How To Use A Router Table The Right Way

The router table is a very simple piece of equipment in the woodworking industry which is commonly used to increase the versatility of a hand-held router since the method of using it suits and depends on specific application. Large pieces of wood would be very difficult to support on a router table and must be routed to a hand-held machine. However, small workpieces need to be routed on a router table since they would not support hand-held routers. A router table is more like a table surface which has a mounted router beneath its surface. It is typically armed with a fence that will allow the user to push a board straight across the bit. The router table also has a miter track which will set the use of miter gauge. Choosing the best router table would mean that you should also know the tips and techniques on how to use it.

Shaping Wood

There are a few ways that will give you more ideas on how to use a router table more effectively as follows:

Fixed Base Or Stationary Routers

Mounting the router into a router table usually allows the usage of a stationary or fixed base router. The table brushes away the necessity of a plunging action base which makes the fixed base routers more compatible. One thing that should be considered when using plunge routers and fixed base in a router table is the power of the router. It should have enough power. Routers of the 1000W class may be a bit weak but it is still possible to use.

Dovetail Joints And Jigs

Dovetail jigs are commonly used with a hand held router or with router bits installed in a router table. Regardless of the preferences of the user, this will still result in excellent and exquisite dovetail joints that are necessary for making dovetailed drawers. Router dovetailing is considered to be one of the noisiest, messiest and hardest woodworking activities. However, it is also among the most essential and fulfilling activities one can take on. The jig guides the travel of a router bit across the wood, creating triangular pins and wedge-shaped tails.

Partial Profile Router Cuts

Using multiple bits can make an infinite number of profiles. Woodworking suppliers have a huge collection of router bits which also consists of special bits with various diameters, lengths, and sizes. The good news is, partial profile router cuts provide a way for a woodworker to collect multiple bits without spending thousands of dollars. Large cove bit, round over bit and a chamfering bit could result in a unique piece of crown molding. One should keep in mind though that using router bits is a lot easier to do on a router table than in a hand-held router.

dovetail-joints-and-jigs

Avoid Splintering

There are cases in which one encounters strongly-grained woods that are very easy to cause splintering or the chunks are taken out which leaves issues other than achieving cleanly cut profile. To prevent this from happening, it is best to use sharp and quality bits. It doesn’t need to be expensive. It only requires good quality. Thus, it is always better to ask and check the recommendations of the experts in the industry. A spiral bit cuts cleaner than a straight-carbide bit and a drill bit produces splinter-free cuts. In addition, always makes sure that the carbides are sharp and nick-free to leave a smooth and even profile. It is also recommended to have one’s router bits be cleaned by professionals for practical and safety purposes. Remember to always route with the grain instead of going against it.

Featherboards

Every woodworker should keep a featherboard and knows how to make one since it is a very handy and useful tool in cutting thin stocks in both table saw and router table. Properly positioned featherboards assure a clean bead detail.

featherboards

Proper Installation Of Router Bits

Just like all the other tools in the woodshop, router bits need to be installed properly to achieve its full quality and best results. This will most likely prevent the bits from breaking and causing them excessive chattering. Proper installation also includes verifying the condition of the bit if it is chipped, burned or has defects prior to using to avoid any issues or unwanted problems while working.

Setting The Proper Router Bit Speed

Using a router and a router table requires a lot of steps and safety measures. This includes wearing of the proper safety gears and checking the appropriate speed for the router bit. In addition, make sure that you allow the router’s motor time to be at its full speed that matches your preferred settings. Setting one’s router to the proper router speed allows one to save more time, effort and money since it prevents the burning of the stock and saving the router bits. Setting the speed too high can cause burning while having it in too low speed can result in the router motor’s bogging down and a splintered surface and edge.

The above-listed steps are just a few ways to use the router table more effectively and safety. There are a lot of ways that one can make use of router table. However, it is always best to use it with care and safety to be able to come up with excellent results and to be able to use it longer.

About the author: As the owner of a website about woodworking, Danny has a lot to say about this subject. With a sharp understanding about router table, he provides a wealth of information about how to choose the best router table, mistakes you normally get when you buy router table first times…that can be useful for people working in the industrial field.