the Router Workshop

Router Tips

Hang On To That Work Piece

It is understandable that most new router users are a bit timid when dealing with a tool that rotates at 20,000 or more revolutions a minute and makes a lot of noise when running. We see so many beginners who don't take a firm hold of the piece they are feeding into the router, possibly because they think that a light touch will make it easier for them to get out of the way if something goes wrong.

The thing to remember is that no one is fast enough to get out of the way of any power tool. The way to deal with the problem is to make sure that you are in charge of the operation. Hold the piece firmly. As long as you follow the safety rules you will never have to worry about getting out of the way.

The rules are simple enough. Hold the material firmly. Use a push stick whenever possible.

The key to having fun with your router is to work safely at all times.

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Remember the direction of feed

When you feed the work into the bit properly, the rotation of the bit holds the material tightly against the fence.

Apply Pressure

The most important pressure is downward pressure. If the material is not held firmly down it will tend to pop up and down, or at least tend to chatter. Chatter always produces a bad cut and there is always the possibility that chatter will lead to the piece getting away from you.

Use a Safety Pin

The importance of using a safety pin when routing irregular surfaces cannot be over emphasized. The pin takes the place of a fence, and when used the rotation of the bit helps hold the piece against the pin.

Changing Grip

If you have to change your grip on the material, first remove the piece from the bit, then regroup and proceed. Never stop the feed or change your grip while the bit is in contact with the stock.

Addtional Tips

Never use your thumbs over the back edge of a piece being fed into the bit. Use a push stick.

Don't wear jewelry or have loose clothing where it can be caught in a rotating bit.

Stay alert. Think about what you are doing, not how you will finish the project when it is complete.

Let the router bit reach full speed before starting the cut.

Keep the router table clean. Keep tools and supplies somewhere else.

Sometimes a little piece of paste wax will help smooth the table top, and produce a smooth surface rather than a sticky feed.