Jointing without a Jointer?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by wsal, May 22, 2007.

  1. Hey guys, just wondering what methods you use to get perfectly straight surfaces for gluing without using a jointer. I have a Stanley #4 plane, which I'm okay with, but definitely not perfect. Do router tables work? My dad has one (Triton) where you attach your own router, and you can assemble it so that it the bit points up and there are fences alongside it, such that you can trim your wood. Is this working on the same principal as a jointer?
  2. Hey Will,
    Jointing with a router table and a jointing fence is trickier than using a regular jointer because you don't have gravity on your side and you have to get a feel of how it's cutting to know where to put the pressure (against the infeed fence or the outfeed fence). A #4 is long enough to joint tops, but I wouldn't use it to flatten a fingerboard or neck. What I would suggest is that you use your router table, a pattern bit and a straight edge (factory edge of a piece of MDF works great!) to joint top ends and neck/body edges.
  3. Hey wilser, thanks for the help. Can you just spell out your solution to me a little? I've never used the router table so I'm not familiar with these methods...
    I'm glad you mentioned leveling necks for fretboards, cos thats one of my next tasks! Is a simple big flat sanding block gunna do the job, with some heavy paper?
  4. T2W


    Feb 24, 2007
    Montreal, Canada.
    I cut down entire trees with a Chainsaw and a Table saw, made nice straight 3/16 pieces. What I do is screw a metal pipe to one side of the wood and use that to slide onto the fence of the table saw, then I sand it down a bit. Thats all. I did three Laminated necks with this method and everything worked wonderfully.
  5. Mr. Majestic

    Mr. Majestic Majestic Wood Supply

    Dec 3, 2005
    From Louisiana/In Arkansas
    Majestic Swamp Ash
    We used to use this method and it works fine, but we got tired of the screw holes so we mounted the pipe straight to the fence. Most wood has a convex and a concave side, a (( if you will. All you need to straighten a piece of wood on a table saw is 2 long points, a fence(that is stable) long enough for the 2 ends to touch, and a good blade. Here's the set-up we use at my shop. It's a rather large saw, but the technique would be the same for a smaller one.
    View attachment 59304
  6. bear in mind that I just use this method to taper necks, I now have a jointer and don't use it to joint surfaces, although it does work wonderfully.

    I got a piece of MDF from home depot, cut it so that I had at least one factory edge (pretty flat and straight) and installed some hold down clamps. Then clamp your piece so that you have a wee bit sticking out from the edge of the MDF. You then use a pattern bit on the table saw and have the bearing ride against the MDF piece, thus effectivelly copying the flat edge unto your work piece.

    Hope that helps.

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