How to Use a Router Table

When it comes to woodworking, it is highly recommended to count on a router table. A unit like this will definitely help you obtain excellent results, especially if accuracy is the most important detail for you. Furthermore, you will also save precious time, as you will finish your projects a lot faster. If you are actually planning to purchase a unit like this in the near future, then you need to make sure you know exactly how to use it. Therefore, the following information will surely help you learn how to do that.

What is it actually?

These items are stationary machines that are used these days in the woodworking field. They feature a vertical fence, against which the workpiece is being guided in order to actually control the horizontal depth of cut. They are able to increase the versatility of hand-held routers. Furthermore, they are highly recommended for very small workpieces that would certainly not support a hand-held router. Basically, anything that is quite detailed needs to be routed on a table, in order to obtain a fantastic result. These days, you will find on the market different models which will surely be a real help.

Common uses

Most of the times, people use it at home to build different DIY projects or to fix wooden objects around the house. The complexity of the cuts varies from the simplest ones to the ones that require expert skills. However, the most common uses in cutting wood are:

  • Edge trimming and template work
  • Joining two pieces of wood
  • Tongue and groove cuts
  • Working with long, narrow or small stock
  • Stopped cuts
  • Building raised panel doors
  • Drawer locks, finger joints, or lock-miter
  • Dovetail and box joinery

How you can use one

It is very important that you know exactly how to maneuver it if you want exceptional results. Therefore, the following information will surely help you understand exactly what steps must be followed. We are going to talk a bit about the most common woodworking procedures that you can master at the beginning.
For example, working with long and narrow stock is not as complicated as many people think it is. A long and narrow stock is actually easily machined on a router table. The feather boards make this whole process even easier. They actually allow you to concentrate on a steady, even feed rate, by holding the stock tight against the surface of the fence and table. In general, a machine like this will surely help you work with the stock of dimensions that don’t lend themselves to handheld router work. Small pieces of stock represent a challenge to work with. Handheld work on parts with very small dimensions often involves a difficult balancing act. What you must do is to keep the router perfectly upright on the stock that doesn’t do a great job of supporting the router base. In order to compound the problem, you need to have a way of holding the stock itself in place while you actually work.
When it comes to edge trimming and template, things are also quite easy if using a routing table. When you decide to trim the edge of a piece of stock to a smooth, square, and flat surface, what you actually must do is to attach a straightedge or a template to a piece of stock. Do not forget to use a flash trim router bit in preparation for profiling with a raised panel bit. This whole process is very easy if using a machine like this, while with a handheld router is a lot more difficult, and the result will surely not be that great.
This product can also be used as a jointer. Therefore, with the jointing shims, which are available for the Rockler models, it will actually take you only a few minutes to set-up for edge-jointing. Furthermore, with this table and just a few basic router bits, you will surely be surprised what you can obtain, especially if you have several identical parts to cut. You can easily cut grooves, sliding dovetails, slots, dadoes, and rabbets. They can also be easily and quickly set up in order to perform a stopped cut. On the other hand, if you use a handheld router or a table saw for the same operation, then the entire procedure is often extremely cumbersome or dangerous.



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