Protected, correct handheld routing – FineWoodworking


Synopsis: A router’s versatility is one in every of its largest promoting factors. With it, you may profile many various edges, duplicate patterns, lower rabbets and dadoes, and lower mortises. Right here, Bob Van Dyke covers plunge vs. fixed-base routers, router security, bit dimension and why it issues, and the significance of utilizing the right feed price.

Actually, the router is my least favourite instrument. It’s loud, whiny, tiring, and messy—like some individuals I do know. However it is also essentially the most helpful, versatile, and, when used accurately, essentially the most correct amongst any of the hand held energy instruments. It’s able to making correct dadoes, grooves, rabbets, exact joinery together with mortise-and-tenons, and edge particulars and moldings. It may well additionally comply with almost any well-made sample to create an virtually infinite number of shapes.

Routers can be utilized handheld or mounted (inverted) in a router desk. This text concentrates on handheld router methods. For data on router tables, try my video sequence on router-table fundamentals and Fundamentals, “Getting began with router tables,” in FWW #270.

A grasp of many duties

The router’s versatility is one in every of its largest promoting factors. It may well profile many various edges, duplicate patterns, lower rabbets and dadoes, and lower mortises.



Sample routing

routing a profile routing joinery routing a pattern


Mounted primarily based vs. plunge routers

A plunge router can do all the things {that a} fixed-base router can do, however it will probably additionally make stopped cuts. This makes it ideally suited to slicing deep and correct mortises and stopped dadoes and grooves. So, the plain query is why trouble with a fixed-base router in any respect? You will get alongside with out one. My first and solely router for over 10 years was a 3-hp plunge router. It was the identical router Tage Frid utilized in all his articles within the early days of this journal and it was clear to me that he knew what he was doing, in order that was the router I purchased and I did all the things with it. Nonetheless, the upper middle of gravity of the plunge router does make it tippy when working alongside an edge. This makes the lower-profile fixed-base router a better option for duties like rabbets and edge particulars.

Fundamental router security

cleaning the spindle and collet of a router
Preserve it clear. Any filth, grit, or rust can intervene with the strong grip the collet has on the bit’s shank. It’s vital to wash the spindle and collet periodically with 4/0 metal wool or an artificial abrasive pad.

screwing on the router locking nut
Maintain and tighten. All collets are tapered, and because the locking nut is tightened it compresses the collet “fingers,” which exert equal, constant stress across the shank of the bit.

The plunge router will be turned on with the router resting on prime of the workpiece so long as the bit is retracted. You may then plunge into the work, make the lower, and totally retract the bit when completed. The plunge router ought to by no means be turned on or off with the bit prolonged.

inserting a router bit
Insert the bit. Place the bit in order that not less than 3/4 of the shank is seated within the collet. If the bit bottoms out, pull it again out about 1/8 in. or it might loosen whereas it’s within the lower.

The depth of lower on the fixed-base router is totally established earlier than you flip it on. When turning it on, be sure to have a safe grip, and that the router is resting on the floor of the wooden with the bit effectively out of contact with the workpiece.

Router sizes

Quite a lot of motor sizes can be found, from underneath 1 hp as much as 3-1⁄4 hp. However as a result of most routing duties should not demanding sufficient to require the ability of a 3-hp router, the larger routers are far more energy, weight, noise, and vibration than you sometimes want. When that a lot energy is required you’ll normally have extra success utilizing a big router in a well-fitted router desk. Alternatively, extraordinarily small routers like laminate or “trim” routers, whereas extremely worthwhile and helpful instruments, are sometimes too small for a lot of on a regular basis routing duties.

Medium-sized routers, 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hp, will deal with all however the heaviest jobs and that is what I like to recommend as a primary router. The excellent news is that the majority producers provide their mid-size routers as a “package” which features a single motor with each a plunge and a hard and fast base, supplying you with the very best of each worlds for lots much less cash than shopping for two particular person routers.

Contributing editor Bob Van Dyke runs the Connecticut Valley Faculty of Woodworking.

Pictures: Anissa Kapsales

Safe Accurate Handheld Routing spread

From High quality Woodworking #299

To view your entire article, please click on the View PDF button beneath.





Join eletters in the present day and get the most recent methods and how-to from High quality Woodworking, plus particular affords.

Get woodworking suggestions, professional recommendation and particular affords in your inbox



whenever you enter your electronic mail handle beneath.

View PDF