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How to Square Lumber with a Table Saw? (Step-by-Step Process!)

A popular question, “How to square lumber with a table saw?” is common among amateur woodworkers.

There is a lot of confusion surrounding this subject, whether you can square a board with a table saw or not.

For many reasons, people think there is another type of power saw that is more effective for squaring lumber wood. It turns out that the pros in the field count on a table saw for this particular use.

Therefore, if you need to square off lumber, you should also turn on the table saw in your woodworking shop.

Not just lumber wood, but you can apply the same technique to square plywood on a table saw!

Gray table saw—how to square lumber with a table saw?
How to square lumber with a table saw? – Image via Blaz Erzetic.

How to Square Lumber with a Table Saw?

Now, let me walk you through a stepwise process to show you how to square lumber with a table saw.

Using a table saw, creating a straight cut with or against the grain is effortless. After all, that is the secret to squaring.

Before we get into the process, let’s take a look at some things that you ought to have beforehand and some safety precautions.

Supplies

Let’s begin by gathering supplies for preparation and safety precautions.

Make sure you have these before you begin:

  • A pencil or marker
  • Board
  • ¾-inch plywood
  • Screws
  • Power screwdriver
  • Table saw
  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protection

And,

  • Push block

As we always remember, safety comes first, so let’s move on to safety precautions.

Safety Tips

Here are some safety tips:

  • It’s necessary to use safety eyewear and hearing protection.
  • Never remove tiny fragments while the blade is in motion.
  • Never change the setup or the saw while it is operating.
  • Avoid reaching near or above the blade.
  • Never run anything with nails, screws, or other metal parts.
  • Stop using the machine as soon as a problem occurs.

You can also check out the below video before starting:

How to square a board with a table saw for beginners – YouTube

How to Square Lumber with a Table Saw? | The Steps!

Now, let’s jump into the following process on how to square lumber with a table saw.

Step 1: Make a Mark

Start the squaring process with a ruler and pencil in hand, just like you do with any wooden cut that requires accuracy.

It would be best to use it to mark distinct, clear guides on the lumber’s surface that correspond to your intended measurements.

As you work, these can be a huge help because they can ensure that your outcome is technically square.

You can also use a framing square to cut a square piece of wood by hand.

Use this measurement tool in particular if you wish to continue a horizontal line on the surface of the lumber in a vertical direction. Maintaining the square of cuts with and against the grain is essential.

Step 2: Make Lumber Ready

The next step is to have your lumber ready to be run over the table saw’s blade.

For many other table saw cuts, you could typically do them freehand, or you’ll need some help while working over the saw blade.

As precision is the real game here, you can use either a clamped strip or the fences/guides of the unit to adjust the lumber.

While using table saws with a channel for controlling the movement of workpieces over the unit’s table, you can use clamped strips.

  • In most cases, these strips are constructed from scrap wood and attached to your workpiece far from the area where you want to square the board.
  • If you choose this option to maintain a good square, make sure your strip is parallel to the edge you plan to cut.

Board squaring uses fences and guidelines a lot more frequently.

  • You can use these to restrict how far your lumber board can slide over the blade on the table.
  • These are also simple to set up and modify; therefore, they are perfect for performing various squaring cuts in rapid order.

Now, let’s move toward the next step.

Step 3: Pick the Correct Blade & Make Adjustments

Once the lumber is attached correctly to the fence, you can choose the appropriate blade to make your squaring cuts.

Technically, a table saw blade of the typical style can do the work. However, if you want a professional finish, you should look for a fine-tooth woodcutting table saw blade.

Additionally, these table saw blades tend to cut more effectively through heavy and thick stock, making it simpler to maintain a square cut.

You should adjust the blade once you’ve chosen the appropriate one.

Always confirm to adjust the blade’s height to match you and your board so that it is slightly higher than the height of your board.

It will guarantee that your square cut is precise and parallel across the breadth of the cutting board.

Step 4: Cut the Cord

You can start cutting your lumber now that your supplies and instruments are ready.

  • If you’re using the guides or fences on your table, you should still use all of your standard table saw techniques while using the table saw.
  • Additionally, while the blade is active, do follow the safety procedures.
  • Please do not keep it running when you finish cutting your lumber.
  • Put away the saw and check how you are doing.

You can also practice squaring plywood on a table saw first and then carry on with the lumber to perfect the square lumber.

Advice on Using a Table Saw

One of the fundamental tasks you can (and should) carry out on a table saw is squaring a board.

To make the most of your table saw for these tasks and others, take into account the following advice and tricks:

1. When Cutting Long Stock, Increase the Length of Your Work Surface

You can achieve this by fastening several lengthy scrap pieces of wood to the table’s exit point on your saw.

Actually, such an improvement can give your longboards more stability, preventing bending that could cause their cuts to become out of position.

Lumber wood—how to square lumber with a table saw?
How to square lumber with a table saw? Increase the length of your workspace if you are cutting long stocks—Image via Marissa Daeger.

2. Make a Set of Push Sticks By All Means

With the help of these basic saws, you can push your wood stock past the blade without putting your fingers anywhere near the cutting edge.

3. While Using a Table Saw, Cut Slowly at All Times

Do not rush!

Some specialists may make it look easy and simple to cut.

However, for beginners and amateurs, a timely process and following initial measurements to cut have a higher chance of squaring the lumber.


Summary

Now that you know how to square lumber with a table saw, you won’t be confused about which power tool to use while squaring your boards.

You will also realize that the procedure is not that difficult. By taking all necessary safety measures, you’ll speed up and simplify the process for yourself.

  • Before starting to cut, be sure your lumber is fixed in place as well.
  • While cutting square lumber with ease, the main point to consider is choosing the proper blade for the lumber’s thickness and reducing the speed.
  • A table saw can complete this task in just a few easy steps.
  • It would be best if you prepare to correct uneven stock using the above-described procedure before it even presents a problem for your next woodworking job.

I hope this article helped you in your regard. If you have any questions, don’t forget to mention them in the comments section below.

Regards.