Post Haste Project: How to Square a Board

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Duration: 1:23

Squaring a board is one of the most basic skills a woodworker must have. If you’re not starting with a board that’s square six sides, it’s hard to make a woodworking project that’s square. Check out this Post Haste video to learn, in just over a minute, how to square a board.

Tools used

You’ll see a variety of tools used as you learn how to square a board; jointer, planer, table saw, and miter saw. The video will also help you understand how these tools work together to result in a perfectly square board that’s precisely dimensioned. Once you have this sequence down, you’ll wonder how you got by without it.

The cornerstone

Working with square stock is the cornerstone of any project. Nothing is more frustrating than getting to the assembly step and finding that your parts won’t quite go together or, not matter what you do, you can’t quite get things to come together squarely. This is especially critical any time you make a woodworking project that includes moving parts like doors and drawers.

Start with setting up tools

You’ll have a very hard time getting your board square if your tools are set up well enough to do what you ask them to do. In addition to learning to square a board you may want to have a look at making certain that your table saw set up is correct, and you should also have a look at setting up a miter saw.

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16 Responses to “Post Haste Project: How to Square a Board”

    • Customer Service

      Hi, Jarrell. If the bow is minor, this will work. If it is more severe, you might want to start by rouging out a straight line on a band saw.

  1. Terry

    Cool! Now all I need to do is buy $6,000 worth of equipment and I can use this video. Easy-Peezy.

  2. David

    No talk just music , Possibly need to specify grain direction, after jointing one side , specify which side is facing cutters in planer…
    David Kennedy

  3. Mike

    It sure is nice to have all expensive equipment and wood to square it up with. Try buying the crap from Lowe’s or Home Depot.

  4. Cinders

    when I was serving my apprenticeship as a Joiner I got taught to face and edge the boards first and then the thickness the material
    2 reasons
    1) the machines where in use all the time and you could face and edge the boards 1setup use another machine or if you where on the planer thicknesser you would then set up the thicknesser part another setup Not changing for each piece of timber.
    2) by doing it the way stated you are double handling the material but you save time in not having to ghange the setups of the machines each time.

  5. teemacs

    Agree totally with Terry and eggsngrits. And the answer to jarrell presupposes the possession of a bandsaw!

  6. Bettencourt Rev. Mary F.

    This can all be done with handplanes. Less expensive, shavings not dust, and just as timely with sharp plane irons. All basic jointing and surfacing can be done this way. Crafts
    Men and women have done it this way for centuries.

  7. Dale

    At around the 1:03 mark it says “Joint freshly cut side down on the planer”…isn’t he using the jointer?

  8. Steve K.

    what do you do if you don’t have a jointer or space for one? Now we need another tool and still don’t have enough space?

    • Customer Service

      Hello Steve,
      Here’s what the experts had to say about your question:
      You can practice up on your hand plane skills. Anything that can be done on a jointer can be done using a hand plane. Short of that, here’s an article that might help:

      Please let us know if you have any further questions

      Wood Workers Guild of America Video Membership