Power Router Basics: Controlling Feed Direction Power Router Basics: Controlling Feed Direction

What You'll Need
Power Router
Wood
Safety Glasses
Earplugs
Clamp

A power router is used to make detailed edge cuts into wood. The machine can make many woodworking jobs easier while allowing you to create decorative wood moldings and other objects. The router’s oscillating bit can take some getting used to and first-time users will have to learn how to control the bit and wood. Feeding wood to a router bit incorrectly will produce undesirable results.

It is worth learning how to master this tool because it provides you with an additional resource when making edge cuts. Practice and time will give you the experience and confidence to use the power router successfully. Here are a few steps that will help you learn how to master the tool and its different cutting capabilities.

Step 1: Wear Safety Gear

When using a power router always wear protective eyewear and earplugs. The safety glasses will protect your eyes from flying debris while the earplugs will lessen the noise from the machine. The machine can produce sounds in excess of 85 to 100 decibels. Prolonged exposure to sound levels of this nature will lead to premature hearing loss.

Step 2: Attach Router Bit

The power router has various bits that produce different types of edge cuts into wood. Experiment with the different bits to determine how these cuts are made and to get a proper gauge of the process needed to feed the wood and produce the cut.

The power router should be in the off position when changing bits. Make sure that the new bit is properly set in place and secured before turning the router on.

Step 3: Turn the Router on Before Contact

Depending on whether or not your router powers up to full speed when turned on or has a soft start where it gradually powers up, never place the wood in contact with the router bit before depressing the power switch. Doing so may cause the wood to spin off the platform and become a flying hazard.

Step 4: Work in the Right Direction

The wood should be fed in the direction of the router bit in order to produce the cut. This should be done slowly and carefully to prevent damage or injury from occurring. The router may have a arrow that indicates the direction in which the wood should be fed. If not, consult the instruction manual for the model power router that you have.

Step 5: Use a Clamp for Smaller Pieces

It is easier to work with smaller pieces of wood by using a clamp and guiding the bit around the desired cutting area. Use 2 hands to control the router and keep the piece of wood from becoming damaged or flying off the cutting platform.

These steps should help make using the power router easier for you. Practice making different cuts in order to build an expertise and comfort with controlling the wood feed.

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