George Vondriska

Handheld Router Basics

George Vondriska
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Duration:   15  mins

Handheld routers can add so much to your woodworking and your shop, but it’s very important that you use them correctly. Routers run at a very high rpm and, of course, they’re used with very sharp bits, so can be dangerous if used incorrectly.

Buying advice

The router used in the video, a fixed base router, is one that allows you to set the router bit’s depth of cut and lock the router base with the bit in that position. Look for a router that provides ¼” and ½” collets. Variable speed is very important so that as you change router bits you can adjust the speed. Use this router bit speed chart as an rpm guide.

Edge profile

You can dress up edges on your projects with profile router bits. Pay attention to feed direction to make sure you’re not climb cutting, and make sure you start and stop the router correctly. A router pad prevents your material from sliding around the workbench while you’re working on it. The bearing on the router bit controls the lateral depth of cut, the router controls vertical depth of cut.

Cutting dadoes

An easy to make shop-made jig makes cutting dadoes dirt simple. In addition to being perfect for dadoes the jig can be used to trim large panels to final size. Follow the directions for making the jig so it’s customized for your router., and you’ll be ready to use it on your next project.

Self-releasing collets

Another great feature to look for on routers is a self-releasing collet. They greatly simplify removing bits from your router.

More info

For more info on the Bora 3.5 hp router visit Bora’s website.

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5 Responses to “Handheld Router Basics”

  1. GREG

    What is the brand of the bench dog clamps you are using? I like them but not able to find anything similar to purchase.

  2. George Rupp

    You mention constructing the jig. Keep in mind if you use a different diameter bit, the jig would need to be made for the specific diameter of the bit used. I have a jig for 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2. This covers most all of the dadoes I cut.

  3. Rocco Maley

    Excellent information for a beginner like me. Get safety tips too. Thank you.

  4. John

    Great video. I especially liked that you gave lots of tips based on your experience using routers over the years. I will reiterate as was mentioned in another comment that I also couldn't find the speed chart you referenced in the video.

  5. James Mullen

    In the beginnin of this video, you mention a router speed chart "attached at the end of the vedeo". I did not see that and wonder if you could provide it again.

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