How to Square a Board with a Table Saw

How to Square a Board with a Table Saw

How to Square a Board with a Table Saw

If you have a board with edges irregular, you'll most likely need to square it before you can use it for your projects.

(Unless it's a live edge project!)

Squaring a board is a relatively easy task with a table saw and I'll show you how.

Things You'll Need

  • Table Saw
  • Speed Square
  • Pencil
  • Tape
  • Scrap Piece of Plywood

Begin by inspecting the board for a straight edge. If at least one of the four edges of the board is straight then the squaring process becomes much simpler.

In case none of the edges of the board are straight, you can use a plywood attachment to square the board.

Take a scrap piece of plywood with at least one straight edge.

Plywood is an excellent choice as long as it's not too thick and simple to move about.

You'll need a plywood board that's at least as long as the board you're attempting to square.

scrap piece of plywood with at least one edge straight
scrap piece of plywood with at least one edge straight

Place the board to be squared on top of the plywood.

board to be square placed on the plywood
board to be squared placed on the plywood

The plywood's straight edge will rest against the rip fence when making the cut.

The board should be on the opposite edge, with nearly an inch overhanging.

board placed on the plywood with overhang
board placed on the plywood with overhang

Attach the board to the scrap wood using double-sided tape.

Now, if you don't mind a screw mark in the board, use screws instead of tape as it's safer.

sticking double sided tape on the plywood
sticking double-sided tape on the plywood

Place the straight edge of the plywood flush against the rip fence of the table saw.

plywood placed flush against the rip fence
plywood placed flush against the rip fence

Set the rip fence so that the board is forced through the blade. You should position it such that any flaws are eliminated, leaving a straight edge.

Push the wood and board through the saw while keeping your hands away from the blade.

Use a push stick or push block for added safety.

make the first cut for squaring the board
make the first cut for squaring the board

Turn off your table saw, and detach the board from the plywood.

detaching the board from the plywood
detaching the board from the plywood

Now you have one straight edge on the board.

The next step is to make the other long edge straight.

Since one edge has been straightened, we can place it flush against the rip fence to make the second cut.

Place the straight edge of your board flush against the rip fence and adjust the rip fence to the appropriate width you need in the board.

Making the second cut on the table saw
Making the second cut on the table saw

Using a push block or a push stick, push the board into the saw blade and complete the cut.

Making the second cut on the table saw

Now you have two long straight edges.

board with two edges straightened
board with two edges straightened

The last step is to square the other two short edges.

To straighten the other two short sides, use a speed square and a pencil to draw a perpendicular line of cut on the short edge using the long straight edge as a reference.

marking the line of cut to square the short edge
marking the line of cut to square the short edge

Place the board on the miter fence to make a crosscut.

Do not make this cut using the rip fence as the offcut can get caught on the blade and cause kickback.

crosscut to square the short edge
crosscut to square the short edge

Align the blade with the cut line marked in the previous step.

aligning the blade with the line of cut for crosscut
aligning the blade with the line of cut for crosscut

Cut along the line using the table saw.

Remember to grip the board firmly along with the miter fence.

It's safer to do this cut with a crosscut sled.

crosscut to square the short edge
crosscut to square the short edge

Now that you have successfully squared one short edge, repeat this process on the other short edge.

With that, you will have successfully squared all four sides of the board with a table saw.

board squared using a table saw
board squared using a table saw

You might be interested in these:

Tips for Accuracy

  • Miter fence of the table saw can help create perfectly square cuts as its parallel to the blade as well as perpendicular. This is a much better alternative than using hands to push the wood.
  • Use a sharp blade with an appropriate number of teeth. More teeth on the saw blade means better cut but takes longer to cut and large teeth means quick but rough cuts.
  • Rip fence always stay parallel to the balde and hence will always yield straight edges.
  • If the length of the edge that is against the fence is shorter than the
  • distance between the fence and the blade, Then dont cut it using the rip fence.

Tips for Safety

  • Before leaving the table saw the work area, wait for the blade to come to a full stop.
  • Remove or tighten loose garment items such as long sleeves, jackets, neckties, and so on.
  • When changing saw blades, ensure sure the blade arbour nut is properly secured.
  • Never remove or hold down a piece of wood by reaching across the saw blade.
  • When running the table saw, use industrial-grade eye and ear protection.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you joint with a table saw?

Edge joint on your table saw with the addition of a simple shop-made fence. Keep in mind that man-made materials, such as plywood, can be tough on steel jointer knives, but not on carbide table saw blades.

Can you joint wood with circular saw?

Although it's just more difficult to keep a perfectly straight line. It is possible, with the use of a guide fence and cautious handling.

Can warped wood be straightened?

Soak them in a damp towel on the inside of the warp curve until they're straight. After that, seal the grain against future water, and the wood glue will stay in place and never distort, making the object stronger than it was before.

About V Susan

Hi! I'm Susan. I am passionate about DIY projects and dark chocolates! Welcome to Mellowpine. We play around with beginner woodworking projects, CNC for hobbyists, and general woodworking tips.

If you'd like to connect with me or talk about something you like at mellowpine, drop me a mail at susan@mellowpine.com

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V Susan

Hi! I'm Susan. I am passionate about DIY projects and dark chocolates! Welcome to Mellowpine. We play around with beginner woodworking projects, CNC for hobbyists, and general woodworking tips.

If you'd like to connect with me or talk about something you like at mellowpine, drop me a mail at susan@mellowpine.com

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