How To Joint Boards With a Table Saw? – Complete Guide

Are you looking to join a local woodworking club or start your own? If so, then you’ll want to know how to joint boards with a table saw. Jointing is a technique where two pieces of wood are cut together. This allows them to fit together perfectly without any gaps. The joints should be tight enough to prevent water from entering the wood. A table saw is a very useful tool for cutting joints. It has a wide range of applications, such as joining boards, trimming hedges, and creating decorative shapes.

How To Joint Boards With a Table Saw?

Tips for Accuracy

When cutting thin stock, it’s important to use a sharp blade. Dull blades can cause splintering and tear up the wood fibers. Use a new blade when making cuts in hardwood, because dull blades are less likely to hold an edge. When cutting plywood, always make sure that the surface being cut is flat against the fence. Otherwise, the board may not move properly during the cut. Use straightedge guides on the table saw. They help keep the workpiece square while you’re cutting.

Tips for Safety

Always wear safety goggles when using power tools. Make sure they stay put, because if they fall off, they could get into your eyes. Keep fingers away from moving parts. Also, never place anything near the teeth of the saw. Doing so can lead to serious injury. Never leave a powered tool unattended. Always unplug it before storing or cleaning it.

How to Join Wood With a Table Saw

Cutting joints with a circular saw is difficult because the depth of the cut isn’t uniform. For this reason, most people prefer to use a jigsaw instead. However, there are times when you need to use a circular saw for jointing. Here’s how to do it correctly.

What does a jointer do to wood?

A jointer smooths out the surfaces of boards by removing material at right angles to the grain. Jointers come in different sizes and power ratings. Some models have a fixed-position base; others have a sliding carriage. For most home projects, a jointer will be used to reduce the thickness of lumber, but some people also use them to create decorative effects.

The Best Wood Choices for Joining Boards

Always choose solid hardwoods for a project. Hardwood species include maple, oak, cherry, mahogany, and ash. These woods are durable and easy to find. Softwoods like pine and fir are less stable than hardwoods. They tend to warp and split more easily.

Your Table Saw Becomes a Jointer

If you don’t have access to a jointer, a table saw can serve as one. In fact, many professional carpenters use their table saws as jointers. The trick is to set the fence properly. First, adjust the fence so that its back edge is flush with the rear face of the blade guard. Then, position the rip fence so that it runs parallel to the side edges of the blade. Finally, lower the blade until it just touches the workpiece. Now you can run the workpiece through the saw.


Joinery is the art of fitting together two pieces of wood to form a single piece. There are several methods of doing this, including doweling, gluing, nailing, screwing, stapling, etc. Each method has advantages and disadvantages. For example, dowels are strong and versatile, but they require accurate measurement and alignment. Glue requires fewer steps than other methods, but it doesn’t provide much strength. Nails are fast and reliable, but they’re difficult to remove later. Screws offer both speed and strength, but they must be countersunk. Stapling is quick and simple, but it provides only limited strength.

Cutting Joints

​There are four basic types of joints: butt joints, scarf joints, miter joints, and half-lap joints. Butt joints connect two sides of a piece of wood, usually along a common edge. A butt joint looks like a V shape. It’s created by positioning a long, narrow strip of wood across the ends of the pieces, then driving nails all the way through the strips and into the pieces.

Butt Joints

Scarf joints connect the opposite faces of two pieces of wood. One end of each piece overlaps the other, creating a triangular gap between them. To make a scarf joint, first mark the centerline on the top surface of one board. Next, measure down 1/8 inch (3 mm) from the centerline and draw an arc centered over the line. Repeat these steps on the bottom of the board. Cut away the excess wood using a router or band saw.

Scarf Joints

Miter joints connect two pieces of wood at an angle. Miter cuts are often used to create decorative shapes such as picture frames and moldings. Miter joints look like 45 degree angles. You can achieve them with a miter saw, which cuts the angle automatically. Or you can do it yourself with a circular saw and a jig.

Miter Joints

Half-Lap joints connect two pieces of material along the same edge. Half-lap joints are similar in appearance to lap joints, except that there’s no overlap. Instead, the two pieces rest against each other. Use a table saw to make this type of joint, especially if you need to make multiple cuts.

How to Make a Joint

When cutting the joint, start with the most important part: the glue line. The best glue lines are smooth and straight, running perpendicular to the grain of the wood. If the glue line isn’t straight, you’ll probably notice it when you try to clamp the parts together.

The next step is to align the mating surfaces. Hold the pieces steady while marking the location for the screws. Drill pilot holes before inserting the screws. Counterbore the holes slightly, so that the heads of the screws sit proud of the surface.


What does a jointer do to wood?

A jointer flattens the face of the workpiece, making it easier to cut with a planer or thicknesser.

Why would I want a jointer?

If you’re planning to build a lot of furniture, a jointer will help reduce waste. Before joining the boards together, you might use a table saw to rough out the pieces. But once you have them joined, you won’t need to take off nearly as much material.

Do You Really Need A Jointer?

Joining two pieces of wood doesn’t require a jointer, but if you’re building a large number of items, it could save time and money.


You now know how to join two pieces of the wood board using different techniques. Try your hand at some of these projects, and see what kind of results you get!