Routers At Work

Figure 1. A fixed-base router is best used with profiling bits.

Figure 2. The plunge router’s release lever allows the motor and bit to move up and down. Depth of cut can be preset.

Figure 3. Laminate trimmers are handy for light work such as easing the ends of decking boards.

Figure 4. The bearings of flush-cut bits can be located above or below the cutter.

Figure 5. The bearing on a rabbet bit is smaller than the cutter diameter.

Figure 6. Profile bits shape material into quarter rounds, ogees, angles, and pretty much any pattern you can imagine.

Figure 7. Straight bits don’t have bearings and are designed to be used with a guide bushing or some sort of fence.

Figure 8. Make templates, or jigs, from void-free material, and smooth the edges carefully.

Figure 9. On thick material, trace the pattern onto the workpiece and cut to within 1⁄8 inch of the layout line with a jigsaw before using a router.

Figure 10. Make the finish cut with a bearing guided bit, being sure to set the depth of cut so the bearing rides on the template.

Figure 11. Guide bushings ride on templates, guiding straight bits for cuts such as mortises.

Figure 12. Make a mortise template from material that’s slightly deeper than the distance the bushing extends from the router base.

Figure 13. Router bits make radius corners. Square them with a chisel, or rout the same radius on the corners of the male piece, using a roundover bit.

Figure 14. The simplest of router jigs can be a straightedge clamped to the workpiece.

Figure 15. Hold the router in place to set the depth of cut for half-lap joints.

Figure 16. Leave the workpiece a little long, and work inward as you cut a half-lap joint.

Figure 17. Adjust the straightedge as needed to guide a circular saw in cutting the work to length.

Figure 18. Glue and clamp a lap joint together.

Figure 19. To hold profiled stock, make one jig that grips its edges, and tape or hot-glue wedges to the jig to stabilize the workpiece.

Figure 20. A second jig atop the first guides the router to make an angled lap cut on profiled stock.

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