Author Options:

HOW DO I true up and square up a face and base without a joiner or Plainer. Answered

I’m tryingwith no success to make a perfect straight edge with a true 90 degrees base for a accurate table saw sled
My table saw is a Makita MLT 100, a sloppy piece of shit. should be recalled and scraped
The mitre it came with has movement in every direction. Making a accurate 90’ cut imposable.
The right had side timber rest is aluminum and flexes with the slightest pressure.
I’ve made a sled trying to overcome this problems, its Called a (super sled) from wood craft, very nice indeed.


I’ve looked at making a joiner using the table saw but again it requires a straight edge which I can't make.
I’ve used the 3 4 5 method to make sure I can get 90’ on a flat partical board but does not help me MAKE a perfect straight edge OR 90 degree to the base.
  Hopefully one of you can solve my problem without telling me to go pay for a straight piece of timber, or go to a shop and pay for it to be done.
Feel free to send me to an instructable it there is one to solve my problem. i cant find one
Thanks guys  looking forward to hearing your solutions.
Ps I will publish my super sled very soon.

14 Replies

pfred2Best Answer (author)2012-03-26

I think I am going to need pictures to know exactly what you are talking about. I think I know, but I'm not entirely sure. A rough sketch? Anything!

I don't have a joiner myself, but I do have some hand planes, and I made this too:


Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

broken board (author)pfred22012-03-26

thanks for the fast responce.

i seem to have no method to make any board flat or square.
the sled ive made, the back board, the longest one where the wood would sit to be cut is not straight,
its like a dogs leg wavey, up & down, high's n lows.
everything i read says.
start with a trued up piece of timber.
i cant true up ( flat face with a 90 degree base to the face to ) to work from.

does your plain/plane upside sown work making a flat edge?
how do you make sure the timber is running through at 90 degrees to the side board ?
is your side board flat ( trued up)( when placing a steel ruler along the face there is no gaps under the ruler)?
the long red piece of timber near the window is an onl fence post ( red gum) beautiful piece. its the closest thing ive got to flat. but not close enough.
i also intend usiing it as the back board / rear fence on my sled.

i have a fence for the table saw but it moves with the slightest preasure.
ive got heaps of wood to play with but no way to make any flat or square to make any real projects.
unless of course i go and pay to have them trued up whitch is $45 here. crazy prices if you ask me.

if you could help in any way that would bd fantastic.

Broken board

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

pfred2 (author)broken board2012-03-26

Now that you've said your fence is lacking I think you should deal with that first, then go back to your sled project. Nothing is more important to me with a table saw than ripping on it. It is almost all I do with mine. If that was all table saws did I think they'd still be pretty popular machines.

You don't have to get as crazy as I did but I'm sure we can think of something to solid up your fence.


I've a germ of an idea now if your fence is how I think it is. One of those only locks on one side fences. Extend it some so you can lock it on the other side too. Use one of those one hand squeeze clamps and it wouldn't go anywhere on you then.

I made my fence because the stock one didn't have the capacity I wanted. It held OK because it clamped on both sides but I think I only had about a foot or so of rip width with it.

The fence I made only locks on one side but I made it big enough it doesn't go anywhere. The T arm is about a foot long. So the fence itself doesn't deflect.

I think I see the difficulties with  your sled but I'm still pondering the best way to overcome them. Get your fence going first.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

broken board (author)pfred22012-03-26

the sled im making can be found here at eaglelake woodworking, at this link
the table saw i have is at the below link. http://www.makita.com.au/products/power-tools/sawing/item/table-saws/mlt100-table-saw-255mm?Prodid=153
the table saw will solve my table saw issuse with sloppy mirter tracks and angles.
what i do need is a template or an instructional or two nails and a magic wand, that will teach me or show me how to make a twisted face or rollacoaster shaped face of timber into a nice straight flat workable piece of timber.
in adition i need to make the same timber have a base, or top or both with 90 degrees edges.

your fence looks like it works really well, how long did it take you to make?

i have a seperate fence that came with the saw secures like yours on one end and the other i clamp down. if i use that with a bent board on its face i still cut a bent board, or at bes,t burn the timber face with a jamed blade smoking away like an old smoke house.

i hope that clears up what im trying to do.

oh, no i cant make your fence as i have no weilder or steel.

thanks again chat soon. lol

broken board


Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

pfred2 (author)broken board2012-03-27

Your saw looks really nice. I'm surprised it does not work better.

The problem with natural wood is it is dimensionally unstable. Even if you could flatten it out chances are it wouldn't stay flat for you. It looks to me in your pictures of the made sled that it uses man made wood products, like plywood to overcome natural wood's shortcomings.

With my metalworking projects figure on about a day a piece and adding that up is a fair estimate of the time it takes me to do a project. I'm counting 8 major pieces so I'd say around week just to do the metal work. I only welded one piece because I didn't have the stock to make that part out of. The rest of it is all bolted together. I don't consider welding to be a very accurate fastening method. Tough to adjust too.

But I wasn't suggesting you make a fence like mine, I only offered it as an example to show how important I think rip fences are. I think you can add a little to your fence and make it more sturdy. I'd use melamine for that.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

broken board (author)pfred22012-03-27

G'Day Mate
like today’s market things are made to look fantastic,. like my saw but the practical application is a different story.
i spoke to Makita and got a, well if you use it correctly under the right conditions it should cut straight.
i thought that was funny as all saws will cut straight, its the attachments and aids that guide the direction of the cut.

i knew i sent you a message for a reason.
i really liked your rip fence and went through in detail weather i could make it, sadly i could not.

Melamine. for the fence.
would it bend and flex with the shape of the board behind it or would it hold its shape well enough ?

i guess if i glued 2 sheets together then bolted them on in securing them with 2 bolt it would be dead straight.

that would fix my 90 degree cutting giving me a square cut, finally.
would it fix the ability to tru up an out of square and un level board such as the red gum in the pictures above. ?

thanks again
Broken board

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

pfred2 (author)broken board2012-03-27

It looks to me like the melamine would only have to span a few inches on its own. The stuff isn't cast iron but it should manage that OK. Plus the right angle attached piece (labeled Back Piece in the new image) would stiffen up the melamine beyond your existing fence. You'd still need to clamp it down at the other end for it to do you any good. A small inconvenience compared to setting a fence on just one side, but better than not having ripping ability at all.

Being able to rip wood might get you closer to truing up wood. It helps if you have a straight edge to work off of, but I've taken bow out of boards ripping it. A working rip fence sure won't hurt you to have, that is for sure!

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

broken board (author)pfred22012-03-27

sounds good.

ill play with the fence today.
i have some melamine i know to be straight.
hopefully by todays end i will have ripping ability with a straight edge.
it will take me that long because im very sore today, had a crap night sleep whitch means the back will be stiff all day.
ive allready got a few thoughts popping up i can use with this type of set up.

thanks again.

one down few to go. lol.
hows the weather in the states today or is it tonight?

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer


i've now cut and BOLTED 2 layers of 19 mm melamine on to the front edge of the fence.
i layered them like brick work an a house. trimed both ends after it the bolts were tightened.

place the steel ruler on the face.


thanks pfred2

how do i make a piece of wood square now?
Id like to replace it with the hardwood redgum.

should i do the same to the side fence that came with the table saw ( extra melamine ) + adding a small lip to clamp it to the back edge?????

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

pfred2 (author)broken board2012-03-29

Now you have a functional rip fence? If that is the case then you're welcome.

How you true up lumber is about as varied as how it is twisted up I'm afraid. But with a working rip fence your options sure open up for you.

For your side fence modification again I must admit I am not seeing what you are talking about.

It is spring time here, which is a nice time of year around where I am at.


Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

broken board (author)pfred22012-03-29

That is nice weather.

I’ve added melamine to both the rip fence and fence on my sled.
I now have the ability to cut straight.
I can now cut 90 degrees straight across the face of the timber
I can also cut a straight line down the length of the board.

You may not see what I was talking about but you sure fixed it. lol
Thank you so much for your patience.

All I have to do now is find a method to true up a twisted up dogs leg piece of timber.

summer has just pased here, you would think it would be nice, but nope. lol
http://www.geelongweather.com/ cold and miserable here.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

pfred2 (author)broken board2012-03-29

Yeah you're roughing it now, 80F come this Saturday. Better bundle up! If I hit the lottery here I might just have to get a winter place by you if that is cold and miserable.

There is a straight piece of wood in every piece of wood, it just might not be as long or as wide as the original size though.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

broken board (author)pfred22012-03-30

Always a pleasure pfred2

have your self a great weekend.

love the quote of the day.

ive changed many a job size to fit that problem.


Broken board

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

pfred2 (author)broken board2012-03-30

You use that metric stuff don't you? One millimeter looks much like the next with that stuff to me. I have one of them newfangled digital calipers now with a button it so I can switch back and forth. When I make stuff I use the king's Imperial measurements though, even if I am a Yankee.

Back in the 90s I worked in a tool and die shop for a while and we used Imperial measures there too. We made some nice stuff. But when I measure things closely I use decimal inches anyways which is a lot like metric. For rougher stuff fractional inches is good enough, if I even bother to measure at all.

The biggest complaint I hear about Imperial measurement is you have to think to convert it. Maybe that is what is wrong with the world today? Too many people think they can design and build stuff without doing any actual thinking.

I'm wired for old standard measurement though.


Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer