Getting straight edges for edge gluing boards together - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 11-24-2018, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Getting straight edges for edge gluing boards together

Hello All, I'm trying glue 4 boards together for top of a buffet that I'm building for my wife. This is my first furniture build so a lot of rookie learning opportunities going on. I have 4 1x6x6 of maple that I'm trying to glue together. I am working with just two boards now. I thought the factory edges were good, but I clamped them together and put a flashlight under it and could see a lot of light coming through. So I put the board through a jig on my table saw that I made. That was supposed to straighten out that side, but looks worse now. The jig worked pretty decent for smaller boards that I practiced on, but the 6ft boards didn't work too well. So I was looking at a porter cable jointer to see if that would be the solution.

What are some other ways to straighten up a board so I can glue them together. Or should would the jointer be the best way to go?
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post #2 of 23 Old 11-24-2018, 07:35 PM
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I read of people doing it with a table saw but I've always used a jointer and get absolutely perfect joints. I don't see how a table saw can equal that provided by a jointer. If you're doing 6' long boards you're going to do a lot better with a long bed jointer. One of the little bench top jointers would likely be worse than a table saw for long boards.

I'm sure some of the guys who use small jointers and table saws for joints may disagree but I put my $0.02 in for a long bed jointer if you can find someone with one (unless you're looking to add to your tool collection).

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post #3 of 23 Old 11-24-2018, 07:45 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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6 ft long boards are difficult

Even for us experienced guys, putting a straight edge on a 6 ft long boards isn't easy. It requires a jig or sled more than 6 ft long with a factory straight edge to run/register against the fence. A jointer is not the best for this because the tables are typically too short. Don't rule out a hand plane IF you have a good one and some planing skills.

Lacking all of the above, take the boards to a cabinet shop or mill where they will do the work for a nominal fee, OR if you look totally helpless maybe for free?


Here's a jig I made:
https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/...ble-saw-16999/

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #4 of 23 Old 11-24-2018, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Woodnthings....maybe making that jig would be the best. I've seen them on youtube, but went with a different jig, maybe cuz it looked easier. Does that jig run through the miter slots or just along the fence? my table saw is quite smaller than yours. So would need to build up the outfeed.

I have never hand planed anything so not sure how that would go. But if there isn't a large learning curve, maybe that would be the way to go.

If smaller jointers won't work because of their size that is good to know. Save me some money on not buying one. I like building things and am just starting to get into it more. So my skill level is still beginner so expensive tools right now wouldn't be the best.
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post #5 of 23 Old 11-24-2018, 08:52 PM
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Is the buffet top really going to be 72" long? If not, I would cross cut the stock to one or two inches longer than the finished size and then glue the top up one joint at a time. I am currently building a coffee table for our living room and the top is 50" x 30". I cut the top edges of the five hard maple boards on my table saw with a good quality ripping blade. I have made several cabinets that are 84" tall and all of the edge joining was done on the table saw. I have a 6" bench top jointer, but I rarely use it for anything but trimming a tiny fraction of an inch off of a short board. This is my set up for long rips on my table saw. The saw has a shop made folding out feed table and I add an additional 4' long table (my assembly table) at the end of the out feed table. The long out feed set up allows me to do long rips with no assistance.


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Last edited by Jim Frye; 11-24-2018 at 09:30 PM. Reason: typos
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post #6 of 23 Old 11-24-2018, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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The table will be 64 inches long. And maybe 20 inches wide. Not sure on that yet.
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post #7 of 23 Old 11-24-2018, 10:02 PM
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Big wood for carving is really expensive.
I do a bunch of glue-ups and try to keep the glue lines as fine as possible.
Tedious as it sounds, I use a Stanley #5 Jack plane to skim off bits here and there.
Shade the high spots with pencil and try to cut that alone. My woods range from 1" to 4" thick.
I only ever glue one joint at a time. Tomorrow, I'll add a board.



If I can predict the placements in the design,

I'll mark and drill and add dowel pegs to keep things from moving.
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post #8 of 23 Old 11-24-2018, 10:03 PM
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My table saw isn't "normal" ...LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by jburchill View Post
Woodnthings....maybe making that jig would be the best. I've seen them on youtube, but went with a different jig, maybe cuz it looked easier. Does that jig run through the miter slots or just along the fence? my table saw is quite smaller than yours. So would need to build up the outfeed.

I have never hand planed anything so not sure how that would go. But if there isn't a large learning curve, maybe that would be the way to go.

If smaller jointers won't work because of their size that is good to know. Save me some money on not buying one. I like building things and am just starting to get into it more. So my skill level is still beginner so expensive tools right now wouldn't be the best.
I don't hand plane boards because I have a long jig, BUT if that were the only way I had, I would... learn how. Joining boards requires "no gaps" between them, a relative phrase. To determine where to plane off the high spots, you might use a tube flourescent and place it on the back side and look for light in the gaps. You might try rubbing chalk on the edge of one board and rubbing that edge against the adjoining board and look to see where the chalk rubbed off. You can use a long straight extrusion like from a discarded storm door to check the edges. The hand plane must also be held perfectly square to the edge as you plane down the length, a learning curve.

Now for an entirely different approach. Butt the two boards together leaving a 1/16" gap between them and secure them in place with tape or clamps, but don't cover the gap. Using a straight edge guide, run your circular saw down the gap removing a small amount from each edge. This will make a perfect kerf down the gap the width of the saw blade. Now the boards should mate together just fine.... sorta jointing them in place, kinda thing.

Along those same lines I used a long steel channel from a sliding door rail to ride along the fence while I straightened these boards:




In this build:
https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/d...1-4-ply-55717/

I have a pretty long fence on my saw, so running a jig against it is fairly easy. I wouldn't trust a fence that's real short.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 11-24-2018 at 10:19 PM.
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post #9 of 23 Old 11-24-2018, 10:26 PM
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I do use chalk rubbings to find high places to shave off with a hand plane.
Ever so little just to give me a clue. Shave and fit, shave and fit.


Conte' crayons come in white, black and a few rusty shades, hardness varies.
Pastels come in every color imaginable. Old school chalk in a dozen(?) colors.
In several hardnesses, you can buy artiats graphite crayons, 1/4" x 2" soft to use instead of a carpenter's marking pencil.

Just a criss-cross pattern slammed together with a mallet will show enough transfer.


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post #10 of 23 Old 11-24-2018, 10:50 PM
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Putting a straight edge on a long board can also be done with a router, straight edged board, and flush trim bit or pattern bit. Clamp the straight edged board on top of your board and run the router equipped with a pattern bit along the edge to duplicate the straight edge on your board. Or clamp your board on top and use the flush trim bit. You can also clamp two of your boards side by side just a hair closer than the width of a straight router bit and run the bit down the middle to create mirror image edges which will butt together with no gaps.
You can get a piece of plywood or mdf that has a good factory edge or easily make you own by attaching a guide to the ply or mdf and running your router along the edge to make it straight and square.
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post #11 of 23 Old 12-04-2018, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
Even for us experienced guys, putting a straight edge on a 6 ft long boards isn't easy. It requires a jig or sled more than 6 ft long with a factory straight edge to run/register against the fence. A jointer is not the best for this because the tables are typically too short. Don't rule out a hand plane IF you have a good one and some planing skills.

Lacking all of the above, take the boards to a cabinet shop or mill where they will do the work for a nominal fee, OR if you look totally helpless maybe for free?


Here's a jig I made:
https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/...ble-saw-16999/
Woodnthing I built a jig like what you made. I bought a melamine board from Home depot since it was good clean factory edge. Only thing it was pretty heavy for a jig. Then took two boards and made and L and screwed that down to the board. I did this so I could have a helper press that towards the fence to keep it from drifting while I was pushing it through the table saw. The L board didn't touch the fence tho. It worked pretty good. I haven't glued the boards together yet, but I shined a light under the edge and no light came through. So I'm happy with the result. Just two more boards to go!!
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post #12 of 23 Old 12-05-2018, 07:55 AM
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I went thru this problem a while back and my solution was a long fence on the table saw (longer than the board you are cutting). I would make an initial cut on the table saw, then put it on the jointer to clean it up. As mentioned earlier, jointing long boards on a short jointer is very hard...at least it is for me. I did okay just using the jointer to clean up the straight edge. Once I had one clean and straight edge, I would rip it to width.
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post #13 of 23 Old 12-05-2018, 10:28 AM
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The best solution is a long bed jointer. I shared one with a roommate a long time ago, and they are a joy to use, but they take up a lot of space.

Right now, I have a planer, but no jointer. I am restoring some hand planes, but my hand plane skills are not good enough yet. Eventually I will finish restoring the jointer plane and make a shooting board for it.

In the meantime, I use the table saw. The other day, I had a bunch of boards with irregular edges that needed to be jointed. I used a board with a straight reference edge and a lot of thin double-stick tape. Here is what I do:

* Find a thin, flat reference board with a straight "reference" edge. This means that the top and bottom are flat and parallel, the straight edge is perfectly straight, and the straight edge is perpendicular to the top and bottom. The reference board should be at least as wide as the board to be jointed.
* Arrange the board so that the reference edge is against the table saw fence.
* Apply thin double-stick tape to the top of the reference board, next to the non-reference edge away from the fence. Use sufficient tape so that the board to be jointed cannot be lifted by the blade in a kickback.
* Stick the board to be jointed to the top of the reference board, so that the edge of the board to be jointed protrudes slightly beyond the edge of the reference board. Minimize the overhang.
* Adjust the table saw fence to trim the very edge of the board to be jointed using a rip cut.
* Make the rip cut to joint the edge. Use push blocks to press firmly on the two boards as you make the cut.
* Carefully remove the board from the reference board. This won't be easy if you did a good job of taping the boards together. Be patient and let the tape "ease" loose slowly. Avoid the temptation of marring the boards by prying with heavy tools. A wide but skinny, non-marring scrapwood "wedge" may help.

CAVEATS:

* This is a dangerous cut. Maybe too dangerous. The board to be jointed can separate and a kickback can easily occur. I am very generous with the tape, and press firmly with push blocks as I make the cut.

* The board to be jointed must be parallel to the reference board. Be sure that the tape levels the board to be jointed. You can tip the board to be jointed at a slight angle if you use small pieces of tape. You do not want that to happen.

* When stacked, the reference board and the board to be jointed cannot be higher than the table saw blade can cut.

* Because the board to be jointed overhangs the reference board, there may be unwanted tearout. You can avoid this issue by trimming the reference board with the board to be jointed, but then you loose a small piece of the reference board with each cut. It is a tradeoff.

* The sharper the blade, the cleaner the cut. Use a new or freshly sharpened blade for the best results. A sharp blade may minimize tearout, too.

* If you get saw marks, you can remove them with a very light sanding. I would use a sanding block. I would also pinch and align the edge of the board between two straight scrap boards before sanding, to keep the edge of your board straight and square.

'Hope this helps.
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post #14 of 23 Old 12-05-2018, 01:01 PM
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I went a slightly different sled way, inspired by this YouTube video at 3:09 https://youtu.be/EhmoAqUZUnc?t=189

Make a sled with an adjustable miter bar. You can grab those on Amazon, eBay, etc, along with some dovetail clamps. I'm in for $55 + a portion of 3/4" MDF.

You make a perfect straight line by using your miter slot and cutting off a portion of the MDF with the table saw to make your reference edge. Then just very very slightly overlap your piece over the MDF and cut that off. Perfect straight edge on that side. Then you can use a feather board and your miter saw fence to get the other edge perfect to that.

The longest I've done is a 48" piece though, and not 64" though, soooo there's that :)
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post #15 of 23 Old 12-14-2018, 10:05 AM
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track saw

I was thinking if you had a track saw (I use the Kreg accu-cut), Snap a chalk line at the edge you want to straighten, lay out the track and use your circular saw to make the cut.
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post #16 of 23 Old 12-14-2018, 02:49 PM
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If you are adept at using a circular saw just run it along a guide and cut between the two boards, guide does not have to be perfectly straight, a router can be used as well but I prefer a saw. Make sure the kerf cuts into both boards, if not move boards together and cut again. Use double sided tape on cross pieces under the two boards to hold them in position.

This system also works for butting two trim boards together, fasten one board, tack the other, cut through joint with hand saw, then move board in tight and fasten.

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post #17 of 23 Old 12-14-2018, 05:39 PM
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A simple, cheap solution: Shooting board and a cheap plane that you can tune up. There is no advantage to a jointer plane if you are using a shooting board. A junky Chinese bench plane from Home Depot can be made into a useable tool. Be sure the one you get has an adjustable frog. Step one, remove the frog and file the blade opening square. Step two get some wet & dry silicone carbide sand paper, relative coarse to start. Wet a piece of glass and the paper. They will stick to each other good enough to use as a lapping plate. Keep the paper wet and rub the bottom of the plane on it until most of the bottom shows the abrasive scratch pattern. It doesn't have to be the entire surface but it should show scratch pattern all around the blade opening. Super shiny and slick isn't particularly good. It increases the drag. Wax the bottom & buff dry. My favorite wax is Trewax, sold at my local Ace Hdwr. I'm sure you can find YouTube videos on how to make and use a shooting board. A sheet of MDF works fine. The same principle can be used to make perfect angular cuts. Remember to reverse the boards so any error in the angle of the edge is cancelled. With a bit of care this setup will give you a better edge than most people can get with a jointer. I've got a decent 16" jointer with 8' of bed, don't use it much. We glue directly from the Straight Line Rip saw.

If your boards are straight it doesn't take a lot of force to get a good glue line. Alternate your pipe or bar clamps between top & bottom. Don't let them touch the faces of the boards or you may get black stains you can't get out! If you aren't going to trim the edges later, use a waste strip to keep the clamps from marking the edges. If you have problems keeping the edges flush, clamp some waste sticks across the faces. Use some heavy (waxed?) paper between to keep from gluing the wrong parts. Above all, have everything ready before you start spreading the glue! Do a dry run if you have doubts. Don't have enough clamps? Use that sheet of MDF, 2 strips of wood or MDF screwed to it with a little room for some wooden wedges. Use 2 wedges at each point and tap them snug to exert quite enough force for gluing. Woodworking is quite easy if you think the process through before you start.
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post #18 of 23 Old 12-15-2018, 04:49 PM
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Jim Frye, I have the same TS that you show in the photo. Thanks for the posts as I have a table top to build. What blade do you use?

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post #19 of 23 Old 12-16-2018, 10:02 PM
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There are a couple of ways I would do it. You could use your router table you need to make or have a split fence that you can adj one sie of the fence or shim it out. It works like a jointer but the material laying on its side instead. You could use a track sw or if you know some one with a track saw ask them. If there is a wood work shop near your home you could pay them a few bucks to joint it for you. If there is aa college or adult ed program tht offers work working have a student or ask the instructor if you could use their jointer.
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post #20 of 23 Old 12-17-2018, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pineknot_86 View Post
Jim Frye, I have the same TS that you show in the photo. Thanks for the posts as I have a table top to build. What blade do you use?

I use a Freud 24T thin kerf Glue Rip blade.

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