Finally, you’ve finally got yourself a benchtop router table to go along with it, you definitely want to make sure you’re using it the right way to get something really unique out of the woodworking process.
After all, you want to make using your router as simple as possible, which is why you got that table in the first place, right? So, what do you do and how are you going to get just the right look you’re going for on each project that you create? Well, using a benchtop router table it’s actually a whole lot easier than you might have thought. So, read on and then start routing today!
Setting It Up
The first thing is making sure that you have your router set up properly on your table with some kind of router base. It’s actually going to go upside down underneath the table, so when you’re finished, the blade with spin counterclockwise, rather than spinning clockwise like when you’re using it as a hand router.
Keep this in mind that when you’re feeding pieces through because it means you’ll feed from right to left instead of left to right when the router is table mounted, otherwise you could end up jamming or otherwise damaging your piece of wood.
If you don’t have a lift for your router you will need to adjust everything underneath the table, which can get a little difficult and tedious, but if you get a lift it will help you arrange everything right from the top of the table.
Making it easier to switch between different bits and get the ideal fit you’re looking for as well as the ideal design that you want for each project you want to complete.
The idea is to make sure you are comfortable using the unit, after all. When you have a router table you’re definitely going to want a fence that will help you with creating straight edges. This makes sure you don’t get a gouge or that your straight edge doesn’t go too deep into the wood.
Instead, it keeps the wood flush against the back of the table, right where you want it, so you get the edge in the right place. With a non-straight edge, you’ll generally have ball bearings that keep the wood from moving too far into the bit and also ensure that you can get angles or problem areas no matter how you slide it across.
What You Need
If you’re going to be using a router and a router table you definitely need ear protection and a pair of safety glasses. Routers are extremely loud, which can be a problem for your ears later on. It also spits out very small pieces of wood and sawdust, which can cause irritation or even damage to your eyes.
Wearing protection ensures that you don’t get sawdust in your eyes and that you won’t suffer from the shrieking sound of the router when it’s turned on and going through wood. You definitely don’t want that after all.
You’re also going to need the wood or other material that you want to cut with your router. It’s actually quite easy to find something that you can use because the router cuts through just about anything, so long as you pay attention to the specific router bit that you purchase. It will tell you what you can and can’t do with it and you can go from there on deciding the projects that you want to complete. Before you know it, you’re going to be creating a whole lot of unique projects.
Getting Off To The Right Start
The most important thing is making sure that you have all the pieces necessary to create your first project. You just lock the router bit and pull out whatever you have there already. Then, put your new bit in, tighten it down and switch the system to the unlock position. Then you want to adjust the depth of the router to make sure that it’s going to cut off the piece exactly where you want it. Keep in mind that you don’t want to cut too deep all at once because it can cause damage to the piece of wood.
You can always switch between a range of different bits for different projects or even different aspects of the same project. Some bits are going to be used for joining your pieces of wood together while some are going to be used for adding decorative edges.
Make sure that you pick up a few different styles to try them out and make sure that you can get a unique finish to your project or just that you can complete the project the way that you want to. It shouldn’t take too much money to pick up different bit options and try them out with scraps you may have lying around.
When you’re ready to get started on a project you want to attach the right bit along with the fence you’ll need (if you need one) and use a guide piece of wood to keep your wood block flush up against that fence as you feed it through. The guide block is held in your hand and you use it to hold the wood you’re cutting back against the fence and simultaneously slide it forward through the router bit. This keeps your hands away from thinner pieces but also keeps the edge firm.
No matter how long you’ve actually been using your router as a handheld system, you definitely want to make sure you know how to use it on a table. It’s going to create an entirely different result for you and it’s going to make everything you do with the router a whole lot easier. After all, having to hold the wood is a whole lot simpler than having to hold and move the router. You’ll see just how much easier it actually is when you get the chance to start using that router for yourself with the new table setup.