How to Use a Router Table? Everything You Need to Know

Are you interested in learning how to utilize a router? You’ve arrived at the right location! We are going to look at what a router table can accomplish, how to set it up, and which way you should place the wood on a router table, among other things.

Do You Need a Router Table If You Want to Use a Router?

The short answer is no. You can use a portable router without a router table. However, there are occasions when using a router table is faster, safer, and simpler.

Since it gives you better control over the workpiece, a router table might be safer to use than a portable router. The workpiece is supported by the table, and the fence serves as a guide for guiding the object to the bit.

When dealing with smaller parts that are too complex or unsafe to work with on a portable router, having superior control over your workpiece is extremely vital.

What Are the Different Types of Router Tables?

Router tables can get divided into three categories. Benchtop router tables, cabinet style or floor standing router tables, and router tables that fit in a table saw’s extension wing are among them.

You want to think about how much space you have in your workshop and whether you plan to utilize the table outside your workshop when choosing the perfect type.

You can use the various types of router tables to manufacture your own grooves, moldings, and slots in workpiece materials, and raised panel doors, among other things.

How to Use a Router Table?

Wearing personal protective equipment before utilizing a router table or any instrument is the first step. This gear includes hearing and eye protection, as well as an excellent respirator to keep your lungs safe.

Working carefully and following all of the manufacturer’s instructions for the router and router table is also essential.

Steps when Using a Router Table:

Router Table System

Make sure to adhere to the following steps when using your equipment:

Select a Router Bit

Regarding the type of cut you want to create, you need to select a bit with the appropriate profile. The cutting edge’s profile is its shape.

Bits may range from a straight cutting bit for creating grooves to decorative bits with a guide bearing or pilot bearing, such as ogee and cove. The pilot bearing is aligned with the workpiece’s edge.

It is critical to select a router bit with the correct shank size. The collet holds the shank in position at the end of your bit. What is the collet?  It is the part of the router that keeps the bit in place.

Your router’s shank must fit into the collet. Router collets take either a quarter-inch or half-inch shank. Several routers include removable collets that may accept bits with a quarter-inch shank as well as a half-inch shank.

If you have an option, you should choose the half-inch bit. In comparison to quarter-inch bits, half-inch bits cause less vibration and create smoother cuts.

Change the Router Bit

Before altering the bit, make sure you unplug the router.

Pull the bit out about an eighth of an inch and tighten the collet with your fingers after inserting the bit until the cutting edge meets the collet. It is critical to provide a one-eighth-inch gap between the collet and the bit.

As the locking nut is adjusted, the collet pulls the bit inside. If your cutter is in contact with the collect, the bit may not entirely tighten, implying that the router bit might come loose and shoot out. This is quite risky.

Router bits get quite hot very rapidly. Expansion is caused by heat. There is also room for expansion between the collet and the bit.

Tighten the locking nut of the collet with a wrench.

Choose the Height of the Bit

After step two, you need to adjust the bit’s height, which refers to how much of the bit is visible or how much of the bit is going to cut the material.

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The height of the bit can be adjusted in a number of ways. You can alter the bit’s height using the router’s depth settings or a router lift.

– Combination Squares – A combination square is one of the simplest and most cost-effective techniques to set the height of your router bit. Lower or raise the bit to the appropriate height by placing the combination square adjacent to it.
– Gauge Blocks — Besides the bit, the gauge blocks are piled. The bit is then elevated until it comes into contact with the gauge block.
– Digital Gauge – A digital gauge enables you to accurately position the bit.

The gap across the bit or the opening in your table can snag the edges of workpiece material. To close the gap, specific router tables feature rings that may be inserted.

This opening in the fence may potentially snag the edges of workpieces, and the distance can be narrowed by adjusting split-style fencing. A split-style fence must be adjusted to the point where it nearly touches the bit.

Select the Fence

How do you square the fence on your router table? In fact, for most cuts, the router fence does not need to be perfectly parallel to your bit. When using a miter saw or a table saw, the fence should always be parallel to the blade.

The difference between a flat blade and a round bit is the blade shape. The crucial thing is to place the fence at the correct distance from the bit, and the bit takes care of the rest.

Hence, the type of bit you use determines how you set the fence.

Test Your Setup

Before cutting the parts for your project, you must always test your setup on some extra wood. This way, you can be sure that everything is in order.

Which Direction Should You Feed a Workpiece?

Start with the material on the right side of your router table and feed or move it to the left when utilizing the fence.

Use a beginning pin to guide the workpieces into the pilot bit and advance in a counterclockwise direction when using patterns or templates with piloted bits. A bearing is generally located at the top of the piloted bit.

The Bottom Line

How to Use a Router Table? Everything You Need to Know

You learned how to utilize a router table in this simple guide for woodworkers. A few elements to take note of are the components of a router table, how to change your router bit, configuring the fence, feeding workpieces in the correct direction, and so much more.

Itamar Ben Dor

My father is a practical engineer, and as a hobby he was also involved in construction, renovations, carpentry and woodwork at home; So there was always tools, saws, drills and more at home. Already I was a little kid Dad and I would renovate the house. Once we built a shed for garden tools, once we did flooring for the garden, once we renovated the bathroom and that’s the way it is. Long before there was an internet, directories and plans. We would build things, kitchen cabinets, install electrical appliances, do flooring, pour concrete and more ... I in this blog want to pass on to you the experience I have gained over the last 20 plus-minus years since I was a child to this day and give you information about the best tools, project plans, guides and more.

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