Problem: Jointing with router

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Forum topic by Zuki posted 07-30-2007 11:52 PM 10868 views 2 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 5291 days

07-30-2007 11:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointing router

This is the first time that I have attempted jointing. I do not have a jointer, but instead have a table mounted router.

This is where I found the information on how to joint with a router

I added 1/16” to the left side of the fence. I tried this on a couple of boards (8” wide, 8” long, 13/16 thick) and sure enough, after a couple of passes the edge of the board was at a 90 degree to the face and smooth as a baby’s bottom.

After doing a couple of boards I decided to put 2 jointed edges together. Well much to my surprise there was a slight crown (bow) in the center of the 8’ boards along the joint that would not allow them to fit together flush the full length.

Other points:
- When selecting the edge of the board to joint I selected the crown (bow) to run along the fence and thereby be nibbled off by the router. Should I have placed the concave side against the fence?
- I will not be using the full 8 ft piece in my construction. I will need pieces 32” long.
- The fence is about 22” long

What did I do wrong??

-- BLOG -

9 replies so far

View coloradoclimber's profile


548 posts in 5282 days

#1 posted 07-31-2007 12:13 AM

I’d suggest a couple of things.

Number 1: Only joint / plane the length you need (plus a couple inches for cleanup on the ends).

If you have an 8 foot board with a 1/2 inch bow in the middle you have to joint out a 1/2 inch of material to get a straight edge. If you take that same 8 foot board and cut it into 4 2 foot pieces the 1/2 inch of bow is going to be distributed (probably not evenly) across the 4 boards. But for this discussion let’s say the 1/2 inch gets evenly distributed over the 4 2 foot boards so now you only have to joint out 1/4 of the 1/2 inch of bow or about 1/8 of an inch of material per board. The result is you would end up with 4 2 foot pieces that are 7 and 7/8 ‘ish wide instead of 1 8 foot board that is 7 and 1/2 ‘ish inches wide. Then you’ll end up ripping the other half of the bow off at the table saw so double those waste numbers.

Number 2: You are limited in the length of board you can joint by the length of your jointer table, or in the case of a router jointer the length of the router fence. I’ve heard rules of thumb that say you can go as much as two foot longer than your jointer bed. Otherwise as you are jointing the curved (bowed) board “falls off” the end of the jointer and you’re no longer supporting the jointed edge on the flat reference surface. I’ve never really tested this. My jointer bed is 66” long and I’ve never needed to joint anything longer than that yet.

So both of these recommendations boil down to – joint shorter boards.

As for crown up or down I joint concave face against the jointer bed, frown instead of smile.

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4074 posts in 5278 days

#2 posted 07-31-2007 01:41 AM


If you have a table saw, you can edge joint with one of these. Or you can make one with two De-Sta-Co clamps, (Lee A. Jesberger LJ member shows one in action on his eeze-feed website).

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 5211 days

#3 posted 07-31-2007 01:57 AM

Along with what’s stated above (use shorter lengths, etc), be mindful to keep the stock against the outfeed fence once you have fed the first 6-12” pf the board through the bit. That’s the reference you want to stick with for the remainder of the cut…

You’ll want to push the rest of the piece from the end of the board; don’t apply pressure toward the fence on the infeed side once you establish a flat reference on the front of the board. Otherwise, you risk taking too much material out of the center.

Now, that said, if all you have is a 64th or so of a gap, I believe you could call that a “spring joint,” which many people do purposefully to bring the joint together in way to ward off future separation of the edge joint at the ends of the boards (where it most often and is most likely to occur).

Let us know how you fare with shorter sections! And hey – weren’t you supposed to let this wood sit for THREE WEEKS! Ha.

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 5291 days

#4 posted 07-31-2007 02:08 AM

Shorter boards. Hmmmm. That may just work. Excellent.

Applying pressure on outfeed and not on infeed . . . gotcha.

I was not doing either.

I now hang my head in shame . . . yea I was supposed to wait three weeks. But I just had to try something. It was driving me crazy just looking at the stickered wood.

Cant hide nuthin here :-)

I’ll let you know.

-- BLOG -

View Hawgnutz's profile


526 posts in 5290 days

#5 posted 07-31-2007 06:33 AM

One more thing. Make sure your fence is 90 degrees from your table and press the side of the board against the fence.
Good Luck,
God Bless,

-- Saving barnwood from the scrapyards

View edp's profile


109 posts in 5174 days

#6 posted 07-31-2007 10:52 AM

Hey Zuki, that bow is going to give you a fit. This would be my process if I absolutely must joint (which I do not). Cut the boards to length + 3 or 4 inches. Identify the side with the concave bow and attach a straight section of plywood on top of the board keeping it flush with the bowed board on each end. Attach with a screw on each end. The plywood now becomes the straight edge that will ride along your rip fence on the table saw. Set the fence and cut the convex side to get a straight line. Remove the shooting board (plywood) and cut the remaining side and you have a nice straight paralell board.

It is also important to understand that the purpose of the spacer on the outfeed side of your fence is to simulate the wood that WAS there so that your board is travelling in a straight line while being cut. Make sure that your spacer mimics exactly the amount you are removing.


-- Come on in, the beer is cold and the wood is dry.

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 5525 days

#7 posted 07-31-2007 01:52 PM

With bowed wood, you may want to make yourself a sled(tapering jig) that will allow you to cut the bow out with the table saw, then use your router to finish jointing the board. Depending on the amount of bow the time you will save will be great.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Karson's profile


35278 posts in 5614 days

#8 posted 07-31-2007 02:54 PM

I realize that you are not asking for more tools but I have a jointability I bought it from the inventor and he later sold out to HAWK. But it would not be hard to make something like this. It uses a 2” square tube at the top and Melamine as the cut line surface. There is also some supporting metal at the bottom but it could be made to use a bench or sawhorses as your base. Woodshopdemos also had a demo on using the Jointability.

You cut one board on the left side of the tube and the other board on the right of the tube so that if there is any curve in the tube they are canceled out in both cuts.

They also have a jig which clamps on your Skill Saw to cut off the ragged edges of a board. You set it to leave about 1/8” and then trim that off with the router.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View jsheaney's profile


141 posts in 5202 days

#9 posted 07-31-2007 04:42 PM

That “jointability” guide looks convenient for the router. I use an All-in-one edge clamp guide on the tablesaw. I put the clamp on one side, just slightly overhanging the edge opposite to the one I want to clean up. Then I run the edge clamp on the fence.

It also works really well when cutting large panels that are too wide for my tablesaw. I put the edge clamp underneath the workpiece and run the edge clamp along the right side of my tablesaw.

I had to customize the clamp, though. There’s a plastic tab that sticks out both sides where the tail clamp face is. I cut one of the tabs off to give an unobstructed edge.

-- Disappointment is an empty box full of expectation.

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