The wood router and router table together have improved the aesthetics of nearly every home by making patterned wood much easier to produce and reducing the cost to manufacture and therefore reducing the price to the consumer. This has been further helped by the manufacturers using automatic cnc routing machines to reduce the production cost by even more.
This means much of the patterned wood in your home was created with a wood router and a router table.
Some examples of the wood patterned items in your home created with the router and router table
- Skirting boards
- Kitchen cupboard doors
- Bedroom cupboard doors
- Dado rail
- Bath panels
- Door frames
- Window frames
As you can see there is a very wide range of wood products in your home that have been produced this way, lets take a look at these power tools in some more depth.
How the wood router table works
The wood router table is the sturdy base every operator needs to produce precise wood routing work. It also provides you the ability to set up the guides to manually run the routing tool against to ensure you only cut away the exact parts you need to leave the decorative pattern in.
Before you purchase a router table you would be wise to have someone help you get started or to study some some videos on Youtube, you should also research some router table reviews to ensure you find one that will meet your wood routing expectations.
You will often find these in manufacturing companies and in woodworkers workshops. In the manufacturing factories they are often large custom built units that can take large wooden boards.
The woodworker normally prefers a smaller router table and they often opt for the pre-built tables that the big brands produce, this is not always the case and some like to build there own router table to a custom size so it fits snugly in their workshop
There are portable router tables and table top models that you can sit on any workbench or table but these are normally much smaller units more suited to people working with smaller parts like small cupboard doors.
Some of the components that make up the router table are
- Table base
- Fence and fixing points
- Base plate
- Dust extraction port
- Bit guard
- Emergency power off switch
- Mitre track
One of the advantages of buying a good quality pre-built one from a well renowned power tool brand is the ease of setting up your work piece as it has all of the fence and adjusters readily built in and ready to use.
It will cost you a bit more but they are a well built table so they will stand up to heavy use. Always check the warranty and return policies of the company you buy from to help prevent any problems later on down the line.
You should also particular attention to the base plate as these are not all universal and some router tables come with a base plate that will only accept the correct size router so if you already have the router you will want to check it fits or find a base plate on the internet that fits the router table and your wood router.
One of the advantages of building your own is you can build it to the exact specifications to suit the work you are wanting to complete.
This is off course more work and should really only be attempted by competent woodworkers or you will struggle to set it up right with the fences and guides being so important to it working how it should.
How the wood router works
The wood router is the main component in creating the wood patterns in wood, the tool operator will manually set up the router table so the wood work piece will be routed in precisely the correct area they will then manually guide the router around the work piece and the router will do its thing by using a sharp router bit that is rotated at thousands of revs per minute to shave out the wood to the shape of the router bit leaving the patterned effect seen on so many wood items.
The patterned out part is then sanded to smooth it out and if the product is to be painted it will be given a base coat and sanded 2 or 3 times before it is given it’s final finish coat of paint or varnish.
It uses an electric motor to rotate the router table bit and is normally powered straight from a power outlet although there are cordless models available they are not nearly as popular amongst woodworkers and commercial producers because they don’t offer the kind of heavy use for hours on end as they rely on a battery that will need recharging too often with heavy use.
The wood router relies on a good quality sharp bit to operate correctly and you should always check the rpm the bit is suitable for as there are many options and they have different rpm ratings, most will be fine but the higher the rpm the more need to check the bit can operate at that speed.
Router table and router safety
They are fitted with powerful dust extraction units and the user will wear a good quality dust mask with the correct filters fitted into it because whilst routing there is large amount of wood dust expelled into the air and this dust is very bad for a persons health.
You should always wear safety goggles whilst operating these power tools because the fine dust gets into every tiny gap you can imagine and can scratch the eyes causing real damage..
Always take your safety seriously whilst operating these power tools as the very sharp bit is being rotated at an incredible speed and it will go through a persons hand or arm very easily.