A wood router is one of the most versatile power tools in a woodworker’s toolbox. It can handle a wide range of tasks, from decorative edging and joinery to custom wood inlay.
A router is a device that spins carbide-tipped bits at incredibly high speeds. It can be a dangerous tool if used improperly, so it’s essential to learn the basics of using it safely and efficiently.
Easier to Use
The router is a versatile tool that can be used for many different projects. From creating rabbets and dados to shaping stylish molding, it can be a great addition to your shop.
Unlike some power tools, a wood router is easier to use and maintain. The key is to take care of the router base, motor and collet.
When using a wood router for the first time, it’s important to get the base and motor set correctly so that you can achieve the best results. Start by installing the correct bit into the collet and turn the nut clockwise to tighten it.
Once the base is set, use a test piece of scrap wood to check the depth. Once the depth is correct, you can begin routing.
Easier to Clean
Keeping your wood router clean and maintained is essential to get the best performance from this tool. It helps in avoiding the accumulation of pitch, resin, gum, dirt and fine wood particles that could degrade the performance of the router and also raise its motor temperature.
Generally, these pieces of wood get gathered in various parts of the router. This could also lead to dust accumulation which would also cause the rise in motor temperature and hence reduce the life of your wood router.
It is necessary to clean the router bits and chuck and shaft after every use. This helps in removing the crud which can be very difficult to remove and also prevents the bit from becoming dull.
Easier to Maintain
With a range of capabilities from profiling edges and cutting joints to pattern-routing and decorative inlays, routers are one of the most versatile tools in any woodworker’s shop. But like all powered woodworking tools, they require regular maintenance and repair to keep them operating smoothly and efficiently.
For starters, the cutters on a router can build up a coating of dirt or resin over time. This causes the bits to become less effective and creates rough cuts.
To prevent this, clean your bits on a regular basis using a cleaner designed to break up resin deposits without harming the carbide. Inspect the blade edge regularly for wear or sharpen it on occasion to make sure that it’s sharp.
The collet and shaft of the bit should also receive careful attention. A build-up of debris, grit or dust can cause the bits to slip in the collet and, worse still, seize.
Easier to Cut
Wood routers make it easy to shape decorative edges, rabbets and dadoes. These cuts are used on picture frames, kitchen cabinets and more.
To start cutting, choose the right bit for the job and set its depth. Next, position the router and connect it. When the router starts up, allow it to speed up before touching it to the material so that it doesn’t get caught or kick back on your workpiece.
Cut the end grain edges first, and then the long grain sides. This will help clean up tearout and ensure your corners are straight and square.
If you want to create a flawless dado, buy a jig for your router that matches the width of your desired dado cut. Once you have it, clamp it to a test piece of wood and make a pass through the right side of the jig and into the wood.
If you want to add more intricate shaping, use a Roman ogee or beaded edge bit. This can be a lot of fun, but you need to take the time to get it right.