How to Get a Straight Edge on a 2×4 Piece of Wood

October 1, 2020

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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A couple weeks ago, I shared another awesome furniture build. This one was a Restoration Hardware Dupe. In that post, I encouraged you to get rid of the manufactured edge of all of your boards, by ripping them down to a different width and making them a straight edge.

Today, I wanted to share what exactly I meant by that. When building furniture, I like to have all of my edges cut straight and not curved. But when purchasing wood at the lumber yard, it comes with a manufactured edge. So, how do you get a straight edge on a 2x piece of wood? Let’s look first at what a board straight from Home Depot (or whatever your big box store of choice is) looks like….

lumber on a cart at home depot

Now let’s look at a furniture piece I built with manufactured edges. (You can find the link to how to build these outdoor chairs here)….

2 outdoor wooden chairs without a straight edge

And a look at a furniture piece without the manufactured edge….  (Get the Plans to build this Pottery Barn Brooks Dining Table Dupe here).

furniture piece with a straight edge

Can you see the difference? Ok, so let me show you how easy it is to do this….



Wood and a Table Saw….I did some searching and this is a really good deal on a table saw, if you’re just getting started in woodworking. I love that it comes with a stand, most table saws don’t. A stand will save your back and make it easier to move your saw around. I also feel that they make your table saw safer, since you’re not leaning over the saw on the ground. (Home Depot Affiliate Link Included)

STEP ONE: Determine the width you want your board to be.

A 2×4 actually measures 1.5 inches thick and 3.5 inches wide. So for this example, let’s say we want our boards to be 3 inches.

STEP TWO: Set your table saw

Set your table saw to 3.25 inches and pass one side of your board through. (Always be sure to use safety glasses and a push stick)

Cutting a straight edge with a table saw

STEP THREE: Set your table saw again

Set your table saw again, but this time at 3 inches. Pass the other side of your board through. You now have a 3 inch wide board.

How easy is that??

Hope you found this post to be helpful! As always, don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have.


Until next time,

Happy Building, Friend!!

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More Woodworking Tips:

How to Seal Pine Sap on Furniture

How to Use a Kreg Jig-A Beginner’s Guide

The Easiest Way to Figure Out an Angle






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