Advice on Trueing Wood


Hey guys,

I started another paddle blank today and received my first dose of trouble with tablesaw cut wood. I was cutting my pieces prior to laminating them and when I clamped them together to stand back and determine whether it was a good look aesthically and I realized there were gaps.

So I took all the pieces apart and started inspecting each piece to determine if they had lumps or bumps.

Being frustrated I took them back to the tablesaw and started to shave off a very small amount of wood to get them all to match. To my dismay this did not work.

I realize that a table planer would be the best bet however I do not have accees to one. Can you experienced lads provide some advice to me. I refuse to handcraft a paddle that started out as a hack job.


Getting a good glue joint with a table saw (I my experience) takes a lot of 1) work and 2) luck.

When I've tried/needed to edge wood for glueing, I alternate cutting each side just a bit over and over, and make sure you have a good blade and well adjusted fence.

of just spend a couple hundred and get the right tool, a jointer. Even a medium size 6" would work fine for this and they are all around.

I'll second that. And reiterate: A new, quality blade will help. I have a good blade on my band saw and when the blade is new, the cuts are very clean. A table saw has to be similar. Do you have a hand jointer plane?
I do not have the hand jointer plane but I do have access so I have asked for my buddy to run me through how to use it. We'll see how it goes..

What tools DO you have? What access to the tools of your friends do you have? This info will greatly aid in providing proper advice. There are many ways to get to your goal.
The router is the poor mans jointer.

With a square base of flat spot on your router base you can follow a straight edge and do a very good job.

Worth a try if you have a router.

Good luck,
Look for a good vintage Stanley No. 7 hand plane. Can be found at the local fleas, or even on Ebay, for well under a hundred bucks. Learn to sharpen it properly, and it will make short work of your project. Easy clean up, and can hear the radio over it...
Just a couple thoughts. First thing to consider is the wood itself. Something I call reaction wood. It's when you rip a piece of wood that was jointed perfectly straight and after it comes off the saw it's got a twist to it. If it has to be a narrow piece that's dead straight... Get another piece of wood. If it's a narrow piece that is going to get glued to other boards that are straight you might be okay.

Second thought. Getting it straight with just a table saw. If you leave some extra length to the rough stock it's easy. What I do is rip a carrier board out of a piece of plywood a little wider than the board you are trying to get the staight edge on, then screw the board you want the straight edge on with the edge just hanging over the edge of the plywood. Then all you need to do is rip the edge straight with the straight plywood edge against the fence and the overhanging edge being cut off on the blade side.

Easier to demonstrate that explain but I hope it's somewhat clear.
Success on a table saw varies greatly with the quality of the saw. You can't beat a good cabinet saw with cabinet mounted trunnions. Throw in a good fence, a good blade and adjusted it and you are in business.