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Jointer Alternative

Can't afford a jointer yet? Here's one great alternative.

Jointer Alternative

Jointer Alternative

If you buy lumber pre-planed to thickness, your craving for a jointer probably pops up only when it comes time to edge joint boards. Here s a method for making perfect edge joints with a router and 1/2" straight or downcut spiral router bit.

(Note: The router bit is cutting in both directions at the same time, making it grabby during this operation. Proceed with caution and remove as little material as possible on the climb-cutting side.)

Clamp the boards you want to join to the jaws of a clamping workstation (such as a Workmate), leaving 1/4" or so of the workpieces overhanging the jaw opening. Close the jaws until the boards are edge to edge, and make witness marks across the joint. The straightedge is set to remove less than 1/32" from the right-hand board.

Open the jaws of the workstation so that the gap between the workpieces is parallel and 7/16" wide. Rout the mating edges of both pieces with one pass of your router, guiding it along the straightedge. Both sides of the cut will match as long as you align your witness marks when gluing up the assembly.


Comments (5)
ssayott wrote:

If you are going to use a router to joint the edge of boards get a router table and do it 1 board at a time. My instinctive reaction when I read this was 'danger Will Robinson'.

7/8/2014 08:59:11 AM Report Abuse
haumann58422 wrote:

There is no more danger involved here than might be with any other router operation. Face-to-face won't work -- any imperfection would be compounded when go edge to edge. What it does is ensure that any imperfection on one edge has a mating imperfection at the corresponding location on the other edge. Think about how perfectly two mating pieces of a jigsaw puzzle fit together without there being a perfectly straight edge between the two pieces.

6/15/2014 10:56:53 PM Report Abuse
sjspieth04 wrote:

Why not flip the boards face to face then route both edges in a single pass and in one direction? When you book open the boards you'd still end up with a perfect joint - and you'd avoid the danger of the two-direction cut. Sloppy to suggest something this dangerous - some novice is going to lose a finger.

6/12/2014 01:49:30 PM Report Abuse
haumann58422 wrote:

No, not to create the slot; there is no slot created. The Workmate allows the work pieces to be secured and positioned so a single router pass simultaneous shaves each edge. This technique has been around since the invention of the powered router. The Workmate kind of table just makes the initial set-up of the work pieces much easier.

6/12/2014 11:56:28 AM Report Abuse
chjensen4039457 wrote:

That is not only a lousy solution (using a Workmate to create the slot - really?) - it is also a pretty dangerous one

6/12/2014 10:26:44 AM Report Abuse

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