I am thinking of building a bookcase. The plan has a solod hardwood
top. It has to be 13 1/2 inches wide. I have posted before about trying
to joint without a jointer. I have a 99 dollar ryobi router table that
is small and does not have a split fence. I fooled with it ahile back
tryign to put a shim on the outfeed side to sort of turn it into a
jointer but it seemed nothing worked. I can try some more but I am
wondering if a 39 inch lond board may be too long for it.
I have read something about clamping a straight edge to a table and
clamping the piece to be jointer on top of that and somehow "freehand"
routing the board with a straight bit. To be honest, I have never
"free hand" routed nd have only used a router in my table. Can someone
explain to an idiot like me how I can do this and get acceptable glue
ups? Can I use a metal straigth edge?
Or should I just go out and buy a jointer? Lowes has one and I got a 50
dollar coupon off in the mail yesterday. The one they have is a Delta.
It is on a stand. But to be honest, I am trying to save money. The
company I work for is not doing too good right now and I am a little
I appreciate you advice as always!
I agree - I'd recommend a used Stanley #5 jack plane and a 36-48"
straightedge to check your progress. (check ebay, local auction,
antique shop, etc. - just make sure there aren't any big cracks in the
steel bed/sole). Of course the longer jointer plane would be ideal,
but the jack is more versatile and not as heavy. If possible, a decent
block plane or #3 or 4 smoother would be a nice compliment and is nice
for smaller trimming and chamfering. To learn how to tune, set up, and
use hand planes, get a few books from your library or used from Amazon,
do several google searches, and search the archives here (go to
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.woodworking and use "search this
I've had good luck flattening boards for face jointing with a hand
plane, straightedge, elbow grease, and patience. I've also had fun
playing with the planes, both setting them up and figuring out how to
use them. If you can pony up the $150+ for a nice new one (LV/Veritas,
Lie-Nielsen, Steve Knight, etc.) they're amazingly nice and just about
ready to use out of the box, and still much cheaper than your power
jointer, but I've also had good luck with a $15 Stanley (+$30 LN
replacement blade). In fact, you might want a little plane to clean up
the machine marks left by a low-end jointer anyway.
Something to consider,
You need a (flush cutting) straight bit with a guide bearing. That is, the
bearing has the same diameter as the cutter. Ride the bearing along your
straight edge and your workpiece will exactly match your straight edge.
(Note: your "straight edge" doesn't have to be straight for this to work.)
To route the matching piece, clamp it opposite your workpiece, as if you
were about to mate the two boards together, but leave a gap a little less
than the diameter of your cutting bit. Route again, but keep the bearing on
your straight edge as before. When you're done the two boards should match.
A bump on one will have a mating trough on the other. You can even use this
technique to follow a grain pattern so your joint will be hidden better.
- Owen -
Imagine that you've got both of the workpieces to be joined butted up
against one another, as if they were already jointed. There are gaps;
that's why you want to joint them. Clamp them both down and clamp your
straightedge on one side of the joint so your router bit is in the middle of
the joint. Now make the cut from one end to the other. You'll be cutting
one board with one side of the bit, the other board with the opposite side
of the bit. The surfaces of both workpiece edges will now be one router bit
apart from each other, and every bump in one will be matched by a trough in
I was suggesting that you do essentially the same thing, but do the boards
one at a time, and start out with a bit of separation between them. No
point in wasting all that wood with such a heavy cut.
- Owen -
P.S. A handplane, particularly a jointer plane is a good tool for this job.
I didn't suggest it earlier because you mentioned that you don't have a lot
of experience with hand planes. Getting short boards to mate well with a
plane is easy, but a 39 incher would be more challenging. I suggest you get
some scraps and try all sorts of things. You've been given lots of
different suggestions. You can analyze this to death before getting your
hands dirty and you'll still be surprised by the outcome.
That's the advice I'd give. I would only add that your choice of what
to use as a "straight edge" deserves some thought. It needs to be
thick enough so that the pilot (bearing guide) has a decently broad
surface to ride on. A 48" sash cramp would be a pretty good choice.
But you can get more flexibilty from a straightedge which is
independently clamped to the board to be jointed rather than relying on
integral clamps. A long spirit level is very good AND has other uses
when you're not jointing.
Red Sox fan since 1955 - now considering options
Exactly *what* didn't work? Shimming? Getting a straight edge on the
"Fooling with" doesn't count as applied, intelligent thought.
Hard to say since you didn't give its size. Not likely though. Even
if the fence were too short you could always make a longer one. You
could make the top bigger too.
Yes, you read it here...numerous people explained how to do it. Why
not read it again? Oh, wait...you *can't* read it again because for
some unfathomable eason you insist on not archiving your posts.
1. Get something with a straight edge. It can be a board, metal,
plastic as long as you can clamp it down and it is wide and/or thick
enough to remain straight when you push on the side.
2. Clamp it to the board you want to work on. Clamp it at a distance
from the board's edge that will allow you to run the router's base
plate along it and have the bit take off sufficient material to make
the board's edge straight.
3. Run the router baseplate along the straight edge, moving the router
from left to right or - depending on how you are standing - away from
This is *not* "free hand" routing as the router is being guided and
the cut controled by the straight edge clamped to the board you are
A slightly easier way is to clamp the straight edge at the board's
edge and use a bit with a bearing...the bearing runs on the straight
edge and thereby guides the router. It's easier because you can
eyeball where to clamp the straight edge and not have to include an
offset for the baseplate.
Why are you requesting that your questions not be archived? Frankly,
if there is some reason you don't want this archived, I'm not sure I'd
want to provide a substantive answer and have it archived. You are the
only person I have seen do this. What is the issue?
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.
I don't think that's it. If you're in Google Groups, you can see a
history of his posts in a bunch of other newsgroups going back months.
And honestly, there's not a lot of privacy needed in rec.woodworking.
In some of the other groups, I can kinda see it, but really, if you're
THAT concerned with privacy, you shouldn't be posting things you don't
want known on the freakin' NEWSGROUPS.
Best advice you have gotten so far is to use a bearing-piloted bit in a
handheld router. The bit can be a "template" bit with the bearing on
top or a "laminate trimming" bit with the bearing on the bottom. You
just stack the workpiece with the material you use for a straightedge
accordingly and go. Make sure your straightedge piece is really clamped
at a right angle to the workpiece's ends, and the guide edge is just
shy of the workpiece's existing edge.
Certain cheap sheet goods, like tempered hardboard, make really good
straightedges for this purpose.
I would completely forget about using the cheap router table with the
one-piece fence for anything remotely like jointing.
The router, however, is probably the same as mine (Ryobi fixed-base 1
1/2 hp), and it's just fine for this kind of handheld, template-guided
Hope I helped.
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