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What works best at making nice crisp 90 degree edges on lumber that are exposed???

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Bill,

I use a router to dress the edges.

Much easier and get great results.

Hi Bill,  In reality there is the method where you can get a 90 degree angle to two planes of a piece of lumber by using a table saw of which, if it is accurate,you can cut the edge 90 degree to the flat side of lumber providing that the lumber side you lay on the table saw is totally flat.  The better way to obtain the 90 degree angle is to use a jointer to cutting the edge square to the face.  The best way is to pass the lumber through a thickness planner and then use the jointer to make the edge 90 degrees to the face that you just milled on the planner.

Jay is absolutely right about the table saw and a straight 90 degree edge.  You can make a jig for  your table saw that will give you great results.  Bill is also correct, you could use a router too as a jointer. 

Thanks to all for your suggestions, I may try the router 1st since I got the Kreg Router Table Package. I'm basically concerned more with the 2-by lumber that have sort of rounded edges for my work bench project. Other than cutting and planing your own dimensional lumber, do any of the box stores carry straight cut lumber in 2x4, 2x6 without any milling? I've found 2x6x48 oak at Menards cut in this way, but a little high end for my project.

Bill,

2x lumber normally features a rounded edge.

The purpose for the rounded edge, is to facilitate handling---

reducing the likelyhood of splinters injuring the person handling the material.

When I've needed 2x4 stock with a squared edge, I've purchased wider stock,

ripped off the rounded edge,

then run it thru a router, using a straight bit.

Rip the rough material oversize, about a 1/16", allowing for removal of material when making

the finish pass with the router to dress the edge nice and square.

When setting up your router table fence, make a 1/16" offset, on the trailing fence.

( I use shim stock, behind the router table fence.  Rockler offers these shims in a kit, with various multiple thickness sizes---use singly or in multiple, to produce the desired size cuts).

It's best to make multiple thin cutting passes vs a single wide pass, when using a router.

Router bit choice(s);

1. Spiral bit

2. Straight bit with a slightly slanted cutting edge.

(a slanted cutting edge bit will produce a shearing action and result in a smoother finish).

(I use 2" long cutting bits, with 1/2" shank, for this type operation).

Don't use a 1/4" shank bit---it'll result in wobble and chatter marks on your work-piece).

A combi machine will do the job Planer /Thicknesser.

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