Straighten a Board with a Router

Guess what—you can joint board edges for fine furniture projects without spending a mint on a stationary jointer.

The Family Handyman

Guess what—you can joint board edges for fine furniture projects without spending a mint on a stationary jointer. All you need is a factory-edge cutting guide from a piece of plywood and a router outfitted with a 1/2-in. shank pattern-cutting bit. You can make a wavy edge of a board straight and ready for gluing in minutes. We used the larger Oldham Viper pattern-cutting bit that has a 1-1/8 in. cutting diameter and a 1-1/2 in. depth of cut, but any larger diameter bit coupled with a 1/2-in. shank ensures a very smooth cut. (You can get the bit at home centers. Here’s how to make it work!

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1. Rip a 6-in. wide jointing guide with a factory edge off one side of a larger piece of plywood from a home center.Be sure your jointing guide is a little longer than the boards you’ll be jointing.

2. Install the bearing-guided router bit in the router and clamp the factory edge over the board you’ll be jointing, letting the board edge project a smidgen beyond the factory plywood edge all along its length.

3. Run the router to joint the edge, keeping the pilot bearing firmly against the factory edge and the router base pressed down on the jointing guide to ensure a finished edge that’s 90 degrees to the board faces.

That’s it. Just run glue on the board edges, tighten the clamps and you’ve got perfectly matched edges! Thanks to Vern Johnson for this tip.