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Jointing methods

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  • Jointing methods

    I've been reading posts concerning the best jointer to buy since I'm considering purchasing one. There have been a few comments about jointing methods that do not require a jointer. This is new to me so I'd like to find out more.

  • #2
    Joe, I think we need to distinguish between joining two boards together and a jointer. A jointer creates a flat surface on either the edge or face of a board. This is desirable when joining two peices of wood together where we do not wish to see a gap. For example, edge joining boards together in a table top, or laminating thinner stock together to make thicker stock such as when preparing a blank for the lathe.

    The type of joinery being discussed is methods such as dowels, biscuit joinery, mortice and tennons etc. Typically, a joinery method is intended to reenforce a joint. It doesn't replace the functionality of a jointer. For example, you could use tongue and groove, biscuits or dowels to reenforce the edge joints in a table top, but you still need flat edges if you don't want gaps.

    If you look at dovetails for drawers, or other drawer type joints, the joinery method used is intended to create a strong joint by means of more glue surface and interlocking. This type of joint really has nothing to do with a jointer, its not replacing the jointers functionality.

    Good luck, Jeff


    • #3
      Two basic methods-----table saw with a planer type blade or one like Freud's that advertises glue joint ready.

      Straight edge and a router with straight cutting bit. You can set up a router table to joint, with shimmed out outfeed fence, but the small sizes of most router tables don't make this a great solution.

      Either way, you have to take your time and do it accurately for a good edge to edge glue up.


      • #4
        I use a router for jointing boards. If severly warped rip on the table saw to get a straight edge. Clamp a straight edge(I use a strip of 3/4 MDF with the factory edge) and run your router with a flush trim bit with the bearing against the MDF. Works perfectly for occasional use, if you will be doing a lot of panel building for furniture or cabinets then you would want to invest in a jointer.
        info for all: --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."


        • #5
          Thanks for the info. I've been building simple things off and on for years and I'm ready to graduate beyond plywood. It seems that any solid wood cabinetry will involve a jointed edge, either for glueing or just a good straight, square edge. I've wanted to make a few cabinets but found no way of doing a good face frame w/o a jointer. The result is several nice open cabinets waiting for face frames and doors. The method using the router and straight edge sounds worth trying. It may help me finish a couple of projects while I research jointers more thoroughly.



          • #6
            If your dilemma is a faceframe get a Kreg pocket screw jig. Assemble the faceframe a 1/16" to a 1/8" larger that your cabinet. Once you have installed the faceframe hit all the over sized edges with your flush trim bit and a router.
            The only thing you have to watch out for is flush trimming the deck. When you get to the edges of the deck there is no material to stop the router from going to the outside of the cabinet. Get as close as you can comfortably. Clean the rest up with a chisel.

            If I have mangled the description to much let me know and I can send some pictures.


            • #7
              I think the messages referred to joinery methods, like dovetails, mortise and tenon, biscuits, etc.... However, there are ways to work around a jointer that really aren't that difficult. Working around a planer becomes more difficult because you must get an entirely flat board or panel to the correct thickness. It involves a little more time, but not that much more with a little practice.
              If you have a work bench with decent vises and bench dogs, you can use a couple of hand planes to joint one edge and flatten one face of the board, then send it to the planer for thicknessing and then to the table saw to get the other edge straight. You need a jack plane (a bench plane that varies from around 13-15 in., depending on whether it's #5, #5.25, or #5.5) and a jointer or trying plane (a bench varying from 21 in. (#7) to 24 in. (#8), or longer (some of the wooden versions).
              For edge jointing, you use the jack to take relatively thick shaving from boards with rough edges and faces that are bowed, cupped, etc.... The jack is designed for roughing work. Once the edge is relatively flat and straight, you use the jointer set to a fine shaving (less than .005 in.) to get the edge flat and straight. A well-tune jointer leaves a surface that the typical power jointer can only dream of. The jack is used to get the outer edges of one side flat so you have one flat surface to run through the planer. You don't have to flatten the entire face, just the outer edges, or perimter. Inside the edges can be hollow, not higher than the perimeter. This doesn't take that long, getting the entire face flat takes longer. You want to do the face flatting and planing before the edging because you then have a reference surface to make sure your edges are square to the face.
              I use this procedure on boards wider than 6" since that's the limit of my power jointer. I use my jointer hand plane to edge glue joints after running them through the power jointer, making sure the ends make good contact.