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How to Use a Router

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Resources and description

This video will instruct you on how to use a router.

This content will serve as an aid for vocational development.
To learn how to use a planer, watch the next video in this series.

Using a router for the first time? Help is at hand! Watch this short tutorial video to learn how to use a router safely and effectively in your woodworking and carpentry projects.

Music - Gilles B

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How to Use a Router.

In this video, you will learn how to use a Router.

A Router is simply a cutter or bit attached to a high speed motor.

It hollows out wood rapidly, with waste material being produced as fine dust.

Always wear a dust mask, safety glasses and earmuffs when you use power tools.

Before handling power tools, read and follow all instructions for use, maintenance and safety provided by the manufacturer.

The Router rests upon a workpiece on its flat base plate.

A narrow blade or cutter attached to an electric-motor-driven spindle, projects well beyond the base plate to make contact with the workpiece.

The body houses the motor and can be held on either side by two handles that allow for a firm and comfortable grip during operation.

One of the handles contains a trigger that switches on the motor.

A stopper pole fastened by a screw lets you set the depth of the plunge motion that brings the body closer to the base plate.

A stopper block allows for three different depth settings.

The motor housing is locked into position using the plunge lock, or Depth Lock, usually located behind the handle.

The fence can be locked onto one side of the router to help working along a straight path.

A large variety of router bits are available for different kinds of applications.

The five key steps are installing the bit, cutting a trench, chamfering, cutting a housing and cutting along a circle.

STEP 1: Installing the Bit.

Make sure that the openings are clean and free of obstructions.

Insert the collet cone into the opening so it falls into position and screw in the collet nut Insert the bit all the way into the collet cone and tighten the collet nut securely with two wrenches.

Ensure that the bit is firmly tightened so that it doesn't worlk itself loose during use.

STEP 2: Cutting a trench.

You can cut a trench, groove or housing using a straight-sided parallel cutter.

Set the base of the tool on the workpiece with the bit set to half the required depth of the groove.

Adjust the fence to set the distance between the cutter and the edge of the workpiece.

Always turn the router on and wait for the bit to rotate in full speed before making contact with the workpiece.

Bring the base plate flat against the surface and work slowly.

Always lift the bit from the workpiece before you switch the router off.

If you wish to continue past a corner, turn the workpiece around and continue from where you left off.

Advance smoothly till the trench is is complete.

Adjust the depth to cut the remainder of the trench and pass over the groove a second time.

It is importand to advance gradually in phases and not eliminate too much material all at once.

STEP 3: Chamfering.

To chamfer or round an edge, use a bearing guided bit to maintain a straight line.

Hold the router against the edge that needs to be rounded.

The cutter spins clockwise, so make sure the router moves left.

Start routing along the edge making sure that the bearing on the bit is flat against the workpiece.

Continue past corners, as shown.

Continue working along all the edges you wish to chamfer.

STEP 4: Cutting a Housing.

To make a dovetail housing, fit a dovetail bit onto the router.

Use a fence to hold a straight line and start routing in from the edge.

Do not tilt or lift the router before the bit exits from the other end.

When you reach the end of the housing, let the bit out before you stop or remove the router.

You may also use a V-groove bit in the same way to make a v-shaped housing.

As you can see the slightest difference in the shape of the router bit can change the type of cut that you create with it.

STEP 5: Cutting Along a Circle.

The easiest way to cut a radius is to attach a trammel to the router.

A trammel can be made very simply using a thin sheet of MDF or hardboard.

Cut it wider than the router's sole plate on one end and longer than the diameter of the desired curve.

Drill a large hole for the cutter, and smaller ones for screws that attach the trammel to the base plate.

Remember to take into account the thickness of the trammel when you set the depth.

The distance between the bit and the trigger point will define the radius of the curvature.

Attach the trammel to the base plate and nail it onto the workpiece at the anchor point.

Start the cut following the trammel as it pulls the router in a circle.

You may increase the depth and make a second pass if needed.

You now know how to use a router.

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