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Jointing 9' boards for tabletop without jointing faces?

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Forum topic by HTX_woodworker posted 01-24-2019 02:59 AM 1534 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HTX_woodworker

23 posts in 870 days


01-24-2019 02:59 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question milling joining

Hello all. I’m in the midst of a project for the shop where I work. I’m creating a large tabletop (48”x108”) from 6/4 stock (which is more like 1-7/16” when measured) – final thickness is supposed to be 1-1/4”, so I don’t have a lot of room for jointing the faces before I joint the edges, to leave enough material for planing, sanding, etc..

What might be the best way to edge joint each board without using the face as a reference? Is there a way to edge joint the boards without face jointing?

Incidentally, we do have the festool domino system, which I’m hoping I’ll be able to use to at least help align the boards during glue-up, as many are significantly warped.

Thanks for the input.


14 replies so far

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

6270 posts in 1426 days


#1 posted 01-24-2019 03:09 AM

Totally will depend on the stock? As in how flat is it to start? I’m assuming you have no jointer, or a small one?

Probably will get more, and better answers if you divulge the tools, and sizes of them at your disposal. Both power, and hand.

I get that you are starting with 6/4 stock, and want to net 5/4, beyond that there is a lot more info needed to get you where you want to be.

-- Think safe, be safe

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1734 posts in 3702 days


#2 posted 01-24-2019 02:26 PM

I don’t think a client will recognize the measured thickness of a top vs. a top that is wavy or warped. I’d do what I know to produce a SQ flat top.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View jmos's profile

jmos

917 posts in 3222 days


#3 posted 01-24-2019 02:48 PM

That’s a tall order, assuming you want to end up with a flat table.

You could use a track saw to make a straight cut on each side. Or temporarily attach a known straight board that will ride against your table saw fence to make the straight cut on the boards for your table. With a sharp blade you could get edges that you could glue up from either.

The problem with either option is getting the cut at 90deg to the face, as the face isn’t a single plane. If you’re off even a couple of degrees you’ll get a glue-up that’s not flat. It will also leave you with a very uneven top, and likely sharp edges at each joint. We’re you planning on planing or drum sanding the entire top at the end to flatten it?

Could you just joint one face, and use that as a reference to edge joint? Then your glue up would be flat. You could then plane or drum sand the other side flat, or just leave the uneven surface as the bottom.

-- John

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

6206 posts in 3665 days


#4 posted 01-24-2019 04:24 PM

The problem is each next step depends on a reference edge from the jointer. It’s kind of like planing boards before you joint one face… all you get is a thinner warped board. I doubt a customer would refuse a table because the top was 1-3/16” or 1-1/8” thick, but they might send it back if it’s warped.

I would say at least skip joint the faces for reference. If you have to send the whole tabletop through a wide drum sander to clean things up, that should work well. I sometimes hire a big commercial shop to run large panels through their combination helical planer / drum sander. It’s 50” wide and sands the panel with two grits in a single pass. If I knew that was the next step, I wouldn’t worry too much about starting with fully jointed faces. But I would always at least skip joint.

Best of luck with it!

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

View Jared_S's profile

Jared_S

399 posts in 811 days


#5 posted 01-24-2019 07:25 PM

Kerf joint both edges at once with a track saw.

These were 134”

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

6270 posts in 1426 days


#6 posted 01-25-2019 07:02 AM

Jared, that is pretty tight off a saw blade. I often hear that cannot be done. Proof is sitting there that it can.

Still you must admit if that stock weren’t as flat as it is, it still wouldn’t work as you have shown.

Thats why I asked about the stock.

In rereading I am figuring he has the tools to do it right, but is scared to use them on the 6/4 material. I think ChefHDAN nailed that part. Making a flat top is the job most often appreciated by the customer. If it absolutely must net out at 5/4 than 6/4 was a poor place to start, unless of course it is dead flat at 6/4. If so then face joint, edge joint, and keep going. If it’s cupped or twisted, it probably won’t work out so well.

-- Think safe, be safe

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

3603 posts in 2347 days


#7 posted 01-25-2019 09:06 AM

+1 depends on lumber.

- If any board has more than total 3/16 inch warp/twist/bow, you will not make 5/4 thickness goal without making a wavy top table.

+1 only way to make a FLAT panel – plane one face as reference flat

You can not clamp warped boards flat, even with Domino, as physics of grain direction and humidity that created the movement don’t disappear. Making matters worse, new wrap/twist locations will be in created as internal stress you captured are released into entire panel.

Recommend get flatter lumber, or plan for thinner top.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3341 posts in 2650 days


#8 posted 01-25-2019 02:27 PM

Since the op doesn’t mention the wood who knows. Some woods are more forgiving then others.
Jared’s joint looks great on the top side but who know if the bottom is open.
The proof is always in the pudding. Will the table show glue lines after a season of use glue creep take time show.
I agree with the captain k .

-- Aj

View Jared_S's profile

Jared_S

399 posts in 811 days


#9 posted 01-25-2019 08:39 PM



Since the op doesn’t mention the wood who knows. Some woods are more forgiving then others.
Jared’s joint looks great on the top side but who know if the bottom is open.
The proof is always in the pudding. Will the table show glue lines after a season of use glue creep take time show.
I agree with the captain k .

- Aj2

Well if you cut both edges at once it’s just about impossible not to have a perfect mating surface with a flat top as the result.

Quartered sapele is relatively flat to start with, but this had some wonky grain.

Assuming a traditional table base with thick aprons and mutiple batton/stretchers you can force a table flat, within reason.

If you are still curious about the bottom of the joints

This was the underside

And one of the offcuts, from chasing a check.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

6206 posts in 3665 days


#10 posted 01-25-2019 09:11 PM

Jared has an idea once things are skipped jointed. However, I don’t see away around skip jointing, then skip planing.

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

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

16905 posts in 3471 days


#11 posted 01-25-2019 10:34 PM

Nice work, Jared.

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

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3341 posts in 2650 days


#12 posted 01-25-2019 10:45 PM

Looks good to me too. You do nice work Jared. I’m not a believer in sawing for glue joints so I never recommend them. I know do other use saws for joints and I often disagree with the glue line rip crowd.

-- Aj

View Snipes's profile

Snipes

459 posts in 3097 days


#13 posted 01-25-2019 10:51 PM

I do quite a bit of work with reclaimed lumber (don’t want to lose saw marks and lots of nails), and I was going to suggest exactly what jared did. with straight edge and skill saw is how i’ve done it. hardest part for me was keeping wood from moving. i ended up screwing a cleat from bottom side. also make sure to keep the saw moving forward.

-- if it is to be it is up to me

View splintergroup's profile (online now)

splintergroup

4005 posts in 2075 days


#14 posted 01-27-2019 03:49 PM

One trick is to place the boards side-by-side where the gap is no more than 1/2”. Place reference marks across the gap for later alignment.
Run a router with a 1/2” bit along a straight-ish edge so the bit cuts both boards, Cut about 1/2” deep.

With a pattern bit (top bearing) in the router, use the previously routed surface to guide the bearing and finish the cut along the full depth on each part.
Same idea as Jared with the track saw, but better for larger irregularities in the edges.

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