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Router table fences - offset capability

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Forum topic by richgreer posted 11-09-2011 06:57 PM 4694 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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richgreer

4541 posts in 2535 days


11-09-2011 06:57 PM

I just read a very well written and comprehensive review of Woodpecker’s Wonder Fence in the Review section.

A key feature of this fence and several other high end router fences is it’s offset capability. With this feature, a router can be used as a jointer to clean up the edges of boards.

I have 2 router fences with that capability and I find that it is a feature I never use. I find it much easier to use my jointer which is always set up and ready to go.

I’m curious about other people’s opinion on this. Does anyone use a router table as a jointer to clean up the edges of boards? If so, is it because you don’t have a jointer? Does anyone have a jointer, but prefers to do this task on their router table?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.


18 replies so far

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RetiredCoastie

999 posts in 2644 days


#1 posted 11-09-2011 07:14 PM

I’ve used my router and my table-saw to joint wood. I had a jointer but found it’s foot print in the shop to be a waste of space because I didn’t really use it as often as I had thought so I sold it and freed up the space and I don’t regret it one bit. I usually will cut pieces to rough length and then joint on the table-saw or router. Now that I have my router table built with the Incra wounder fence I find it very easy to use. If your building a project that requires long stock then a jointer would be helpful but not absolutely essential.

-- www.thepatriotwoodworker.com Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

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Rick Dennington

5173 posts in 2655 days


#2 posted 11-09-2011 07:22 PM

No…...!!!!

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

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pmayer

864 posts in 2526 days


#3 posted 11-09-2011 07:34 PM

I used to use my router table as a jointer until I bought a jointer. Now I haven’t done so in over a decade.

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

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live4ever

983 posts in 2471 days


#4 posted 11-09-2011 07:48 PM

Yes, I use this feature on my Incra system all the time, for two reasons:

1) Edge-jointing smaller/thinner stock I wouldn’t dare run over the jointer. A good plane would handle this but my handtool skills are lame.

2) My jointer has never been quite right and I don’t trust it.

Granted #2 is specific to my jointer and my inability to troubleshoot it, but #1 would still be a reason I’d use the offset even if I felt good about my jointer. It’s not a feature I got the Incra setup for, but it has been an easy-to-use feature on the Wonderfence I’m glad is there.

I should add that before I had the Incra setup, I was using shims behind the outfeed side of my shopmade split fence.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View SteveMI's profile

SteveMI

954 posts in 2755 days


#5 posted 11-09-2011 07:59 PM

I think there is a place for both. Any surface more than 2” shouldn’t use the router in my mind.

Like live4ever, I work with some smaller/narrower/shorter/thinner parts that would be too dangerous on a jointer. My router jointer is shop made and just a melamine fence cover with thin veneer on the outfeed side. I line the router bit with the veneer side.

Steve.

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GregD

783 posts in 2597 days


#6 posted 11-09-2011 08:05 PM

I am getting geared up to start edge jointing on my router table. I think I will use it in 3 situations:

1. Small/thin stock just like live4ever.
2. Plywood and mdf – not good for steel knives.
3. Using this bit for raised panel glue-ups

-- Greg D.

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2535 days


#7 posted 11-09-2011 09:44 PM

GregD-

That’s an interesting bit – but would you need an offset to use it?

Speaking for myself – - I really dislike working with small, thin pieces of wood and avoid it whenever I can. Hence, I have not had a need to use my router to do joining work.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View ajosephg's profile

ajosephg

1878 posts in 3022 days


#8 posted 11-09-2011 09:49 PM

If I were to do it, I would shim out the the second half of the router (Rockler) fence. Certainly wouldn’t pay more to get a fence with a built in capability.

-- Joe

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pintodeluxe

4853 posts in 2274 days


#9 posted 11-09-2011 09:51 PM

I forgot my router even had that feature. I think the larger diameter cutter on the jointer makes a better cut. I do most of my finish jointing on the tablesaw (once stock is S4S).

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

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7796 posts in 2764 days


#10 posted 11-09-2011 10:21 PM

i think its pretty cool to be able to use your router for so many functions..when i first started wood working i of coarse didnt know the capability of my router and learning to be able to do so many funtions was really fun and so even though i have many tools for certain dedicated functions, its good to know that the router can be used if one of your tools goes out or breaks down…yep…there is a lot to learn in using the router, the more you learn about it the better…you never know when you might need it…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3038 days


#11 posted 11-09-2011 10:31 PM

I’ve used a router to joint on, it’s a simple mater of using a shim as Joe stated. If your going to use your router all the time to joint with it might be worth the investment of a fence that has a off set capability but a shop made one can be made also.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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devann

2200 posts in 2153 days


#12 posted 11-10-2011 04:00 AM

I’ve been doing it with a router because I don’t have room for a jointer Rich. I use ether a straight cut bit, ether 3/4” or a 2” depending on thickness of stock. Both 1/2” shaft. To set fence for my cut, I loosen the left (outfeed) side of the fence. Take a pair of small washers placed vertically against the right side (infeed) fence and place a steel straight edge across them and align the left fence to the straight edge. Next align straight edge to router bit.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

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mveach

56 posts in 1844 days


#13 posted 11-17-2011 07:54 AM

I have a home built table and fence. I use the back side of the fence as a joiner, I just ripped the in feed side 1/32 narrower than the out feed.

View usnret's profile

usnret

184 posts in 1969 days


#14 posted 11-17-2011 08:32 AM

I use my jointer for larger boards. I use my Incra fence on the router table for jointing small pieces that would be unsafe on the jointer.

-- Chief Petty Officer USN(RET) 1991-2011

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bluekingfisher

1246 posts in 2441 days


#15 posted 11-17-2011 03:09 PM

I would think the ofset fence is handy for preventing snipa at the end of a cut, particularly on small or narrow boards which are difficult to handle.

I personally wouldn’t use it to edge joint boards, not unless I was in the middle of a job and the jointer packed up.

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

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