All Replies on Joint a 2x4 without a jointer

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Joint a 2x4 without a jointer

by saltcod
posted 06-10-2015 06:53 PM

16 replies so far

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69 posts in 1922 days

#1 posted 06-10-2015 06:54 PM

Ps: the table saw jointing sled won’t work because by the time I put the 2×4 on the sled, it will be too thick to cut.

View hotbyte's profile


1001 posts in 3745 days

#2 posted 06-10-2015 06:55 PM

Glue 2 layers of plywood together for fences…

View saltcod's profile


69 posts in 1922 days

#3 posted 06-10-2015 06:59 PM

Oh man. I never thought of that, Hotbyte!! Awesome idea

View MrUnix's profile


8083 posts in 2969 days

#4 posted 06-10-2015 07:02 PM

If your boards are reasonably flat, you probably don’t absolutely have to joint them… and I’ve never bothered for any of the sleds I’ve made – all out of scrap wood that was far from perfect condition. It sure can’t hurt any though. If you really want to joint them, then a jointing hand plane would work… or making a cheap-n-quick sled for your planer would suffice… hitting them with a belt sander, if you have one, would probably work as well.

Here is a butt-ugly sled I made out of scrap, and even though it’s ugly as my mother in law, it worked flawlessly:


PS: I have both a jointer and a planer and still don’t bother using them when making sleds/jigs :)

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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69 posts in 1922 days

#5 posted 06-10-2015 07:03 PM

Interesting — thank you!

The board I planed last night is pretty flat. It has a tiny wobble, but maybe I’ll give it a try anyway.

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10859 posts in 2256 days

#6 posted 06-10-2015 07:08 PM

I laminate 2-3 pcs of 3/4 ply. Works like a champ

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Kazooman's profile


1489 posts in 2722 days

#7 posted 06-10-2015 09:26 PM

Yes, go with the plywood. No matter how flat you get the 2×4 right now, it will most likely move over time with changes in moisture content. Get the best plywood you can find. ideally real Baltic birch. Use it for the base and fences and you will have a very stable sled.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6150 posts in 3583 days

#8 posted 06-10-2015 09:45 PM

You can true an edge with a simple tablesaw jig like this. This is an image from a fellow LJ’er, mine is even simpler than this. I just used two t-tracks and a pair of Rockler hold down clamps.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View bobasaurus's profile


3633 posts in 3954 days

#9 posted 06-10-2015 09:47 PM

Straight line rip jig on the table saw, or a large hand plane (like a stanley #8 jointer plane or the like).

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

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25880 posts in 3453 days

#10 posted 06-10-2015 09:54 PM


Just saying…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1992 days

#11 posted 06-11-2015 03:49 AM

The front fence doesn’t need to be flat or parallel.
As for the rear fence only the working side needs to be flat which you can do on a planer, and it truly only needs to be straight which you can do with a hand plane it just takes a bit longer. If you’re 1/32 out of perfect straight over 24 plus inches your good to go.

If you want close to absolute buy an extruded billet of aluminum, maybe +/- .002.

-- I meant to do that!

View skatefriday's profile


453 posts in 2252 days

#12 posted 06-11-2015 04:29 AM

The back fence doesn’t need to be jointed and I made do with two
pieces of plywood glued together on the front fence (the one you push
on) for about a year.

I recently swapped it out for a piece of 5/4 poplar that I jointed
after making a planer sled. Just don’t do as I did and use prefinished
scrap plywood. Eventually it started separating and for about 4 months
of that year I did not have a very straight face.

View daddywoofdawg's profile


1029 posts in 2345 days

#13 posted 06-11-2015 04:30 AM

Square, I would think is the most important measurement.And where does the 2×4 come into the story,as a fence or base or what you want to cut?If it’s for the sled,I would build the whole sled out of plywood.

View skatefriday's profile


453 posts in 2252 days

#14 posted 06-11-2015 04:32 AM

And the Thein sled works pretty well for jointing. It’s
a hassle to set up if you have a lot of stuff to joint, but it
works if you don’t have a jointer.

I made a torsion box out of 1/2” MDF, but you probably
don’t need to do more than a slice of BB for the sled.
It’s the hot glue and setup time that makes it a hassle.

View skatefriday's profile


453 posts in 2252 days

#15 posted 06-11-2015 04:34 AM

Sorry Phil, apparently I can’t spell your name.

View saltcod's profile


69 posts in 1922 days

#16 posted 06-11-2015 01:18 PM

Thanks all!

Plywood it is! I never thought of that, but now doing a little more research, that’s exactly what I see lots of people use.

2×4 isn’t a great choice at all — esp the stuff you get here with our ultra humid weather.

Thanks for the advice!

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