I used to be afraid of
scarfing. What I did to fix that was to build a simple
jig out of scrap wood so that I could clamp a stringer
in the jig and run the circular saw against one side of
the jig. Not knowing what was best, I made it for a 7:1
scarf. The result was a perfect scarf angle every time.
No sanding required - just enough to break the glaze
left by the saw - and the joint would always fit
exactly. Then to test if it worked, I clamped and glued
half a dozen scarfs up to make a single long stringer
about 20 feet long.
( Be sure to lock the
scarfs prior to gluing with a couple of finish nails or
the joint will slide)
Figured I'd use the long
stringer as a batten for drawing long smooth curves.
Flexing it to draw curves would give a chance to see how
it stood up to stress and whether the glue joints took
the same bend as the were the same. To my surprise, it
performed as though it was one piece of wood. It's still
fine and been over 20 years now....and there are far
better glues today. This one is stored across the
rafters of my workshop.