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  • router questions

    I've never had a router nor knew anyone, except my dad who did but, by the time he got one I was long married and lived in another city.

    So, I bought a router to help out with the framing of my cuttings. Now I have some questions that I should have asked before buying.
    1. Is picture framing about all it's good for? I mean besides cutting trim which I don't really plan to do. Ever. Right now.
    2. If you are routing thin wood how do you keep it from going in the blade hole at the end of the material? Use longer material and cut it off? Then how do you route that cut? Do I now need to buy a Dremel router set up?
    3. How do you route a circle or oval for a base?

    I have done a search here but found little info on how to use the thing to its best potential. I did a youtube search but only found how to cut a circle or oval using other router accessories and how to make a frame. If you know of a site; print, photos or video please point me in that direction. I now have the router, the bits and the table from my dad and hate the idea of having all that just to make cut-outs for frames. There must be something else.

    thanks in advance
    cpowell

  • #2
    First question what kind of router did you buy? Trim router or full size?

    Routers are useful for all kinds of things but you do need the correct bits and accessories. Routing circles requires either a circle jig or a template to follow with a guide bushing. This web site has just about everything to do with routers Router Forums - Router and Woodworking Discussion Community

    After awhile you get crazy like me and build a CNC router table and you can make things like in the pictures.
    Attached Files
    Tim

    In God we trust, all others must pay cash!

    I don't want no bargains, they always cost me more money.

    Comment


    • #3
      It is a plunge router from Harbor Freight, full size. I didn't want to spend a lot until I figured out what to do with it and how I could use it. That way it wouldn't be too great a loss. I figured I could always do some signs at least. I only paid $70. I had borrowed the neighbors non-plunge for a couple of weeks, it was a BD and was loud and a bit slow even with new bits. My new one is much, much quieter and faster and cuts very smooth. I have it attached to my router table.
      I'm going now to check out the link.
      By the way, that's some really nice work there. You built a CNC machine? How?

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      • #4
        Thanks for the link badger I just registered and am checking it out. It looks very interesting!

        Comment


        • #5
          Take your time and research information about the proper use of a router. The router can be the 2nd most dangerous tool in your shop. Learn how to use it properly before you even turn it on.
          Last edited by wood-n-things; 06-22-2012, 10:02 AM.
          "Still Montana Mike"

          "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
          Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC

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          • #6
            I have an assortment of routers. One big horsepower one mounted in a table, another smaller one also in a table. But my most used one is a Bosch Colt trim router. I use for all of my rounding over etc. I just bought a rabbeting kit for cutting a recess in picture frames etc.
            Mike's advice is very good, a router can take off body parts.
            Rolf
            RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
            Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
            Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
            And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

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            • #7
              I ordered the plans for the CNC from Solsylva CNC Plans~ Home Page
              I used the 24" X 48" plans but I increased the length of the X axis to work with the 72" lead screws.

              Mike and Rolf did give you great advice be very careful with the router. Sharp bits spinning between 10,000 and 30,000 RPM's can cause serious injury. Always pay attention when using the router and if it doesn't look safe when you are attempting something then don't do it. Sometimes mounted in a table is the way to go but there are other times when you need to use the fixed or plunge base. Between this site and the other site I'm sure you will learn to use your new toy in a safe manner. Never be afraid to ask a question around here.
              Tim

              In God we trust, all others must pay cash!

              I don't want no bargains, they always cost me more money.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Rolf View Post
                But my most used one is a Bosch Colt trim router.
                Same here Rolf. That is my "go to" router.

                Bob

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                • #9
                  Yeah, after mounting it on the table and putting the fence in place I turned it on and thought to myself "Holy Cow! This thing would eat you up!" So, I have a healthy respect for it and am really careful with what and how I do things with it. Over the years I have grown attached to having all my fingers. ha ha ha

                  There's still a lot for me to learn around here...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yes, you need to respect that Router. I love to use mine, but, I watch very close, how I proceed with my use of it. Enjoy it & let us see some of the things you do with it.
                    Take Care
                    PERK

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                    • #11
                      If you've never used a router before, I would recommend that you do some light reading on the topic. Here's an excellent resource on all things router related that would be a good place to start.

                      ROUTER WOODWORKING

                      Also a good book or 2 would be a great addition to your library. I believe Pat has links to several books on his site.

                      As has already been mentioned, the router is a dangerous tool, but it is so versatile that once you learn the safety basics, it can become a real workhorse in any woodworking shop.
                      Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

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                      • #12
                        We can all agree that routers are very useful machines and very dangerous ones. One very basic rule to ALWAYS remember is that the wood need to be fed into the spinning bit. I'm not good at drawing but if you looked down at a bit in motion, the front part of the bit is moving from left to right while the back part of the bit is moving from R to L If routing the on the front of the bit, your work need to be fed from the R to left into the spinning bit. If you work on the back side of the bit, feed the wood from L to R.

                        I hope you learn to use a router and be comfortable with it because they are great in any shop. Besides making picture frame stock and molding, routers can be used to cut channels for any reason like dado joints. With the right bits, you can make paneled furniture. If you need to trim something - routers are perfect. Do get a book and do read about routers. I have 3 of them - a fixed base, a plunge, and the Bosch Colt (great trim router + more).

                        As for bits - there are so many different bits that it's mind boggling. So which ones do you buy? I bought a set (bits are cheaper when bought in sets) and found myself using certain bits much more often the others. If you wear out a cheap bit, it's probably because you use it more often then most of the others. Replace the cheap bits with good quality ones. Good quality bits are worth the investment but cheap sets are a good learning tool. Hope this helps!
                        It's never hot or cold in NH, it's always seasonal!

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                        • #13
                          I went to the library and bookstore and picked up some reading. They all have basically the same safety info then jump into projects which, in my opinion, is where you really start learning. Now, I have tried a few cuts and done some "just messing around". It is an interesting tool and I am beginning to see how I can use this tool. I even found out how one can use it as a plane pieces and that's really cool!
                          I don't intend to make furniture but then who knows about later? I'm just learning and having a great time with this and these tools.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My wife (a librarian, would be proud of you. Books are a great source of learning. I have developed my woodworking skills fro "weekend warrior" to craftsman over the years. Nobody has taught me - I've learned through books and practice. Good luck...

                            and do be careful. routers can be dangerous.
                            It's never hot or cold in NH, it's always seasonal!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Bernie; I'm a teacher so I know how important books are, even in this internet age. Back before the internet I used to take my kids to the library and I would tell them "anything worth knowing can be found in here". Now they tell me "anything worth knowing can be found on the internet". They have their iphones, ipads and iwhatevers, while I prefer to hold something in my hand so I can refer back to it handily. I agree with learning by one's self. What I have learned about woodworking I have learned on my own with books, the internet and the kind folks here on this forum.

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