# Make parallel edges with router table or table saw?

I have a couple of boards that I jointed the edges on, thinking them to be parallel. But, after re-measuring it appears the edges were not parallel (or maybe the jointer took more wood off at one end?). So in both cases I have one end which is 6" wide and the other end which is 6-1/8" wide over about 2 feet. So, I need to square up both pieces, and ideally leave the existing 6" edge untouched.

I am not about to try to put the boards edge-wise through my planar, so that leaves two options: use the table saw or the router table. Which tool would be the better choice, or does it matter? Is there a good way to reliably trim off the small tapering strip I need to remove?

• There must be more to this question that I am not understanding. Are you trying to make the board exactly 6" wide and perfectly square to the existing end without having to cut the ends square to length? I don't understand why you don't just set the table saw fence for a 6" wide cut and run the board through? This assumes that one of the long edges is straight. Based on your numerous posts and the variety of tools you owned, this would seem to be second nature for you. Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 16:10
• I am asking which option would be superior, router or table saw and why. Removing a slender taper perfectly is not easy. You try it: cut a board with taper of 1/8" over 2', then cut off the taper WITHOUT reducing the length of the short end and bringing both ends within 1/32" of the same length. Not easy to do, especially on a contractor saw. Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 19:04
• Ummm, I must be missing something because this sounds like exactly what a table saw is for. In fact, you should never be "joint[ing] the edges" of a board; you should be jointing one edge and then cutting the other parallel to the first with the table saw. Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 21:45
• That being said, there is room here (if there isn't a QA already) about using a router table as a jointer.
– user5572
Commented Nov 17, 2020 at 14:25
• @jdv, it's mentioned within the options presented in the top-voted Answer in Methods of jointing without a jointer. Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 21:53

You should do this with the table saw. This is a very typical operation in the normal milling process.

Normally you would set the table saw's rip fence to the final width you need, but in this case, since you want to match an existing dimension you should ignore the numbers and use the physical dimension you want to set the fence. Put the board just ahead of the blade, so that there is just a bit of overlap with the blade with the narrower side of the board forwards. Move the fence until the edge is just brushing against one of the teeth (preferably a tooth with the tall side closer to the fence.) Lock the fence down and run the board through.

(Safety Note, any time you're working close to the blade the saw should be unplugged.)

I think your issue came about because you jointed both edges of your board. This should never normally be done, since, as you've seen, this will not ensure that the two edges will be parallel. Here is the typical milling process:

1. Face-joint one face so that it is flat on the jointer
2. Make the other face parallel to the first face on the planer
3. Alternate planing both faces until the board is the desired thickness
4. Edge-joint one edge so that it is perpendicular to the faces with the fence on the jointer
5. Rip the board to final width on the table saw, which will ensure that the second edge is square to the faces (since the blade is not tilted) and parallel to the first edge (since the rip fence is a fixed distance from the blade).

Furthermore, using a router table to do this is not the best idea because it would require you to "pinch" the workpiece between the bit and the fence. This is a bad situation because it sets you up for stalling or kickback. (Note that offset fences and a straight bit aligned with the outfeed side won't work here, because it will cause the same issue that the jointer did.)

• This is the correct way to do it...I did this very thing less than an hour ago. If your saw is up to the job, it should be quite easy. The saw (blade, fence, etc.) needs to be adjusted square and true to itself. I usually do this operation in two passes (maybe I'm just superstitious) so I'd make the first pass, maybe 1/8" wider than my target width, check everything over, and move the fence in to the final width, and shave off the remainder. Sometimes I flip the board and shave off that last bit from the opposite side if it needs cleaned up a bit. You should end up with a perfect width board. Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 22:31