Face Jointing Tabletop pieces

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Forum topic by TheWoodenOyster posted 03-06-2014 03:59 PM 789 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1275 posts in 1353 days

03-06-2014 03:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: milling

So, I did something yesterday that I’m not proud of. I have to confess it to someone, and I don’t think the priest would understand this one.

I am making a large dining room table with a top that is 1 1/8” thick. I spent about an hour at the lumberyard picking the 5/4 boards (it is cherry by the way) that were clearest and straightest. when I got them home, they were all about 1 5/16”, about as expected. Here is where I sinned, at least in woodworking terms. I didn’t face joint the tabletop boards, I just planed each side. BUT, I have a good excuse and a good question for you all about this conundrum. So here is my spiel and the question that goes along with it:

Ideally, we would joint a face of everything we make. In reality, I don’t find that this is always a viable option. For this tabletop, I need 1 1/8” boards. Even the best and straightest rough lumber has at least 1/2” of twist or bow to it over a span of 8’. So, that being said, am I really expected to buy 10/4 stock so that I can remove the 1/2” on one face, plane the accompanying 1/2” off the other face to be left with a 6/4ish board, then take it down to the 1 1/8” I need??? This seems totally freaking insane and a complete waste of wood. Even so, I feel sort of bad for not jointing one face to end up with a perfectly flat and tension-free board.

What would you have done in this situation?

What do you do when you run across something that is totally impractical to put on the jointer?

(I know I could have built a sled for my planer, but that still doesn’t solve the 1/2” of twist or bow conundrum discussed above)

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

4 replies so far

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2376 days

#1 posted 03-07-2014 05:51 PM

I haven’t dealt with such a large-scaled situation, but it sure seems to be potentially typical. I’d guess one possible solution would be to split the board along the thickness, then glue it back together under a form that holds it straight. Hoping somebody else chimes in with a better solution.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View jmartel's profile


6464 posts in 1568 days

#2 posted 03-07-2014 06:07 PM

The lumberyard I buy from actually has very straight and stable rough stock. As in, just sending it through the planer is fine. On 4/4, I can reliably get straight and flat 7/8” every time. Only problems I run into is when I buy rough cut lumber off of craigslist.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1275 posts in 1353 days

#3 posted 03-07-2014 06:35 PM

I did my best to pick out good lumber and it was all pretty straight and flat. I still worry about the glue up working out, but I guess we’ll see. wood glue is pretty strong, as are clamps, so hopefully that hold everything straight. I’m not so worried about the bow. That is easy to pull out of a 7 foot board. I am more worried about the twist.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View rick315's profile


8 posts in 1004 days

#4 posted 03-07-2014 06:48 PM

buy 6/4???

-- Rick315

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