I recently purchased quite a bit of rough sawn hardwood from someone closing their woodworking shop.
Beauties like 8/4 walnut along with cherry, mahogany and maple were a welcome addition to my inventory; however since these boards were rough sawn they did not all come with a straight edge. In lieu of dropping $300 on a benchtop jointer or plenty more on a floor model I came up with a DIY solution for around $25.00.
I purchased a pair of 3-Inch Hold Down Clamps (Grizzly G9589) and made a sled to run along my table saw fence. Starting with a squared up piece 3 ½ “ wide oak (choose your length) I glued a piece of ¼” plywood to the bottom that extended out about another 4”. Next I attached the clamps to my piece of oak.
The plywood provides a base so that I can tighten down the clamps on my piece of stock. They don’t need to be brute force tight, only enough to firmly hold the board you’re cutting. The plywood also helps keep the board perpendicular to your saw blade so that we’ll get a 90 degree cut on the edge.
Since I make a lot of cutting boards I was working with pieces of walnut that I crosscut to 18”.
Here’s the key: clamp in your board and measure the width of the stock (if the board is curved use the smallest measurement). Add 3 ½” (width of guide board) and set your fence. Run the board through the saw once to square up one side, after this you’ll have a straight square edge to turn and run along your fence.
As you can see from my previous photo the piece of walnut had some damage and curve to it; after running it through the table saw jointer jig we now have a straight edge to work with.
(Hint: if you have extra wide stock to cut, simply put another piece of ¼” plywood down on your table to keep your stock perpendicular to your blade).
Just a little something "extra" from The Prodigal Carpenter:)