How to Use a Table Saw as a Jointer: #1 Best Guide

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If you’re trying to build a complicated woodworking project like a deck, it can be hard to keep all the boards straight and even. A jointer is designed specifically for this purpose. It’s typically a large, heavy table saw with two parallel blades set at an angle in order to trim wood edges that might be positioned incorrectly for cutting.

That said, it’s not very common to have access to a jointer when you’re working on smaller woodworking projects like furniture or picture frames. That’s when trying to use a table saw as a jointer can come in handy.

We’ve all seen the old trick of using the rip fence on the table saw as a guide for making straight cuts in woodworking, but you can also use the fence and miter gauge to set your wood edges for even trimming.

How to Use a Table Saw as a Jointer Image

How to Use a Table Saw as a Jointer

Equipment Needed:

Materials Needed:

  • Wood (Preferably Plywood or 4×4)

Duration: 10-20 Minutes

Budget: $10-$30 (USD)

Steps:

  1. To accomplish this, place one edge of your wood onto the fence with the side that needs trimming facing up.
  2. Slide it carefully down until it touches the blade, and then lock down the miter gauge.
  3. Turn on your saw, and slowly push your board toward where its top edge will be against your blade. The distance between your blade and fence should set everything up perfectly for an even cut.
  4. As an added bonus, the chances of kickback will be greatly reduced when you use this method. This is because using a table saw as a jointer means that you’ll always be pushing your wood forward. A lot of people like this method for this reason alone, since it eliminates the chance of things getting out of control and flying backward as you cut.

If you want to use your saw as a jointer, just make sure that you’ve got some kind of guard in place to protect your fingers from the blade. A lot of people like it when they can see the blade, which is not a good idea when you’re trying to cut an edge that’s close to the saw itself.

If you do use this method, make sure that you keep your guard in place as you push your wood forward. Whether you’re using this method or a jointer, it’s important to keep your fingers away from the blade at all times. Even if you’re not planning on making any mistakes that could prove dangerous, things can happen in just a split second. You never know when something unexpected will pop up, so remember to always be safe.

That’s how you can use a table saw as a jointer. It’s by no means the perfect solution, but it’s an option for those who don’t have access to a jointer.

How to Use a Table Saw as a Jointer Video


How to Make a Jointer Jig for a Table Saw

Take the following steps in order to make a jointer jig for your table saw.

Equipment Needed:

  • Table Saw
  • Blade Guard

Materials Needed:

  • Wood (Preferably Plywood or 4×4)

Duration: 10-20 Minutes

Budget: $10-$30 (USD)

Steps:

1. Use the blade guard that came with your table saw

2. Place a piece of wood flat on the table saw’s top surface with one edge against the side of your blade

3. The angle of your blade should be set to match that of a jointer (typically 45 degrees)

4. Lift up on one side of your wood and push it towards the other so that it reaches its desired length

5. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have an even edge all around your wood

6. If you’re worried about having just one flat edge, take a large piece of sandpaper and place it once your wood is flat on the table saw’s top surface. Run your wood along this sandpaper in one direction in order to create a curved edge around your wood

7. This is what a jointer does, thus making the table saw act like a jointer

How to Make a Jointer Jig for a Table Saw Video


How to Use a Table Saw as an Edge Jointer

First, here’s a little info on an edge jointer.

An edge jointer is a machine that performs the same functions as a table saw but instead of cutting two different sizes of wood, it only cuts one. It is usually two different blades with a blade guard on top and the user can set the angle of them to cut their desired thickness off the piece of wood being worked on.

This is especially important for those working with thicker or hardwoods because you are only attempting to split the wood; thus making it easier for finish work on walls or furniture or any other projects to be done by hand.

You can use a table saw or band saw to do this, but most people prefer an edge jointer because one blade machine can be used on either a band saw or table saw.

Equipment Needed:

  • Table Saw
  • Blade Guard

Materials Needed:

  • Wood (Preferably Plywood or 4×4)

Duration: 10-20 Minutes

Budget: $10-$30 (USD)

Steps:

  1. If you have a table saw and have not already purchased an edge jointer, that is not necessary. An easy way for you to do that is by adjusting the guard of your table saw to 36 degrees. Your blade should then be set to 12 inches from the fence. This will sweep over both sides of your wood at once without cutting it in two pieces at the same time.
  2. When constructing the edge jointer for the table saw, it is advisable that you only use wood that your table saw can cut or you may get damaged material, especially if it is on the fence or top of your blade. Most people opt to buy an edge jointer when they have a lot of time to spend but not enough money to go into buying a whole new table saw. Some people use their table saw instead of an edge jointer because they need the versatility that comes with using more than one machine.
  3. Once you have constructed your jig and are able to start cutting, make sure not to put too much pressure on the blade so as not to damage it in any way. You should only cut and work in small pieces. If you are in a nail-biting mood, do not hesitate to make multiple cuts on different layers of the piece of wood until you get what you want.
  4. After you have made your cuts, set a piece of sandpaper on your table saw top surface and run the wood through it one way in order to give yourself another curved edge on the other side of your wood.

If you have to use your table saw so as to finish your work quicker, remember that you should always check the blade of your machine and make sure it is not dull (i.e. jagged) or broken. If it is broken, you will have to buy a replacement.

Using an edge jointer in your workshop may expedite some of your projects but at the same time could sometimes cause issues that may not be related to the machine itself, for example using it wrong or having a poor quality blade put on.

If this happens, be sure to check with the manufacturer or more so with Amazon for a replacement. When you are finished working on your project, you may want to use it as a display piece. If you choose to do that, make sure not to use anything with sharp edges or normal wear and tear; otherwise, things may get damaged.

Your saws should be able to tolerate being dropped or used in a messy environment without causing damage.

How to Use a Table Saw as an Edge Jointer Video


How to Plane Wood With a Table Saw

Don’t have a planer in hand? Follow these easy steps to use a Table Saw like a Planer.

Equipment Needed:

  • Table Saw
  • Blade Guard

Materials Needed:

  • Wood (Preferably Plywood or 4×4)

Duration: 10-20 Minutes

Budget: $10-$30 (USD)

Steps:

1. If you want a smoother edge, plane the wood with a blade tilted at 45° 

2. To avoid splintering, try to cut with even strokes so that the board is as flat as possible

3. Remember that your table saw can function like an edge jointer by adjusting its guard to 36° and setting the angle of your blade to 12 inches from the fence to form a 1/4″ rabbet

4. If you are leaving the wood natural, planing the edge will make it seem more polished

How to Plane Wood With a Table Saw Video


How Do You Square Up a Table Saw Board

You won’t always have a jointer or planer to do this job for you. If you’ve ever had to square up boards with your table saw or bandsaw, it’s not a tricky process.

Equipment Needed:

  • Table Saw
  • Blade Guard

Materials Needed:

  • Wood (Preferably Plywood or 4×4)

Duration: 10-20 Minutes

Budget: $10-$30 (USD)

Steps:

  1. You won’t always have a jointer or planer to do this job for you. If you’ve ever had to square up boards with your table saw or bandsaw, it’s not a tricky process.
  2. Simply measure the thickness of the board before you cut it and set your blade depth to that measurement.
  3. You should then make sure that you line up both sides of the board with the fence on your machine and cut it off on one side using even strokes (to avoid splinters).

Once you’ve done that, use a piece of sandpaper angled away from each other in order to give yourself another edge all around the board.

Remember that this has only been tested for small pieces but may not give an accurate result if used on bigger boards.

The secret to making good cuts is to keep your fingers away from the blade every time. This way, you’ll have an even board with a smooth surface all around it.

How Do You Square Up a Table Saw Board Video


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you need a jointer if you have a table saw?

Yes, a Jointer is still necessary for other projects a table saw can’t accomplish. A table saw can do virtually much of what a jointer can do, that is if working with thinner materials like plywood.

Do I really need a jointer?

It depends on your workload and projects. Specifically, when dealing with rough lumber, a jointer is much more beneficial for this purpose.

What can I use if I don’t have a jointer?

A table saw can work as a jointer.

Can a benchtop jointer plane wood?

No, a benchtop jointer cannot plane wood. A hand plane or a planer is made for this specific task.

Will a table saw fence system get in the way of jointing with a table saw?

No, a table saw fence system will not get int the way.

Will a tapering jig get in the way of jointing with a table saw?

No, a tapering jig will not get int the way.

Will an outfeed table get in the way of jointing with a table saw?

No, an outfeed table will not get int the way.

Will a router table get in the way of jointing with a table saw?

No, a router table will not get int the way.

Can a Miter Saw Joint wood?

Yes, a miter saw can joint wood.

Can a circular saw joint wood?

No, a circular saw cannot joint wood.

Should I use a table saw or jointer for plywood?

For cutting plywood, it is best to learn how to cut plywood on a table saw. A table saw is the staple tool for working with plywood due to the diverse cut it can produce.

Can a Jointer rip boards?

No, a jointer cannot rip boards. It is specifically designed for jointing. However, learning how to rip boards with a table saw is fairly easy, and it’s the staple tool for ripping boards, whether they’re thick or narrow.

How to Use a Table Saw as a Jointer
Final Thoughts

This ends our How-To Guide of How to Use a Table Saw as a Jointer.

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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