Router table fences - offset capability

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by richgreer posted 11-09-2011 06:57 PM 6009 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3274 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

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3382 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.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6301 posts in 3394 days

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


-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View pmayer's profile


1032 posts in 3265 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,

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3209 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


1124 posts in 3494 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.


View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3335 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.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3274 days

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


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


1880 posts in 3760 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

View pintodeluxe's profile


5798 posts in 3013 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


7836 posts in 3503 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


117328 posts in 3776 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.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2892 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

View mveach's profile


56 posts in 2582 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


184 posts in 2708 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

View bluekingfisher's profile


1302 posts in 3179 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

showing 1 through 15 of 18 replies

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