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Routers and bits

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  • Routers and bits

    I've got two routers (and a home-made router table) but I really don't think I'm getting all the use I can out of them...

    I've got three bits; a rabbet bit, a straight bit, and a flush-trim bit...

    So I thought I'd start this thread to ask what people use routers for, any tips they have for using one, and favorite bits and jigs!


  • #2
    A router mounted in a table with a template follower can be very useful, especially when making name plates and signs. I've found that cutting ovals is very difficult so I bought some wooden blanks from a craft supplier that I use as templates. First the template is fastened with screws to the two pieces of board which will be used to make the sign, then roughly cut to shape on a bandsaw:

    Then the whole is shaped on the router table:

    The template is removed and both boards, now identical ovals, are separated. Of course, the screwholes pass through the board which will be used as a backer and into the front board, so realigning them after the motif is cut out of the front board is a doddle:

    You can see that the front of the sign has been rounded over, this time with a handheld router fitted with a roundover bit and bearing guide.

    I also like using small roundover bits in a Dremel fitted in its dedicated router table. It's very useful for rounding over segment edges before they are assembled.

    There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
    (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)


    • #3

      For scrollsaw work I use a router for trim edging for plaques and bases mostly. I'll use it also (not a lot at this time) for making my own frames.

      Now, I've talked with a guy at a Flea Market who does all intarsia work. He cuts his patterns out of melonite (sp?). Then attaches the melonite to the wood, trims is down close to the pattern with either a bandsaw or a scrollsaw. Then he'll use a flush trim router bit using the melonite cut out as his 'pattern'. Of course some areas and pieces still need a saw because it's to tight for a router bit. After that... he then sands as needed... but on some places he uses round over bits so he doesn't need to sand so much.

      Whew... I hope that was understood?


      • #4
        Hmmm, tough question to answer Bob. The bits that I use fairly regularly are the rabbeting bit set, roundovers, core, 5/32 Roman ogee, classical ogee and flush trim. I use the core and ogee bits for decorating frame, shelf and plaque edges while the roundovers seem to get used for just about everything (other than scrolling) that I work on.
        I want to pick up a 3+ HP router soon to start using some of the larger diameter bits for raised panels as well.
        Scrollsaw Patterns Online
        Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671


        • #5
          I use the router like Gill says, to flush trim off templates. I use it to make perfect circle templates out of masonite with a circle cutting jig that attaches to the router base. I use a key hole bit for hanging smaller pictures. I make cabinet doors with mine, I have a few different cope and stick bits. Of course all the traditional edging bits for doors, cutting boards and what not. Hopefully a new dovetail jig will arrive, and then I will be using the router for dovetails.
          usually I dont use a router for dado's, unless I need to dado inside a frame that is circular or eliptical, the table saw is faster.
          I have a router and homemade jig for making mortises.
          I have 6 routers and two router tables. Certain routers are dedicated for certain jobs so that they don't have to be re-adjusted. If I get the Leigh dovetail for christmas, I'll buy another router or two just for dovetails, because perfect dovetails take alot of setup.
          Jeff Powell


          • #6
            a keyhole bit is extremely useful on scroll work. Also, a round over, ogee, or even a 45 degree bevel are all useful as well on plaques, bases and such. If you get into cabinetry, a rail and stile bit set will be useful for you. Some bits pretty much require the router to be table mounted, as the router is an extremely dangerous tool if you arent very careful.And, never try to hog off all of your wood in one pass. Take some off until your down to just a sliver more to go to get the look your after, then take that last cut in one big continuous cut. Some cuts will require you to make multiple passes to get to your final destination (raised panel bit), while some its safe to just run the board across and its done (a small roundover bit).I have one B&D, one Skil, one Crapsman, and two Bosch routers, one of which I have never used, but couldnt pass up a great deal.Currently the craftsman is tablemounted, in a craftsman table. One of these years I am going to get a router raiser and build a nice table to mount one of the Boschs in. Just remember, think out each cut, BEFORE its to late. Dale
            Dale w/ yella saws


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