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    Build a Flush-Trim Base for Your Router

    Most woodworkers are inveterate tinkerers. We revel in solving problems, hatching plans for the next new jig that will bring us over whatever furniture-making hurdle we happen to be stuck on at any given moment. Take this jig for flush trimming proud joinery as an example—I learned this from Appleton, ME furnituremaker Tim Rousseau. It’s quick and easy to build, flush trims super-fast, and is completely reusable. What’s not to love?

    Here’s the patient: A through-mortise and tenon joint (wedged, I might add) that I glued together so that the tenon stuck proud of the mortised piece by about an 1/8-in. It’s always better to cut your workpieces a bit on the long side, then pare back—it’s easy to take wood away, but not so easy to add it after the fact!

    There are a variety of options available for flushing that tenon with the mortise. A variety of handplanes can easily get the job done, chisels might come into play, heck—you could even break out a file—but that would take a really long time to flush out.

    Tim’s method? A simple auxiliary baseplate for his trim router. While a woodworker like Rousseau wouldn’t be apt to use a jig like this for a one-off piece of furniture, a set-up like this would excel when faced with multiple through-tenons to flush. It’s nothing more than a long 1/4-in.-thick piece of plywood with some mounting and clearance holes cut into it, then, a secondary baseplate is glued to the first, thus allowing for a space the woodworker can use to carefully bring his router bit down flush with the workpiece.

    The baseplate is just a single piece of 1/4-in. plywood, with another one glued to it, yet shorter in length. This allows you to trim proud joinery that is a maximum quarter inch above the surface of your workpiece. One note: consider relieving the second base more than I did on mine (see red highlights). It will increase your base's mobility and usability.
    To flush this proud tenon, I made a series of successive passes, lowering the bit just a wee bit after each pass, until I ended up with flush joinery.
    Don't be surprised if there are a few spots where the bit has "over-cut." I've highlighted these areas in pencil in this shot. Check out the next step for the solution.
    A few swipes of a handplane leveled everything off, nice and smooth.
    The finished product is dead flush, and best of all: this baseplate jig only took me about a half hour to make.