All Replies on Getting a perfectly flat edge without a jointer

  • Advertise with us
View Ivoryavatar's profile

Getting a perfectly flat edge without a jointer

by Ivoryavatar
posted 08-03-2017 09:04 PM

11 replies so far

View buckbuster31's profile


256 posts in 1399 days

#1 posted 08-03-2017 09:11 PM

if you are talking about the edge you can build a straight edge jig with toggle clamps. you can also use a straight edge or a board you know is straight and screw it on (if you can hide holes) or hot glue it on. just an option though.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16942 posts in 3502 days

#2 posted 08-03-2017 10:05 PM

The board you ripped needs to have a straight edge to register against the fence to get a clean result. And not pushing the piece through properly (straight, with even pace) can result in a bad cut edge. Oh, and the fence may not be perfectly parallel to the saw blade.

How long is the piece you’re trying to rip? That will have an impact on the plane that might be used to flatten it’s cut edge. But moving to hand tools to solve this problem may not be the best thing to do ‘first’.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View Loren's profile


10718 posts in 4531 days

#3 posted 08-03-2017 10:07 PM

While it’s possible to rip relatively straight
parallel edges if you start with a straight
edge from the lumberyard, wood moves
subsequent to lumberyard straight-lining
and also can move due to released internal
tension when ripped to width. The jointer
really is the go-to machine for straightening
edges reliably, but lacking one you can
try using a jack plane (a common 14” long
size), a router guided by a reliable straight-edge,
or coarse sandpaper taped to a flat surface.

A router table with a long fence can also be
easily built and set up for “jointing” boards
up to about 2” wide.

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2879 days

#4 posted 08-03-2017 10:55 PM

There can be a lot of reasons for what you are seeing. Is your straight edge actually straight? It may have 1/32” of wave in it, even if it is straight on average.

If your cut is bowed in or out (concave or convex) over the length of the board, then that has to do with either your technique (holding it to the fence), or the straightness of the other edge of the board (if it is not straight, and you hold the board consistently against the fence, a table saw will match the curve).

If your board is generally straight over the length, but wavy (meaning you could see light through it against the straight edge), then it could be that your straight edge has little waves in it, or your board has them. If they are in the board it could be from the blade itself wobbling, or you could be pulling it away from the fence a tiny little bit as you push it through the saw.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Woodknack's profile


13503 posts in 3264 days

#5 posted 08-03-2017 11:50 PM

Is the face flat?

-- Rick M,

View Vindex's profile


113 posts in 1706 days

#6 posted 08-04-2017 02:51 AM

View Dustin's profile


707 posts in 1624 days

#7 posted 08-04-2017 11:42 AM

+1 to Loren’s suggestions, particularly the router table one. I went years without a jointer, so when I had to joint an edge for glue-ups, I used my router table. Mine is just the top from a Kreg bench top model, but the fence allows you to optionally offset the outfeed side by either 1/32” or 1/16”. I wouldn’t recommend it for large pieces, but it worked just fine for me for anything under around 30”.

Of course, now that I have a jointer, I like to set it to take off just a hair, and clean up most of my rip cuts on it just because…probably too many years of wathcing Norm!

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View hotbyte's profile


1003 posts in 3859 days

#8 posted 08-04-2017 11:56 AM

I have been using a #5-1/2 after ripping boards and it was amazing to see the high spots coming off until I got one long, continuous shaving. I recently picked up a #7 from DonW’s TimeTestedTools site (highly recommend BTW) and it takes off even more high spots. I’m still working on techniques to not end up with hump in middle or slopes on ends but am getting better :)

View Vindex's profile


113 posts in 1706 days

#9 posted 08-04-2017 01:17 PM

Stupid autocorrect on my phone made me look illiterate…. It should say, “Take a look at this method:”

In all seriousness, the linked method works. My technique on the table saw is far from perfect, however, so I hand plane the edges whenever I need a super-straight edge.

Take a look at the method:

- Vindex

View Kelly's profile


3154 posts in 3828 days

#10 posted 04-18-2020 06:40 PM

My cabinet saw was my jointer for years. I did have a Craftsman 6”, so my cabinet saw was my jointer for years.

IF the fence is long enough to support the wood entirely through the cut, the fence remains rigid and unmoving, and you can hold the wood against it, you should be able to get glue joints.

For longer pieces, you may have to extend the fence, which would take some engineering, but could be very worth while,

View tvrgeek's profile


1054 posts in 2533 days

#11 posted 04-18-2020 07:50 PM

Used my TS for edge jointing for years. Made an offset fence with a bit of tape. I always used boards too long so I could trim the ends where their may have been a little skew. Right blade can cut cleaner than my jointer and frequently has less tearout.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics