How Does a Wood Router Work
To the most woodworkers, a wood router is probably the most versatile and efficient portable woodworking power tool. From cutting narrow edges to making fancy edges, it does almost everything you want. Yes, it creates flawless dados and patterns.
Moreover, it is a user-friendly power tool that gives instant results. But, to avail the best out of it, you need to know its basic working techniques so that you master in cutting different patterns and edges. It implies the sheer importance of knowing how does a wood router work.
Although the process isn’t a complex one, ignorance might lead you to face unnecessary difficulties. Therefore, this article aims to make you knowledgeable about all the technical sides, safety issues, and different cutting jobs associated with the wood router table so that it becomes easy for you to understand the standard operating system of the tool.
Wood Router Origin and Types
During the early days, wood routers developed as a hand-powered tool. But with the passage of the time, slowly but steadily, it grew as one of the most versatile electric power tools for carpenters and artisans.
The first generation of wood routing tables was made with two different portions-
- A broad base
2.A narrow plate
Often, the thin blade surpassed the base plate. However, today’s wood routers are electronically run with a spindle as a standard norm. The electronic motor creates enough power to allow the shaft spin at the speed of knots.
With the advancement of the wood router, a variety of router has developed to make carpenters’ job comfortable and relaxed. Three major types are-
- Plunged wood router
- Double Knob handled
- D handled
Manufacturers have been bringing newer products in the market equipped with different functionality. These have a superior speed controlling system along with the plunge base. These routers can be used as a fixed router by locking the plunge at places.
Then some routers come up with a slow and steady start feature. This helps the tool to pick up its speed gradually, which makes it one of the most desired routers for large cutting jobs.
Things That You Could Do with A Wood Router
Being one of the most versatile power tools wood router might maintain and create a wide range of decorative and functional cutting jobs. For instance, if you carefully look at your home, everything that appears in front of your eyes, a kitchen cabinet, small desks, doors, edges, and even picture frames- all are a contribution of the wood router. In fact, from making simple holes to complicated metal, plastic, and laminated boards trimming and cutting, there’s hardly any task that a wood router can’t perform.
It is commonly used on flat wood pieces for tracing different designs. The designs are pre-drawn in the wood piece making the tracing job convenient. The development of the tool has brought revolutionary changes in the fields of cabinet creation, scrolling, and making precise cuts.
However, all these are performed by the router, followed by a series of the guideline. All these are typically known as operational instructions on how the wood router works.
Routing Process Using A Wood Router
Routing refers to a variety of works, including cutting, shaping, edging, and trimming of the wood, plywood, metal, and even plastics. Wood router mainly is used for shaping and edging purposes to get a finished product.
If a user knows the different techniques to operate various routers, especially the regular use of a wood router, he can easily accomplish some tasks which are extremely difficult to complete using other power tools.
Moreover, a wood router is more convenient and faster compared to typical molding routers. It provides us with more neatly done cutting and shaping objects.
So, let’s see the various operations of the wood router.
Building Boxes and Drawers
Carpenters have been manufacturing drawers and boxes from wood since the last five millenniums. Earlier, they were compelled to build this furniture from a single chunk of timber due to the lack of sophisticated modern-day tools like a wood router. Boxes and drawers back then had an uneven surface and a bit snobbish look.
However, with the invention of the electronic run wood router, the scenario has changed a lot. Now one can build any number of decorated drawers, boxes, and other furniture with perfection and precise size, thanks to the all versatile routers.
The grain direction of the workpiece should run side by side from the top of the drawer to the bottom point. It will keep the drawer openings sticky by binding it as the sides of the drawer press one-another outwards.
Use the wood router to make each of the drawer boxes precisely of the same size, likewise the drawer openings. It will help the user to organize the whole drawer comfortably. If you find it tough to handle the entire drawer at a time, you might use a hand plane alternatively bel sender also. These tools cut out only a limited stock from the outside so that it fits well into the drawer cabinet.
Using the wood router, you can even make wooden boxes having only one-board. To do so, you need to root the wood cavity in different phases. Moreover, you need to ensure that each pass of the router doesn’t cut more than 1/8 inches. The process is as following-
- Begin your routing from the circumference of the wood board near the cavity.
- While routing makes sure that the pattern is tightly pressed against the pilot bearing. It offers smooth routing within a quick time.
- Lastly, to wash the extra cavity from the wood, move the router from back to front until you reach the desired depth.
Applying this simple trick, you can manufacture a wooden board or drawer in a short time with the use of a wood router.
Basics to Routing Wood Edges
Small or large, almost all woodworking tasks more or less require shaping wood pieces or boards. Woodworkers perform shaping the edges due to two main reasons- for practical use and achieving aesthetical heights.
The edges of the wood help to trace the project outline for the users. Moreover, the different shapes of the edges put emphasize the designs to enhance their beauty. A wood router makes it easy to cut the fences of the corners to achieve accuracy.
While you will cut patterns with higher pinpoint preciseness, the wood router will be a handy power tool for you. It can provide you with the perfect rabbets and dadoes as well as flawless edges. However, there are many things that you need to compile and apply correctly to attain such impeccable edges.
- The sharpness of the router bit is an absolute necessity for making perfect edges.
- While working with the top of your woodworking piece ensure that you move the router toward a counterclockwise direction that is from right to left. It suits the routing of the woods.
- As you work in a counterclockwise direction, the bit will come nearer to the router towards you. It won’t push a bit far away from you. So, you will be able to work with more comfort as well as safety.
- Sometimes, it may happen that the wood chip away near to the corner. Climb-cutting is a suggested solution to this problem. Climb-cutting means moving the router towards the clockwise direction that is from left to right.
- Remember that you will have to perform the climb cutting at the “northeast” and “southeast” corners for a few inches only. Make sure you don’t cut more than your desired depth.
- After you have solved the chipping issue, start your regular routine by moving the router towards an anti-clock direction.
Tips: The process mentioned above is for routing the outer parts of a wood piece. If you are cutting inwardly, i.e., a picture frame, you will have to move the wood router towards the normal clockwise direction.
Basics of Making Perfect Dadoes with A Wood Router
Dadoes are famous among carpenters for their extraordinary ability to support the cabinet on each side. In reality, dadoes provide the strongest support on the shelves of the standard cabinet. For an amateur who has little knowledge of carpenters’ jobs, let me clarify what a dado is. It is a flat-bottomed channel with square walls. Carpenters cut them across the grain of the wood.
The whole system is known as groove- when the channel runs along the end-grain. The entire system has various steps-
- The groove or dado of the board fits into the end part of a mating board. The joint between the two boards is made with a cut using the router.
- You must buy a new wood router bit that best fits the width of your desired dado. It will allow the cut to be completed in one single pass without any hindrance.
- Take a piece of wood for testing and use the jig to clamp against the backward and front of the wood piece.
- Now make your first cut along the ‘T’ pass of the wood and jig. During the cut, your straight bit should be no less than ¼ inches deeper.
- Now, take a square shape to test whether or not the dado has been perfectly squared. If you find your testing result satisfactory, start with the real wood.
The process is the same as mentioned above. However, you need to create markings on your real workpiece at different locations. Lastly, put the layout indicators aligned with the jig, clamp them, and start making your dadoes.
Tips: You must cut along the right side of your jig. Also, don’t forget to push the router away. It is because the router’s spinning direction pulls the jig towards the router bit.
Running the router along the left side will pull the jig nearer, resulting in an imperfect dado.
Creating A Perfect Rabbet
Most beginner woodworkers first learn how to make a rabbet cutting. After that, they use the same technique for the rest of their life. Such is the impact of a perfect rabbet. Using a wood router, you can make a rabbet at ease. You won’t require more than a rabbeting bit to create rabbets of different sizes.
Many artisans prefer using a table saw along with a dado set to make rabbets. However, we suggest you use a wood router to accomplish the task since it is more convenient and speedier. Moreover, routers allow you to make rabbets without disturbing the existing setup of the other power tools. It is an excellent help for your entire project.
- You will need a set of rabbet bits to create the rabbets.
- We strongly recommend you keep an eye on the router speed or RPM. It is because the diagram of the rabbeting bits is more significant than the usual bits. The higher rate will damage the bits easily.
- Read the manual of both wood router and bit, provided by the manufacturer to understand the proper routing procedure for the rabbets. It will ensure better performance as well as your safety.
- Some routers, however, don’t have the option of variable routing speed. In such cases, you may watch the documentation attached to the wood router. You must be sure whether or not the router and rabbet bits match.
- Moving too fast will tear down or splinter the wood. Whereas, moving too slow will leave burning marks on the wood piece.
Tips: Experts advise to use a standard router table for routing small pieces of wood. If you are using rabbeting bits, attach a bearing guide with it. Otherwise, you might use a straight bit directly.
How Does a Wood Router Work – Details with Video
A wood router can accomplish a variety of tasks in a wood project. Since it is a sophisticated power tool to make precise edges and more tough carpenter tasks, it requires more attentiveness and knowledge of the user. It has an advanced operating system and so, learning how does a wood router work will benefit the user in many ways.
Therefore, this guideline on different operating basics of the wood router for various projects will be a tremendous help for the experts and newbies alike.