router joining - At wits end

  • Advertise with us

« back to Joinery forum

Forum topic by Kiim posted 03-28-2016 10:03 AM 1241 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Kiim's profile


4 posts in 1032 days

03-28-2016 10:03 AM

I am at my wits end with router joining,

I can do ok getting short stock to work, but i am trying to do boards app 4 feet, and i always get a sort of tapered or rounded bow at the back end. I know that i am supposed to change where i place the pressure of my feed to the left of the bit on the fence. I DO NOT want to have to purchase a jointer.

what could possibly be causing this bowing or inconsistent jointing.. I have read and looked at what seems dozens of you tubes, written explanations,, and for a longer piece, I can’t seem to get it to properly make the strait line cut,,,

Any suggestions or solutions??

12 replies so far

View OSU55's profile


2035 posts in 2231 days

#1 posted 03-28-2016 11:38 AM

I went through similar issues jointing with a router. I added longer boards to the fence which helped. Never did get a completely satisfactory result with a router. The final resolution for me was to use a hand plane jointer. I didn’t and still don’t have room for a floor mount jointer (wont waste time on $ on a short bench style one – same problems as using a router). While not cheap, a #7 or equivalent doesn’t take much room. It takes some learning and practice, but works very well. I use hand planes to prep surfaces instead of sandpaper, as well as some other things, so the investment in sharpening necessities isn’t just for jointing.

View JoeinGa's profile


7740 posts in 2248 days

#2 posted 03-28-2016 12:47 PM

Maybe you could tape in a temporary thin spacer on the outfeed side of the router to support the gap-side as the piece is fed thru.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Underdog's profile


1250 posts in 2277 days

#3 posted 03-28-2016 12:57 PM

Depends on what you mean by “tapered” or “rounded”.

Are you talking about snipe? Or an actual taper?

Snipe, of course, is caused by the head (router bit) not being aligned with the outfeed bed (fence). As end of the jointed edge drops off the infeed bed, the gap between the too-high head and the outfeed bed closes up, creating the snipe. You know how to fix this.

Taper, or a bow is caused by the infeed and outfeed beds not being parallel. If not parallel one way, then it can cause the jointed edge to “cup” or “bow” causing a concave surface. If not parallel the other way it will cause the jointed edge to “taper” causing a convex surface. It always takes some visualization effort on my part to figure out which causes which….

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View bearkatwood's profile


1684 posts in 1253 days

#4 posted 03-28-2016 01:01 PM

Possible the wood is flexing.

-- Brian Noel

View generic's profile


105 posts in 1840 days

#5 posted 03-28-2016 05:21 PM

Before I got my jointer I had issues as well. Then I read an article that said to place the two boards to be jointed side by side with a gap slightly less that your router bit. Using a long straight edge (set up so the bit is taking just a bit off both boards as you move along) clamped to one of the boards, run the router along the straight edge. The idea is you face both edges at the same time with a fixed with bit so the two edges should fit together perfectly.

I hope my description makes sense…

View pintodeluxe's profile


5819 posts in 3054 days

#6 posted 03-28-2016 05:29 PM

Leave your boards extra long, and cut off the snipe after jointing.

Realize though, with a router table set up for jointing you are really not using the right tool for the job. An angle grinder can start a fire, but I’d rather use a match. I have a jointing option on my Bench Dog router table, but I don’t ever use it. If I had to true up some lumber without the use of a jointer, I would use a straight line ripping jig at the tablesaw (also called a tapering jig). Although it only works on edges, not faces of your lumber.

Good luck with your project.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View oldnovice's profile


7380 posts in 3609 days

#7 posted 03-28-2016 05:44 PM

I has similar issues and, since I don’t have a jointer, I was determined to solved this problem.

Looking at the router table as a jointer on it’s side:
  1. Make sure that both the infeed and out feed tables are coplaner (parallel) to each other and long enough on both sides of the cutter as this can lead to crowned/concave/taper cuts.
  2. Be extra precise when locating the outfeed fence with respect to the cutter edge.
    • Obviously if the outfeed fence is set too high the stock will stop at the outfeed fence because not enough stock has been removed.
    • If the outfeed fence is set too low you will get a curve or taper.

Finally, add a feather board to the to the outfeed side of the router table to keep the stock agains the fence.
The feather board needs to be very tight against the stock which will make it a little more difficult to push the stock.

Not knowing your exact setup I am not positive this will solve your problem but it did work in my case.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View conifur's profile


955 posts in 1393 days

#8 posted 03-28-2016 05:47 PM

Are you shimming out your outfeed side of your fence to make up the difference of your cut? If not you are doomed to have those boards come out like there are everytime. Check these out.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View shipwright's profile


8188 posts in 3039 days

#9 posted 03-28-2016 11:10 PM

Adjusting router table fences to get them perfect for jointing is why people buy jointers.
I think you might be better off with a larger version of this very effective jig. As long as you make it straight and stiff enough it will work every time.
The same principle works for a shop made track saw that is dead accurate for far less than the cost of buying one.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View robscastle's profile


5633 posts in 2445 days

#10 posted 04-09-2016 09:36 PM

spam comes to mind

-- Regards Rob

View Kiim's profile


4 posts in 1032 days

#11 posted 04-12-2016 01:01 AM

thanks for all the notes and suggestions,,,,i have tried to work off some of the ideas, but on longer boards, a jointer may be required..

off to crags list, i suppose

View mummykicks's profile


109 posts in 2043 days

#12 posted 04-12-2016 07:14 PM

You could try using microjig’s Gripper. I haven’t tried it with mine yet, but since you can keep the gripper against the fence past the cut your part won’t move relative to the fence.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics