A Jig for Ripping Crooked Lumber

A strip of plywood, some blocks, and a table saw will help you salvage crooked framing lumber by safely ripping a straight edge 

December 05, 2018

Cutting a straight line on a crooked board can be difficult and dangerous if you attempt to do it freehand [1]. Using a jig is not only safer, it does a better job. Here’s how to build it.

Find a scrap of plywood with a factory edge and rip it about 5 inches wide. Fasten a backing block to the end [2], then screw a push board into it [3], forming the business end of the jig.

Screw small blocks into the straightedge at each end, spaced to approximately match the length of the crooked wood [4]. Attach a second block on top of the first to hold down the workpiece [5] while you move it through the table saw [6]

With a straight edge established, you can remove the jig, flip the lumber over so the straightened edge runs against the fence, and rip it to the width you need. 

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About the Author

About the Author

Matt Jackson is a master carpenter who lives and works in Rapid City, S.D. He is a contributing editor to ProTradeCraft.com, where a version of this article first appeared.



With all due respect, being a contractor in the Denver area for the past 40 years, it is not efficient for a $35.00 per hour carpenter to set up a table saw to straighten a $3.00 board. And those crooked studs can be used for many other purposes when framing a house. Not to mention the fact that I've not seen a table saw on site when framing is going on in 40 years.

Are you really paying framing carpenters $35.00 per hour or does that include some of their overhead cost?

Master Carpenters don’t frame houses anymore they have moved on from that !
Now , In remodeling work I see and use a table saw nearly everyday and may find an instance to straighten a $3.00 board if I’m down to getting supply from my scrap pile, I’ve done it!

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