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I am new to woodworking (3 Yrs) and I am looking for anyone who has the magic bullett which will tell me how to get a piece square. Example: Chest Front and rear peice 24" tall x 42 1/4" wd. (Exactly), Side peice 24" tall x 24" Wd. (Exactly) With raised pannels inserts. Lap joints to join piece together. When checking square (Measuring Diagnoaly) I am 1/8" out on Front piece and 3/16" out on side pannels. My question am I seeking prefection which will never happen or is there something wrong with what I'm doing and what do I need to do to get it perfect.
 

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Jim; I need more info. What are you using to cut these with? How exactly are you doing it?. Sounds to me like whatever u r using is NOT square to begin with. Also how are you ripping these ?
 

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If you don't have a sled for your table saw or if you don't have a panel saw then I would take a framing square that you know it true and use it to guide your saw. This should come out perfect.
 

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I'm reading this as a "frame and panel" construction with half laps as the joint of choice to fasten the stiles and railes...yes?
With half laps, the first thing I would check is if your tablesaw miter guage is square to the blade. If it is just a hair out of whack, you will magnify the problem by 4 times (each corner). This would show up at your end cuts of each stile and rail and in your lap cuts (assuming you are using a dado).
Yup, some more info would help, but trust me...sometimes, no matter how careful and exact I am, it still can be a bear to get things square. There always is a cause though and, over something that big, I would probably allow myself about 1/16"
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm reading this as a "frame and panel" construction with half laps as the joint of choice to fasten the stiles and railes...yes?
With half laps, the first thing I would check is if your tablesaw miter guage is square to the blade. If it is just a hair out of whack, you will magnify the problem by 4 times (each corner). This would show up at your end cuts of each stile and rail and in your lap cuts (assuming you are using a dado).
Yup, some more info would help, but trust me...sometimes, no matter how careful and exact I am, it still can be a bear to get things square. There always is a cause though and, over something that big, I would probably allow myself about 1/16"
Rob you are on target, I am using a router table to do my lap joints, but a table saw using a thin kerf Frude blade and a standard fence. I have found 1. I have been using the blade to long and I need to change it. 2. I need to go to a bigger/professional fence on my table saw and not the one which came with it. Through trial and error I found when ripping a peice my fence would move on the out feed by 1/32". I belive solving these two problems will bring me back to square. :thumbsup: Thanks So Much. Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I belive all have answered my question, square has to do with all aspects of the process. If the process is not on target then you will be out of square.
 

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Square and then not Square

I have found when cutting my Rail pieces .. they could be absolutly square but when cutting the profile on the ends ... that has to be set up perfectly square also ... or ... guess what ... your out that 1/16 again.
Most of the time that is close enough though.
 

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I belive all have answered my question, square has to do with all aspects of the process. If the process is not on target then you will be out of square.

Not necessarily. The box itself could be cut with all pieces to exacting numbers but "assembled out of square". That is why you measure corner to corner like you did to check for square. If it isn't you simply tap the opposing corner until brought in to true and that is when the glue and clamps are applied. Now if you can't bring it into square say within a 1/16,then maybe some of the pieces should be checked again for sameness. This should apply no matter what type of joinery is used.
 

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This is true but if the ends are not perfect and you tap things square ... you end up with joints that are not aligned ... I call them v gaps ... closed on one end and open on the other..... The piece is Square ... but now out comes the putty ....
We strive for perfection ... but hide the mistakes.
 

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He used the word exactly twice in the post.I don't think he's having a problem with the panel itself being out but the box once assembled.
 

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I have spent many hours trying to get my equipment to achieve perfect squareness of my product. I don't have a panel saw so I am stuck with sleds and such. I have made a tablesaw sled that can handle 30" wide and up to 96" long pieces. The longer pieces I sometimes need a second hand to work it properly. My sled is producing pieces that are within 1/64" of square. When it is out more it is usually attributed to the piece having a slight curve on it caused by stresses relieved within the plywood while making the straight cuts on the tablesaw. On my cope and bead setup for making panels and doors I have it set up (right now) to produce almost perfect 90º's When I cope my pieces and check them for squareness they aren't perfect. After I do the stick and glue them together, measuring corner to corner the error is smaller than 1/64", who am I to argue with that. I don't know why it works for me, and I don't care. You need to have as close to 90.0º on doors and face frames and boxes as you can. Within 1/16" is just to far off for me. Build yourself some sleds and jigs to help you along with achieving the perfect 90.0º angle. It may take you a whole day to get it perfect but in those days afterwords when you just grab the jig and get that perfect angle, it will be worth it.:thumbsup:
 

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I am in the midst of making a couple raised panel doors 22 x 42 .
I went to cut the rail ends for the frames and when I did my test fit, they were 3/16 out corner to corner ... The culpret was my Delta sled for my shaper ... Somehow the fence moved and it made my 90 degree rail ends into more like 88 .. I was able to readjust the fence and save the rails ... but jigs / sleds / fixtures ... Gotta be set square to cut square.....
 
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