Tips for Plank Table without a Jointer? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 Old 05-24-2014, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Tips for Plank Table without a Jointer?

Hey guys I've been reading here for a while and I'm new to wood working. I'm trying to make a rustic farm house table but I don't have a jointer.

Does anyone have suggestions for making the table top look nice and keeping it from looking like a picnic table?

I have thought about using my router with a rabbet bit to "interlace" the planks to keep light from shining through the gaps. Thoughts?

Thanks for any help you can suggest!
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post #2 of 19 Old 05-24-2014, 02:42 PM
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construction lumber has rounded edges

The rounded edges on construction grade lumber are what makes it look like a picnic table, so you've got to remove them. You can rip thin strips off on the table saw. You can rip thin strips off using a straight edge guide and a circular saw or a router.
The router will take a few passes for each edge.

You can either edge glue and clamp them or spline them with or without out glue and have a "loose" joint.

You can also drill across the width of each plank and insert threaded rod to draw them together. this would require some considerable accuracy to get the holes all aligned accurately and at 90 degrees to the edges. It would also require a long drill to make it across the width of a 5" or 7" wide plank.

The planks will expand across their width, so only fasten them securely in the center to any cross members on the base, and allow slots for expansion out toward the sides.

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 #3 of 19 Old 05-24-2014, 05:05 PM
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My amateur opinion, based on just finishing one, with minimal equipment is that in hindsight, without a jointer, I would have considered a small routered lap joint. It's tricky to square up the table saw so perfectly to create the perfect joints. Of course the router is only as good as the fence or guide...

Trying to square up an edge by routing both top and bottom is tricky unless you have a long router table set up. By hand - even with guides it's tricky business. If the surface of the wood is cupped or bowed the router rides that line.

An old cheat would be to overcut the bottom lap by 1/16 or 1/32 except at the very ends. This would allow you to ensure the top joint is super tight as it becomes the limiting factor for movement. I concede it's a cheat and a nice square joint would be best. But then any adjustment is only to the 1/2" or so end (which was not overcut) which is easier to accomplish for a beginner.

I would also say make sure to dry fit and use cawls (others will have to advise as to how best to use) and as get as many clamps as you can beg or borrow, top and bottom as that wood will move around while gluing up.

good luck!
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post #4 of 19 Old 05-24-2014, 11:20 PM
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post #5 of 19 Old 05-24-2014, 11:29 PM
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http://youtu.be/o5tdS5DEImc

Also check out this jointer jig for a table saw.


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post #6 of 19 Old 05-25-2014, 12:08 AM
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Just had to do this for an on site thing. Used a fairly wide rip of MDF with a factory edge to which I fastened my not so straight pieces of wood to. You can use clamps but in my case one side was hidden so I just tacked my wood to the mdf with some wood screws from below. Once your first edge is straight then you can just run that straight edge along your table saw fence to make the other edge parallel. it works really well in a pinch.
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post #7 of 19 Old 05-25-2014, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shopman View Post
Just had to do this for an on site thing. Used a fairly wide rip of MDF with a factory edge to which I fastened my not so straight pieces of wood to. You can use clamps but in my case one side was hidden so I just tacked my wood to the mdf with some wood screws from below. Once your first edge is straight then you can just run that straight edge along your table saw fence to make the other edge parallel. it works really well in a pinch.
Ermm... How'd you straighten the first edge after screwing it to the MDF?
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post #8 of 19 Old 05-25-2014, 05:01 PM
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You run the straight edge of the MDF against the fence and cut a straight edge on the wood you are working with.
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post #9 of 19 Old 05-25-2014, 09:53 PM
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Yes I am sorry. I was tired and really did not explain that well. The MDF has a very straight edge. You screw or fasten your board onto it but hanging over the edge of the mdf. Run the mdf back through the table saw and the edge of your board will be cut flush with the MDF. Then remove your board from the MDF carrier and send it through with the new straight edge you just created against the fence.
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post #10 of 19 Old 05-26-2014, 12:54 AM
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Yes I am sorry. I was tired and really did not explain that well. The MDF has a very straight edge. You screw or fasten your board onto it but hanging over the edge of the mdf. Run the mdf back through the table saw and the edge of your board will be cut flush with the MDF. Then remove your board from the MDF carrier and send it through with the new straight edge you just created against the fence.
Thanks for clarifying. Ive seen jigs that use a piece of mdf like that as a guide for bloody near everything, from a router to a table saw to a skilsaw to a jigsaw. Just curious
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post #11 of 19 Old 05-27-2014, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shopman View Post
Yes I am sorry. I was tired and really did not explain that well. The MDF has a very straight edge. You screw or fasten your board onto it but hanging over the edge of the mdf. Run the mdf back through the table saw and the edge of your board will be cut flush with the MDF. Then remove your board from the MDF carrier and send it through with the new straight edge you just created against the fence.
Due to my wife not allowing me to buy a jointer this is my method. im new at this so i use a lot of crooked pallet wood for practice on things. I took a sheet of mdf and ran a dado down the length of the bottom then drilled holes all down the dado to adjust for board length. then i take a 3" bolt and stick it up from the bottom through one of the holes and it rests in the dado so the jig runs flat. Using a strip of scrap wood with a hole and a wingnut as a clamp. So far its been fantastic for edge joining. Now i just need to figure out how to joint/plane the face side of the wood so i can make a flat table. Because guess what, she wont let me get a planer either!
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post #12 of 19 Old 05-27-2014, 11:07 PM
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Sounds like some practice with a belt sander and a hand plane is needed.
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post #13 of 19 Old 06-10-2014, 04:09 PM
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BUY A HAND PLANE.

cheap and gives you a better joint than a jointer :)
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post #14 of 19 Old 06-10-2014, 06:22 PM
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Try to find a good deal on a hand plane. Otherwise if you buy new, you could end up spending just about as much as a thickness planer or jointer. Considering if you have to buy the hand plane @ $50-$100 and a good set of sharpening wet stones can be pricey as well. You could easily put $200 into a couple of hand planes and stones to keep your blades sharp. You can more than likely find a good used jointer for that price that will be able to flatten the face of your boards as well as the edges.


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post #15 of 19 Old 06-10-2014, 06:27 PM
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A good set of wet stones, however, is something every wood worker should own for sharpening chisels and other blades.


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post #16 of 19 Old 06-11-2014, 01:22 AM
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A good set of wet stones, however, is something every wood worker should own for sharpening chisels and other blades.


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I respectfully disagree my friend. Waterstones are awesome, but you can get results just as good for a fraction of the price with some silicone carbide sandpaper and a floor tile
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post #17 of 19 Old 06-11-2014, 07:54 AM
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I respectfully disagree my friend. Waterstones are awesome, but you can get results just as good for a fraction of the price with some silicone carbide sandpaper and a floor tile
I'm going to assume juice3250 meant whetstones, and his iPad autocorrected it. Based on that...

That was my original thought. Then I realized that after a couple of months I'd already spent something like $20 on sandpaper. Even given that my use rate would go down once fewer of my tools needed to be essentially re-ground, I was still figuring on $25-30 per year. I bought a set of three six-inch DMT diamond plates for about $75 (I found it on sale), and it should certainly last more than three years.

If he really meant waterstones, I agree: they're a lot more expensive. But a good non-sandpaper sharpening system can be had for, at worst, the same price per year as sandpaper. And my personal opinion (not necessarily fact) is that it's easier to use and store my stones... they're in a box under my bench, and I can pull them out mid-project to do touchup without having to clear more than about an 8"x8" space.
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post #18 of 19 Old 06-11-2014, 10:34 AM
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I won't debate whether whetstones are better than sandpaper. Whatever works for you and what you can afford is what you should get.


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post #19 of 19 Old 06-11-2014, 10:56 PM
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I won't debate whether whetstones are better than sandpaper. Whatever works for you and what you can afford is what you should get.


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I have a much greater amount of respect for you after this comment. Far too many ooeple go all RAHHH MY WAY IS BEST, and I would like to give you an internet cookie for being awesome
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