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I recently built a computer desk with A 4/4 black walnut top. I don’t own a jointer/planer so I got the wood milled to S4S by my local supplier. Prior to the glue up I noticed minute/slight gaps, so I built a jointing jig with clamps/plywood. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get a perfectly true edge. No matter how careful I was running my boards through my table saw, I had very slight undulations (maybe due to my blade/pressure). Part of the problem is may be my blade (Diablo 40t ripping blade). When stacking the panels, I could Still see light coming through, maybe 1/64” or less, but after gluing and clamping the gaps weren’t too noticeable after sanding/finishing. The next project is an 8/4 black walnut dining table with similar gaps. My guess is that I won’t be able to use clamping pressure on 8/4 to mask the slight gaps and I’m afraid the seams will be readily apparent. No matter what I do, I can’t seem to get the jointed edges perfectly mated. If my jig and/or saw is the problem, I’m looking for other options to square the edge. Aside from purchasing a jointer, what are my options? Should I try a hand plane? Will glue/expanding wood/sanding take care of the problem or am i expecting too much perfection without the right tools? Is there another method I’m missing? This is only my second time for a glue up so I’m at a loss as to what to do without going with a jointer. I don’t yet build regularly enough to justify a purchase like a jointer.
 

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S4S doesn't work for that. It's alright for trim but not for glue ups. The wood has to be jointed straight where there is no gaps when dry fitted. Even if you dowel together wood that isn't straight the amount of pressure needed to force the boards straight is the amount of pressure trying to pull the boards apart. Even if you manage to get the joints pulled together the pressure will eventually cause the boards to crack elsewhere than the joint.

I'm not in favor of it but you could rig a straight board to rip the edge of the wood with a type blade called a glue line rip blade on a table saw. Personally I believe the texture created by the blade will degrade the joint but people do it every day. For what you are doing I think you need a jointer and for a table top one with as long of a table as you can get. It doesn't have to be a new one. Used machinery would probably last the rest of your life.
 

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I looked at your photo and that is totally not acceptable.
I would take it back to the guy you bought it from that did the S4S. Show him the your problem. This should not happen with the supplier especially since you paid for S4S. They should re-do it again.

As for your situation at home, it takes a while to get skilled with a hand plane. Lots of practice. I dont know what table saw you have but a decent table saw should give you a joinable edge. In your spare time, make a straight line rip jig for your table saw.
 

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When it comes to S4S, and edge gluing, it really depends on how the edges were milled. While the faces will be planed, the edges may not have been jointed. I have a supplier that does S4S by running both edges of a planed board through a straight-line rip saw. Basically cuts off the rough sawmill edge and squares up the board. However those edges still need to be jointed to make them fit together properly for glue up without gaps. If you did not ask your supplier for glue up ready jointed edges, they may joint those edges for you for a small fee.
 

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I'm a noob as well. Just getting started myself. I had no jointer/planer/hand planes nothing. I choose to recently invest in some old Stanley. No4 no5 and no7.. basic set to learn to mill stock.

Between the price of the planes. Than the sandpaper.(cleaning up planes/sharpening blades) now I've boughten a few terrible sharpening stones trying to cheap out. And recently bought the trend stone, because the sandpaper bill adds up.

Long story short. I feel relatively confident in getting the irons sharp and tuned. I can get really fine shavings. I'm still now working on squaring up the stock and keeping it square. I've been loving the process honestly. But unfortunately my daughter's bed has been put on the back burner while I learn some new tools.

I'm sure I could of gotten a used jointer and planer for what I've got invested. But i like the old school aspect of the planing. Simple. It's a workout and a half.

You might want to make a decision which direction you want to power vs hand for future investments.

For this project maybe higher it out? By you some time to decide?

I just can't see you getting a better result with hand planes without overcoming a large learning curve? Pardon me if your already producing joints with hand tools.
 

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I have a supplier that does S4S by running both edges of a planed board through a straight-line rip saw.
I think this statement is the key to the mystery. What Tom is describing is called SL2E, not S4S, and you have a supplier that is falsely providing material that is not as specified.

S4S means it has been surfaced on all 4 sides, and is what you'd expect in the shrink wrapped boards at Home Depot. However, straight-line (SL) is not the same as surfaced (S4).

What you have is SL2E wood, which means "Straight-Lined, 2 Edges". The edges are straight, but they are saw-cut. (FYI, SL1E is where they straight-line just one edge, and is more common for any SLxE lumber.)

This does not answer your glue-up question, but it does at least explain what you are encountering. If it's a retail outlet, it's a forgivable mistake because they don't know any better. However, if this is a supplier that supplies to professionals, you should hold their feet to the fire for mislabeling their products.
 

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No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get a perfectly true edge. No matter how careful I was running my boards through my table saw, I had very slight undulations (maybe due to my blade/pressure).
OK, I gotta be careful, because I saw this earlier and then forgot about it. If you are running these through your saw, then the comments about S4S are a red-herring.

I can't speak from experience because I will never.......strike that.....I just remembered that I have joined boards that were too big to even run through the jointer. OK, so you can do some cleanup without a jointer, but you need to be precise.

Regardless how you clean up your edge, remove as much operator-bias as possible. For a tablesaw, that means setting up a featherboard so that your lateral force against the board and into the fence is constant (not human controlled).

Make your rip slightly wider than needed, and then reset the saw for a slower, more precision cut that just shaves the edge. You want this cut to be made slow, and with a steady feed rate. You more or less want the blade to be idle, so the teeth won't have the tendency to deflect the blade plate (your original description problem). Oh, also make sure that this cut cuts the entire edge without skipping low-spots. If you discover a low-spot where the blade did not make a shaving cut, then make a new shaving cut for the entire length.

For this shaving cut, it's OK to switch to a finer-tooth blade, but just not so fine that it burns. Aside from burning, the finer, the better.
 

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Keep in mind that a person could run wood for a glue joint of that length and have every edge perfectly straight and let it sit for a week or two before gluing it up and the joints would likely not work. Wood is in constant motion and one or more of the boards would bow in that length of time. You can't buy S4S lumber and expect it to be straight enough for a glue up. Then the box store S4S have gone one step worse and round the corners of the wood so you sure couldn't use that for glue up. They mainly machine it like that so a person that isn't a woodworker could use it for shelving without having to do a lot of work on it.
 

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Could you do your best on the walnut and glue the two boards together. See what it looks like. If you don't like it, rip right down the glue line and glue again. Presuming you can get a clean cut and nothing's wrong with the blade, I'd guess you would have two matched boards at that point, just a bit narrower...
 

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where's my table saw?
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Every shop should have a reference straight edge ......

You can either use a reference straight edge to check your boards OR mate them to each other by handplaning and carefully checking for gaps. They must always be mated in the same relationship so a witness mark is necessary to align them the same each time.

Mating the boards together and checking them for gaps will guarantee a precise fit. Anything longer than 5 feet or so will be difficult on a jointer because the tables don't fully support that length, A factory straight edge on hardboard or good plywood is usually "close enough", but you still need to check them with a bright light from the back side. It will immediately show where any gaps are.

I have a 2" X 2" by 10 foot long aluminum extrusion that's pretty straight for when I need to check edges. I also have a 10 ft long sliding barn door track that's pretty straight. I made my own "straight line rip jig" using the 1/4" X 8 ft hardboard factory edge. The secret is to use/glue up the boards as soon as you cut them to avoid warping issues form changing shop environments or just ordinary wood movement.
:vs_cool:
 

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preface:
- the saw needs to be accurately set up - no wobble on the fence - fence parallel to miter slot - blade parallel or slight kicked out at the outfeed end....
- sharp blade


one trick I have learned to getting a "perfect" glue line - take a very fine finish cut - 1/2 the blade kerf or less.
this allows the board to breeze thru with next to no pushing effort - which can induce the wavy edge you noted.
if you are struggling to push the board thru the saw, that will show up on the final edge....



a different method:

for down&dirty joining - like for work/tool benches/carriers/carts....
cut top boards long.
arrange top boards for grain/knots/etc
nail / tack a batten on each end - work 2 boards at a time
make a cut right down the joint - 1/2 kerf cutting on the left board and 1/2 kerf cutting on the right board - blade height just sticks thru board but not enough to cut the battens in half as you start/finish the kerfing/joining cut.


sometimes on particularly obnoxious pieces (these are usually big box 2x6/8/10 dimensionals....) I pull the tacks, push the boards together again and make a second pass - where the gaps have exceeded the blade kerf....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OK, thanks for all the replies. First off, I don’t have a high quality saw- it’s a Rigid portable saw, the step up from the job site saw. I bought the wood from a local hardwood supplier who I will hold their feet to the fire. Before I even asked the question, I kind of realized I need a proper jointer. Now that one of you described SL2E, I think that’s what they did. There are saw burn marks on the edges of a few of the boards. On my desk rips, I did try the technique of running the board on my jointing jig by taking a minimal run with 1/2 a kerf or less. I bought a few roller stands to help stabilize the in and out feed and use a feather board. I even clamped my fence down to prevent any slight deflection. Thanks for the info on a jointer in relation to not being able to run long boards like I have- good to know and I suspected that. Based on what you all suggested, I pretty much tried most of that. To account for the possibility of my blade not being exactly at 90, I used the method of using the “inside-out” method. I ran the first board through the saw, then flipped the adjacent To “cancel” out the angle (if any). I’ll give some of your techniques another shot and see what I can come up with. Thanks again.
 

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Keep in mind that a person could run wood for a glue joint of that length and have every edge perfectly straight and let it sit for a week or two before gluing it up and the joints would likely not work. Wood is in constant motion and one or more of the boards would bow in that length of time. You can't buy S4S lumber and expect it to be straight enough for a glue up. Then the box store S4S have gone one step worse and round the corners of the wood so you sure couldn't use that for glue up. They mainly machine it like that so a person that isn't a woodworker could use it for shelving without having to do a lot of work on it.
This ^^

The OP might try a router and a straight edge rather than a saw.

Or find a #7 or 8 jointer plane ;-)
 

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Keep in mind that a person could run wood for a glue joint of that length and have every edge perfectly straight and let it sit for a week or two before gluing it up and the joints would likely not work. Wood is in constant motion and one or more of the boards would bow in that length of time. You can't buy S4S lumber and expect it to be straight enough for a glue up. Then the box store S4S have gone one step worse and round the corners of the wood so you sure couldn't use that for glue up. They mainly machine it like that so a person that isn't a woodworker could use it for shelving without having to do a lot of work on it.
This ^^

The OP might try a router and a straight edge rather than a saw.

Or find a #7 or 8 jointer plane ;-)
I think Steve and Robert are correct.

I'd guess that the boards would have come together nicely if you put them together right after your local supplier straightened them out for you. I suspect a few weeks (or longer) passed between the supplier cutting the boards and you transporting them back to your shop and trying to put them together.

I typically bring boards into my shop a month or two before I start a project. After they've sat in the shop for a month or two I'll do the initial jointing and planing and then let them sit for another week or so. After that I'll do another light round of jointing/plaining before running the boards through my table saw with a glue line rip blade. Once the final cuts are made I always try to do the glue-up as soon as possible.

Apart from techniques/tools that others have mentioned to fix your edges I think you should consider a track saw. You don't have to spend $1,000+ on a Festool track saw, there are several good and relatively inexpensive options out there. I've heard good things about Dewalt's track saw and I think you can pick up that kit for under $500. Grizzly/ShopFox makes a decent track saw kit that you could pick up for under $300. I purchased my first track saw a few months ago and have been amazed at how easily and how accurately you can make long cuts with the right blade.
 

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Long curved boards on a short bed jointer?

If your board has any curve to the edge, you need to treat it just like you are using a hand plane. You certainly would not run your hand plane no. 4 or 5 or even a 7 down the entire length on the first pass. Why? Because the short sole of the plane will follow the curve of the long length of the board. So, you hand plane a bit off each end until you get it as straight as possible, by sighting it or checking it against a known straight edge. "Experience" will get you sighting the board pretty darn close.
So, that same approach can be used on a short bed jointer. Joint/plane in from each end until the board is as straight as possible, again by sighting it by eye or by checking it. Why? Because the outfeed table of the jointer will follow the curve as soon as the end of the board drops off the end of the table. I had proven this time and again until I learned why I was getting curved boards from curved boards. Many folks have made simple extension tables for their jointer because if this issue:
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=DIY+jointer+extension+tables

A clever example here:


FWIW, there's a reason manufacturers offer the long bed jointers and at a premium cost. There's a demand for them and the cost more to make.
 
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I'm a noob as well. Just getting started myself. I had no jointer/planer/hand planes nothing. I choose to recently invest in some old Stanley. No4 no5 and no7.. basic set to learn to mill stock.

Between the price of the planes. Than the sandpaper.(cleaning up planes/sharpening blades) now I've boughten a few terrible sharpening stones trying to cheap out. And recently bought the trend stone, because the sandpaper bill adds up.

Long story short. I feel relatively confident in getting the irons sharp and tuned. I can get really fine shavings. I'm still now working on squaring up the stock and keeping it square. I've been loving the process honestly. But unfortunately my daughter's bed has been put on the back burner while I learn some new tools.

I'm sure I could of gotten a used jointer and planer for what I've got invested. But i like the old school aspect of the planing. Simple. It's a workout and a half.

You might want to make a decision which direction you want to power vs hand for future investments.

For this project maybe higher it out? By you some time to decide?

I just can't see you getting a better result with hand planes without overcoming a large learning curve? Pardon me if your already producing joints with hand tools.
Quit the high sandpaper bill and buy ALL your sandpaper from Klingspor's woodworking shop.
There's a link, well several on this site, but it's
https://www.woodworkingshop.com/ Look for the bargain bin and you'll probably never need to buy sandpaper again for another 5 years.. I purchased their tool sharpening paper and use it on a piece of flat, thick glass.
 

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Just to give you an idea what a good joiner is capable of this board is hard, black walnut.

This morning it was rough cut, twisted and warped in every direction. A half hour later it's nice and straight.
I paid $75 for a used joiner built back in 1950 something with the name Dewalt long before most people had even heard the name.
For $75 you can't go wrong even if you have to find a motor for it.. Craigslist is your friend, friend.
I put up with the very same problem for years and finally broke down and bit the bullet and bought it. I'll never look back. Even if you have to drive 3-4 hours to find one it's worth the trip.
You might not find what you're looking for right away and may have to check CL every week or so or even a few years , but eventually someone will have what you're looking for and you better be ready to jump.
 
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I'm a noob as well. Just getting started myself. I had no jointer/planer/hand planes nothing. I choose to recently invest in some old Stanley. No4 no5 and no7.. basic set to learn to mill stock.

Between the price of the planes. Than the sandpaper.(cleaning up planes/sharpening blades) now I've boughten a few terrible sharpening stones trying to cheap out. And recently bought the trend stone, because the sandpaper bill adds up.

Long story short. I feel relatively confident in getting the irons sharp and tuned. I can get really fine shavings. I'm still now working on squaring up the stock and keeping it square. I've been loving the process honestly. But unfortunately my daughter's bed has been put on the back burner while I learn some new tools.

I'm sure I could of gotten a used jointer and planer for what I've got invested. But i like the old school aspect of the planing. Simple. It's a workout and a half.

You might want to make a decision which direction you want to power vs hand for future investments.

For this project maybe higher it out? By you some time to decide?

I just can't see you getting a better result with hand planes without overcoming a large learning curve? Pardon me if your already producing joints with hand tools.
Quit the high sandpaper bill and buy ALL your sandpaper from Klingspor's woodworking shop.
There's a link, well several on this site, but it's
https://www.woodworkingshop.com/ Look for the bargain bin and you'll probably never need to buy sandpaper again for another 5 years.. I purchased their tool sharpening paper and use it on a piece of flat, thick glass.
This is the 3rd time I've seen this recommendation. I went to buy 2 bargain boxes. BB10000 and BB45110. Subtotal 38.90 usd.

That's fine and dandy. But the shipping gets weird. Top of page says 7.99 flat rate continental US. I click the info, informs me international rates will be provided at checkout.

I get my address put in. There are 5 or 6 options for shipping. The suggested is FedEx ground. To my surprise it shows a 0.00 rate.

I look through the other 5 options. Fedex economy , FedEx priority, USPS priority, some global express. Anyway, point is. The other shipping rates were anywhere from 55-133usd.

I'm a bit suspicious of the free international shipping on a 10lb box. without seeing an advert for anything as well.

I'll call customer service tomorrow to figure out the shipping. If its 50, that turns 38 in 88. Which is near 125cad, which I might wait to get. If its free I might get another box of paper! Haha

Ill come back with a update
 
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