Do you have a bench top router table by a leading company like Bosch, Kreg, or Bench Dog but you’re not really sure how to use it? If so, then it’s definitely time to check it out and see what you can do with your new router.
If you’re not sure whether or not you want one you’ll definitely want to check this out as well so you can make sure that you’re making the best choice possible for your work pieces, whether made out of wood, MDF or high-pressure laminate. That way, you can know if you’re going to want to add this particular unit to your collection of woodworking tools to help improve your process.
How To Get Started
Before you start any woodworking, the first thing that you need to do is get your router set up on your bench top router table so you can work on your first project. You want to figure out how your router bits are locked and unlocked on your specific unit. When it’s locked you can remove bits and put in new ones.
You then make sure it’s tightened down as far as possible using your hands or a wrench if needed. Then, you switch it over to the unlock position, which allows the bit to spin, creating the edge that you’re looking for on a piece of wood. It may seem a little backward, but once you start doing it you’ll get the hang of things easily enough.
Keep in mind that when you’re pushing your router across the wood from the left side to the right when you’re using it as a handheld router. When you’re using it in a table it’s actually upside down, which means you’re going to push the wood through it from the right side to the left side.
When you put a bit in the system you should look at whether it has a ball bearing or not. If it does you push the bit up next to the wood so that the bearing hits the wood and creates the edge you’re looking for. If you don’t have a bearing you create the edge all the way through but you have to control where the edge goes using a fence to get it where you need.
The most important thing is making sure that you create smaller cuts and then work your way deeper if you’re looking for a deep dado or groove. Never cut a really deep cut all at once, as this can cause damage to your wood. If you are going to use a fixed-base router, you need to set up the router plate or mount plate for mounting the router itself onto the table and make sure that the work surface it perfectly flat.
How To Make Trim
If you want to create your own trim all you need to do is get a piece of the wood that you want for your trim and also find a bit that will create the right design on that piece. You just push the piece of trim right up next to the back wall of your table and use a guide piece of wood to hold it firm while you push it all the way across the router bit from the right side of your table through the left side.
How To Make Dowels
Creating a dowel rod can be great if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for because it’s actually rather easy. All you need is a square stick of the wood that you want to turn into a dowel rod and a round over bit.
You can choose a different size bit to get just the right size dowel. You have to do this on each side to get a fully round piece. It’s important, with rounded edges, that you have extra wood on each side of the piece that you’re turning into a dowel, as this is going to keep you safer.
Slowly slide the piece of wood into the bit and flush along the back wall and then slide it forward to create the rounded edge on one side of the block. Turn the block onto its side again and repeat the process until you’ve gone all the way around. Then you can cut off the square ends to have a dowel rod that’s just the right size for your project and that is designed to fit exactly where you need it to. The rod can also be made out of any material and to any size.
How To Joint Pieces With Your Router
Use a pattern bit to create the right joint. You’ll want a little bit of sanded Formica to create a tapered edge that the wood won’t catch on. Tape this to the outfeed edge. Use a bottom bearing pattern bit that has a matching bearing outside edge and router blade. You put it on the table and have the Formica against the other side. Your straight edge is then adjusted on the fence to put the material on the infeed edge that will join with the opposite side.
How To Create A Table Leg
Start with your pattern piece and use your jaw to cut the wood as close as you can to the pattern. You will likely be able to get within 1/16” and then you can use your router to get in closer. Keep the pattern stuck to the top of the piece of wood and slowly slide it across the router bit to create a perfect match to the pattern itself.
You can do it with just a few simple passes across the router and then use that same pattern whenever you want to get another piece just the same.
Now that you know the basics of using your router and you know a few little things you can do to really get going with your router you definitely are ready to start with more extensive projects. Starting with just a few simple projects is definitely going to make things easier on you when you’re ready to graduate to something more extensive. You’ll definitely be surprised at just how easy it really is to create your favorite projects and get something you’re really going to love. Plus, you’ll be able to just keep going with more and more amazing projects that will impress everyone.