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I'm just starting to get into wood working. I've worked in my fathers shop a bit when I was younger but I'm finally starting to get my own tools. I picked up my first table saw and have a pretty novice question I think.

I have a bunch of boards that are uneven on both sides so I'm looking to just rip the boards to make it straight and square. How do I go about that?

I've tried marking a line but cutting it straight is hard and ineffective. After some searching, I learned about using a featherboard but still not sure that will help since both sides are not straight.

Thanks!
 

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If you watch craigs list you can probably score an older jointer/planer for less than $100. Even with chipped blades one will square up wood enough you can finish the job with the table saw and the blades are not that expensive if needed.
The best way I've seen to straighten wood on a table saw is to use a sled to hold the crooked board. That will either ride the guide or the miter slot to run the wood through the cut in a consistent manner. Now if the wood is bowed in the face you will need a jointer for sure.
 

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where's my table saw?
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the fastest easiet way

Is to nail or tack a straight edged board to the curved edge board and use the straight side against the fence. Any board that goes against the fence must be straight .... and flat or it will twist and kickback unexpectedly. :eek::thumbdown::censored:

The best way is to make a board straightening jig/sled. Like this:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/straight-line-rip-jig-40532/

OR you can use a circular saw with a straight edge guide for piece longer than 3 ft. I would not try that on pieces shorter than 3 ft because it's likely to move around UNLESS it's firmly clamped in place.

OR you can take a hand plane to it and check it with a straight edge.

OR you can get a jointer, but I'll race any jointer with my board straightening jig, any time, any day.

DO NOT cut to a line freehand on the table saw. :no:
 

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You will need to make a carrier that has a straight edge that you can run against your saw fence. The uneven board is fastened on top of the carrier, usually it can be fastened in the opposite waste area. When You have one straight edge you can then run through the saw as normal to straighten other side and cut off holes made previously.

Or you can do as Bill says as I was typing this. :)
 

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Old School
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An easy way is to just use the factory edge of ¼" plywood. It should be straight...check it. Make it wide enough to fasten to the top of the lumber to be cut (if it's fairly flat), and have the straight edge run against the fence. A piece 6"-8" wide should be sufficient.

Once you cut one edge, remove the straightedge, turn the board and run the new edge against the fence.







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Woodnthings and cabinetman are telling you the same easy solution I use. Tack a straight edge (piece of ply overlapping one uneven edge, run it along the fence, remove it and use the new straight edge against the fence.

We are all assuming you are talking about the edge of your boards not being straight because if you mean the flat wider flat sides, do not attempt to straighten those on the table saw. Use a hand plane or router sled.
 

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I straighten the edges of boards in my shop with a 1 1/2" straight pc of angle aluminium screwed to the board and run it against the fence. Get one edge straight and then it is easy to turn the board around and run it along the fence.

OR. Use a straight edge and clamp it to the board and use a skill saw to rip the edge straight.
 

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where's my table saw?
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here's another method

Use a long, flat clamp from end to end, and run the right edge of the clamp along the fence. The off fall will be on the left of the blade and the edge on the right side will be straight. It will make straighten boards quick and easy. They come in different lengths as well for longer boards. Just let the clamp overhang the right edge of the curved board a small amount.
Bora 540903 3 Piece Clamp Edge Power Tool Guide Set; Straight Edge for Circular Saws, Jig Saws and Routers - Amazon.com

OR:
http://www.harborfreight.com/50-inch-clamp-and-cut-edge-guide-66581.html

 

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Use a long, flat clamp from end to end, and run the right edge of the clamp along the fence. The off fall will be on the left of the blade and the edge on the right side will be straight. It will make straighten boards quick and easy. They come in different lengths as well for longer boards. Just let the clamp overhang the right edge of the curved board a small amount.
Bora 540903 3 Piece Clamp Edge Power Tool Guide Set; Straight Edge for Circular Saws, Jig Saws and Routers - Amazon.com

OR:
http://www.harborfreight.com/50-inch-clamp-and-cut-edge-guide-66581.html

I have clamps similar to those you linked, and the clamp handle gets pushed down to clamp. Would not work on a table saw. Works OK for a handheld circular saw.



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where's my table saw?
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your are correct with one exception

I have a "no name" black handled clamp that tightens with the handle either up OR down. The Boras and H-F clamps work only with the handle down. The other issue is a protrusion that extends beyond the bar of the clamp on some of them which will not allow it to be flush with the fence. Again, my black handled one does not have that issue. Unfortunately, I can't find the name on it. :blink: Maybe Pro Grip, I donno?
 

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Pieces under 4 ft.

If I have only 1 or 2 short pieces to straighten, I lay a 4' aluminum level against the fence, place concave edge of the work piece against the level. A few healthy gobs of HMG will hold it steady. The level must move with the work piece. Make the cut, remove the level. Depending on the amount of material taken off, the glue may not even need to be cleaned off when you cut the other edge. Works for me.
 

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Lee Valley sells pairs of quite simple, double-sides clamps (Shop Fox?).

Clamp a straight, 2" wide stick into one side. Clamp the banana into
the other side. The straight stick rides the TS fence.
 
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