Advanced Hand-Held Router Techniques

Session 1: Cutting in a Bowtie

Bowties are both functional and decorative. They’re commonly used to span cracks in slabs to ensure the crack doesn’t widen over time. You’ll learn how to create the bowtie, and how to cut it into your project; roughing it with a router and finishing with a chisel.

Session 2: Liquid Inlay

This is a VERY simple way to add an amazing decorative element to your projects. Create a recess using your router, and then fill it with tinted or colored epoxy. A little sanding and, depending on what epoxy you use, it can look like you’ve inlayed stone into your project.

Session 3: Router as a Biscuit Joiner

No biscuit joiner? No problem. With the right router bit your hand-held router can easily be used as a biscuit joiner. There are a few things you need to do to make this work successfully, but don’t sweat it. We’ll show you what you need to know.

Session 4: Rout Evenly Spaced Grooves

The key to this technique is a key. We’ll make a simple jig that attaches to the base of your router and includes a key correctly distanced from the bit. Once one groove has been cut, making as many more as you need is a very simple process.

Session 5: Routed Bowls

You don’t need a lathe to make bowls or trays. All you need is a router, template and the right bit. Templates can be purchased, or you can make your own. This is a unique and fun way to make any shape bowl or tray you want.

Session 6: Slots Allow for Wood Expansion

Solid wood panels have to be allowed to expand and contract independently of whatever you’re fastening them to. A specialty router bit, plunge router and fence clamped to your work will allow you to easily make slots for the screws holding things together. Seasonal change? Handled.

Session 7: Making a Keyhole Slot

Keyhole slots are a great way to hang things like picture frames and plaques on the wall. A plunge router equipped with a fence works great for cutting in the slot. You’ll learn two approaches for making the slot and you’ll have all of your projects hanging dead level in no time.

Session 8: Creating Inlays

One way to put in a bowtie or Dutchman is by free-hand cutting it. Another approach is to use a template and specialized guide bushing set that allows you to cut the recess AND make a perfectly fitting plug. Easy peezey.

Session 9: Collets Go Bad

At some point in the life of your router you’re going to need to replace the collet. Having a bad collet in your router can be very unsafe. What symptoms should you be looking for to know when the collet is shot? We’ll fill you in.

Session 10: Shop-Made Dado Jig

This is a very easy-to-make and useful jig. It allows you to cut a dado perpendicular to an edge, or at any angle you need. And it’s very easy to align to your dado lay out lines. When you’re setting up to make one, you should make a bunch.

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