How to Use a Plunge Router

A plunge router is a great tool for adding detail to wood work, or to make your own custom trim pieces. You can create your own trim, add fluting work to crown molding, and even create intricate designs in the middle of a cupboard door.

Many homeowners will also use a plunge router to cut out the space for a sink in a countertop, or clean out an area for a door hinge. Plunge routers quite versatile in how they can be used. However, there are some tips to use these routers correctly.

What You Will Need

•Plunge Router
•Router bits

Step One - Set in Plunge Router Bit

Router bits come in a lot of different sizes and shapes. They can be straight cutting, but also create beveled edges, curved surfaces, and even tongue and groove joinery. Choose the correct plunge router bit that you will be using for your project.

Once the bit is chosen, then you will need to turn the router upside down. Push the spindle release button near the top of the plunge router and loosen the spindle nut with the wrench provided by the manufacturer. There will be a slot near the spindle where you can slip the wrench through. Slide the bit into the spindle and then tighten in a clockwise motion. Make sure the spindle it tight, but take care not to over tighten it.

Step Two - Clamp Wood to Stable Surface

Because the router bit will be spinning at a high rate of speed, it is important that you clamp your work piece to a sturdy worktable. Once the plunge router bit hits the wood it will have a tendency to want to turn the wood instead of digging into it. When the wood is secured, your router bit will seamlessly enter the wood without any problems.

Step Three - Set Plunge Router Depth

Set the plunge router in its side and set the depth you want to cut the groove. Press in the depth guide to release the springs that hold the bottom plate. Push up on the plate guide until you get the desired depth. Use a ruler to make sure you are precise. Release the depth guide lever and it will lock the bottom plate into place.

Step Four - Set Plunge Route into Position

A plunge router can be set flush on the wood piece as you need to push a button on the handle to plunge the bit into the piece. This makes it very easy to set the router into position without marring the wood. Set the plunge router where you want to make the first cut.

Step Five - Plunge Bit into Piece

Once you have the router into position, then plug it in. Grab the router by both handles and look at the bit positioning through the view slot. Press the power button to start the router spinning and press the plunge button on the handle. This will let you plunge the bit into the wood at your own speed. Do so with even pressure until the bit has dug in to the desired depth. Release the button and run router over the work piece.