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Thread: Re-Aligning Grain or Figure in a Board

  1. #1

    Re-Aligning Grain or Figure in a Board

    I've been putting together a box recently and came across an interesting piece of quartersawn sycamore:
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    I decided to use it for the center section of my box's lid, but I wanted the color change to be centered horizontally on the piece. Here's how I did it.

    First, I used masking tape to define a straight, repeatable line that I wanted to center on:
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    Then, I took it to the table saw and used a known good piece of plywood as a straight edge against my tape:
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    Butt the straight edge up against your fence:
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    I don't know why I didn't take a photo of this, but with the straight edge butted up against the fence, butt your miter gauge up against your workpiece and set it to match the angle. Then make your cut on one end (this cut ended up being something like 87*):
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    Go ahead and flip the workpiece and square up the other end.

    Reset your miter gauge to 90*. Take your newly "90 degrees to the tape mark" end and put it on the miter gauge. If you look closely at the image, you can see the shadow of my fence riding just along the edge of the tape. So the tape is parallel to the fence. Good.
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    Now make a rip cut using the miter gauge.

    Flip the board and do a regular rip cut against the fence to get your 4th parallel/perpendicular side and you're done!
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    Now please... somebody tell me there's an easier way! This is the first time I've done anything like this and it seemed very very fiddly to get it all right.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Amherst, New Hampshire
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    That's a great tip Dave. Looking forward to watching the box build
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
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    In the interest of safety, I make an initial rip on my bandsaw, then square up the panel at the tablesaw.

    That's a great looking hunk of wood! I'm looking forward to seeing the finished box.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Delton, Michigan
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    another way to get to where you are headed is to use a taper jig, adjust it to the angle you need and make one cut then square your ends after that, much safer than using a end cut to attempt to cut a straight line..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  5. #5
    Bill - Band Saw. Good idea. Don't have one, but it's on the list. The ripping would've felt much safer using one.

    Larry - I thought about that.... my taper jig is small and thrown together. Pretty junky. So you're thinking of aligning the straight-edge to a miter slot instead of the fence, then setting the jig to match? Taper cut, rip on fence, 90* miter each end?

    Bob - Sad to say, the box is coming out horribly. I'm making extensive use of my moaning stool. http://blog.lumberjocks.com/Argyllshire/blog/9943 I knew I should've practiced before trying to make the real thing. The temptation now is to buy 50 bdft of 4/4 poplar and lock myself in the shop for a weekend to practice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Delton, Michigan
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    the simplest form of a taper cut for what you did would be to use some good double sided tape and then make the first cut.. you tape the piece to a parallel piece of plywood run one side next to the fence and the take off and run straight cut side to the fence giving you your grain aligned as you want, then use miter gauge to make your end cuts.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Dennison, MN
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    512
    Quote Originally Posted by David Agnew View Post
    Now please... somebody tell me there's an easier way! This is the first time I've done anything like this and it seemed very very fiddly to get it all right.

    I would've just cut along your tape with a bandsaw, ran that edge across the jointer to get it straight, ripped it to width on the tablesaw, then cut to length. 2 minute job, most of it walking to different equipment.
    "Do, or do not. There is no try."
    -Yoda



  8. #8
    Larry - Ahhh, I've got it. Basically a table saw jointing jig. That's a smart use of the technique. If I ever have to do this again (sans band saw) I think I'll do it your way.

    Karl - The joys of a fully outfitted shop.

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