Router Woodworking

It all starts here. Joint one face. Waiting until you've thicknessed (planed) gives you more edge jointing options. You can edge joint either edge in either direction if both faces of the stock have been trued.

Parks Planer
My old Parks 12" is the second station for jointed material. It should be tuned to yield a stick that is uniform in thickness across its width.You can plane to width too if the work is narrow and thick.

Drill Reference
Do a crummy job edge-jointing and each one of these holes will be a different distance to the fence.

Jigs, fixtures, hand & table routers, are all sensitive to the "cleanliness" of the stock they see.

To enjoy some predictability in routerdom, your stock has to be free from defects. Your sticks must be uniform in thickness, width and length; trapezoids & parallelograms may be called for in a project but you don't want to start with them. Bow, cup, twist and crook are also your enemies. Though you may wind up with nothing, do your best to waste wane, knots, shake, splits, checks, bullets, nails and steel in general. Joinery and templet work (often one and the same) will be nothing but surprises if your stock has not been well prepared.

A jig addressing a raggedy edged board, a stick that rocks on the tablesaw top, or one that touches a fence only in a few points is a risk and a guess. Woodworking is fun when you have control of the material, it will be a cascade of calamity if you ignore material preparation.

Not only is routing dependent on dimensional respect and the absence of deformity in your work, so is everything else in woodworking. You can't expect to drill, shape, sand, saw, join, scribe, or layout material that is misshapen either. For the lifetime woodworker who wants some control of the woodworking process, plan on jointing (first) and planing before sawing the parts for your projects. You must set up, maintain, and inspect your milling tools too, to make sure they true up your boards. Moreover, you will need some measuring, checking and setup tools to verify you're getting the best results. Nuthin's easy! Practice at this can only bring reward; it doesn't come overnight. It isn't difficult but it does take time.

To summarize, wood should be jointed, planed, sawn and inspected before you include it in your product inventory. Machine set up and maintenance is equally important.

Should this prove confusing or surprising feel free to email a query.

Tools of Metrology
Expensive? Yes, but will let you get your arms around the adjustment and measuring problems.
Dovetail Jig
Since both faces of the work are referenced to the same surface in the jig, a uniformly thick dovetail results from equal thicknessed, well milled material.

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Copyright © 2009 Pat Warner
Last modified: Mon Oct 6 07:21:07 PDT 2014