do with how you cut them. What you really need to do is build a ripping sled for straightening the end of rough lumber, and it will work to straighten these pieces too.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

1693 posts in 487 days


#5 posted 02-18-2014 04:56 PM

Good point, Rick. As for planing—that can work well if this isn’t your first planing effort. Being able to plane well is an acquired skill, at least it was for me.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Rob's profile

Rob

65 posts in 248 days


#6 posted 02-18-2014 05:03 PM

Charles; I did happen to use a fine finish crosscut blade, and I have been pushing off making or purchasing a featherboard, but I think now it is time…

Rick; The boards were milled perfectly. I used a freinds shop to mill them and they were S4S for sure. I think where I messed up was the first cut after the glue up. I wanted to create one good straight edge to work off of. I used the miter on my table saw, but I dont think I cut it perfectly straight. Therefor the line I was using as my guide on the fence wan not straight. But yes I do need to build a sled. Another task I prob should have completed before ripping into expensive wood. Lesson learned.

Traylor and Wayne; It just may be just a job for the hand plane…

16 minutes, 4 answers already. Great site. Thanks for the responses!

-- Rob, Middletown NJ

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12295 posts in 2787 days


#7 posted 02-18-2014 05:06 PM

There is some overhead related to planing. E.g. getting a plane, sharpening and tuning it if needed. Would have been easier if it had been planed before the boards were cut.

Rob, this shows why the jointer/planer combo is needed. Jointer to make the boards flat and the planer to make the boards parallel to the flat side and the same thickness.

If you look at planes, the norm is to use three planes. Jack (#5), scrub (#40) or fore (#6) plane to remove significant stock if needed (rough work), a Jointer plane (#7 or #8) to flatten the stock. Then a smoothing plane (#3, #4, or # 4 1/2) to finish the surface. Many people start with pre-WW2 vintage planes. Lots of info on the site if you are interested.

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

View mrjinx007's profile

mrjinx007

1710 posts in 457 days


#8 posted 02-18-2014 05:10 PM

Looking at the strips, it looks more like the strips have bowed. Have you tried to clamp them together dry to see how it looks? I don’t see the gaps as being wedge-like; 0 at one end and gap on the other.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3798 posts in 2058 days


#9 posted 02-18-2014 05:27 PM

I have seen and at one time used a jig similar to the one below. I don’t have it any more since I have a planer/jointer!

There are also a number of similar jigs on a Google search for “table saw planer jig” where I also found the image above. Otherwise go with what Rick said because using a hand plane definitely has a “learning curve.”

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Randy_ATX's profile

Randy_ATX

682 posts in 1132 days


#10 posted 02-18-2014 05:30 PM

I agree with Rick in post #4. Regarding your reply in post #6 there is no way the boards were milled perfectly flat. It’s obvious the surface was not flat from the photos showing them turned 90 degrees. Smooth, maybe. Flat, no. If it were me I would run them back through the table saw as Charles suggested.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View mrjinx007's profile

mrjinx007

1710 posts in 457 days


#11 posted 02-18-2014 05:49 PM

Yep, Randy is right, you can also glue the strips back together, run it through thickness planer and re-saw. Will end up with smaller board off course.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

1667 posts in 410 days


#12 posted 02-18-2014 06:02 PM

One thing you could try would be to run the pieces across the grain through a jointer and then mill the opposite side again across the grain with a planer. I’ve done this with some success before and all I can warn you with is your results may vary. I’ve had this work well, ok and not so well depending on the integrity of the wood I’m trying to plane and the kind of defects I’m trying to remove.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4142 posts in 1070 days


#13 posted 02-18-2014 06:40 PM

Rob the boards may have started flat but then you ripped and glued them back together to make alternating colors and they were no longer flat. I can look at the picture and see the top sides are not mating when you flip them 90°, that has nothing to do with your cutting it’s just the nature of wood. Next time, run them through the planer again after glue up and it should eliminate the problem but since you have already cut the strips, the only way to get them flat is with a hand plane (but you’ll be planing across the grain and probably won’t end up with a smooth surface) or use a sled and run them through the saw. You could try just using your TS fence but in my experience that is not very reliable for flattening wavy or bowed wood.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View reedwood's profile

reedwood

884 posts in 1366 days


#14 posted 02-18-2014 07:07 PM

I’m trying to envision a new woodworker hand planning perfectly flat both sides of 20+ – 2” wide x 18” strips of butcher block end grain,
Hmmmm. Now, that would be a fun job.

Hey, you could send them to Charles…. he likes a challenge. :P

-- Mark - I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.

View Rob's profile

Rob

65 posts in 248 days


#15 posted 02-18-2014 07:07 PM

Jinx, yes I actually dry clamped them together to see if they were just bowed, but they’re really just beyond saving without some kind of machining. I def jacked this wood up somewhere along the line. Prob after the first glue up. The initial glue up everything was flush and straight on all sides. But you nailed it Rick. I should have def run the boards through planer AFTER first glue up, instead of sanding it smooth. I think I just left a bunch of divots and slopes by attempting to sand such a large surface flat. And I dont think my hand planing skills are up to the task of this job Wayne, but its a good idea. Im looking for a more definite appraoch, hopefully through machining of some kind. Im heading home after work, and building a sled to try and fix this. Im going to attempt to just run it through the saw again. Hindsights 20/20 I guess…Expensive lesson learned!

Again, thanks for all the feedback!

-- Rob, Middletown NJ

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