Popular Woodworking 2009-12 № 180, страница 17

Popular Woodworking 2009-12 № 180, страница 17

The Wood Whisperer


Get the Most From Your Router

These tips and tricks will take you a long way toward success.


he router is, simply put, a multi-tasking workhorse in the woodshop. But you would be surprised by how many folks don't get the most out of their router experience. After all, this hand-held powerhouse has the potential to create, and an equal and opposing power to destroy. While the concept seems simple - a metal bit spins in circles as you drag the unit along a piece of wood - it can be harder than one might think to achieve perfect and consistent results.

I vividly remember my first experience with a router. The shellac on my woodworking wings was still wet and I decided it was time to get serious about edge profiles and joinery. I dropped some hard-earned cash on the same router I saw David Marks use in his DIY Network show, "Woodworks" - the Dewalt DW621.

I had visions in my head of graceful roun-dovers, crisp chamfers and perfectly cut mortises. Unfortunately, the reality was a little less magnificent. Between the tear-out, the burn marks and the occasional piece of airborne wood, I was feeling discouraged.

Taking a step backward I decided to hit the books and reinforce the fundamentals of good routing. Armed with that knowledge, I returned to the shop and began to achieve the results I had originally hoped for. Since then, the router has become one of the most useful and versatile tools in my arsenal.

Over the years I've learned numerous


nline EXTRAS

To watch a video of The Wood Whisperer as he demonstrates ways to create burn-free routed edges and explains how flush-trim bits improve your work, go to:


Bit arsenal. If you do a lot of routing, you'll surely build up a large collection of bits in a short time. Keep them neatly organized and clean, and they'll always be ready for the routing job at hand.

tips, tricks and insights that I wish I was aware of when I first fired up that router. Here are some of my favorites.

What Bits to Buy?

Buying a set of router bits can be incredibly daunting for an experienced wood jockey, let alone a noob! Woodworkers everywhere ask themselves, "Should I buy a set or individual bits?" and "Why does one 12-piece set cost $30 while another set costs $200? "and "What about those 100-piece sets with the too-good-to-be-true prices?" Well forgive me for generalizing folks, but when it comes to router bits, you get what you pay for.

An inexpensive bit made with cheap steel just can't compete with a high-quality carbide bit in terms of balance and longevity. But let's not throw out the good wood with the sawdust! Bargain bits do have their place. The real dilemma is knowing which bits you'll use the most in your work.

Unfortunately this is something you don't always know ahead of time. My recommendation is to buy an inexpensive 12- or 20-piece set, use it for a few months then see for yourself which bits get the most action. Now you have a much better idea of which bits are worth buying from a better-quality manufacturer.


Popular Woodworking December 2009


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