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Thread: Making Crooked Boards Straight

  1. #1
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    Making Crooked Boards Straight

    Straight lining boards the conventional way requires a straightedge at least as long as the board, and is a balancing act of keeping the board and straightedge tight to the saw fence, and through the saw together.

    I've been straight lining my solid stock like this for quite awhile and thought I would share it with you. Special equipment? Just an upholstery stapler with ⅜" staples, and a few rips of ¼" plywood.

    My only stapler had been a ¼" 18ga Senco that I got back in '92. I came up with this method when I acquired a 22ga upholstery stapler maybe 5 years ago. Both this stapler and my 23ga pin tacker are made by Grex and I've been very happy with them.

    a-0.jpg
    Staples: 18ga vs 22ga

    If you don't have an upholstery stapler or pinner, they are a game changer in the work flow. Don't let the small size of these fasteners fool you, they hold. I can glue up a door or drawer in the clamps, shoot the joints together, and immediately pull the clamps. I can make up a whole kitchen's worth of doors or drawers using only 2 clamps...... I digress.

    My sticks usually around come about 10' long. I use an 11' straightedge but I've been able straighten up to 13 footers with it. The straightedge is made from 6" rips of ¼" ply. 4" rips can bow laterally.

    Unless you have access to oversized sheet goods, you will need to join two rips to make a straightedge over 8' long. Place the factory edge of the rips up against something straight, I used a door level but the factory edge of another sheet of plywood works great too. Bridge the joint on top with another 3-4' long rip of ¼". A little glue and a bunch of ⅜" staples and you're done.

    a-1.jpg a-2.jpg
    11' Straightedge.

    How does it work? Essentially you're going to "attach" the straightedge to the board using ⅜" staples. The holes left by the staples are so small you'll have a hard time finding them even if you know they're there and are looking for them.

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    Place the straightedge on the opposite side of the board you want to straighten.

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    Set it so it is even at both ends.

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    Shoot it down using 3 staples, one at each end and one in the middle.

    To be continued.......

    Last edited by Tipton Lum; 08-24-2019 at 2:15 PM.

  2. #2
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    Making Crooked Boards Straight, continued.

    c-1.jpg c-2.jpg
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    Measure the narrowest width of the board/straightedge and set you fence just a hair less. Run it through the saw.

    d-1.jpg d-2.jpg
    When you're done, pry up the straightedge, turn it over, give the legs of the staples a rap with a hammer and pull them out on the other side.

    This technique can be used to make skewed cuts or tapered edges too.
    Last edited by Tipton Lum; 08-24-2019 at 2:12 PM.

  3. #3
    Make it easy on yourself and buy a Festool track saw with long guide.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  4. #4
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    Why Didn't I Think of That!

    Quote Originally Posted by andy bessette View Post
    Make it easy on yourself and buy a Festool track saw with long guide.

    That's an excellent suggestion. I just went on Amazon to place an order for the Festool $600 track saw, 12' worth of guide rail for $465, and the small $600 dust extractor..... $1665 seems pretty reasonable to straight line some lumber.

    But wait, now I can't afford the sacrificial material for under the cut. Ahh hell, a few groves in the work bench won't hurt.

  5. #5
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    I have a track saw, but I actually prefer just to straight line on my bandsaw then joint the edge.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  6. #6
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    Tipton- that’s a great technique. Thanks for sharing!
    “Pay no attention to what you cannot control..” Epictetus, 100 A.D.
    It costs nothing to be kind to others

  7. #7
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    I question the wisdom of wearing gloves while operating a table saw.
    Scott Vroom

    If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    Bernard Baruch

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by scott vroom View Post
    I question the wisdom of wearing gloves while operating a table saw.
    Just asking for it.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  9. #9
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    Thanks for sharing. Cheaper than a track saw.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    I have a track saw, but I actually prefer just to straight line on my bandsaw then joint the edge.
    This is also my preferred method and usually cleans up on the jointer in 1 or 2 light passes....unless you have some real tension released in the wood from the rip cut, but that’s going to happen in some material regardless of tools/technique.

    I don’t like ripping long solid stock much with a track saw unless it’s as wide or wider than the track so it supports the track properly. If not, you’ve got to find some appropriate thickness filler material for the track to be flat and balanced, which is usually more work than just striking a line and ripping on the bandsaw.

    Good thing we can all do it however we want to
    That's just like, your opinion, man.

  11. #11
    I made a straight line sled, 9' long, for my tablesaw. Works great, easy to use.

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe
    I have a track saw, but I actually prefer just to straight line on my bandsaw then joint the edge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Mitchell View Post
    This is also my preferred method and usually cleans up on the jointer in 1 or 2 light passes...
    You guys must not be straightening too many wide 10-foot boards.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  13. #13
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    It’s some of my favorite Bandsaw work, no fence just following a line and this is fast work since I have an outfeed and 1.2T carbide blade.

    I recorded myself cutting 12/4 this way, took me 7 seconds per foot.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    It’s some of my favorite Bandsaw work, no fence just following a line and this is fast work since I have an outfeed and 1.2T carbide blade.

    I recorded myself cutting 12/4 this way, took me 7 seconds per foot.
    That's OK on short workpieces.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  15. #15
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    I use a tracksaw when I intuit it to be easier, but I have a 55 and all of the 8/4 I get is thicker that the saws max depth, so it gets old to cut boards then flip then.

    Most stuff I'm dealing with us under 10’ because I make approximate crosscuts first in moat cases. I’m after ideal grain pattern more than anything and crosscutting first helps me to optimize it.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

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