How to Make Edge Joints With a Router
Cut sharp, tight-fitting edges every time
Although it takes longer than a jointer, routers can make clean, straight-edged joints for cabinet doors and panels, as well as for other woodworking projects.
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Two options for edge joints
You can use a router to make those square, straight edges you need to join boards into a solid wood panel. It’s more time-consuming than using a jointer, especially for long boards, but in some ways a router works even better. You don’t have to worry about having a long enough outfeed table (or workshop) for long boards or having the infeed and outfeed tables perfectly aligned. All you need is a good carbide straight-cutting router bit and a piece of 1/2-in. medium-density fiberboard (MDF) with a factory straight edge. The photos show two ways to make your joint.
If you have a very bowed board, snap a straight line with your chalk box, then use your circular saw to get a rough straightedge before routing.
Required Tools for this Project
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
You’ll also need a 1/2-in. flush trim router bit with a bottom bearing or a carbide straight-cutting bit.
Required Materials for this Project
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.