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Can you joint edges with a router without a router table?

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Forum topic by Chris_T posted 10-03-2010 02:40 AM 9265 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Chris_T

94 posts in 2262 days


10-03-2010 02:40 AM

I’m 16 years old and just started woodworking and need to joint the edge of some boards. Is it possible to joint edges with a router without a router table? If so how do you do it? A straight piece of wood as a guide and take a 1/16 off at a time? If it’s not possible how can I do it?


13 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8263 posts in 2896 days


#1 posted 10-03-2010 03:19 AM

You are on the right track, Chris.
I’d get a piece of MDF, insuring it’s got a perfectly straight edge, clamp it under your work piece and use the largest diameter flush trim bit you can find.
I have a 3/4” X 1 1/2 long pattern bit (bearing on top vs bottom for flush trim) that would do the job. Of course, then the MDF would be on top.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View swirt's profile

swirt

2118 posts in 2440 days


#2 posted 10-03-2010 03:41 AM

Gene’s suggestion is good. The only way to make it better would be to add a longer base to your router so you can be sure it is fully registered against the face of the board.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

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mcase

446 posts in 2597 days


#3 posted 10-03-2010 03:50 AM

Please be very careful Chris!

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Chris_T

94 posts in 2262 days


#4 posted 10-03-2010 03:51 AM

Does the router sit on top of the guide or does the base of the router base ride along the guide or does it depend on the bit? I’m guessing with a top bearing flush trim bit the router sits on top of the guide. With a bottom bearing bit I’m guessing the base of the router rides along the guide or do you clamp the guide to the bottom and let the bearing ride on it? Don’t worry mcase I’m always careful. I was in shop class for two years and have built several things. I know how to use equipment and do everything as safe as possible.

View KnotWright's profile

KnotWright

252 posts in 2956 days


#5 posted 10-03-2010 04:41 AM

Chris, you are correct about the router bits. Depending on how thick of a piece of wood you are trying to joint, you might have to do it in two passed. I suggest a top mounted bearing bit, that way you don’t have to worry about chips falling into your operation. Make sure you keep your shirt tail tucked in ( I know from experience, sometimes you forget that, its amazing what a router can do to a good shirt)

You can either use a piece of 1/2 – 3/4 inch MDF plywood, or they make some inexpensive aluminum straight edges that work fairly well also.

Make sure you use good clamps to hold the guide piece of material onto the workpiece.

Oh yeah welcome to Lumberjocks, its a great place for good information!

James

-- James

View newbiewoodworker's profile

newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2295 days


#6 posted 10-03-2010 07:42 AM

Chris: I say this in a reserved manor: Please have someone show you, before doing anything. I personally learned on my own, but I have came down to just Irish Luck on somethings that have happened. I have had Circular Saws kick back on me, bandsaws flip pieces at me, sanders wind up my pant leg… Those can be midigated by having someone show you proper technique; Try your HS shop teacher…

I know people who have reshaped their fingers with a router, doing what you are trying to do, when it slipped…

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View KnickKnack's profile

KnickKnack

1062 posts in 3034 days


#7 posted 10-03-2010 08:51 AM

Inexperienced LJ advice here…

I’m in the same situation – no router table, jointer etc.
The technique I use is to securely clamp a straight edge (I have 1 yard metal, or a longer piece of straight MDF when required) onto the top of the board, and run the router along against that edge. This only works if the board is perfectly flat. I’ve tried both methods and I prefer this method to the flush trim bit version. If I’m taking off a fair amount then I run right to left to start with – carefully – letting the router bit “ride” on the wood taking off only a little per pass.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8263 posts in 2896 days


#8 posted 10-03-2010 04:22 PM

Chris,

If you use a bearing guided bit, bearing on top (pattern bit) or at the bottom (flush trim bit), the router base would move on the MDF for the flush bit, and on the work for the pattern bit.

If you use a straight bit with no bearing, you’d need to use the method described by KnickKnack.

Here is a technique with a picture using a flush trim bit. Using a piece of MDF would eliminate the need for the aluminum angle they use. Of course, If this is going to be used more than a few times, constructing their jig might be advisable.

No matter how you do it, work safe!! No loose clothing, no jewelry, and always do a dry run to make sure everything will work as you want it to.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2581 posts in 2429 days


#9 posted 10-03-2010 08:34 PM

Go to a cabinet shop and get a laminate (Formica) sink cutout. I have three that are going to be a router table, drill press table and a bench grinder table. More than likely will be free as all they do is toss them.

View Chris_T's profile

Chris_T

94 posts in 2262 days


#10 posted 10-03-2010 11:42 PM

I tried it today and it worked great. Thanks everyone for the advice.

View newbiewoodworker's profile

newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2295 days


#11 posted 10-03-2010 11:49 PM

Can you still count to 10…? 9 atleast….?

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8263 posts in 2896 days


#12 posted 10-04-2010 01:41 AM

“I tried it today and it worked great. Thanks everyone for the advice.”

Which method did you use?

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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Chris_T

94 posts in 2262 days


#13 posted 10-04-2010 02:08 AM

Top bearing bit with the router on top of the mdf guide so the bearing rides on it.

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