Edge jointing wood is one of the most important things that woodworkers will do. Without straight flat edges to work with the rest of the project will be difficult at best to bring together and may not even come together if the joints cannot align with one another. Further, if you are gluing narrower boards together to make the wider board, edge jointing is critical to get matching edges.
Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/Xli8yTT58Lk
In ideal shops, we use a machine called a "jointer" to do this task, or if working without machinery a hand plane is used, but there are other alternatives, and some of these may even be used by advanced woodworkers in special situations ...
** CHECK OUT** PODCAST of Daniel Carter with Colin Knecht (approx 45 min.) listen here - http://bit.ly/2XU8HQL
There are of course other methods than shown here, but for most woodworkers, one of these methods will work fine, and they are either somewhat easy to do or involve jigs that the woodworker will use going forward for many other projects as well.
Wood Router and Flush Trim Bit
The first method relies on a wood router. You could use a trim router but the problem with them is the small base, making them susceptible to tipping the router slightly and cutting an angle along with the wood in some spots. A wider base can be attached, or a bigger router with a wider base is an even better solution.
There are a number of different wood router bits that can be selected for this job, including as shown below, the most popular is the Flush Trim Bit, also called the Bottom Bearing Bit. In this case, the bearing rides along a straight edge UNDER the wood you want to trim. This bit will take small amounts of wood off.
The Top Bearing Bit or Pattern Bit is another good solution. In this case, the bearing is further up the shank of the bit, and the straight edge wood is ON TOP of the wood that is to be trimmed. This bit also takes smaller amounts of wood off so multiple passes may be needed.
Below is the example of a flush-trim bit taking a small amount of wood off while the bearing is riding on a straight flat piece of MDF under the wood being trimmed. The larger router helps to ensure the wood router is not inadvertently tipped giving an angled cut or even missing cutting wood.
Another way of edge trimming wood is using a table saw, BUT the blade fitted to the table saw needs to be an excellent blade that will give you clean edges similar to what you would get from a jointer. The one blade that I know will do this is the Freud Glue Line Rip blade available in both full and thin kerf.
The reason for selecting a thin kerf over a full kerf blade will be the size of the motor on your table saw. The industry often refers to table saws as "underpowered saws" when they have smaller motors that typically only can be plugged into 110-volt outlets, which means the saw's horsepower is probably less than 1.5 HP.
You can use a full kerf blade on these saws, but it is recommended for limited use only as the size and weight of the thicker table saw, plus cutting through wood puts much strain on the smaller motors resulting in the motors getting hot, which in turn reduces the life of the motor over time. Thus, thin kerf blades are recommended.
For more details on Glue Rip Blades, see information on Amazon
One jig that you can use on the table saw to trim the edges of your board, using a Glue Line Rip blade is something called a Tapering Jig. There are MANY different versions of tapering jigs, the one shown in this article is one of the only versions that allows multi-use, and one of those uses is trimming board edges.
For full details, including a video on making this jig go here - http://goo.gl/ajTWij
Another jig that works well on the table saw and is easier to use for shorter boards is something called the L-Fence or Duplicating fence. Again it uses the Freud Glue Line Rip blades for excellent, sharp, smooth edges.
This table saw jig was a feature in an article and video, here is the link to that build - http://bit.ly/37LXuEk
All of the methods shown in this article require the use of a straight edge of some sort, Factory edges on MDF are best, and even better quality plywood can be used, but natural wood can work as well but should be checked before use, especially if it has been some weeks since last use ... to ensure the wood is still straight and flat.
If you do NOT have a straight edge available, the only other alternative if you do not have access to a wood jointer is a Hand Plane, and a plane with a longer bed is best for straight, flat results. If you are new to hand planing, it WILL take you some time to master the technique to get perfectly flat boards suitable for gluing.
Copyright Colin Knecht