A router can be the most versatile woodworking tool in the shop. Here, we'll go through some of the best things you can do with a router, showing you just how versatile your router can be!
Routing Narrow Stock Smoothly
Routing narrow stock can be awkward. Clamps can get in the way of the router making a clean pass, and it's hard to keep the base level on such a narrow support. But routing is still the best way to get a neat edge on narrow stock. You can route narrow stock easily by screwing a support board, the same thickness as the work piece, to the workbench. Put the work piece up against the support piece and the support piece will stabilize the router. Additionally, you can use the router to force the work piece against the support piece, eliminating the need for clamps.
Using a Jig to Cut Dadoes
Dadoes are grooves in cabinets or bookcases that support the shelves. They're one of the most common uses for routers, but they take some skill. Here's how to use a jig to cut dadoes.
The jig is a 2-foot length of 1×2 screwed at right angles onto a piece of 1×6 to form a T-square. Cut a groove through the jig into a piece of scrap wood. Make sure you buy a bit that matches the size of dado you want to make. Plan and mark the dado's location on the work piece and align the jig's groove with the marks, then rout the dado. It will be accurate and square every time.
Patterns enable you to make multiple copies of any shape with a router and a bottom-bearing flush trim router bit. The bit will transfer the shape of the pattern to the work, including any imperfections in the pattern. So it's best to use particleboard to get a smooth surface on the pattern and to sand it carefully before you use it.
After you finish the pattern, mark up and cut the work pieces. You can mark them up by simply drawing round the pattern and then cut them with a saw, leaving about 1/8 to inch inch outside the line. That's the part the router will remove, so the cut does not need to be precise.
Now attach the pattern to the work piece with drywall screws, being careful not to use ones so long that the poke through! You may not be able to flush trim the work piece in one continuous motion, but as long as you keep the router level you should end up with perfect copies of your pattern piece.
There are many more things you can do with a router, but here are some of the first jobs you'll want to try.
Source by Mark J Matts