Whenever you purchase any tool or an electric machine, it is not that you just take it out of the box and start using it. The user must know the proper and right way of using a tool especially if you are using a tool for the first time or say you are a beginner.
A router is a hand machine or power tool that is used to hollow out an area in any object especially hard materials such as wood or hard plastics. They are easy to handle with your hands and highly speedy in cutting, trimming, shaping of wood, metal plastic, etc.
Using a wood router for beginners is often a difficult job. It is a versatile machine which can perform various tasks. It can cut a block of wood or hard plastic into a perfectly shaped object within a few minutes. But before starting the machine, a person must know the right way of using a router and also must know the tips and tactics of its working so that you can have a desirable and perfect result.
While using a router, instructions and precautions, all the safety measures must be kept in mind for proper use. Using a router is not a back-breaking task but if you are using it for the very first time it can be a puzzling job.
Steps and Techniques of Using a Router
First, use a router in the correct direction against the rotation of the bit. It will help you to get full control of the machine. If you will keep the direction of the router with the rotation of the bit, it will create panic and you may have to work hard to fight with it.
- When you are working straight down from a top of the router, so the bit will move in a clockwise direction then you have to keep the pace of the router from left to right and vice versa.
- Forcing the router may create toughness for you and can slow the machine, or moving it too slowly will leave burn marks on the wood. So keep balanced control over the router.
- Turn off the router and remove from the power source so that you can easily make adjustments. Determine the height of the router with the bit also the depth of the cut that how much is required.
- Check out the point where the bit will come in contact with the board. It is good if you do some tests or practice before working on your final project.
- Put the router on to the piece on which you are working, and it is surely needed that the bit must be one inch high from the edge. Turn on the router and move according to the direction of scrap board.
- When the bit makes contact with the working object, keep a movement of the router from left to right to cut the object according to your desired shape.
- Turning the router upside down amazingly increases the capabilities of a router, also it makes routing protective and easier. Router tables are especially useful for you when you are milling smaller parts, using large-diameter bits or cutting stopped grooves. There are some bits, like certain raised-panel bits that are only used in a router table.
- Consistently use a guard, and if not available buy aftermarket guard or make by yourself.
- Never ever keep your finger very close to the spinning router bit, so if the object gets too small to hold on the router table save the object in a jig or something like sliding carrier.
- If you have a hooked board, the perfect tool for having a smooth and straight edge is ‘’jointer’’. You must read our article on “Marking and Measuring Tools” for more information about it.
- If cupping board’s alignment was disturbed during gluing up, you can use your router here for a plane wider material.
Types of Router Bits & Using Techniques
There are also many different types of router bits which are suitable for you according to your work. These six router bits will help you in guiding the best way to complete your work. The router bits are as follows:
1. Straight Cutting Bit
This type is in various diameters but three important sizes are 1/4-, 1/2-, and 3/4-inch in diameter. There are pilots in different router bits but this a non-piloted bit so make sure to guide the router towards the straight edge to enjoy accurate cuts.
2. Rounding Over Bit
This bit is used in the edges of shelves, chair arms, top of tables and other things where ever you like to round over sharped edges. They are fitted with ball bearings that control the width of cuts. Make adjustments with router base so you can control the cutting depth. Their two most useful sizes of bits are 1/4- and 3/8-inch.
Also Read: How To Use A Table Saw
3. Roman Ogee Bit
Roman ogee bit is the most popular of all shaping bits. This bit has a versatile profile for cutting decorative pieces into edges of picture frames, horizontal rails, and tabletops. These useful bits are mostly available in 5/32-, 1/4-, and 3/8-inch-radius sizes. The 1/4-inch size fulfills your most needs.
4. Rabbeting Bit
The rabbeting bit is an L-shaped notch cut along an edge of panel or board. The most valuable rabbeting bit is one that cuts 3/8-inch wide and 1/2-inch deep. One of the simplest ways to cut rabbets is that with a rabbeting router bit equipped with a ball-bearing pilot. They are mostly used in cabinet making.
5. Flush-Trim Bit
When you are working with plastic or wood then flush trim bit is here for you. This bit is used when you are building cabinets, cabinet doors, tabletops, etc. There are various sizes available, but one that’s 1/2 inch in diameter with 1-inch-long cutting flutes will suit for most work.
Also Read: How to Install a Router Bit
6. Core Box Bit
It is most often used to rout flutes in columns and vertical stiles. This core box bit is useful for routing beautiful grooves in door panels and for carving wooden plates and platters. This bit is obtainable in different diameters ranging from 1/8 to 1-1/2 inches.
The router is the versatile power tool, especially for carpenters. It can perform multiple tasks and is available in different sizes, shapes, diameter, etc. Using a router is the simplest task and anyone can use it, but make sure that anyone can use it if he has a good command of routing. For using it you must know the tactics, until and unless you cannot get the desired result.