Whether you’re an enthusiast DIYer or a professional woodworker, getting a wood router would be one of the first tools you purchase. Using the router with its best potential and for larger projects require a table to mount the router. People who love perfection in their projects need routers for molding profiles, making grooves, lettering the piece, and so on. It may seem complex for the beginners to get started with a router table and can become harder to understand.
However, once you get familiar with the process and know the tips to get the best out of the tool, it’s the best thing to own. If you’re planning to get a router table, you must know how it works and the process it requires. Stick to the article to know the router table tips and tricks that can make you better at working with a router.
What can you do with a table router?
A table router can get your routing experience to a whole new level at woodworking. Here are the applications and works that a table router will enable you to do:
- Grooves: Cutting grooves and slots is the most common and most beneficial use of the router tables. You cannot make perfect grooves with free routing.
- Guide: If you have to make guided cuts, a router table will be a piece of cake because it comes with a fence to guide your cuts with a reference piece.
- Finger joint: Specialized joineries like finger joints, lock miter, drawer lock, and some other complex joineries require a router mounted to a table with a proper guide.
- Dovetail: Making box joints and dovetail is a special purpose that a router table serves. You can make stopped cuts and make perfectly measured and shaped dovetail joints using a router table.
- Pattern work: Trimming the edge of a bigger piece following a reference piece or a pattern can be a hectic job. However, with a router table, that hard job can be a piece of cake once you understand the process.
Router table tips and tricks
Using a router table has numerous benefits for sure, but you must know how to make the best use of it. Here are the router table tips and tricks that can help you understand the process and make it work:
Safety comes first
Before you start using a router table, you have to make sure that you know all the safety precautions and how to follow them. Eye and ear protection are the foremost things to consider getting as the router will produce sound and dust. Change the router bits after losing the sharpness, or they might damage your workpiece.
Place the table properly
You must place your router tale in a comfortable place where you can move around and work with large pieces without struggling. Connect the router to a direct electric line to avoid any electric problems. Have a dust management system in the workshop to keep the machines and yourself okay.
Use the fence
The best thing about router tables is, they come with the fence that guides you for a precise cut. You can adjust the depth of the cut or you can use it as a guide for parallel blocks for making. Experiment with the fence and make sure you understand every move that makes it work for you.
Use the featherboard
Featherboards on router tables make it much safer and easier to work with small and extra long pieces. It also comes in handy when you need an extra hand to hold the piece close to the fence for an even cut. You can slide the lumber within the fence and featherboard, and it will hold on the piece firmly.
Shaping the edges
When you have to shape the edges of a board according to a reference piece, it becomes a complex cut. However, with a router table, you can do it just fine. Cut the first piece properly, adjust the router bit to the right height, and put the workpiece on the reference piece to start cutting.
Use a stopblock
If you need to make some dados or special box joineries, you can use a stop block with the router table. Attach it to the groove on the table by measuring the length of the dados you need and making the dados without adjusting it again.
Benefits of using a wood router table
A router table completes your router set up in your woodworking station and gives you a bunch of extra benefits, such as:
- Working on a long, small, and narrow stock can be hard; but, with a router table in action, it becomes easier.
- The feather boards on the router tables will make it easier for you to hold on the piece properly.
- If you have to make dados or special joineries, the router table’s guided groove will help you with perfect measurement.
- The table gives you ultimate flexibility for larger pieces and for making better cuts and organizing the pieces.
Frequently asked questions
Here are the most frequently asked questions about router tables that people are interested in knowing about:
Are router tables necessary?
If you want the maximum output from a router table with flexibility, you need a router table. However, if you use a router occasionally only for chipping edges, it’s not necessary for you.
Can I use a router table as a jointer?
Yes, a router table is a great option as a narrow jointer for edge joining. However, it doesn’t do a great job for bigger face joinery because it’s too narrow for that.
Will any router fit any router table?
A router table should fit in almost any type of hand routers except some special ones. Make sure the table comes with a router riser for easy control to change the bits.
A router table is a great addition to your woodworking shop if you have many routine jobs. However, it’s not for those who use the router only for trimming out the edges occasionally.
If you’ve got a router table or plan to get one, some router table tips and tricks can help you big time get the best out of it. Knowing how to use it will enable you to make crucial joineries, better crafting, and profiling on the piece. Pieces become smoother with the perfection you get from a router table.