Sometimes you have a great piece of wood that has a natural edge, a bit of crook, or you want to put a taper on a board. There are a
couple of ways to get a clean, straight edge on a board. The quickest is, of course, on a jointer. You can also use a router table. But you can also do it with a hand router and a straight edge guide, just like cutting with a circular saw. In fact there are times when the combination of circular saw and router is the quickest and most flexible solution. So, here it is, how to joint a board with a router.
When I built the straight edge guide for my circular saw, I left the panel on the other side of the straight edge, so I could use it with my router. Now I need to “tune” the guide.
When you use the guide, you need to use the same router, and router bit, every time you use it. To tune it, clamp the guide to a bench with the waste side out. Power up the router and run it down the guide from left to right. Grab a piece of sand paper and clean up any splinters. Congratulations! You now have a jointing guide.
To use the guide, lay out your cut line. Clamp the edge of the guide to the line. Now you can run the router along the guide, again from left to right.
Now you have an edge that can be used in a panel glue up, or used as the jointed edge for getting a parallel cut on a table saw. In my case, I have a jig that works with two power tools. Make sure to write on the side of the jig, which router bit (and router) you used, since it won’t work with any other set up.
TIP: Make sure there are no chips or debris on the guide, any “bumps” will show up on your board.
Having all the big tools, is great, but not necessary to get started in woodworking. This is another example of how you can get started, and build a quality project, with a little thought, and basic tools.
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