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Forum topic by Travis posted 07-18-2019 03:52 AM 354 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Travis

264 posts in 214 days


07-18-2019 03:52 AM

Hello all,

I am in the middle of making some built-in bench seating for a dinette. I had to join boards end-to-end to get them long enough for my needs. After end joining them, I no longer have perfectly straight edges. I need a way to square the edges so I can edge join these boards into a panel. Each end-joined board is about 12-15 feet long. I don’t have a jointer. I have a smoothing plane but not a jointer plane. I was debating between building a jointing jig for my table saw but thought that would be impractical for boards of this length. My other idea was to use a flush trim bit with the router and use an 8-ft MDF panel as my guide, adjusting it when I hit the end of the guide.

Any other suggestions?

-- The plan is wrong; my finished piece is right.


13 replies so far

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2949 posts in 2795 days


#1 posted 07-18-2019 11:32 AM

Your mdf and flush trim bit idea should give you decent results with a lot less set up time than trying to get a fence set up on the TS to handle something that long. Even a typical jointer would have problems with that kind of length.

If it isn’t too far off, have you considered using it as is?

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

774 posts in 1550 days


#2 posted 07-18-2019 02:17 PM

I also like the idea of using an MDF fence and your router. I would only add that I think it would be better to make your MDF fence long enough to route the edge in one pass. There would be less chance for error in moving the fence and starting again.
Having said that, I wonder how you end joined your boards. Is there any chance you could cut them apart and re-do with special care to get them straight? Just a suggestion. I don’t have enough info to say which would be easier/best.

View Travis's profile

Travis

264 posts in 214 days


#3 posted 07-18-2019 02:18 PM



Your mdf and flush trim bit idea should give you decent results with a lot less set up time than trying to get a fence set up on the TS to handle something that long. Even a typical jointer would have problems with that kind of length.

If it isn t too far off, have you considered using it as is?

- EarlS

That’s what I was thinking, I appreciate the confirmation. I have 3 boards that will come together for this bench. I think 1 of the boards is good to go as is. The other two have an offset that I think will be too problematic (perhaps a whole 1/8” for the worst offender). I used drawbored dowels in a half-lap joint for the end joining and the dowels really helped keep things secure for the glue-up, but unfortunately they also introduced the offset. Once the dowels were driven, there was no way to correct the alignment. Fortunately I cut the boards wide with this possibility in mind so I can afford to do a bit of trimming to get them square again.

-- The plan is wrong; my finished piece is right.

View Travis's profile

Travis

264 posts in 214 days


#4 posted 07-18-2019 02:30 PM



I also like the idea of using an MDF fence and your router. I would only add that I think it would be better to make your MDF fence long enough to route the edge in one pass. There would be less chance for error in moving the fence and starting again.
Having said that, I wonder how you end joined your boards. Is there any chance you could cut them apart and re-do with special care to get them straight? Just a suggestion. I don t have enough info to say which would be easier/best.

- bilyo

I agree it would be ideal to get an edge guide long enough to do the trimming with one pass. Finding something that long and perfectly straight is a bit of a task. I could end join two strips of MDF but I think I’m probably as likely to introduce error with that as I am to carefully move the MDF guide along the board edge.

I briefly described above my method of end joining these boards: half-lap joints with drawbored dowels. The half-lap is 7 inches long. It would significantly shorten the length of my boards as well as set me back a few weekends to redo those joints. I think I am better off trying to route the edges flush again.

-- The plan is wrong; my finished piece is right.

View Delete's profile

Delete

439 posts in 819 days


#5 posted 07-18-2019 04:07 PM

If your worst offender is 1/8” I wouldn’t worry about it. For your glue up, put the best one in the middle, place the outside boards with the concave edge facing in to join with the center board. Your clamp up will easily pull 1/8” in over a 12’ long board. If your end joints are slightly misaligned however thats a different problem that will require full length correction or redoing the joint.

View Travis's profile

Travis

264 posts in 214 days


#6 posted 07-18-2019 04:15 PM



If your worst offender is 1/8” I wouldn t worry about it. For your glue up, put the best one in the middle, place the outside boards with the concave edge facing in to join with the center board. Your clamp up will easily pull 1/8” in over a 12 long board. If your end joints are slightly misaligned however thats a different problem that will require full length correction or redoing the joint.

- CarlosInTheSticks

Yep, unfortunately that’s what happened. I had the boards flush along one edge when I marked the position for the dowels, but perhaps my drilling wasn’t exact and in the dowel’s squirming to fit the drawbored holes, the edge didn’t stay flush. So it gets offset at the point of the end joint. I much prefer correcting the edge to redoing the joint. So far it seems the consensus for that is to use the router and mdf edge guide.

-- The plan is wrong; my finished piece is right.

View Delete's profile

Delete

439 posts in 819 days


#7 posted 07-18-2019 04:34 PM

The Router and MDF straight edge is a good idea, but it would be easier to just do the offsets rather than the full length. Do one end, flip the board over and do the other end. Careful setup of your straight edge will save you some board width and allow you to do each side with one setup and cut.

View Travis's profile

Travis

264 posts in 214 days


#8 posted 07-18-2019 04:52 PM



The Router and MDF straight edge is a good idea, but it would be easier to just do the offsets rather than the full length. Do one end, flip the board over and do the other end. Careful setup of your straight edge will save you some board width and allow you to do each side with one setup and cut.

- CarlosInTheSticks

Oh my gosh, I would like to think I would have figured out that trick when it came to actually routing the edge, but if I’m honest I probably would have tried to do the whole length. Thank you for the recommendation!

-- The plan is wrong; my finished piece is right.

View John_'s profile

John_

212 posts in 2153 days


#9 posted 07-18-2019 10:11 PM

A trick with a good track saw would be to position two boards side by side with a slight gap in-between. You then make a cut, centered on the gap, so that your your taking material off of both boards. A track saw blade is pretty uniform in width so you should end up with a decent joint

As an alternative, you could probably do the same thing with a 1/8” router bit

View BuckeyeDennis's profile

BuckeyeDennis

34 posts in 146 days


#10 posted 07-19-2019 02:03 AM

+1 on what John said. Here’s a link to a video demonstrating the track-saw technique. I call it “match jointing”, because the mating edges don’t have to be perfectly straight, they just have to be matched to one another.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yRMkCawvSqk

I also agree with John that you should be able to do the same thing with a router and straight bit.

-- Dennis 'We are all faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.' Charles Swindoll

View bold1's profile

bold1

328 posts in 2294 days


#11 posted 07-19-2019 02:21 AM

Snap a chalk line the full length before starting as a guide when you move your straight edge.

View Travis's profile

Travis

264 posts in 214 days


#12 posted 07-19-2019 05:24 AM



A trick with a good track saw would be to position two boards side by side with a slight gap in-between. You then make a cut, centered on the gap, so that your your taking material off of both boards. A track saw blade is pretty uniform in width so you should end up with a decent joint

As an alternative, you could probably do the same thing with a 1/8” router bit

- John_

That’s a very cool technique. I will have to try that with a router. I don’t need that degree of precision for this bench, but I do have a table in the queue that I would like to have a flawless seam.

-- The plan is wrong; my finished piece is right.

View Travis's profile

Travis

264 posts in 214 days


#13 posted 07-19-2019 05:24 AM



Snap a chalk line the full length before starting as a guide when you move your straight edge.

- bold1

Another great idea, thanks!

-- The plan is wrong; my finished piece is right.

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