How To Use a Wood Router for Beginners
Ever wondered how to use a wood router for beginners? Well, if you are the kind of person who likes to get things done around the house, then knowing how to use a wood router is a must. Owning one and putting it to good use will save you a ton of money overall, by allowing you to create your own designs, exactly how you like them. Wood routers have a great deal of versatility and can be used on a wide range of projects – with only your imagination standing in your way.
Wood routers are basically used to hollow out areas in a plank of wood. But you can use it equally as well to cut all sorts of intricate patterns, grooves, and edges, say, for a table, cabinet, photo frame, or whatever piece of furniture you’ve set your sights on. Keep in mind, though, that the tools you use are equally, if not more important than your own beginner skill level. Using a top-notch wood router will get you a long way to becoming a professional woodworker. Using quality tools, like the best framing nailer, the best jigsaw, or the best wood router, for instance, will spare you a lot of time and energy, and will always give you the best results possible.
Wood Router Models
Knowing which tool to buy is a daunting task for many beginners, given the excessively many options out there. To help you get started, however, we’ve added three models which we think will work best for you. The first one’s the DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP Router. This tool works equally well in both novice and veteran hands. It has adjustable speed, a soft start, and it’s easy to carry around. It cannot, however, handle too much strain at once.
Our second option is the Bosch PR20EVSPK 5.6-Amp Router Combo Kit. This model is particularly good as a plunge base router. It comes fully equipped with a reliable 1HP motor and variable speeds. The handles are comfortable for prolonged use, and has a durable aluminum fixed base. It doesn’t have an incorporated light, however.
Lastly, there’s the Festool 574354 EB Router, 2200 -Watts. This wood router comes with everything required to tackle even the most daunting tasks. Its 2200-Watts motor makes sure that you will never have to deal with stuff such as underperformance or overheating. It has an ergonomic design and it’s easy to control. It is also has a price to match.
Wood Routers Step-by-Step
When you purchase your first router, you’ll also be given a set of several, so-called bits. These bits are what actually do the cutting, and come in various forms, each helping you with different tasks. The most commonly used are the straight and round-over bits. The straight bits are used to make grooves, while roundover bits are used to round the edges of, say, a table or a bench, for instance. Always remember to use the appropriate safety gear when handling a wood router. This includes safety glasses and hearing protection. Now, let’s get on with it.
1.Mounting the bit on the router
The first step is to mount your desired bit into the router. To do that, you need to first lock the router’s collet. Most model routers have a mechanism on them that allow you to do just that. Slide it into the lock position, and then introduce your bit into the collet. When installing a bit in the router, set it 2/3 of the shank is inside the collet, then tighten the collet, and you’re ready to go.
- Adjusting the depth
Every wood router comes equipped with a mechanism that allows you to adjust the depth of your bit. You can raise and lower the bit according to how deep you want your cut to be. If you are a beginner, then the best way would be to take this process in steps. This means that you should set your bit, say, only half the depth, do the work, and then lower the bit further down and repeat. Remember to lock the mechanism in place after you adjust it, so it won’t move.
- Securing your project
Even at slower speeds, the router bit can spin at 8000 rpm. This is more than enough to fling the piece of wood you’re working halfway across your shop. To stop this from happening, you’ll need to secure it to the table you’re working on. You can use either clamps or a router mat. Be sure to place your clamps in such a way so they won’t hinder you while you’re working around them.
- Choosing the speed
Most wood routers allow you to adjust the speed of rotation. The speed you need to use depends on the type of wood you’re using it on, as well as the size of the bit you are using. This might take a bit of trial-and-error before getting it just right, but the basic rule of thumb is that “the bigger the bit, the slower the speed.” If your bit diameter is up to an inch, then the desired speed should be around 24,000 rpm. Between 1 and 2 inches – 18,000 rpm; 2 to 2-1/2 inches – 16,000 rpm; 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches – 12,000 rpm.
- Going Counterclockwise
One important thing to remember about your wood router is that it spins the bit clockwise as you look at the router from the top. The reason why that’s important is because the router might climb cut, or it could get away from you. So, in other words, if you’re routing the outside edge of a board, always go in a counterclockwise direction. Another way of looking at this is to always place the router on the right side of the piece you’re working on and go forward.
- Knowing where to start
If you’ll be routing all four edges of a board, it is important to know where to start. Always start your work on the end grain. This is important because when the router cuts through the end grain, it might chip the edge adjacent to it. But you don’t have to worry, though, because when you rout that edge, the chippings will be automatically cleared away.