Electric Collet Body

May 11, 2011

How to Choose and Use a Router

The router is basically a simple portable tool, consisting of a very high-speed motor mounted vertically on a horizontal base plate. In this article I’ll cover the types of routers available as well as the safe way to use them.

Parts Of The Router

Motor – High-speed; oil bearings often in accordance with the owners manual.

Switch – Turns router on and off.

Adjusting Collar – Used to lock bit or cutter to cut at a desired depth. A good idea is to always do a practice cut first.

Collet Nut – Used to tighten the bit into place.

Bit – The business end of the router; should be straight and sharp.

Base – Level surface on which the unit stands. Wax occasionally for friction-free movement.

Collet – Holds the bit. Keep it free of dirt and woo d chips.

Handles – Grasp firmly when using.

The router has a chuck on the lower edge of its shaft that holds keen-edged cutting bits that can be extended below the base to cut grooves, trim edges, form recesses, produce mouldings, and otherwise shapes wood on which the router is used.

The power of the routers motor determines how deep and how fast the tool can cut through wood. A low-powered router, however, can do many of the jobs a high-powered router can do, providing it does them in stages. It can make a deep cut, for example, by means of a number of shallow passes.

The router, with its cutter bit operating, may be lowered into the work from above, then moved along the path to be shaped or cut, or it may move into the work from the edge. The bits are set for depth of cut by an adjustment on the router body.

If the bit is to make a large recess, as in a meat platter, it may be mounted on a piece of plywood with the cutter projecting downward through a hole in the plywood support. Or you can buy accessories that enable the router to follow templates or guiding edges on the work,

Use Of The Router

Grooving – Use straight bit. Set depth. Adjust router guide or straightedge at desired width. If work is narrow, clamp extra pieces on both sides to make the base wider.

Dadoing – A cut across the width of a board is called a dado. It is used to make slots for shelves.

Rabbeting – Use straight bit. Set depth. If end and edge are to be cut, do the end first (across the grain) to prevent edge chipping. Make large rabbets with several passes of the bit.

Plunging – Can use a variety of bits designed just for the purpose of cutting a hole in wood. This technique is commonly used to cut holes in door blanks.

With some experience, you will be able to cut designs freehand or even write your name.

As motor shaft, chuck, and bit revolve clockwise, you should move the tool from left to right. For safety remember that the router shaft and bit turn at extremely high speed and cut very fast. Be sure the bit is locked tightly in the chuck, and always keep your fingers clear of it. Never change bits or cutters or make adjustments unless the cord is disconnected (if you are using a cordless router simply remove the battery). Merely switching the tool off is not enough, as switches can be accidently bumped and turned on.

That’s all there is to it for now. I hope you have a better idea of how to pick and use a router. Choose the tool to suit your usage needs and above all be safe while operating it. In my next article I’ll cover some of the different router bits, their purposes, and how to change them.

About the Author

Chuck Lunsford is the Internet Manager for Mytoolplace.com. He offers advice on how to select and use the right electric routers for the job. Visit our website and learn more about saving money on brand name discount power tools.

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