How To Use Router Tables

How To Use Router Tables

Router tables, used properly, can be used to create beautiful pieces of woodwork. Learn how to properly calibrate this tool, and avoid losing any fingers while using it by watching this video.

Alright, this is a router table, which is a router, a router mounted upside down beneath a table, and it's used for all sorts of different things, basically for profiling the edges of pieces of wood. A router can have lots of different cutters on it - different shapes, outside curls, inside curves, big ones - big ones like this are really quite dangerous. And see, you mount them in the router upside down, on the table, and then you push the piece of wood past the cutter leaning against the fence, like this.

Okay, first of all, setting up. Before we touch anything there, we unplug it because it will take your fingers off. This is a homemade router table.

You can buy one, I just like this one, made it myself and it does what I need. The most important thing for this cutter, because see there's a bearing in the middle here, the most important thing is that the piece of wood is going to run past here and you can see why I've got it unplugged, I've got a ruler in here and if this turned on by mistake, it would just cut me to ribbons. I want the fence to be in line, there we go, with the wheel.

Clamp it down. Around the back, I've got a hose which is going to be an extractor. Push that forward and that'll drag all the dust out the back.

The next thing I want to do is put a piece of would half past the cutter. Put a piece of wood in, adjust it for width on here, I've even got a really wide piece of wood, and then you can clamp it down. On here, I'm adjusting the feet of this clamp so that it holds the wood nice and firmly.

As you can see on this thing, it's called a sledge, by the way, I've got sand paper stuck on the bottom; that really grips the wood so that it doesn't get sucked into the blade or spat out at me. It's got a nice firm grip, but it's not quite firm enough yet. Because I want the wood drawn along with the bearing, because this piece of plastic is in line with the bearing, I'm going to push one against the other, like that.

The next thing I'm going to do is adjust the height of the router cutter, and I want this one to be in the middle of this piece of wood. So, I adjust it from underneath just like a usual router and un-clip it. This particular cutter is set for 18-millimeter boards.

Take the bottom and the top off and take everything off the bench; make sure it's all nice and stable. Plug it in. Turn on the extraction; if you don't turn on the extraction, it just flies all over your face, it's really horrible.

Now, you need ear defenders. Turn it on, and carefully push it through and you always go that way. The cutter is turning around like this, I'll show you.

Because the cutter is turning around that way, if you push the wood through this way, it takes the wood with you and it pulls your fingers into it. I know, I've done it, it really hurts - don't do it, you have to go that way. And that's it, that's how to use a router table. .