How to Use a Router Table | Basic Instructions and Tips for Beginners

Routers are important woodworking tools and are majorly used to rout an area of hard materials such as wood or plastics. The so-called wood routers began as hand driven tools but they have evolved over time and today we can boast of electronically powered spinning routers. However, the more they have evolved, the higher the risks of injuries and increasing costs of maintaining them. That’s why, our article will teach you about the safe use, dos and don’ts of the router table.

They are mainly handheld and can be fastened on the table for easier working. These power tools can be extremely dangerous if handled without care.

However, using a router table can make working with the device much easier and with fewer hazards.

So, what does a router table do, to ensure safe operation? Well, this equipment allows sliding or running the wood over the wood. But how do you safely use a router table? This article will answer all these questions and many others that might be ringing annoyingly in your mind.

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Purpose of Using a Router Table

Generally speaking, a router table adds versatility since it allows the tool to work when at an inverted angle. So, an inverted router is placed on a table letting the user run the wood over the device instead of running the machine over the wood or material being worked upon. Now, it is important to appreciate that router tables come in a variety of shapes and can be portable or stationary.

A router table is basically made by attaching the fixed base router to the below side of the table with fasteners or bolts. Making sure that the bit stays in place while you do the job is one way of ensuring safety. There is a guard at the top of the table that fits over these bits in a bid to ensure they don’t pop off and ended up accidentally injuring the user. Now, the underneath of the guard, you are the routers collet which should be screwed tightly so that it doesn’t pop off.

Another safety precaution is to ensure that the table is clamped securely to the bench so that it doesn’t slide under any circumstances.

Safe Use of the Router Table

Ensure that you place the wood so that it is cut against the fence. The material should always be fed through the router bit ensuring that it is aligned with the fence. Hence, a groove will be created through the length of the wood. In addition, a wood router can do more tasks than just cut those fancy edges. It can create beautiful dados, rabbits and create extremely amazing patterns.

Of course, as we have said earlier, the main work of a router is to make routs or hollow out an area of those relatively hard stocks such as wood, plastics, and other materials. It is commonly used in cabinetry since they need those amazing patterns.

In summary, the following tips will help you in using a router table safely

Always use push blocks to ensure that your hands are at safe distance away from the bit. The router and bits might look minute to you, but they are extremely lethal if they get into contact with your hands. That’s why pus blocks are of profound importance when working with a router.

Large diameter bits are advised for router tables only. When you use inches diameter bits in the handled router, you drastically lose control of the device. Thus, accuracy reduces at the same time, increasing the chances for accidents or injuries.

Make sure you wear a good eye and ear protection. While making those beautiful trims and designs seems enjoyable, some wood pellets or dust can reach your eyes and cause serious damages. Equally, the ears can be damaged by the high decibels produced by this small but important cabinetry machine.

It is advisable to take light cuts since heavy ones do invite kickbacks. While making those beautiful trims and designs seems enjoyable, some wood pellets or dust can reach your eyes and cause serious damages. This helps in supporting your workpiece or material against the table or fence.

You shouldn’t climb-cut. So, the stock should be fed from right to left side. This will comply with the rotation of the router bit. Besides, the router pushes the bit in the counter direction of the stock.

Your Safety 

Don’t get used to shaping small stock. It is safe to shape large sized stock. It is even wiser to shape larger stock and shaping it into size afterward. And if shaping small stock is mandatory, use some specialized wooded clamp to feed the stock.

Always make sure that you use a guard. Most models come with a guard and if your machine didn’t come with one, it is worth buying an aftermarket model.

Never start a router with a bit in contact with the stock. This can cause some mishaps to the motor, and it may burn out in case something goes wrong.

Overloading the stock is very dangerous, and it can destroy your machine and increase the chances of injuries.

Make sure you have secured the motor in the base you power on the router. This will ensure the vibrational forces don’t affect the motor and cause it to misbehave.

Last but not least, you should never bottom out a bit in the routers collet. Also, inserting the bit part is a very dangerous too. Instead, you should ensure that the bit is completely inserted and that you need to back off about 1/16 inch.

Final Verdict

There you have it; the top tricks and tips for working with a router table. Just like other woodworking equipment, you should handle a router table with utmost precautions. That way, you can excel in your cabinetry skills and achieve more.

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