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Discussion Starter #1
I have 16 pieces of walnut, approx 33 mm x 45 mm x 180 mm (1 1/2" x 2" x 7").

I want to glue them all together to make a 4 x 4 block. The sides are straight, but not parallel.

How do I achieve square sides on multiple small lengths of wood?

I dont have a table saw. I have a bandsaw which is not good enough for this work, and a mitre saw combi with a small table above the blade, but I am not convinced it will be accurate enough for gluing up.

Useful suggestions and opinions please.
 

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a sled on your TS after you parallel two sides
 

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A router jig perhaps? Something like using router skis for surface planing. If you made a small box that the workpiece can be wedged into, you can run the router on top of the box and mill the upper face of the workpiece parallel to the lower face.
 

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Or you could maybe consider truing things up after glue-up. If the sides are all straight, you should be able to glue up a row of 4 pieces. Then plane the faces flat, and glue the 1x4 blocks to make the 4x4 block. Finally flatten the other two sides and trim the ends square.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Stick.. line 4.... no table saw.

Andy, I've come to the same conclusion. I've glued them in 5's. and will then have to use the router sled to level off both sides. I'm going to lose a low of wood, but I dont think there is any other way.
Good job its only a blank for a box, I can scale the drawing down to fit what I have left (as long as its bigger than a matchbox. of course)
 

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a sled on your TS after you parallel two sides
Stick.. line 4.... no table saw.

Andy, I've come to the same conclusion. I've glued them in 5's. and will then have to use the router sled to level off both sides. I'm going to lose a low of wood, but I dont think there is any other way.
Good job its only a blank for a box, I can scale the drawing down to fit what I have left (as long as its bigger than a matchbox. of course)
Too early for Stick. >:)0:)
 

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Bob I think I would do several glue ups that will be wide enough to get pieces at least 4" wide. Make sure you keep one face flat then use router skis to flatten the other side of the pieces. Then glue all the pieces together to get your 4" measurement the other way. Then you can use the skis again to square the blank.
 

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...If I do this again I will need to invest in a table saw I think.
The table saw is the center of mine, and most shops. I'm pretty sure you can get Bosch's portable saw where you live. I think it (whatever the model number is in Europe) is the best choice for the money. Once you have a TS, you'll wish you'd had it much sooner. The table saw is about precision cutting, and many of your projects would be easier to produce with one. It also comes in a self contained shipping box so it will be easy to get on to the island.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Tom, when I talked about starting woodworking as a retirement hobby 3 years ago, my first thought was a table saw. But my workshop is tiny, only 16 ft x 10 ft. so it was lack of space that stopped me almost as much as cost.

I'm still playing, and finding new things to make, and a lot of the hobby for me is the problem solving of how to do stuff with what i have. But yes, since starting I have struggled with straight and square edges.

I have sold the last few items made, so i think its time to use the money to improve.
 

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Bob, You will enjoy having it. The one other thing I recommend is that you buy the $30 Wixey digital angle gauge. It allows you to set very precise angles. The new model uses conventional AAA batteries and has a backlit screen. I just replaced my older model with the new one.

Most Bosch tools I've bought arrivee in great alignment, but look on youtube for how to tune up a table saw anyhow. You want the miter slots, blade and fence in alignment. It doesn't take fancy instruments to do that. Also look up how to make a table saw sled. It will really serve you and doesn't cost much either and is much reliable than the miter guage that comes with the saw.

You can also just take the saw out of the shop and use it outdoors. It is also possible to use a table saw to do so some things a jointer does to give you flat and parallel surfaces.
 
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