If you have just been getting into woodworking, you have probably been introduced to different kinds of tools that are used for various furniture or fixings; and one of those tools is most likely a router. Routers are used for hollowing out, or “routing”, an area of wood or plastic. Beginner Woodworkers usually take on simple projects before delving into complicated in which they should know how to use a handheld router.
But let us just say that you are about to work on a cabinet in your workshop right now. And, upon reaching for a how-to guide, you notice that you do need to operate a handheld router. Do not drop that project because we are here to tell you everything you need to know about handheld routers.
Knowing the difference between fixed base and a plunge base. One of the first things you need to know is that routers are divided into two categories:
Fixed base router – the router of this is locked at a fixed location position in the base. With a fixed base router, you cannot move the cutting bit. The advantage of using this router is you can also manually set plus lock cutting depth more accurately than plunge routers.
Plunge base router – has functions that are completely opposite the fixed base router in that you can move the cutting bit up and down. You can use the plunge base router for mortises and dadoes when you need to make cuts that have its starting and stopping points visible.
One router offers accuracy and the other offers versatility. To know which one would be perfect for your project, consider getting a multi-tool kit so you can experiment.
When setting up, as with all of your woodwork projects, make sure that safety precautions are in place. Handheld routers can go wild if you have left them running without holding them. Your workshop can get destroyed, and worse, you can get injured.
Here are some ways you can make sure your workshop remains safe:
You need to have a dedicated table for routing jobs. The table needs to have a clamp that can secure wood or plastic in place. This will also allow you free rein over movement rather than chase the material around.
There are techniques to cutting wood with a router, and here are some of them:
Routing the edge of the board – make sure to go counterclockwise to make sure the router does not climb cut away from you. Routing from the inside – do the complete opposite and rout in the clockwise direction.
Routing all four edges – the best way to cut all four edges is to do it in a sequence: end grain first, then long grain. Then do this repeatedly until all four edges have been routed.
Being a beginner at woodworking is one of the most exciting things. You can take on projects that can gradually challenge your skills and knowledge. Knowing how to use a handheld router may be one of the most useful things to know, especially once you start working on complex woodwork.