A simple shop-made fence can turn your router table into a jointer that works great for cleaning up edges.
By George Vondriska
Nothing beats a jointer for making edges smooth, straight and square. But a simple
shop-made fence can turn your router table into a jointer that works great for cleaning
up edges. Even if you own a jointer, you'll find the router table setup handy for
jointing manmade materials, which can quickly dull steel knives on a jointer. I
also prefer the router table for edge jointing small pieces.
The key to making the fence is in creating an offset between the infeed and outfeed
sides. I do this by building the fence out of melamine, then adding a piece of plastic
laminate only to the outfeed side, Photo 1.
The next step is installing a router bit. Any straight bit will work, but it's easier
to align the fence if you use a flush trim bit, Photo 2.
With the flush trim bit installed, clamp one end of the fence in place. Pivot the
other end until the outfeed (laminated) face aligns with the ball bearing on the
bit, Photo 3. Clamp the second end in place.
Make a test cut to check the fence, Photo 4. If the wood goes past the bit but bumps
into the edge of the laminate, the fence is too far forward and you're not taking
enough wood off. If the wood goes past the bit and laminate but "snipes" or overcuts
at the trailing end, the fence is too far back and you're taking off too much wood.
Loosen one end of the fence and pivot it in small increments to make changes.
Once the fence is correctly set, you'll be able to joint a silky smooth and dead-straight edge.