A wood router is a very versatile and important power tool for those special design cuts, such as raised panels, bevels, and dovetails. It can also serve as a handy tool in sign-making and other scribing projects. How to use a router safely and efficiently depends on respecting its power and understanding how it works. Here are some tips for using a router that will save wasted effort and material and prevent injury.
One of the more important tips for using a router is to always use safety glasses or goggles when using any power tool in wood work. Ear protection is also strongly recommended in router tips because they run at a very high decibel level.
The piece being routed must always be secured. The torque of a router will throw the wood if it’s not clamped down, and the router can also be thrown out of the hands. This is very important for those learning how to use a router.
Router tips must include never touching a spinning bit, and waiting until the bit cools before changing it. Be sure to keep the cord away from the bit as well.
It is always recommended to make gradual cuts. This prevents drag on the motor and dulling of the bit. Start with a smaller bit and make several passes, gradually increasing the size of the bit. This is how to use a router wisely.
Do not turn on the router when the bit is in contact with the wood. This will also throw the piece being worked on or the router itself. This is how to use a router in the safest possible way.
Tips for using a router safely include moving the router in the opposite direction of the spin of the bit. The router will race out of control if moved in the wrong direction, learn more.
Always make a test cut on a scrap piece of wood before starting on the work piece. This will avoid wasting material and will help to ensure the right bit is being used and the desired depth is being achieved.
How to use a router safely also includes never holding a work piece with one hand and the router with the other hand. Clamp smaller pieces to a workbench or router table. Both hands must stay on the router at all times.
When working near the edge of a piece, use another wood piece of equal width to support the router. Clamp the support piece directly against the edge(s) of the work piece. This is one of the more practical router tips.
Router tips include using a guide piece when necessary, especially for intricate cuts. Clamp a separate piece of wood to the top of the work piece and position it to guide the router.