Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Introducing the Woodworking Router

April 20, 2014 by  
Filed under General Tips

Introducing the Woodworking Router

Introducing the Woodworking Router

All the definitions of the word rout tend to have in common the removal of something, whether by force or compulsion. As it applies to the router tool, it means the removal or hollowing out of some of the material from the piece you are working. This can either be a hollow, groove, or edge rather than sawing off a piece of the material.

The original woodworking routers were, of necessity, hand tools similar to planing tools but with interchangeable narrow blades rather than a wide, flat blade used for smoothing. Depending on the shape and placement of the blade you could either cut a groove in the wood of create a shaped edge or bevel. Once electric power tools were introduced, the router changed form to mostly use a spinning blade to perform the same function.

The first electric routers had spring-loaded bases so that downward pressure would expose the blade a set distance below the pane of the base for a predetermined depth. An alternative method of use was to attach a fixed blade router under a table so the blade extended upward and the wood passed over it rather than the tool being passed over the wood. This was safer but had more limited functions.

Still, hand-held routers make use of a multitude of interchangeable accessories. A sidebar guide can be attached so the cut, groove or molding can be made at a consistent distance from the edge of the wood. Shaped blades and spindles can be quickly traded out to produce a number of different joists, from square-cut to vee shapes to dovetails and rounds. Other bits produce the various edge finishes from round to beveled and decorative edges to a
project.

When you choose the bits you want to work with, it will serve you well to spend the extra to get high quality bits. Cheap bits will quickly dull at the high speeds a router works at and can more easily burn the wood. Start your collection with a few of the basic shapes and expand as your talent with the router grows.

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