Router jointer

Shop-Built Router Jointer

We'll show you how to build a unique benchtop accessory that converts a common router and a flush trim bit to a powerful jointer tool.

No room for a jointer? You can convert your hand-held router into a precision tool that creates perfect edges for smooth joinery on stock up to 1-1/2" thick. The plan design includes the same features you'd find on a full-size jointer — adjustable tables, built-in guard, and dust collection port — all at a fraction of the size (and cost) of a commercial model.


Premium Files

You can download the additional shop drawings that you purchased using the link in this box.

What You Get:

  • 8 printable (digital) pages of step-by-step instructions
  • 26 full-color photos, illustrations and exploded views
  • Shop-tested guarantee from the editors of Woodsmith and ShopNotes magazines

Note: After your purchase, you will receive an email containing a PDF attachment of your purchased plan, as well as instructions for logging in to download the plan and access any other associated files and videos, which will all be located on this page.



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Using a Router Table as a Jointer


Is it possible to use a router table as a jointer?   Here's the answer, courtesy of our friends at the Woodworker's Journal.

John Brock: Yes, a very narrow jointer, good for edge joining but too narrow for face jointing. Make sure your infeed and outfeed guides are long enough and rigid enough, then you can set it up like a jointer layed on its side.

John Swanson: It is very easy to joint a board on a router table. It requires a straight bit and an offset fence. Make multiple passes, cutting on the left side of the bit until the edge is jointed.

Richard Jones: Yes. You can use an inverted table-mounted router to straighten narrow edges. Offset the outfeed table by the depth of cut set by the infeed table.

From the Woodworker's Journal eZine 2005 archives

Using a router table as a jointer is a good option if you're working in tight quarters or on a tight tool budget.  The main drawback is the time it takes to get the fence set up with the correct offset. If you own a Rockler router table and fence, your in luck.  Rockler offers a set of Router Table Jointing Shims that make setting up to use your router as a joiner quick and painless.  It's a simple procedure - here's all that's involved:

Unplug the router and chuck-up a straight bit. - we recommend a bit with a wide diameter for the smoothest cut.

Select the shims from the set that correspond to the amount of material you want to take off with each pass.  The combined thickness of the shims in one pack is .070".  That's a little over 1/16", and about as much as you'd ever want to take off in one pass through a jointer.

Loosen the subfence on out-feed side, slide the shims in place and re-tighten the subfence.   The shims are slotted to match the bolt pattern on the Rockler fence, so there's really no way to get this part wrong.

Place a straightedge along the out-feed side of the fence and move the fence so that it's aligned with top-dead-center of the cutting edge of the router bit (so that the out-feed side of the fence is set at a cut depth of zero, in other words).  To get an accurate setting, rotate the bit by hand and watch the gap between the edge of the bit and the straightedge to make sure you are setting the fence in line with the highest point of the bit's cut radius.

Tighten the fence down, and you're ready to go.  The whole process shouldn't take more than about ten minutes.  If a jointer isn't in the budget, or if you'd rather not give up the shop-space, there's really no quicker or more economical alternative for putting a perfect edge on your stock.

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Can I turn my router table into a jointer?

I think that could work, but I've seen a (imo) better way done by the Samurai Carpenter on Youtube.

There is also an instructable for such a sled. \o/ Image from the instructable, added by user robot-six (Image from, made by user robot-six)

He attaches guides on either side of the board that is to be planed/jointed and builds himself a sled for his router with which he subsequently takes many passes over the board to make the board's surface flat. I recommend watching it though for my answer to make easier sense.

While using the router table would work similarly as his method, i think you would still need the screwed in/glued on guides on both sides. The downside of using the table is that you don't see what you are planing/jointing.

What modifications would I need to do to the router fence (maybe?)

None at the fence as you build a secondary fence attached to your piece of wood.

Is there an easy way to set the bit to the right depth?

Yes and no. You would search for the high-point of your piece and set the router to take away only a little bit, probably 2 mm (1/16th of an inch). Then you would increase the depth step by step for little increments until the piece is flat. Drawing a raster onto the wood with a pencil helps to see what has already been taken away.

PS: I think in this application both terms, planing and jointing are valid as you would joint the first side and make them co-planar on the second side after the board is flipped. Please correct me if I'm wrong on this.


Thread: Router table used a jointer, how well does it work??

I have both a jointer and planer,and have used a router mounted in a table as a jointer. The boards were 8/4 jatoba, at 12"+ wide and 10' long. They were heavy enough to tip over my 6" Jet Jointer
You will need to make a split fence, or have a single fence with a thin layer of film, maybe a 32nd of an inch thick, attached to the out feed side. The most critical part is getting the bit absolutely perpendicular to the table, and parallel to the fence face. Whiteside makes a 1/2", spiral upsweep, bit that works very nice. It's also 2 3/4" long along the cutting edge, which ensures you have enough bit above the table.
My router table is 2'x4' and very heavy. Much larger than the one in Hank's video, due to the material size I was working with, but worked exactly the same.

Last edited by Mike Cutler; 12-24-2011 at 6:44 AM.

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Jointer router

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