Welcome to The Router Forums.
When you talk about 'jointing the short side of a board', I think you are talking about working with the 'end grain'. I have had good results working all 6 sides of a board when using a table mounted router.
Working with the edges (i assume this is what you referred to as the long side) is very similar to working with the face and back.
Smoothing out end grain is a much more challenging task.
Different people have different opinions on how they think it is best to do this. I don't have any interest in trying it free hand, but know people who do it that way. In my case, I think the router would be all over the place. I will probably give it a try on Skis when I get my first set built up.
Thank you for taking the time to join up and introduce yourself. This is a great place to exchange ideas and information on how to get the most out of your router!
wbh1963 is flowing with the grain in Arlington, Washington, USA
A day without curls is like a day without sunshine!