Are you interested in doing some creative wood projects for your woodworking career? Then, you must have heard about a router, a powerful tool which plays a vital role in woodworking. Making a fancy edge is not a limitation regarding usage of wood routers. It also helps make rabbets and dadoes to create flawless fancy woodworking patterns. You can do woodworking, cabinetry, and carpentry by knowing just routers basics. This tool provides versatility and can also be used as a plunging tool and, when inverted, can also be used in router tables. Know more what is a wood router used for in an effective way.
What is a Wood Router?
If you have any hard materials like wood, plastic, or metal, and if you wish to hollow out a particular or any area in material you have, then it can be done perfectly with a wood router (a tool). Originally, wood routers were hand-powered tools, and it has now successfully evolved into electric-powered spinning tools. A hand-powered broad base tool consists of a narrow blade that projects beyond the base plate. Whereas electronic powered spinning tool consists of an electronic motor-driven spindle, it is mostly seen in modern workshops.
There are two types of routers available. They are
- A fixed base router is also known as a plunge router, in which depth is set first. router bit’s position will be the same all time, and you must set your desired depth which will give you accurate results every time.
- A plunge base router – router bit will start within the router unit, and it will automatically lower down when you set depth.
How to Use a Wood Router for Beginners?
It is a shaping process routing edges and shapes of wood. In simple terms, routing is the process of cutting, shaping, or even trimming hard materials like plastic, wood, metal, etc., at high speed.
With various routing processes, even very difficult materials to get shaped can be done neatly and can produce accurate results. For lighter jobs, try to use a wood router that is more convenient and performs its task quicker than a spindle molder.
What is a Wood Router Used for?
Wood router will be a handy tool for many wood working professionals in different routing projects. Among other best woodworking tools, a wood router will surely help in giving perfect finish for all those projects. Various table router tool uses are:
1. For building boxes and drawers
The beginning of woodworking started around 5 millenniums ago, and from that day, woodworkers used wood for making wooden drawers or wooden boxes with only one piece (chunk) of wood. Because they didn’t have a wood router at the beginning. And as years passed by, hand tools usage went less due to the emergence of electric power tools.
Do you wish to make your own drawer with a wood router? – Try to make the direction of the grain run towards the side and on the bottom of the drawer. By doing this, drawer sides will be pressed out, thus creating a bind in the opening.
Both drawer and drawer openings must be of the same size. With the help of a hand plane, you may even use a belt sander to remove a bit of stock on the outer surface to get a perfect fit. When making a one-board wooden box, try to rout out the cavity by cutting 1/8” in each pass until you reach desired depth. routing should be done around circumference of cavity, thus keeping pilot bearing against pattern. When moving the router front and back, waste present in the cavity gets cleaned.
2. Cutting Dadoes
With Dadoes, shelves present in cabinets are made strong, and it gives the best support to shelves. What is a Dado? – It is a square-shaped, flat-bottomed channel that should be cut across wood’s grain. When dado runs with grain, it is called a groove.
If you want to create a dado, match dado’s width with the bit you will buy for your wood router. Fix jig, both front and back part on a wood piece, set an inch of bit to 1/4th deep, and create a pass to the right side of the jig part (a T-shaped jig part) also into a wooden piece.
To check whether a jig is square-shaped, take a square-shaped object and check on it, and now it is all set. On a working wood piece, mark the location of dado, then start lining up grooves with marks that are sketched and clamp jig in wooden pieces and now start to create a dado.
3. Cutting Rabbets
Rabbets are made easy with the help of a wood router. All you need are rabbets of different sizes, but it is to be noted that your job is done with the help of a simple rabbeting bit.
Rabbeting bits are a must when you create a rabbet. The size of rabbet bits will usually be larger, so you must concentrate on router speed (i.e.,) rpm. Make sure to check bit’s guide and manufacturers’ guide regarding speed of router and bit size to be used. If you own a wood router that doesn’t have variable speed control, try to read operating rpm, which is available in the wood router’s guide, to check for compatibility issues. With bit, you are going to create your rabbets.
Using a router table when you want to use smaller pieces of rabbets. With the help of a router table, cutting off rabbet can be done using a straight bit for better results.
4. Routing Edges of Wood Piece
What happens when the edge of your wood piece is shaped? – It gives an aesthetic look. If you want to cut a perfect edge, all you need is bit’s sharpness. When working on the top piece of wood, It is always preferable to move counterclockwise with a wood router. In that way, it is very easy to have control over the router, and it also ensures your safety while working on it.
Unfortunately, when you cut or chip, wood parts at corners start to cut in a clockwise direction for a few inches. This should be done on end grain, either in two directions (northeast or southwest) corner portions of the piece. Now, start working anywhere on the wood piece in a counterclockwise direction and allow your router to run.
With help of a dovetail tenon and dovetail socket, you can properly align joints. Dovetail joints can be categorized into three types. They are half- bling, through dovetails, and sliding dovetails.
If you wish to make a housed dovetail joint, you may need some tools and setup requirements. To create a dovetail socket, dado must be in 3/4th “ (width) to allow a ¾” guide bushing to enter into dado. The width of dados and thickness of the drawer should be identical.
Try to switch router setup (switch it to dovetail bit) when you have pre-cut sockets ready. Fix/clamp workpiece on your table, switch on router, and lock router’s bit depth. Locating dado has to be done with a dovetail bit and bushing guide when the router moves smoothly along the face of the workpiece.
A wood router is a versatile tool that can do more than just cut fancy edges. In the modern era, there are plenty of wood routers available. Different manufacturers are developing different router types for different woodworking techniques. Modern wood routers come with various speed controls, a soft-start feature (increasing speed gradually), and some may have plunge bases that are locked fixedly so that they can be used as a fixed base router. With the evolution of routers for woodworking the process has become simpler for woodworkers rather than using hand-powered tools.