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I have several pine boards I want to use for a table, however many of them have are warped, and I need them straight. These will be used for legs and support members, so they only need to have good edges, and cupping is not a concern.

While typically a job reserved for an edge jointer, is there any way I can straighten the boards using my table saw? The stock has been sitting in my basement for about a year so it should be sufficiently dry at this point.

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There's a couple of ways to do it

  1. Create an "in feed" and "out feed" fence for the table saw fence (see http://www.woodworkingtips.com/etips/2005/01/28/wb/). The infeed is slightly narrower so as the work is passed through it, it cuts the board and should come out flat on the other side, assuming the outfeed is parallel to the blade.
  2. Secure the warped board to a board with a known straight edge, then reference the known straight edge against the fence. (http://woodworking.about.com/od/woodworkingplansdesigns/ss/JointerJig.htm)
  3. Similar to #2, secure the warped board to another board that slides in the miter slot. Assuming the miter slot is parallel to the blade, the cuts will be straight.

I've tried both. #1 is finicky because you have to get the saw kerf dead-on with the "outfeed" side. Also, it throws a LOT of dust back at you. #2 is much easier but you're limited in the length of board you can straighten. Both #2 and #3 can be used with toggle clamps to secure the workpiece (or even with screws, provided that they're clear from the blade).

Both were sufficiently inconvenient that I ended up buying a jointer. It is now my favorite tool in the shop!

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    Can you briefly describe the two techniques in your answer, or quote to the highlights of them? Having the meat and potatoes of an answer be links to offsite resources is generally frowned upon as if those links change the answer here becomes useless. – whatsisname Mar 17 '15 at 16:01
  • Can do, @whatsisname – dfife Mar 17 '15 at 16:02
  • @whatsisname ... haha, beat me to the punch :D – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Mar 17 '15 at 16:03
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    I've seen #2 accomplished by building a "sled" and using toggle clamps to secure the warped board. The sled doesn't even need to have a straight edge -- if you make it run in one of the miter slots on the table saw, you only need to ensure that the slot guide is straight which is easy to do if you have a reference that is straight when assembling the sled. – cathode Mar 17 '15 at 16:08
  • Good point, @cathode. I'll edit my answer to include that. – dfife Mar 17 '15 at 16:57

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