Router Table Basics

Router tables are extremely handy tools to have at home. They can be used for a variety of cutting, trimming and designing tasks on wood, metal and many other surfaces. In fact, routers are so versatile that most professional wood workers hold them above all else and consider them to be the most powerful tools in their repertoires. Although at its most fundamental, a router is used to create holes in wood and hollow out grooves, you would be surprised to learn that this amazing tool has limitless applications and be can used to create thousands of different patterns and designs on wood as well as other different materials, including plastic, metal etc. With a little practice and some motivation you could create and add the finishing touches on all the cabinets and furniture in your house.

Bosch RA1181 Bench top

Routers Basics 101

Since the bit is spins from left to right or an anti-clockwise direction, you should always put the wood in from right to left because. You should bear in mind that the router bit is moving at tremendous speed (at times over 20,000 RPM) so it is important that you keep your safety in mind at all times. You should always use a push block and a featherboard which helps apply pressure to the wood as you feed it in and keep it in place. More on featherboards and how to install them later on in the article.

It is always advisable to use mounting plates or insert plate, since they make working on the router easier and more efficient. When you place an insert plate on the table top, your router will attach to the plate, making it easier to work on top of the table as well as change router bits. Working without the use of an insert plate/mounting plate is cumbersome and means that you essentially have to work underneath the table top every time you need to change bits etc.

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Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table

Bosch RA1171 Cabinet Style Router Table

Throat plates are not the same as insert plates on the table top. These serve as are more of a precaution that keeps the mounting plate tight in place and prevents the wood from bearing down on it.

The fence is another major component on the router table. All fences are flexible and changeable. The fence is where you can mount t-tracks, mitter tracks as well as feather boards. All of these tools and accessories can help increase the security and accuracy with which you cut and shape wood.

Bench Dog 40-001 ProTop Contractor Bench Top Router Table

Install a router bit can be a little tricky, but it’s not rocket science. All you have to do is drop the bit in to the bottom and pull it back about the thickness of the coin. Then you have to fix the height of the bit and adjust the clearance of the fence.

The final adjustment that needs to be made is to the position of the fence. When you are done with all the above, the final adjustment you need to make is plug in the dang thing and you’re ready to go.

Remember to be safe and apply all the best accessories that will make your work easier and less tedious. The router table is phenomenally valuable. There are lots of things that you cannot do with it, including creating tons of masterpieces.

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