It may sound simple, but it’s surprising how many woodworkers go about this the wrong, or more complex, way. Our furniture making pro walks us through the process to straighten wood. You can’t successfully build a great conference, dining, or coffee table with warped hardwood.
5 Steps to Straighten Wood
The first step to straighten wood is the Jointer. With the Felder Format 4 Plan 51L, we start removing wood with the Jointer cutterhead, 3/16″ – 1/4″ (0.125 – 0.250) at a time. The first few passes may only cut on some of the hardwood. Once the cutterhead has a clean pass – it cuts all the way down the surface – then we can stop.
Next, we want to now utilize the Planer. Now that we have a clean and straight surface to index from, we’ll use the planer to create smooth and parallel surface on the opposite side of the first side. With the Felder Format 4 Exact 63 Planer, we can use our new flat surface to index against, and the result is another straight and flat surface, parallel to the first smooth surface.
It’s time for the Jointer again. Since we have two parallel and flat smooth surfaces, we now need to address one of the edges. We can successfully do this now, since we can index the flat face of the board on the vertical fence, allowing the jointer cutterhead to cut a flat edge, 90-degrees perpendicular to the face.
It’s finally time for the Table Saw. We have three smooth and straight sides to our hardwood now, so we can use the table saw to rip a parallel edge to the already smooth and flat edge. Now, we have 4 sides that are straight and flat. But, we’re not done yet on how to straighten wood.
We go back to the Format 4 Plan 51L Jointer again. This time, we set the cutterhead to only take off a very small amount of wood. All we want to do is cleanup the saw marks left by the table saw, allowing for a better glue seam.
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