One of the most versatile tools in any workshop is the router. Here are a few tips on choosing and using this power tool.
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A router consists of a motor with a metal collet that holds a revolving cutting bit. The tool's adjustable base allows the user to control the depth of the cut.
Plunge routers work by plunging into the work instead of working from one side inward. The motor's speed varies from 10,000 rpm to 23,000 rpm, and the tool comes with collets in three sizes, making it easy to use bits of various sizes.
The fixed-base router has a D-shaped handle that allows the user to guide the router with one hand.
The flat-based router has a shoulder at its base that acts as a fence to guide the router. This kind of router is good for making freehanded cuts.
When a flat-based router is used for making freehanded cuts, however, the router tends to mar the wood at the end of a cut. To prevent this, attach a scrap piece of wood to the end of the work piece so the router will mar only the scrap.
To make a dado cut with a flat-based router, attach a fence to the work piece to guide the router. The distance from the fence to the spot where you want to cut a dado should be equal to the radius of the router's base.
An edge guide may be attached to the base of a router for making straight cuts. Position the foot of the guide against the edge of the work piece to act as a fence for cutting.