Written by Marloes

Advice on routers

In the field of woodworking, a router is an indispensable type of milling machine. You use it for example to make profile edges or slots in cabinets or table tops, so that they become the showpiece of your interior. But even though this tool falls into the 'milling machines' category, a router can work very differently from a wall or slat cutter. If you are going to work with a router, you will find everything you need to know before you put the plug in the socket. Once you've mastered working with a router, the possibilities are endless.

1. How does a router work?

Operation of a router

Using a router requires a good preparation. A too deep rebate can not be undone and that would be a waste of your work. That is why it is advisable to first practice some leftover wood. As the name suggests, you move a router from above onto the material to be processed. The cutter that you have attached to the machine makes a rotating movement that you send over the surface. You set the desired milling depth for most routers yourself. The speed is also something to take into account. Cutter at low speed if you are going to work hard woods such as oak and at high speed in MDF or soft spruce.

2. What do you do with it?

What do you make with a router?

A router can be used in all kinds of wood and, as mentioned, is especially suitable for creating decorative finishes. So tight slots on a homemade table, decorative edges on a picture frame or rebates in the frame. Also for making wood joints, grab the router. With a dovetail joint you connect loose parts of wood, for example when making a chest of drawers. This technique requires some practice, but once you get it, you are assured of a nice and sturdy construction. And with a mold you can make uniform and repetitive shapes with a copy cutter.

3. Top router tips

Tips for a router

It would of course be a shame if your net-tidy chest of drawers is damaged by the wrong use of the router. If you are going to make deep slots, the result will be the best if you mill in two stages. Otherwise you run the risk that the wood burns. In addition, your cutters will last longer. To make sure that your workpiece does not shift, use glue clamps to secure it securely on the work surface. You do not want a profile edge that suddenly goes to the left instead of to the right ...

4. Accessories

Accessories router

You do not have anything without the right cutters on a router. Here you have different types and sizes, which are often available in handy sets. Common milling cutters are a end mill, rebate bit, dovetail cutter, copy cutter or v-groove cutter. Depending on what you are going to make, you choose the right cutter. A parallel guide is also not a superfluous luxury. You mill straight, so that the profile edge is exactly parallel to the edge of the workpiece. Are you going to mill curves, for example in a round table top, then a circular guide is a handy tool.


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