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Router as jointer

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just can't decide
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not an ideal machine but supose it's for light duties....?
most people would have a fence that adjusts individually either side of the router bit...I know mine does....
 

Rorton

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I use 1 or 2 strips of blue masking tape to shim my fence out - I have a 60mm straight bit I use in the router, and then line up the shimmed fence with the bit - works ok, does get some snipe though
 

islayhawk

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I had looked at a couple of options for a jointer. One being using the router table and the other was using my electric hand planer in a homemade jig. Maximum thicknes of wood will be 18mm for making mybbeehives.
 

RobinBHM

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I had looked at a couple of options for a jointer. One being using the router table and the other was using my electric hand planer in a homemade jig. Maximum thicknes of wood will be 18mm for making mybbeehives.
if you are starting from sawn timber or wanting a dead straight planed edge for gluing, I would use a router with a straight bit and bearing like the disposable tip ones from wealden and run it against a straight piece of mdf or plywood.
 

Ollie78

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As thick as you want to take off per pass but I wouldn`t do more than about 0.5mm , I have done this before in an emergency on occasion.
It works best with a long fence so might be worth making an mdf extension or something dependng on your fence type. A spiral bit is best if you have one.

RobinBHM`s suggestion is good, especially if you want to remove a lot of material.

Ollie
 

GarF

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If it's for smallish slats it might be practical to rout or build up an appropriate sized stopped groove in a base and use a hand plane? Probably fairly quick and easier than managing small stock on the router table.
 

Eric The Viking

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I used to do this, before I got a planer/thicknesser. Here are a few thoughts, in no special order:
  • You can do up to 75mm height of stock in one pass. Well, that's the tallest 1/2" cutter I could find from Wealden. Their straight cutters are really good quality and the long one I have kept as it's good for many other tasks and has the third carbide edge they fit for plunge-cutting. IIRC it wasn't especially expensive.
  • I don't think it matters that you use a 1/2" diameter cutter, rather than something wider: In theory the bigger the "cutter block" the beter, but you need to move the stock slowly anyway, and the effect is that the cutter marks end up very close together. I found only light sanding was necesary to finish.
  • You need absolute bang-on squareness between router spindle and table, and table to fence.
    There is a way to check/set this without going insane: I spent literally only a few quid buying 1/4" and 1/2" diameter lengths of ground silver steel bar (intended for machining your own lathe tools I think): these will fit the router collets, and are longer than any cutter, and you can set an engineer's square against them, or vernier calipers, without fear of damaging anything. When satisfied, fit the cutter instead. I use the same pieces for alignment on the drill press sometimes, too. If it's not square to the table there are two possible reasons: (a) the router shaft is bent (so it's scrap!), or the baseplate isn't square to the router shaft. Check by rotating the collet slowly - if the un-squareness changes it may be shaft or collet (bad news probably). IF the offset stays the same, you can shim the router baseplate. I usually use aluminium baking foil in small pieces, because you can fold it and so on, to get close to what you need. Obviously the router's mounting plate needs to be level with the table top too.
  • Take shallow passes! In part this is because the router simply doesn't have the power, and certainly not the inertia of a planer block. You will also get less tearout. A planer block is held by bearings at each end, but a router cutter only on one end: there is the possibility of a deep cut or too-fast feed causing vibration, giving unevenness and tearout (at the top end especially). Someone else said max of 0.5mm: I agree and found that sensible myself when I did this regularly.
  • Treat the setup like a planer: What I mean is this: there is no magic in straightening your stock: if it is concave, address the ends first, working back to the centre. If you are doing the convex side, work the centre first. And have regard to the way the grain runs, too, just as if you were doing it by hand.
  • Fence setup: I bought an Axminster metal straight edge, because (a) it was thick enough to have a decent amount to bear the surface against, and (b) it was actually straight (two from Rutlands went back, in the end for a refund, as they impersonated bananas!). You need a long straight edge (mine is 600mm), as you must check for parallelism of both infeed and outfeed with each other. My table fence is rather crude (shop bought but crude), so I use shims - usually business card thickness, to set the offset.
    Straightedges are only supposed to have known-good narrow surfaces, but if the wide surfaces are also straight, you have a winner! Free-off the fence adjustments, and clamp the straightedge across both (gently!). That means your two fences are exactly parallel and coplanar. If you now fit the 1/2" bar instead of a cutter, and slide the fence assembly back until that bar too touches the straightedge, you have all three perfectly in line. Obviously this cannot cut like a planer, so to get the offset for the infeed, simply loosen those clamps, add a couple of business cards between fence and straightedge (or four cards, if you are feeling brave!), gently re-clamp, and tighten down your infeed and outfeed fences. You're all set!
    I prefer to set back the infeed, rather than have some sort of auxiliary fence on the outfeed, as that way I can be sure of the outfeed when I put pressure on it during machining. Obviously you can do this with any known-good straightedge - a spirit level might be suitable, for example.
    Regarding the gap between the fences, I would go as close to the cutter as possible on the infeed side to minimise tearing - it's not as important on the outfeed side.
  • If you get snipe, there is only one reason: the two fences, infeed and outfeed, are NOT in parallel alignment. Check your straightedge, and the thickness of whatever you are using to shim with. I found it best to run through the alignment again, rather than try to correct something that wasn't right.
Hope that helps, E.
 

Pete Maddex

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It takes me seconds to get out a plane a flatten an edge, to get a router table set up to plane an edge straight will take a long time.
What lenghts are you plaining?

Pete
 

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