How to Square Lumber With a Table Saw: #1 Best Guide

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You just bought a new house and want to build your own deck…

But first, you need to get your hands on some plywood or scrap wood.

The problem is that all the cut pieces of wood you found are in different sizes.

Fortunately, there’s a way you can square-cut them so they’ll all fit together well!

How to Square Lumber With a Table Saw Image
How to Square Lumber With a Table Saw: #1 Best Guide

How to Square Lumber With a Table Saw


1) Take any one of the four corners and place it in front of the blade on the table saw. Slide it forward until it touches the blade then clamp it down with clamps or hold onto it from behind with two hands.

2) Run that corner through the blade by pulling on either side of the wood (a).

3) After the wood has passed through, move to another corner and repeat step (2). Continue until all four corners are square-cut.

4) Repeat steps (1) and (2) on all four sides of your board. Hold long enough to get a tight cut and then clamp down.

5) Your board should now measure exactly in the middle of the blade. If it’s not… Go back over your cuts again, this time without any clamps or extra hands.

6) Good Job! Now that you’ve got all your boards square-cut, let’s see how we can join them together!

Now you have a nice series of perfectly straight edges slightly off in the middle… What to do now?

1) To join two of your boards together, you’re going to want the middle of one board to rest on the outer edge of another board, and then press them together. To do this…

2) Using your table saw again, set the blade height to 1/4″. This should give you just enough room for a board to slide under a face-down piece of wood.

3) Place your first piece on a flat surface and position it so that three edges are flush with your table saw. Place a board atop it face-down and clamp it into place or hold down from behind with two hands.

4) Take your second board and place it half-way between the two edges of the first board (b).

5) Center it by nudging it with your knee then slide it under the face-down piece of wood.

6) Place a block or something of similar weight on top and using your leg, slide this piece into place until you feel the edge of the previous board resting on its face. (c).

7) Repeat step (6) until all four pieces are joined together.

8) Sliding both boards at once can be a little tricky. To do it, start by sliding the first board under the second and place your foot on top of it. Press down with your knee to push the second board into place and then apply pressure to keep it from sliding out during the process.

Just like that! You’ve got yourself a nice, square table-top for your next project!

How to Square Lumber With a Table Saw Video

How to Square Cut Rough Lumber
on a Table Saw

When you’re square-cutting rough lumber on your table saw, it’s important to know that every board you cut should be square.


  1. The first method is to use a hand plane or chisels to perform the necessary planing cuts. First, you must cut a scrap panel from your lumber that will act as a template against which your board will be trimmed.
  2. Mark the edges of this template on each side of the board and rout these lines with a thickness planer or chisel. You need to make these marks at the same distance around the edge of your board.
  3. Then position both pieces against each other so that they meet at right angles and firmly clamp them together in this position. Then saw off the excess lumber with a table saw. Finally, remove the two parts and check their relative lengths. If the difference is slight, you can adjust the pieces with a sharp block plane and then clamp them together again.
  4. The next method is to use your table saw as a jointer, but be careful to avoid damaging your saw in the process.
  5. First, rip a small piece from one side of your lumber panel so that you can use it as a fence. Fasten this fence to the back of your table saw bed by driving screws through the fence into the wood trim on which your saw bed is mounted.
  6. Attach this fence so that its distance from the blade remains constant as you move it back and forth along its length. Then, position the lumber so that it touches the fence both at the far end and near end of its length. Finally, tilt its edge against the saw blade and cut off your excess lumber.
  7. Another way to square up your boards is by using your table saw’s miter gauge. First step is to attach a fence to a miter gauge for a table saw in such a way that it doesn’t move when you push it against your work piece.
  8. This can be done with bent metal or plastic supports that are nailed or screwed into place. Adjust the distance between these supports so that it matches the actual thickness of your board and then clamp them together firmly with C-clamps.
  9. Next, position the board so that it touches your fence at its top and bottom edge. Place a carpenter’s square across the blade above your work piece and draw a line at right angles to its long edge. The edge of your board should also be precisely centered between these two lines.
  10. Then cut along this line using your miter gauge to guide the work piece against the rip fence. Then repeat this process until you have removed all of the excess lumber along one face of your board. Repeat these steps for each side and then trim off any excess wood from an adjacent edge with a table saw to finish your job.
  11. Another way is to use your table saw to cut a small portion from each edge of the lumber panel at right angles to its face. Use your rip fence as before, and draw a line at right angles to both edges of your board so that they intersect with the line drawn across by your rip fence.
  12. Then cut along these lines with your table saw using its rip blade. Make sure that you keep all four edges of your board firmly pressed against the fence and adjust it if necessary until it’s absolutely positioned parallel to the blade. Repeat this process until you have removed all excess lumber from one side of your board after which you can repeat it for each face of your board.

Those are the process to how to square rough cut lumber on a table saw

How to Square Cut Rough Lumber on a Table Saw Video

How to Square a Board With Table Saw


  1. The rough edge (the face that will be removed) of the board is flush with the table and is parallel. The board is likely to have a slight angle on it, as it was likely cut from a series of boards so only one side was straight.
  2. The board should be aligned with the fence and clamped down for safety’s sake. With a hand saw or circular saw, cut off the vertical edge in one or two passes, making sure to keep your fingers away from the blade as you cut, and that you’re cutting dead smooth on both cuts.
  3. With a table saw, do one side at a time in a single pass. With a circular saw, you can make an alternative cut that removes the waste in one pass. This cut is like a beveled cut on the edge of the board and gives you slightly less material to remove after cutting it free.
  4. The cut should be straight; if it has any kinks in it, the board will have to be ripped back out and the edges squared off again.
  5. Use a scrap piece of wood as a guide on your first few cuts. Make sure you set the fence correctly so you don’t cut all the way through the piece of wood. When you’re trimming your large pieces to length, I think one-quarter inch is about what you should leave on each edge for safety’s sake.
  6. When cutting boards, it’s easy to get carried away trying to make your joints perfect and then realizing that you have too much waste on one side or another after you’ve finished cutting all of your lumber.
  7. A great way to ensure that you cut the wood square is to first use a table saw to get your boards properly squared.
  8. An additional benefit of squaring your lumber with a table saw is that it will make it easier for you to rip the lumber square in the future.

How to Square a Board With Table Saw Video

How to Cut a Straight Edge on a Table Saw


  1. To cut a straight edge on a table saw, you’ll want to use your table saw’s blade guard and fence.
  2. To do this, first position the board so that it is next to the fence and flush against it. The board should be tight against the fence, with nothing sticking out past it.
  3. Then start your wood cutting process and push down on the workpiece as you cut to make sure that it stays in contact with the blade. You can also feel when you break through the backside of your board before finishing up because there will be resistance when you’re cutting through.
  4. Make sure that your entire piece of wood makes contact with both sides of the table saw – do not cut one side at a time or leave anything sticking out past the fence.

And you’re done.

How to Cut a Straight Edge on a Table Saw Video

How to Square Lumber with a Table Saw
Final Thoughts

This ends our How To Guide of How to Square Lumber With a Table Saw.

Learning how to square lumber is often a professionals job, but even a DIYer will need to learn this one day. To pair with that, squaring lumber requires a powerful table saw so we recommend getting the best contractor table saw available out there. Another thing to add is that using the table saw accessories available within your workshed will will ensure your square cuts are top notch!

We hope the knowledge you gained here will help you in the future with your DIY or Professional Woodworking projects. We want you to be sure of that what you get from us are 100% facts, so please don’t hesitate to ask for advice or to advise us in return with accurate facts.

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