Squaring my laminated board

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Forum topic by SupDa posted 09-19-2017 11:21 PM 672 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 1210 days

09-19-2017 11:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: square end of panel cedar milling

I’m trying to square the end of a 20” wide cedar panel with my skill saw (too big for me to confidently use my table saw). I’ve used a square to fasten a cutting guide for the saw to run against. The problem is the cutting guide is square on one side of the panel but when I check square from the other side it’s off by about 3/8” over the 20”. I’ve checked the two 56” long sides of the panel and it seems to be parallel as far as the square extends and I’ve checked the cutting guide to make sure it’s straight. I’m baffled as to where the problem lies. I’m thinking of running it through the table saw on the 56” side to see if maybe they’re out of parallel but I’m reluctant to do so as I’m already at the width I’m working to. What am I missing? What else could it be?

4 replies so far

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 4146 days

#1 posted 09-19-2017 11:42 PM

Sounds to me like your square ain’t! Test your square on your kitchen table, mark a pencil line from one side, flip the square and make a line. Do they match, if not your square needs repair or replaced.

View Lee's profile


148 posts in 1656 days

#2 posted 09-19-2017 11:49 PM

Well, my first thought is the long sides aren’t parallel, even an 1/16” inch off over a 20” distance will probably give you the 3/8” your seeing. Measure the panel in several places down the side and see if you get exactly 20”. good luck

-- Colombia Custom Woodworking

View dalepage's profile


387 posts in 1619 days

#3 posted 09-20-2017 01:04 AM

Decide where you want the center of the table, based mostly on looks, but maybe on the shape of the log. Put a pencil dot at each end of the slab where you want the middle to be.

Draw a light pencil line which joins those two points. Clamp a straight edge perpendicular to that line. Crosscut with the skil saw. Squareness will at least be good for the naked eye. If you are going to wrap the edges and miter the banding, you can work on the squareness of the ends.

-- Dale

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1698 days

#4 posted 09-20-2017 04:24 AM


An alternative approach to using a square would be to use geometry. A triangle whose legs are 19” long each with a hypotenuse of 26.8701” (or 26 7/8”) would be a right triangle.

One method for using this principle to layout a square end cross cut would be to make a mark the on the long edge of the panel about where the crosscut will be made. Then a second mark along the long edge of the panel 19” away from the first mark would be made. Next, lay a thin straight strip of wood across the panel with one end even with the panel edge and its edge on the first mark. The corner of a second thin straight strip cut 26 7/8” long would be placed on the second mark. Where the ends of the 19” strip and the 26 7/8” long strips meet would be the second point that along with the first mark could be used to strike a line for the cross cut.

In the sketch the blue rectangles represent the thin straight strips. The red marks (1 and 2) are the first and second marks. Accuracy will depend on the accuracy with which the thin strips were cut to length and the accuracy of placing these strips on the first and second marks.

If the panel measures the same width at several places along the length of the panel, the two long edges should be parallel.

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