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Router Tables / Routers

Router Sign Making

router sign making" Routers are especially good at some things, and one task that they do very well is in making signs. We live in a world of signs and we accumulate more and more every day. Unfortunately most of them are not very pretty, and this is where your router can help. Sign kits have been around for years but they are often cumbersome and hard to use – NOT ANY MORE. With the new Rockler sign kit you can make great looking signs in no time.

Have you ever gone out to price new letters for you house, or maybe a small sign for your woodworking shop? Maybe you are selling a few of your woodworking or turning projects at a local swap meet or open-air market? Wouldn't it be nice to have a great sign to put up showing off your work and your name?



The kits are available in either 2 1/4” or 4” kits, and actually having both means you could make some very creative and professional looking sign … AND the kits are very affordable and if you don't think so, go our a price one small sign of house numbers for your house, that will convince your. Then there is the finishing to consider, read on for more …

Making Shaker Doors Using a Router

 Making cabinet doors is easy, fun and cost effective. With wood you can purchase at any hardware or lumber store, anyone can make beautiful and functional doors in no time. The only tool you need is a decent quality router and router table, and router bits. The wood we used for these demos is just 3/4” pine that was cut to 2” widths. It is important that thickness and width of the door components is constant, otherwise you will find uneven edges on you doors that will require sanding to make even again.

After you have cut your raw wood, that is the wood for the rails and styles you will need to cut those pieces to their proper length. The length for the stiles is easy, that is simply the length of the door that you will be making. This is because the stiles are ALWAYS the full vertical length of the doors.

Cutting the rails, (the horizontal components of the door) can be a bit trickier, that is why we like to use 2” for the width of stiles and rails (plus it just looks good). The rails when they are finished will need to have tongues cut into each end to fit into the groves of the stiles and this is where knowing woodworking math is a help.

Router Table Basics

Router TableMany people consider routers "scary tools", this is probably because they can spin at such a high rate of speed, but truthfully, routers are among the safer tools in the workshop. Not that they should be taken for granted, ANY tool can do serious harm even a router. The thing that I like most about routers is they can be used to make entire projects. If the only tool you have is a router, you can make many projects with only a router.If you are new to routing, you will soon discover that the most of the things that you can do with a router involve using a router table. Routers with tables are useful too, but having a router table opens a whole new world of projects and woodworking elements.

If you are about to invest in a router, make sure you choose a good brand name like Porter Cable, Freud, Milwaukee, DeWalt or similar. If you are also investing in a router table do NOT purchase an inexpensive table based on price. You will soon find out that your money was wasted and now you still need to go out and purchase decent table. Most bench top tables are not worth bringing home, although there are exceptions, even some of the floor standing models are sketchy, so take your time and buy a decent table.

For some of the basics on using a router table, please see our video, then read on ....

The Basics of Routers and Router Tables

Is it any wonder routers and router tables have leaped in popularity in recent years? There are many reasons why routers are becoming more and more popular. 

  1. Even if this is the ONLY power tool you own, you can still make many, many projects with it.

  2. Routers and router tables take up less space than most other power tools

  3. The vast selection of bits and attachments makes them extremely versatile

  4.  They are easy to use and capable of excellent results.


If you ever talk to anyone who has a router, you will find they often have 2 or 3 routers or they have none at all. Unless you are Norm Abram from the New Yankee Workshop who admitted to having 25 routers during one episode of rebuild a work bench. You may ask, “why would anyone need more than one router?” but the answer is more complex. Most of of bought routers years ago, like an older Craftsman or even a Makita, but with the advances they have made in recent years we have also purchased new routers from makers like Dewalt, Porter Cable, Freud or Festool.

One of the advantages to having more than one router is that very often you need to do some sort of a routing project with a router that is not mounted in a table. This means we can do routing with one router mounted in the table and other router work like edging with another router.

Many of you have already leaped ahead at the mention of two routers and are now questioning what the real differences are between fixed base and plunge routers. Well, we need to step back for a moment for those who are not as familiar with routers to briefly explain that there are basically two types of routers. 1) Fixed base routers and 2) Plunge routers. Both routers allow the up and down movement of the bit, the difference is that a plunge router contains springs that allows the user to move the router up and down during the router procedure. A fixed base router must be turned off in order to adjust the bit height and then it is fixed in that position throughout the cut. More on these later.

One of the most important factors to keep in mind with any router is that if you are a woodworker (as opposed to working on house construction or renovation), your router use, using a router table, will likely be 80% of the time or more. Most woodworkers find that a router without a router table gets very little use, so if you are buying a router you should probably also be purchasing a router table with it. There are of course a few exceptions but generally woodworkers use routers mounted in router tables.

I'm often asked, what should I purchase a fixed base or a plunge router. My answer is always the same, a plunger router will do anything a fixed base router will do and more. Plunge routers are normally a bit more expensive but are more versatile in their use. If you are using ONLY a router table, a fixed base would work fine, the real problem is that once you begin to see what can be done with a router, you will want to use it both on and off the router table.

If you really want to expand your woodworking experiences and get into doing some innovative and creative work then get yourself a good router and explore what can be done.

Quality Routers and Accessories from Rockler :
 
Router Table Packages and Accessories
Router Table Packages and Accessories
Router Bits
Router Bits
Dovetail Jigs and Templates
Dovetail Jigs and Templates
Router Templates and Jigs
Router Templates and Jigs

Leigh Dovetail Jigs and Accessories

Router Accessories
Router Accessories
Bushing and Edge Guides
Bushing and Edge Guides
Router Lifts
Router Lifts
Router Plates and Bases
Router Plates and Bases
Sign Making with Routers
Sign Making with Routers

Copyright - Colin Knecht
woodworkweb

 

Bosch Plunge Router 1619EVS

 We were looking forward to testing this tool from Bosch. In our opinion the plunge router is probably the most useful if it is your only router and this Bosch 1619EVS is a whopping 3.25 horse power, which is touted as maintaining constant speed under load.

 

We started by having a good look at the tool and what we found were some innovative ideas and designs. The depth adjustment knob has both fine and coarse adjustments on it and the spindle lock on the front is convenient and easy to see. The variable speed switch is near the top of the router, although we would have liked to see this closer to the trigger, we were happy the unit had the control. We also liked the new design for the depth control stops, although we wondered if they would have the versatility that for a woodworker that other units already have. The off / on switch is nicely integrated into the right hand grip which makes this control very nice and comfortable to use. Like many routers the Bosch 1619EVS uses the spindle lock system to change bits rather than the two-wrench system. We also liked that the plunge locking leaver was opposite of the on / off trigger so that the operator can actually lock the router down in place with left hand during operation.