Using a wood router can prove to be difficult at times, especially if you’re new to wood cutting. There are certain factors that can greatly affect your overall performance with these wood cutting tools. The goal is, of course, to learn the proper method of using routers, acquire standard and additional equipment that increases stability and overall performance, and have a decent workshop. Know that only with all three elements present will you feel comfortable while woodworking.
Once you’ve got everything set up, you’ll perform cuts effortlessly and with great confidence. To make accurate and precise cuts with your wood router, you’ll need a couple of tools and a proper cutting technique. So let’s start from the top and learn the basics or handling routers, shall we?
Without knowing the basics, we can’t learn the advanced techniques and gain access to higher knowledge in a specific area of expertise.
So to obtain the knowledge that you require, it’s important to learn about each of these steps and follow them accordingly:
-Create a Plan
-Preparation and measuring
-Utilizing the right Equipment
-Develop a technique
-Maintenance and storing
Every plan requires preparation. So to start, let’s shine some light on the topic of proper preparation of your woodworking project.
Before we do anything, we first create an image of that action in our minds, right? Only when we create a clear goal of what we need to do, can we pursue that goal and ultimately achieve it. The same rule applies to precise cutting in woodworking. To know what you need to do, you should start by creating the whole picture in your mind. So start by sketching how your project should look like once it’s finished and mark all the important detail like length, height, depth, position and angle on parts and joints of your project.
This way, we create a mental image that acts as a guideline once we start working. Once you’re done prepare all the tools that you need and place them on your router table, or store it if you have a compartment underneath. Gather your material, additional woodworking equipment and start marking and measuring.
This is probably the most important step in learning how to deliver precise cuts with a router. To cut with efficiency and precision, you’ll first need to know where and how to cut.
This means that every piece of your project should be marked and measured before even placing it on the working surface. Make sure to double check those markings. Now that you have marked a line that shows you exactly where and how to cut, you can choose your router bit and start cutting. To ensure that you’ve marked your material right use leveling tool and additional tools that guarantee precision. You might find their use unnecessary at first, but it’s advisable to make sure that the pieces are in perfect alignment, parallel with their opposing end pieces.
The alternative is putting a good material to waste by making the wrong cuts, damaging the material with improper handling or utilization of tools or simply because you’ve marked and measured with inaccuracy. It’s important to pay attention to this step as it will allow you to continue to next step without looking back.
Tools and Additional Stabilizing Equipment
Now that you’ve measured, marked and gathered your essential wood cutting equipment, and arranged all the needed tools, it’s time for cutting, right?
Not so fast. To make the most of your wood cutting session and maximize your performance, effectiveness, and precision in cuts, you’ll need additional stabilizing equipment. You can make the most of this equipment yourself. However, if you’re short on time, or simply prefer to buy it, you can start by visiting your local hardware stores. Look for stabilizer jigs or any similar type of additional equipment for routers, clamps, precision router base or any workbench tools. After obtaining these tools that are specially designed maximize precision and stability when working with a wood router, you can start with the actual work.
Utilizing the Technique
Depending on how well you’ve equipped your workshop, and followed previous steps, you’ll either perform with ease cutting with maximum precision or with average precision. Being that you’re here to learn how to improve the precision of your cuts and add stability to your movement, let’s assume that you’ve already acquired all the essentials and are ready to start.
So where to start?
If you haven’t had much experience, try with easier woodworking projects. This will allow you to gain confidence in your work and prepare for more advanced projects.
Start with the biggest pieces and work your way down to cutting smaller pieces of your project. This will allow you to save time and energy. It’s important to prioritize tasks as you’ll ensure that you get the product that you visualized. This way you’ll progress on your project according to plan, and as you’ll learn, by utilizing this technique you’ll become more efficient and perform faster.
Proper Maintenance of Router Bits
Another thing that guarantees precision in your cuts is proper maintenance of your router bits, extension, and additional equipment. These tools are in need of constant maintenance, and proper maintenance includes cleaning, sharpening, lubricating and storing your bits and pieces of router extensions. You can’t simply leave everything on the table once you’re done the cutting. Disassemble all the parts, adjust any modifications that you might’ve done on them, and store them in properly.
Only then will you start to notice that your equipment lasts longer, performs better and more importantly you’ll feel a sensation of accomplishment as you leave your workshop. This will become sort of a ritual in time as you get your routine and learn how to assemble and reassemble tools and equipment without even thinking about it, performing each step mechanically.
As we’ve learned, it takes a lot more to learn how to perform with precision and effectiveness then it might seem. Each step matters as you’ll feel ready for the next, and won’t have anything else on your mind except the perfect cutting and carving technique. Develop your own technique, and maximize your productiveness and performance allowing your business to strive and rise above the competition.