Popular Woodworking 2003-10 № 136, страница 49

Popular Woodworking 2003-10 № 136, страница 49




Fixed-base Router

The router is perhaps the most versatile tool in your shop. You can rout not only decorative shapes, but also many joints.

Reduced to its simplest form, the router is a motor and a shaft with means of holding interchangeable bits. Once you understand that, using the router becomes a much simpler task. But first, you should know what all those other parts are, and why they're there.

Types of Routers

When you look for a portable router, you will find that they can generally be classified into four categories:

■ The Basic Router

Sometimes called a fixed-base router, this is just a motor mounted on a base. Most offer V2- to 1^2-horsepower motors,

and their collets will accept router bits with 1/4" or 1/2" shanks. The bases are usually 6" in diameter. This is the router we will be discussing here.

■ The Laminate Trimmer

A scaled-down version of the basic router, this has a smaller motor and base. It has a 1/4" collet and is used for trimming laminates and veneers, and is especially handy when you are balancing the tool on thin or narrow work-pieces. It's also useful for chores that require finesse, as opposed to strength. Some laminate trimmers come with interchangeable bases that let you work in tight areas or will allow you to rout at an angle, which no full-size router can.

■ The Rotary Tool

This lets you use very small bits and accessories for more delicate work. It's a

carving or engraving tool (such as a Dremel) that can be mounted in a router base accessory. It usually has interchangeable collets for 1/16" or 1/s" shanks. The small size lets you rout inlays, cut mortises for small hardware, make delicate joints or do other jobs where a standard-size router would be too clumsy or difficult to balance.

■ The Plunge Router

This does all the things that the basic router can do, plus it makes "plunge cuts." Its motor is mounted on two spring-loaded slides above the base, which let you position the motor above the work, push the bit into the wood and begin cutting. The plunge router excels at cutting joints, such as mortises. [Editor's Note: We will focus more on the plunge router in Chapter Two.]


Back-routing (climb-cutting)

Occasionally you must back-rout a piece to reduce tear-out on figured wood. This means you cut with the bit's rotation, instead of against it. It's much more difficult to control your work this way, so be sure to take shallow cuts and feed very slowly. Keep the router and the work steady, making sure you don't let the bit chatter.

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