Double the value of your router with a router table. Smooth edges, cut extended frames, and mold small projects more accessible and more safely by using the table. We will show you how.
Hint 1: Make your moldings
Router tables are famous for cutting your moldings. Using a router table is more comfortable and quicker than using a router alone; you don’t have to clamp the board. And narrow boards that are difficult to shape with a router are a breeze on a router table.
Start by squeezing the bit into the router, mounting the router in the base, and improving the bit’s height. Don’t worry about taking the fence square to the table; it doesn’t involve this type of cut. If your bit has a block design, put a straightedge opposite the fence and fix it until there’s a paper-thin space between the outer edge of the bearing and the straightedge. Brace feather boards to the table and the wall to hold the work toward the bit. This permits you to focus on pushing the board.
To avoid injury marks from the router bit, feed the board at a constant rate without stopping. The price of supplies depends on the bit and type of wood. With experience, you’ll learn to decide the best rate by hearing the router and observing the resistance as you push against the board.
Cuts more than about 3/8 in. deep can wrench the router motor, put excessive pressure on the bit, and leave a rough or chipped surface on the wood. To avoid this, fix the fence so the bit eliminates about two-thirds of the wood with the first pass. Then rearrange the fence and make the final pass at a quicker feed rate.
Hint 2: Easy end-grain routing
Shaping ends with the best router table and square bearing bar with three advantages over end-grain routing with a handheld router. First, you’re not restricted to bearing-guided bits since the fence is managing the cut.
Second, unlike handheld routers, it’s just as simple to rout narrow pieces as wide ones. And finally, the bearing bar backs up the cut to remove the chipping and tear-out commonly connected with end-grain routing. It shows how to use an easy square bearing block to maintain your work square to the fence as you manage it past the bit.
Hint 3: Plane perfectly straight edges on boards or plywood
It uses a restricted time and endurance to set up your router table for planning the edge of a board, but it’s worth the struggle, especially for plywood edges. The stable, straight surface left by the router bit makes it simple to build an essentially invisible closure when you’re fixing wood edging to plywood.
The key to the setup is to wedge out the left half of the fence and to adjust the bit with it. If your router table fence isn’t movable, you can join a piece of plastic laminate to the face of the left half with double-faced tape so it can be removed when you’re done.
Here are some of the tasks you can perform with this setup:
- Plane the edges of plywood panels before using wood edging.
- Eliminate saw marks from the edges of ripped panels.
- Straighten the edges of boards so they can be fixed together.
Hint 4: Freehand routing with an opening pivot
Tiny bits that are tough to hold down while you’re shaping them with a handheld router are simple to shape on a router table. Use a bit with a bearing design that sits fronting the pattern. It shows a 1/2-in. Carbide flush-trimming bit being used to duplicate a technique.
You can also shape the edge of little bits with any bearing-controlled router bit using this similar technique. Turn the wood against the starting pivot block for more inclusive control over when it contacts the bit. Some router tables have a hole for an offset pin that supports the same design as the sharp stick we’re using. It doesn’t matter what you use as a pivot as long as it’s firmly connected and placed 2 to 3 in. from the bit.
Cut the pattern from MDF (medium-density fiberboard) or dried Masonite. Rough-cut your workpiece with a jigsaw and join the design with tiny nails, hot-melt glue, or double-faced tape. Sand the edges smoothly because the router bit will assign every imperfection in your way to your workpiece.
Required Tools for this Project
Have the required tools for this DIY project faced up before you start—you’ll save time and failure.
- Router table