When it comes to putting complex or basic edge profiles to a piece of wood, the use of a wood router is best. In fact, when it comes to any edging work, the wood router is the most versatile power tool you can ever have. But that thing about it is that it needs a lot of work. Therefore, you should always practice using it so you know how to use it at its highest potential.
If you are a beginner woodworker, and you want to have as much as experience as you like with working with a plunge or stationary router, you came to the right place! We are going to discuss what a wood router is a well as the basic steps of how to use it.
What is a Wood Router
Before we discuss anything else, let us first talk about what a wood router really is. It is a high-speed rotary tool that has a collet at the end of the shaft of the motor. At the same time, you can connect different router bits to the motor. With the use of these bits, you can do different profiles of edges on a wooden board. A lot of router kits only have one motor which you can change in between other bases so it can be versatile.
Different Router Bits
There are a lot of router bits to choose from that you might get confused about what you are going to choose. You should just keep in mind that you should consider the bearing tips, shapes, shank sizes, and other important factors.
If you are just starting out, you can start with just 10 router bits that cater to different styles. But regardless of the design, you just have to align the specific effect you want to achieve to a corresponding router bit.
Properly Install Router Bits
You have to properly install the router bits so that you can have a great edge profile. Therefore, you have to make sure that the bit will turn smoothly while it is exposed to the stock edge. With that said, you should get a router bit that properly fits. Not only that but it should fit securely to the collet of the router.
The Right Router Bit Speed
The default running speed of regular wood routers is 25,000 rotations per minute. This is 400 rotations every second. Good thing, most wood routers now has settings where you can customize the speed of the motor.
What you need to remember is to not have a wood router which spins so fast that you can no longer keep up with it.
Router Bits: ½ or ¼?
There are two general sizes for shanks and shaft sizes. Usually, they come in a ½ inch or ¼ inch. Just like what we discussed before, the size can depend on your predicted output. A good rule of thumb is that the bigger the inch, the more curved or hollow the edging can be. But for beginners, a ½ in and a ¼ inch are good shank bits that can offer a lot of variety.
The Four Ways to Rout
Let us discuss the easiest ways to rout. These ways are great even for beginner woodworkers. So if you are curious about what to do with your wood router, these are the things you can do.
A fence accessory is necessary so you can make a groove with a router. You have to set the fence at its required distant against the bit. At the same time, you should set the bit at the proper depth.
You need a dovetail template and the bit that comes with the template. You can cut the dovetail and you can also cut the pins. Then, push the parts together using wood glue. What you end up with is an unbreakable joint.
You can cut a decorative edge from a series of curves to a simple rounded corner with this technique. What you need to do is to use a ball bearing bit as a guide or you can also use a bit without the bearing. Make sure to test it first with a piece of scrap wood.
This is the way to go if you want to make duplicates like a blanket chest or four bracket feet. You should use a top bearing straight bit and a pattern. In turn, the bearing will roll through the pattern while the straight bit will crave the wood.