Complete Illustrated guide to

Lonnie Bird



Complete Illustrated Guide to

Taunton’s Complete illustrated Guide to

RouteR s
Lonnie Bird


p. Routers (Computer networks) 2. CT 06470-5506 e-mail: tp@taunton.O. Using hand or power tools improperly or ignoring safety practices can lead to permanent injury or even death. TK5105. Taunton’s complete illustrated guide to routers / Lonnie Bird. Inc. CMT®. © 2006 by The Taunton Press. Amana®. P. Plexiglas®. Katie Jig®. so please keep safety foremost in your mind whenever you’re in the shop. don’t do it. All rights reserved. . Illustrations © 2006 by the Taunton Press.. Inc. Newtown. Lonnie. 63 South Main Street. Internetworking (Telecommunication) I. If something about an operation doesn’t feel right.543. Inc. Porter-Cable Omnijig® Working wood is inherently dangerous. cm. We want you to enjoy the craft.Text © 2006 by Lonnie Bird Photography by Lonnie Bird. Box 5506. Look for another way. Title. Pp The Taunton Press.083--dc22 2006001505 Printed in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 The following manufacturers/names appearing in Taunton’s Complete Illustrated Guide to Routers are trademarks: Akeda®. Don’t try to perform operations you learn about here (or elsewhere) unless you’re certain they are safe for you. Title: Complete illustrated guide to routers. ISBN: 978-1-56158-766-7 print edition ISBN: 978-1-60085-441-5 digital edition 1.B57 2006 684’.com Editor: Paul Anthony Design: Lori Wendin Layout: Cathy Cassidy Illustrator: Mario Ferro Photographer: Lonnie Bird Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Bird. II.

My sincerest thanks to all. for his sharp editorial skills. Jessem. Several corporations provided tools for photography. Bosch. behind the scenes is always a group of people that work to ensure the project’s success.Acknowledgements W riting a book is never a solo project. –L. . including Amana Tools. and BenchDog. I wish to thank Helen Albert and Jennifer Peters at The Taunton Press.B. I also want to thank my editor. Paul Anthony. Porter-Cable.

Contents Introduction • 3 pa r t o ne Tools • 4 Choosing Routers and Accessories • 6 ➤ SECTION 1 22 Custom Baseplates 25 Edge Guide 26 Maintenance ➤ SECTION 2 All About Bits • 27 48 Setting Up Bits ➤ SECTION 3 Router Tables • 52 67 Router Table Fences 71 Benchtop Router Table 75 Router Table Sled .

pa r t t w o Basic Operations • 76 Common Cuts • 78 ➤ SECTION 4 86 Plunge Cuts 88 Guided Cuts 91 Shaping Cuts 97 Routing Small Parts ➤ SECTION 5 Edges and Moldings • 101 109 Routing Edges 114 Making Moldings ➤ SECTION 6 Flush-Trimming • 123 127 FlushTrimming .

pa r t t h r e e Joinery • 130 ➤ SECTION 7 Router Joinery • 132 140 Grooving 147 Rabbets 150 Dovetails 163 Other Joints ➤ SECTION 8 Doors and Drawers • 180 184 Frame Joinery 199 Panels 202 Door Details 205 Drawer Joinery pa r t f o u r Special Shaping • 208 ➤ SECTION 9 Routing with Templates • 210 214 Using a Bearing 218 Using a Bushing ➤ SECTION 10 Special Shaping Operations • 222 223 Fluting 228 Dishing .

Router tables open up a whole other realm of possibilities. That’s a bit of an oversimplification. Back when the router was first invented. you’ll find that a judicious selection of a few essential bits will enable you to accomplish many of your routing tasks. including grooving. such as excavating for hardware. In fact. It’s my hope that this book will provide you with a thorough understanding of the router and what you can achieve with it. It’s still a great choice for those tasks. it’s more versatile and economical. No other woodworking machine lends itself more to the use of jigs or tablemounting than the router. a base. flush-trimming. So be prepared to expand your woodworking skills through the capabilities of this most remarkable tool. but it really is at the heart of the matter. you might choose to simply guide the router freehand to remove much of the waste stock. it was used primarily for shaping decorative profiles along the edges of tabletops and drawer fronts. including the all-important mortise-and-tenon and dovetail joints.B. and guiding the cut in the proper manner. raising panels. the router can create all of the joinery necessary to make entire assemblies such as doors and drawers. but you can also construct jigs yourself. Many commercial jigs are available to help you perform simple or complex operations. if you flip through the pages of any router bit catalog. effectively turning the router into a stationary machine—a minishaper that’s capable of routing large-scale jobs such as door panels. And yet it is one of the most versatile tools you can own. I’ll show you a range of options. but the truth is. complex molding bits. Although a tablemounted router lacks the power of a shaper. including using the edge of the router base. it can do a lot more. For example. making it well suited to small-shop woodworkers on a limited budget. and a collet.Introduction T he router is undoubtedly one of the simplest of woodworking machines—basically comprising just a motor. You can also choose to attach a fence or edge guide to the base. which range from simple straight bits to large. or using a guide bearing on the bit. fitting a bushing to the opening in the base. of course. Another option is to use a jig or router table. . Unleashing all this versatility basically depends on two things: using the appropriate bit. As for guiding the cut. For some tasks. completing the job with hand tools. and cutting almost any joint. you’re sure to become overwhelmed by the assortment of bit styles and sizes. However. as I’ll show you in this book. –L.

page 27 Router Tables. page 6 All About Bits. page 52 .Choosing Routers and Accessories.

I’ll help you sort out the routers. with handle placement. In this part of the book. Today. Modern bits come in lots of shapes and sizes to suit just about any job. change bits and bearings. and accessories that best suit your needs. Routers have become more sophisticated and often incorporate such features as soft-start and electronic variable speed control. bits. so has the available variety of routers. bits. shape. s the popularity of woodworking has grown. and size all making it easier to get a good grip and improve control. Larger bits can be paired up with powerful table-mounted routers for performing operations such as cutting profiles on raised panels or large moldings— jobs that formerly required a large industrial shaper. Like router choices. I’ll also show you how to maintain your tools.PART One Tools A and accessories. bit offerings are better than ever. and how to build a router table . and accessories. you’ll find more types than ever before. Ergonomics have improved too.

router lifts with machine-shop accuracy. and other accessories. but it can also be confusing—especially if you’re new to woodworking. the router has changed the way we work wood. Having choices and options is great. 22) Constructing an Edge Guide (p.sECTion 1 Choosing Routers and Accessories Custom Baseplates ➤ Edge Guide ➤ Maintenance ➤ Making a Custom Baseplate (p. Router Types Take a close look and you’ll see that routers are pretty simple machines. plunge router. soft start. electronic variable speed (EVS) motors. no doubt you’ve been confused by the large assortment of routers. all comprise a motor. tables. 26) ➤ Making a StraightSided Baseplate (p. and self-releasing collets have all made their débuts in the last 30 years. collet. In the last 25 years. However. I’ll show you what’s out there and help you to focus on matching your woodworking needs with the many available features and options. if you’ve perused the pages of any tool catalog. Fixed-base 6 . lifts. and a base (see the photos on the facing page). and laminate trimmers. 23) O pen the pages of a woodworking tool catalog and you’re sure to become overwhelmed with the selection of routers. Yet. In this section. resulting in more choices in routers and accessories than ever before. all routers can be divided into three main types: Fixed-base. Elaborate tables. 25) Router Maintenance (p.

sECTion 1 Fixed-base routers have been a popular style for many years. Plunge routers are the best choice for mortising. and base. collet. All routers have a motor. Laminate trimmers are scaled-down fixed-base routers. Choosing Routers and Accessories 7 .

Helical slot Motor Collet The motor on this fixed-base router fits into a helical thread in the base. FixEd-BAsE RouTER Switch Pins in the router body engage helical slot in the base. both for handheld use and for equipping a router table. Most fixed-base routers use a large helical thread to engage the motor to the base (see the drawing below). Some newer models of fixed-base routers have a micrometer knob for making The fixed-base router really has not changed much in the last 50 years. A graduated ring helps in making accurate adjustments (see the photos on the facing page).sECTion 1 routers have been around the longest and they’re still the most popular. Base Baseplate 8 Choosing Routers and Accessories . Adjustments to the cutting depth are made by spiraling the motor within the base and locking it in position with a thumbscrew or lever.

Stanley worked to popularize the router with advertisements in early trade magazines such as Home Craftsman. R. routers are still guided as they were many decades ago. A 1940s-era router is operated in much the same way as today’s routers. one entrepreneur. the venerable fixed-base router has not really changed that much since those early days.L. by the base. or an edge guide. In fact. Surprisingly. such as soft start and electronic variable speed. sales were strong. This graduated ring can be zeroed out for exact adjustments to the depth. Carter. they have been around awhile.000 of his machines when he was bought out by Stanley Tools sometime before World War II. ➤ A BRiEF hisToRy Although the popularity of routers has risen dramatically in recent years. the basic operations of the router remain unchanged. Stanley Tools popularized the router during the 1930s and 1940s. had manufactured and sold nearly 100. pilot on the bit. Choosing Routers and Accessories 9 . In the 21st century. Although modern motors are much larger and feature sophisticated electronics. a bushing.sECTion 1 A lock lever has become standard on most new routers. and by the 1940s.

it’s a real asset for setting up for routing dovetails or other fine joinery. 10 Choosing Routers and Accessories . after the setting is made. Height adjustments are fast and convenient. Either way. especially compared to those of plunge-base routers. Still other fixed-base routers use a rack and pinion for making height adjustments. And if you choose to use one of the This router uses a geared “rack” for depth adjustments. ultra-fine adjustments to the cutting depth and a lever to lock the setting.sECTion 1 A series of notches provide a “ballpark setting. the motor is locked in position within the base and remains in a fixed position throughout the cut. while a micrometer dial makes ” precise depth adjustments. A micrometer dial makes precise adjustments easy. Fixed-base routers are also the best design for use in a router table. Although the degree of precision provided by a micrometer knob usually isn’t needed for cutting decorative shapes.

heavy-duty router is a favorite for use in a router table. Rough depth-stop adjustment (acts against depth stop) Click-stop depth stop Base This large.sECTion 1 PlunGE RouTER Fine-adjustment knob Switch Speed control Toggle lock Handle The router rides up and down on columns. BIR 08 Choosing Routers and Accessories 11 . many router lifts in your table. The motor of a plunge router slides up and down on a pair of posts attached to the base (see the drawing above). The motor of a plunge router is suspended on spring-loaded posts. and a lever locks it in place (see the photo on p. plunge routers made their way to the market. Plunge Router Not long after the fixed-base router was first introduced. This design allows you to make depth adjustments as the router is running. 12). you should realize that they are usually designed for use with a fixed-base router. A spring suspends the motor on the posts.

As their name implies. grooves. laminate trimmers are versatile routers that find a number of uses in my shop—from cutting shallow mortises for installing hardware to routing narrow grooves for scaled-down joinery (see the photo on the facing page). Plunge routers are equipped with a depth stop.sECTion 1 The lock lever on a plunge router should be within easy reach. incremental steps. which is simply a steel rod that positions against a screw on the router base. Plunge routers typically have three depth screws mounted on a turret. in precise. these little routers are designed to trim plastic laminate when you install kitchen countertops. plunge routers have a depth stop. laminate Trimmers Laminate trimmers are best described as scaled-down fixed-base routers. This allows you to make a deep cut. and other joints that require starting and ending the cut at a specific point of layout. In order to lower the bit to a precise depth. A three-position turret allows for multiple depth settings. such as a mortise. The plunge router is the best choice for routing mortises. 12 Choosing Routers and Accessories . But don’t let the name fool you.

Fortunately. Choosing Routers and Accessories 13 . the handles of a plunge router are fastened to the sleeve that grips the motor. Some are even designed with a built-in height adjuster for router table use. When shopping for a laminate trimmer. In contrast. This router comes with a wrench that allows for easy height adjustment when it’s outfitted in a router table. Although this is precisely what allows you to safely plunge into a mortise (you don’t want to try tipping a fixed-base router into a deep stop cut). As the sleeve is vertically repositioned along the steel rods. when a full-sized router would be awkward and difficult to control. most manufacturers now offer a router kit that comes equipped with one motor and both plunge and fixed bases. shank. with handles positioned near the baseplate. Laminate trimmers are versatile little multi-task routers. so you don’t want to overload these tools.sECTion 1 ➤ FixEd-BAsE oR PlunGE BAsE? For many woodworkers. and the chuck will only accept bits with a 1⁄4-in. look for one with a square baseplate.-dia. which may be most of the time. Router kits come supplied with with both fixed and plunge bases. And when you don’t need the plunge feature. fixed-base routers have a lower center of gravity. But the light weight and small size make them ideal for light cuts. the height of the motor and handles changes. choosing between a fixed-base router and a plunge router is no easy task. Still the favorite choice of many woodworkers. And because laminate trimmers are compact. Laminate trimmers don’t have a lot of power. using a plunge router can take some getting used to. The straight sides of a square baseplate will give the router a steady footprint and greater precision when used with a guide or template. you may find the fixed-base router easier to control. they’ll route in confined spaces where a full-sized router can’t. it also changes the center of gravity. Because of this design. making the router easier to control.

So you can expect your 2-hp router to provide 2 hp for only a brief period before it overheats and quits. Because of this. and jointer. planers. induction motors are the relatively slow-turning motors (about 3. Whether you’re shopping for your first router or replacing an aging model. you get what you pay for. The higher the amperage rating. But a 2-hp universal motor is rated according to peak horsepower. A 2-hp induction motor will deliver 2 hp all day long. so let’s take a look at what’s available. And when you purchase a router. their features can vary widely. allowing larger shaping. although they may not truly know what it means. Comparing horsepower ratings on universal motors to the horsepower ratings on induction motors is. Motors When comparing routers. horsepower rating is simply not the best method for comparing universal motors. too. etc. But horsepower ratings can be deceiving when you’re selecting a router. high-revving motors (about 20. In contrast. as well as on benchtop tools such as portable planers. because routers use universal motors rather than induction motors. one of the first criteria to consider is the motor horsepower. But manufacturers use it anyway. When you’re shopping for a router. Remember. such as drills and sanders. The efficiency of the router is a factor. every day—such as in a manufacturing facility running three shifts. probably because most people are familiar with the term. In short. as the saying goes. deeper grooves. a better representation of power is amperage rating. not continuous horsepower. like comparing apples to oranges. Bigger motors will handle bigger bits.000 rpm on routers) found on most small power tools The sliding switch at the top of the router controls the speed of its universal motor.sECTion 1 Features Although routers are pretty simple machines. too. Undoubtedly. an inexpensive consumer-grade router will not have the power output of a professional router—even if the amperage rating is the same.450 rpm) found on stationary tools such as tablesaws. the most important feature of any router is the motor. Universal motors are the small. you’ll want to be aware of the many available features so that you’ll get the router that best suits your needs. most of what you’re paying for is the motor. that although conventional wisdom often dictates 14 Choosing Routers and Accessories . less efficient windings. the more electrical current the router draws and the greater the power output. Because of lower-quality bearings. and even the design of the cooling fan. Some of the electrical current is always turned into heat instead of power.

The collet of a router has to grip a bit securely while under the stress and strain of cutting through dense hardwood at speeds of about 20. and electronic speed control are all options worth considering. Soft start. the extra power also adds extra weight and can make a large router awkward to use for handheld operations. Spinning a 3-in. Yet there is no mechanical interlock between Choosing Routers and Accessories 15 . that bigger is better. Electronic variable speed gives you a greater degree of flexibility with your router. reducing the jarring motion from the startup torque. Two-hp routers are a good choice for handheld routing. The one-second delay of a soft start router brings the motor rpm up gradually.sECTion 1 This infinitely variable speed dial allows you to adjust the speed for the job at hand. Most EVS routers have a speed range of 10.000 rpm.000 rpm to 25. allowing you to slow the motor for large bits and speed it up again for smooth cutting with small-diameter bits. Soft start is an electronic feature that delays full rpm for a second to prevent the router from jerk- Collets The smallest part of the router has one of the toughest jobs.000 rpm is dangerous and may scorch the wood and dull the cutting edges from excess heat. Large-diameter bits have a much higher peripheral speed than do small bits when spinning at the same rpm.-diameter panel-raising bit at 22. Really big routers are best reserved for use in a router table. ing as it instantaneously reaches full rpm at the flick of the switch.000 rpm or 15. This feature allows you to adjust the motor speed to suit the bit diameter.000 rpm.000 rpm to 22. Electronic variable speed (EVS) is another option worth having. Motor Options Routers today have several options that were not available just a few years ago. variable speed.

the tapered end of the collet is drawn into the collet housing. As the collet nut is tightened. it forces the collet into the taper. shank router bits (more on that in the section on bits). this allows you to fully insert the bit without the shank bottoming out. The outside of the collet is tapered to match the taper machined inside the end of the router motor spindle. look for one that accepts both. collets (see the photo on the facing page.) When you shop for a router. it pulls the collet and bit out.dia. Although I usually route with 1⁄ 2-in.-dia. it can squeeze so tightly that the bit can sometimes be difficult to remove later. putting the squeeze on the bit’s shank. In fact. Because of its small size. As the nut is tightened. It works surprisingly well. many small profiles are This self-releasing collet uses a snap ring to join the collet and nut. the bit and the collet as there is with most power tools. Years ago most routers had only 1⁄4-in. 16 Choosing Routers and Accessories .-dia. As the nut is loosened.sECTion 1 As the collet is tightened. It works like this: The collet has slits that allow it to compress. the slots allow it to compress around the shank of the bit. the collet simply squeezes the bit. this will provide you with the greatest flexibility (see the photo on the facing page). now most have 1⁄ 2-in. collets. That’s why the best collets are self-releasing. the collet in a laminate trimmer is simple in design and must be kept clean to function. This deep collet provides a firm grip on large bits. some designs incorporate a snap ring that secures the collet to the lock nut (see the bottom left photo). The better collet designs are also deep. too.

use a small amount of solvent such as mineral spirits to remove the grime. I avoid using adapter sleeves. it’s important to avoid abrading the collet. they can form inside the threads of the collet nut or within the collet itself. Although you can use a mild plastic pad to polish the inside of a collet. such as edge guides and bushings. It's best to use a collet sized to the bit shank. only one wrench is needed. Finally. The old favorites. take a close look at the socket on the end of the motor shaft and clean it. it’s probably time to replace the collet. only available in a 1⁄4-in. shank. With a collet lock. it’s important to realize that collets often wear out before the motor or other router components. The main culprits are dirt and pitch. AdAPTER slEEvE While you’re at it. anything coarser can put deep scratches in the surface and potentially hinder the holding power.-dia. (It can also be a sign of an undersized bit.) If a light cleaning doesn’t correct the problem. too. it can be a sign that the collet is dirty or Expansion/ contraction slots worn. ➤ CollET MAinTEnAnCE A little basic maintenance will keep your router’s collet functioning well for a long time. If you’re experiencing bit slippage. When cleaning. Choosing Routers and Accessories 17 . If necessary. Router Accessories There are a number of worthy accessories for your router that will make it more functional and easier to use. Adapter sleeves are often not concentric.sECTion 1 Collets come in various sizes and configurations. as discussed in Section Two. are still available. as they don’t grip the bit as tightly as a collet that is made for the purpose.

router bases are fitted with a slick plastic baseplate.sECTion 1 Swapping baseplates on most routers is a snap. The baseplate also works to support the router. Guide bushings allow you to use your router with templates and jigs. along with their sophisticated lifts. This popular Porter/ Cable bushing is held in place with a knurled nut. however. 18 Choosing Routers and Accessories . But today’s router tables. will transform your router into a stationary tool with an incredible degree of precision. the typical baseplate does have limitations. You may decide to swap it for an aftermarket baseplate or one that you make yourself. The bushing slips into the bit opening and is held in position with a threaded. and the opening in the baseplate provides a way to attach guide bushings for shaping or routing with a template. Custom Baseplates In order to reduce friction and allow routers to glide smoothly across the surface of the workpiece. Although the factory-supplied baseplate works well for most routing operations. knurled lock ring. it provides a template for making a custom baseplate. Guide bushings are available in a variety of lengths and diameters (see the photo on the facing page). Hold onto the factory baseplate.

However. Best of all. There are also baseplates with larger openings to accommodate large-diameter bits. Clear plastic will provide an unobstructed view. first choose your materials: plastic or plywood. ➤ MAkinG CusToM BAsEPlATEs Changing router baseplates is a fast and easy way to add greater versatility to an already versatile machine. Choosing Routers and Accessories 19 . which provides a better view when you’re approaching a layout line. much of the router overhangs the workpiece. and you can save money by asking for available offcuts rather than purchasing a large sheet. Panhead screws require a counterbore. A teardrop-shaped baseplate helps maintain balance during edge routing. while plywood is easier to work and allows you to quickly attach a fence as a guide. Your local glass shop will have acrylic and polycarbonate plastics available. Remember to buy screws long enough to attach the new baseplate. Anything thinner flexes too easily. be aware that as the opening is enlarged. which weakens the plywood. the router’s footprint is reduced. or 1⁄2-in. When you rout along an edge. If the router tips. teardropshaped baseplate will enable you to easily keep the router balanced and upright. and trim the plastic with the same tools you use for working wood. you can saw. A clear baseplate offers a better view of the cut.sECTion 1 Many woodworkers prefer a clear baseplate. These plastics are durable and inexpensive. which limits the stability of the router. thickness. file. select 3⁄ 8-in. the workpiece can be spoiled. When making a custom baseplate. You can swap out your router’s standard baseplate for one of the many aftermarket varieties or you can make one of your own. When using plywood for a custom baseplate. anything thicker costs you cutting depth. switch to flathead screws. A large. If the stock baseplate screws have panheads. A set of guide bushings provides more versatility.

Best of all. you’ll need another method. The edge guide offered as an accessory to your router has several worthwhile features. a mini-shaper that’s capable of shaping raised 20 Choosing Routers and Accessories . the router table adds more to the versatility of the router than any other accessory. you create. some edge guides have a micrometer knob that makes fine settings a snap.sECTion 1 Remember. Without a doubt. edge guides can be purchased from the company that made the router or you can make an edge guide of your own. too. and so it takes just a minute or two to fasten it in position. The fence adjusts with no fuss and locks firmly in place. It’s made to fit your router base. The easiest method is to replace your router’s baseplate with one of plywood. you may just opt to construct one of your own (see the photo on the facing page). If you seldom have a need for an edge guide. in effect. that large bits belong in a table-mounted router and are not intended for handheld routing. A router table baseplate will increase the footprint and provide a straight side for use with a guide. Like custom baseplates. This allows you to customize it to suit the requirements of the job at hand. One of the most common approaches is to attach an edge guide to the router base. By mounting your router table under a table. You can attach a guide to the baseplate with screws for a quick and sturdy setup or make the guide adjustable with slotted holes and wing nuts. Router Tables A factory edge guide is precise and easy to set up and use. Edge Guides Profile bits are usually guided by an integral bearing. But when cutting a groove with a straight bit or using a bit without a guide bearing. A router-table insert plate works well for a straight-sided baseplate.

And you’ll have to remove the router to make bit changes. A router lift solves these problems. Mounted in a table. A shopmade edge guide will allow you to produce a variety of cuts. And you no longer have to remove a heavy router from the table to change bits. In many cases.sECTion 1 With a router lift. just lift the router with a crank and make bit changes from above the table. the portable router becomes. see Section Three. in effect. woodworkers made their own simple router tables with a sheet of plywood. especially if you’re on a tight budget. the power switch and height adjustment mechanism are no longer easily accessible. a router table will provide plenty of support. Years ago. ranging from simple yet sturdy benchtop models to floor-standing versions complete with extruded aluminum components and height adjustments with machine-shop accuracy. complicated cuts that would be difficult (if not impossible) to create with a handheld router. crown molding. Choosing Routers and Accessories 21 . cope-and-stick framework for doors. and many other large. you’ll immediately encounter some problems. But once you mount your router in a table. panels. 55. Lifts Mounting your router in a table turns it into a stationary power tool with several advantages over hand routing. there is now a full array of commercial models available. a mini-shaper. For more on router tables and lifts. as shown on p. it’s easier to run the workpiece past the router than to run the router over the workpiece. While that approach still works. For example. you no longer need to remove a heavy router from the table to change bits. If you’re routing long pieces. Height adjustments are easily and precisely made from the top. such as this rabbet.

B C d E F 22 Choosing Routers and Accessories . Set up the router table with a flush trim bit and a stick for use as a starting pin or fulcrum (C). The solution is to make a new custom baseplate using the factory baseplate as a pattern. next.C u sTo M B As E P l AT E s Making a Custom Baseplate Because the baseplate on many routers is designed for attaching a guide bushing. the center opening is too small to accommodate larger profile bits. A Begin by attaching the factory baseplate to the new baseplate material with double-stick tape (A). drill and countersink the holes for the baseplate screws (E) and fasten the new baseplate in place (F). of the factory baseplate (B). now. cutting to within 1⁄16 in. Saw the excess material with a scrollsaw or bandsaw. trim away the excess material (d).

To make the baseplate. Carefully align the parts (E).-thick plywood. You can use the factory baseplate as a template for the bit opening (C). This is usually unimportant. Attach the template to the baseplate stock with double-stick tape (d). such as a rectangle of 1⁄4-in. except when you’re guiding the router from the base. where it can spoil the accuracy of the cut. 24) A B C d E Choosing Routers and Accessories 23 . The solution is to use a base with straight sides. (Text continues on p.C u sTo M B As E P l AT E s Making a straight-sided Baseplate Round baseplates are often not concentric with the collet (A). you’ll need a template. which ensure that the distance from the edge of the baseplate to the collet is always constant (B).

now.C u sTo M B As E P l AT E s Apply pressure to the tape for a secure grip (F). you can maneuver away from the starting pin (h). F G h i J k l 24 Choosing Routers and Accessories . Once the template has made contact with the guide bearing. now trim the edges flush. Finally. Attach the new baseplate to the factory baseplate (J) and trim the center bit opening (k). center the router base over the baseplate and mark the location of the mounting holes (i). mount the custom baseplate to the router base (l). a starting pin will enable you to ease into the cut (G).

carefully lower the workpiece over the spinning bit (E). first clamp a stop block to the fence (d). But if you seldom use an edge guide. Then. B C d E F G Choosing Routers and Accessories 25 . lay out the slots for the fence A (B) and make the setup on a router table (C).-thick plywood. next. attach the plywood base to the router (G). you may prefer to devise one of your own using 3⁄ 8-in. To make a plunge cut for the slots. Begin by drilling holes for the bit and mounting screws (A). now attach a fence to the base with machine screws and wing nuts (F). Then.EdGE GuidE Constructing an Edge Guide Manufactured edge guides are precise and easy to use. which has sufficient stiffness without adding excessive weight or thickness.

F). you’ll first have to remove the cap over the end of the motor (d) and then use a vacuum to remove the dust (E. To ensure smooth cutting and the longevity of your router. If necessary. I avoid using compressed air for this because it can force dust and dirt further inside the machine. However. it’s a good idea to clean the collet and motor regularly. you can use a mild abrasive plastic pad. Also inspect the taper on the collet for pitch (B). The router motor will draw in dust and shavings.MAinTEnAnCE Router Maintenance Routers quickly become dirty with dust and pitch. avoid using steel wool. A rag dampened with mineral spirits will soften the grime so that you A B can more easily remove it. To thoroughly clean this area. C d E F 26 Choosing Routers and Accessories . which can cause it to overheat (C). Begin by removing the collet and inspecting the collet housing for pitch (A). which can drop into the cooling vent and damage the motor windings.

­there­are­more­ choices­in­shape­and­design­than­ ever­before.­And­as­router­tables­and­routers­have­grown­larger.­you­notice­that­the­ cut­is­too­deep­on­the­trailing­end­and­the­ work­is­ruined.”­The­finest­router­will­not­cut­ cleanly­and­smoothly­if­you­equip­it­with­an­ inferior­bit­(see­the­top­photo­on­p.­there­are­a­few­bits­out­there­to­ avoid.­ because­of­the­surge­of­interest­in­woodworking. 49) Adjusting a Stacking Bit (p.­The­ quality­is­better­than­ever.­Upon­inspection.­“You­get­what­ you­pay­for.­ Depending­on­the­size­and­shape.­you’ll­ want­to­make­informed­choices­and­purchase­just­what­you­need.­In­this­section.­too. 50) ➤ ➤ outer bits­have­come­a­long­way­ in­the­past­30­years.­Therefore.­a­half- R dozen­bits­can­easily­add­up­to­more­than­ the­cost­of­your­router. 48) Changing Bearings (p.­You­flip­the­switch­and­make­ the­cut.­ 27­ .­However.section 2 All About Bits setting Up Bits ➤ Changing Bits (p.­As­the­saying­goes.­What­happened?­ The­bit­slowly­crept­out­of­the­collet.­so­have­the­bits.­I’ll­ discuss­the­wide­variety­of­choices­and­show­ you­how­to­make­smart­buying­decisions.­ Design and Materials So­you­purchased­the­3-hp­behemoth­router­ and­dropped­it­into­the­most­expensive­table­ on­the­market.­you­ may­be­surprised­at­the­cost­of­router­bits. If­you’re­new­to­woodworking.­28).

“Anti-kickback” bits help control overfeeding of the workpiece.002 in.­which­ is­about­.­ called­flutes.-dia.­And­add­to­ that­the­varieties­of­shapes.­A­ measurement­of­the­bit­shank­with­a­dial­ caliper­shows­a­reading­of­.­Kickback­occurs­when­the­workpiece­ is­thrown­back­violently­toward­the­operator. smaller than the collet diameter. and 1⁄2-in.­Skimp­here­and­you­might­regret­ it.­However.­Router­bits­that­use­an­­ anti-kickback­design­work­by­limiting­the­­ projection­of­the­cutting­edge.­ I’m­not­making­up­this­story.­As­ a­result­of­the­sloppy­machining­of­the­bit­ shank. shank make the bit on the left far superior to the one on the right.­less­than­it­should­be.­the­collet­couldn’t­grip­it­tightly.­ Some­bits­incorporate­anti-kickback­ design.­but­the­same­effect­can­be­achieved­by­ slowing­the­feed­rate­while­using­a­doubleflute­bit.­It­comes­down­to­ this:­The­bit­is­the­most­important­part­of­ the­setup.­and­the­choices­can­be­overwhelming.­and­materials.494­in.­ The­smoothest-cutting­router­bits­incorporate­a­shear­angle.­Viewed­from­the­side.­ One­potential­cause­of­kickback­is­over-­ feeding­the­stock.­Although­router­bits­appear­pretty­simple. Flutes Most­router­bits­have­two­cutting­edges.section 2 The carbide tips.­It’s­true— and­it­happened­to­me.­limits­the­chip­thickness­(see­the­drawing­on­the­facing­page).­sizes.005­in.001 in.­it­didn’t­come­completely­out. under. ball-bearing pilot. this shank is perfectly sized..­Triple-flute­ bits­are­designed­to­provide­a­smoother­surface.­This­slight­angle­creates­­ The shank of a bit should be no more than .­some­straight­bits­ have­one­flute­while­others­have­three. 28­ All About Bits .­in­ turn. luckily.­ Let’s­take­a­closer­look. At .­which.­ there’s­more­to­manufacturing­a­high-quality­ router­bit­than­you­might­think.­ Single-flute­bits­cut­somewhat­faster­and­­ are­usually­a­little­less­expensive.­ the­cutting­edge­is­tilted­from­the­vertical­ plane­of­the­bit­shank­(see­the­top­photo­on­­ the­facing­page).

a­shearing­effect.­On­flush-trim­bits.section 2 Anti-KicKBAcK Design Small opening limits chip size and overfeeding.­ and­the­spiral­flutes­lift­the­shavings­from­ the­mortise.­The­flutes­of­a­spiral­bit­wind­ around­the­shank­like­the­stripes­on­a­barber’s­pole. BIR 10 All About Bits 29­ .­These­bits­are­great­for­trimming­ a­face­frame­flush­to­the­cabinet­with­absolutely­zero­tearout.­the­bearing­ is­mounted­on­the­end­of­the­bit­opposite­ the­collet.­the­ guide­bearing­is­mounted­between­the­flutes­ The flutes on spiral bits twist like the stripes on a barber’s pole.­as­you­do­when­you­push­­ a­handplane­across­a­board­at­an­angle.­This­design’s­action­is­superior­to­ the­intermittent­cutting­action­of­the­standard­bit­design. The bit on the left will cut more cleanly due to its skewed flute.­choose­ a­spiral­bit.­They­cut­clean­mortise­walls.­ Spiral­bits­without­bearings­are­popular­ for­mortising.­ Router­bits­that­don’t­have­a­shear­angle­have­ a­greater­tendency­to­splinter­and­burn­­ the­wood.­On­spiral­pattern­bits.­ leaving­a­phenomenally­smooth­surface.­Spiral­bits­with­guide­bearings­ are­used­for­either­flush­trimming­or­pattern­ trimming.­ For­the­smoothest­possible­finish.­The­cutting­edges­of­a­spiral­ bit­are­always­in­contact­with­the­workpiece.

­ Although­a­carbide-tipped­router­bit­may­ cost­three­or­four­times­more­than­a­comparable­HSS­bit. On­the­other­hand.­you­can­choose­ from­three­styles:­up-cut.­And­don’t­even­ attempt­to­rout­particleboard­or­MDF­with­ it.­it­will­keep­the­sharp­edge­­ 20­to­25­times­longer.­A­lock­collar­with­a­tiny­setscrew­keeps­the­bearing­held­firmly­in­position.­and­ compression.­Compression­spirals­cut­ in­both­directions­simultaneously­to­leave­ both­top­and­bottom­surfaces­free­of­tearout.­although­you­can­ still­find­HSS­bits­at­many­hardware­stores­ and­home­supply­centers.­But­even­though­high-­ speed­steel­can­be­sharpened­to­a­razor­ edge.­ When­selecting­spiral­bits. Carbide-tipped bits (at left in each pair here) will last 20 times longer than high-speed steel (HSS) bits. so i use High-Speed Steel vs.­down-cut.­ [ tiP ] spiral bits are expensive.­it­doesn’t­hold­an­edge­for­very­long.­Today.­it­has­largely­ been­replaced­by­carbide.­carbide­is­very­ hard­and­resistant­to­both­wear­and­heat. Carbide Years­ago.­because­the­hard.­This­provides­fast­ cutting­action­and­good­chip­removal­for­ cutting­mortises.­And­carbide-tipped­ them only when i need the smoothest possible surface. 30­ All About Bits .­Down-cut­spirals­cut­more­ slowly­but­leave­the­top­surface­of­the­workpiece­splinter-free.­abrasive­nature­of­these­ man-made­boards­will­dull­the­HSS­edge­in­ short­order.section 2 and­the­shank.­Spiral­pattern­bits­are­ideal­for­trimming­stock­flush­to­a­curved­pattern­where­ both­short­grain­and­end­grain­will­likely­be­ encountered.­­ You­may­find­HSS­bits­tempting­because­ of­their­low­price.­An­up-cut­pulls­the­chips­ upward­toward­the­router.­ especially­on­plywood.­most­router­bits­were­made­of­ high-speed­steel­(HSS).

­Needless­to­ say.000­rpm.­Better­manufacturers­grind­ and­polish­the­shanks­of­their­bits­within­ . Once.­a­bit­­ shank­should­be­within­.­In­contrast.0005­in.­As­the­ bit­spins­at­20.­The­system­ works­well­if­the­collet­is­clean­and­well­ designed­and­the­bit­shank­is­the­correct­ diameter.­the­pilot­spins­at­ the­same­speed.­the­pilot­of­a­high-speed­steel­bit­is­ simply­an­extension­of­the­bit­itself.­ but­others­are­not­so­precise.­especially­if­the­carbide­tips­are­­ thick.­When­inserting­a­bit­into­­ the­collet.­For­ example.­and­a­1⁄2-in.­So­in­the­long­run.­the­shank­­ of­a­ 1⁄4-in.­(five­ten-thousandths­of­an­inch). For­a­secure­grip­in­the­collet.­However. Don’t insert a bit up to the fillet at the base of the profile.­shank­no­ less­than­. As­an­added­benefit.002­in.­carbide-tipped­bits­ are­fitted­with­ball-bearing­guides.­ [ tiP ] When comparison shopping for carbide-tipped bits.­of­the­­ collet­diameter. router­bits­can­also­be­resharpened­many­ times.­carbide-tipped­ router­bits­are­much­more­economical­than­ HSS­bits.-dia.­the­ bit­slowly­crept­out­of­the­collet.­don’t­allow­the­collet­to­contact­ the­ramped­area­where­the­shank­meets­the­ cutting­head.section 2 The solid pilot on this HSS bit scorches the wood as it spins.-dia.­sawblades­­ are­held­securely­on­the­arbor­with­a­large­ washer­and­nut.­bit­should­measure­no­less­ than­.­The­ball-­ bearing­pilots­on­carbide-tipped­bits­don’t­ create­these­problems. consider that thicker tips allow many more sharpenings.­because­the­collet­and­ All About Bits 31­ .248­in.­The­result­is­that­the­steel­ pilot­will­burnish­the­edge­of­the­work-­ piece­and­may­even­scorch­it.­routers­are­unique­ in­that­the­collet­simply­squeezes­the­bit­ shank­to­hold­it­firmly­in­place.498­in.­I­was­surprised..­ Shanks Most­woodworking­power­tools­use­some­ sort­of­mechanical­interlock­to­fasten­the­ blade­or­cutter­securely­to­the­machine.­For­example.­planer­knives­are­held­in­the­­ cutterhead­with­gibs­and­screws.­when­I­was­routing­a­groove.

­and­shank­size.-dia.-dia.­shank.­bit­shank­in­a­ 1⁄2-in.­ They­were­all­undersized.000­rpm­on­a­ 1⁄4-in.-­ and­1⁄2-in.­collet.­and­the­profiles­were­ small.­it’s­the­things­you­can’t­see.­Despite­the­low­ price.-dia.­I­ don’t­want­to­spin­a­hunk­of­steel­and­carbide­at­20. 32­ All About Bits .­collet.-dia.­too.006­in.­Most­routers­ today­come­equipped­with­both­1⁄4-in.­shank.­then­it’s­time­to­upgrade.section 2 Unless you need a small bit for use in a laminate trimmer.-dia.­Perhaps­you­can­order­one.­Remembering­ that­the­area­of­a­circle­is­πR2. shank.­brazing.-dia.­ lock­it­into­a­1⁄4-in.­such­ as­carbide­quality.­But­when­perusing­a­ router­bit­catalog.­Because­I­had­ purchased­a­handful­of­these­bits­at­a­woodworking­show.­most­router­bits­had­a­ 1⁄4-in. it’s best to purchase one with a 1⁄2-in.­Unless­my­ desired­profile­is­very­small.­Today.­and­most­router­bits­have­ a­ 1⁄2-in.­ If­you’re­still­using­your­1970s­router­with­a­ 1⁄4-in.­So.-dia.­ less­than­the­collet­diameter.­I­decided­to­check­each­one.­ I’ve­seen­these­bushings­lose­their­grip.­check­with­the­ manufacturer.­collets.-dia. Years­ago.­collet.­ that­determine­how­well­they­perform. Small-profile bits with 1⁄4-in. bit­were­both­new­and­clean.-dia.­on­the­occasion­when­you­do­use­a­ 1⁄4-in. shanks are ideal for use in a laminate trimmer.­So­I­measured­ the­diameter­of­the­bit­shank.­and­I­plan­to­ use­the­bit­in­a­laminate­trimmer.­shank­bit.­If­yours­didn’t­come­ with­a­1⁄4-in. Although­many­router­bit­manufacturers­ offer­bushings­that­allow­you­to­mount­a­ 1⁄4-in.­they­weren’t­much­of­a­bargain.­you’ll­still­often­see­router­ bits­offered­in­both­shank­sizes.­­I­purchase­ a­bit­with­a­ 1⁄2-in.­routers­have­more­power­ than­ever­before­to­drive­the­huge­bits­that­ are­now­available.­­ They­don’t­seem­to­compress­and­squeeze­ the­bit­shank­like­a­well-designed­collet­ that’s­made­for­the­purpose.-dia.­it­was­.-dia.­collet.­shank.-dia.­With­ router­bits.­shank.-dia.­do­the­math­ and­you’ll­see­that­it’s­an­easy­decision.

Are­there­still­uses­for­solid­pilot­bearings?­Sure.­The­result­is­that­you­won’t­have­to­ carve­so­much­of­the­corner­by­hand.­Besides­many­profile­bits­for­producing­moldings­and­table­edges.­As­for­the­ tiny.­most­ router­bit­manufacturers­offer­rabbeting­sets­ that­consist­of­one­rabbet­bit­with­four­or­ five­bearings­of­different­sizes.­But­now­there­are­router­bits­for­ All About Bits This precision bearing ensures a consistent cutting depth without marring the work.­the­pilot­­ follows­the­edge­of­the­workpiece.­The­small­ diameter­of­the­pilot­goes­further­into­the­ corner.­There­ are­also­a­few­specialty­trimming­bits­on­the­ market­that­still­use­a­solid­pilot.­ The one advantage of a steel bit is that the small-diameter pilot will reach deeper into corners.­When­I­want­to­shape­further­ into­a­corner.­but­ on­carbide­router­bits.­but­one­of­the­ most­common­is­to­use­the­pilot­on­the­end­ of­the­bit.section 2 Pilots and Bearings There­are­several­methods­for­guiding­a­ router­bit­through­the­stock.­In­fact.­most­beading­bits­ can­be­converted­to­a­roundover­profile­by­ replacing­the­stock­bearing­with­a­slightly­ larger­one. 33­ .­there­are­spiral­ straight­bits­and­adjustable­grooving­bits­ that­work­like­a­tablesaw­stack­dado­head.­and­so­the­bit­shapes­more­of­the­ profile.­the­pilot­is­actually­ a­miniature­ball­bearing­that’s­held­in­place­ with­a­very­small­cap­screw.­I­always­keep­a­few­ replacements­on­hand­for­when­a­bearing­ begins­to­roll­erratically.­ball-bearing­pilots. types of Bits Routers­have­not­really­changed­that­much­ in­30­years.­limiting­the­cutting­depth.­but­there­are­more­types­and­ styles­of­router­bits­available­than­ever­ before.­For­example.­I’ll­often­use­an­inexpensive­ HSS­bit­with­a­solid­steel­pilot.­And­rabbeting­bits­can­be­adjusted­to­cut­a­variety­of­different­depths­by­ using­different-sized­bearings.­You­can­change­ the­cutting­depth­of­the­bit—and­sometimes­ even­the­shape­that­the­bit­produces—just­ by­swapping­the­bearing­for­a­larger­or­ smaller­one.­those­who­didn’t­own­a­ shaper­would­often­shape­raised­panels­on­ a­tablesaw.­ And­20­years­ago.­the­ pilot­is­simply­an­extension­of­the­bit.­On­HSS­bits.­The­process­is­stone­simple:­As­ the­bit­spins­and­cuts­the­stock.

➤ BUying A set Most router bit manufacturers today offer router-bit sets comprising similar profiles. grooving. so it’s good to have a bead bit assortment. you’re probably better off buying individual bits and getting just what you need. If the set contains just one or two bits of a size or profile that you’ll never use.­These­are­the­bits­that­should­be­a­ part­of­every­woodworker’s­kit. such as edge forming. etc.­chamfers.­too. when run at the same rpm as small bits.­In­fact.­beading.­Let’s­take­ a­look­at­the­wide­variety­of­bits­available­to­ today’s­woodworker. that.­home­center.­You­can­find­them­in­ every­hardware­store. make certain that there is a reasonable likelihood that you’ll use all the bits in The bead is a versatile profile. But before you lay down the cash.­roundovers. 34­ All About Bits .­and­catalog.­introducing­style­and­ detail.­and­ogee­bits. the set.section 2 Large bits.­These­are­ used­to­shape­profiles­such­as­ogees. have a higher rim speed.­many­of­today’s­router­bits­ are­too­large­for­hand­held­routing­and­must­ be­run­in­a­table-mounted­router.­and­roundovers.­ Edge-forming bits shape decorative profiles along the edge and face of the workpiece.­They­include­ bits­for­making­chamfers. These sets can be a good deal because the cost of the individual bits would typically total more than the set.­Edge-forming­bits­add­a­decorative­profile­to­a­square­edge. Edge-Forming Bits Undoubtedly­the­most­common­form­of­ router­bit­is­the­edge-forming­bit.

Grooving Bits Grooves­and­dadoes­are­widely­used­in­ woodworking­projects.­For­example.­Although­both­ grooves­and­dadoes­are­identically­shaped­ square-side­channels.­ All About Bits 35­ .­and­a­dado­perpendicular­to­the­grain. these bits can produce a number of different profiles.)­on­one­shank.section 2 Complex profile bits create two or more shapes in one pass.­a­corebox­bit­­ creates­a­type­of­groove.­grooves­ are­often­used­in­drawer­sides­to­accommodate­the­drawer­bottom.­For­example.­while­ smaller­profiles­can­be­used­for­shaping­­ decorative­flutes­in­a­pilaster­or­column­ (see­the­top­photo­on­p.­a­groove­technically­ runs­parallel­to­the­grain.­Dadoes­are­often­ used­to­hold­cabinet­and­bookshelf­partitions­in­place.­having­all­the­profiles­ stacked­on­one­shank­can­actually­extend­a­ bit’s­flexibility. Edge-forming­bits­are­available­in­a­ variety­of­sizes­in­HSS­and­carbide.­This­elegant­joint­is­ simple­to­execute­with­router­bits­and­looks­ When their height and cutting depth are adjusted.­ multi-profile­bits­have­all­the­basic­shapes­ (beads.­And­when­a­ divider­and­partition­join­at­an­intersection.­etc.­ There­are­variations­on­the­standard­ grooving­bit.­Large­corebox­bits­ are­used­to­create­coves­for­a­molding.­ Others­consist­of­a­combination­of­two­profiles­that­create­a­complex­molding.­ Combination­profile­bits­offer­an­economical­alternative­to­buying­several­individual­ bits.­ a­V-grooving­bit­is­typically­used­to­create­ a­bird’s-mouth­joint.­roundovers.­In­fact.­36).­Surprisingly.­Some­ are­quite­large­and­require­a­powerful­tablemounted­router­to­safely­operate­them. All of these bits shape a type of groove useful for joinery.

­A­spiral­bit.­They­will­ create­a­finished­surface­much­smoother­ than­that­from­a­saw. 36­ All About Bits .­But­that’s­not­all:­ Spiral­bits­are­superior­for­mortising­because­ the­spiral­flutes­actually­lift­the­chips­from­ the­mortise­for­a­faster­cut­with­less­load­on­­ the­router.­As­the­name­implies.­The­spiraling­flutes­of­­ an­up-cut­bit­will­help­clear­away­the­cut­ chips­during­mortising.­ which­resembles­a­twist­drill. The spiral bit at left will create a smoother finish than the straightflute bit at right.­Of­ these.­especially­compared­to­a­square­ groove­from­a­standard­grooving­bit.­skewed-straight.­choose­a­spiral­bit.­and­spiral-­ straight­bits­are­all­available­with­ball-­ bearing­pilots­for­flush­trimming­(see­the­ left­photo­on­the­facing­page).­down-cut.section 2 Corebox bits can be used to create decorative flutes.­Flush-trim­ bits­are­ideal­for­quickly­and­accurately­­ trimming­the­excess­edges­of­a­face­frame­ flush­with­a­cabinet­(see­the­drawing­on­the­ facing­page).­ all­straight­bits­are­designed­for­cutting­ straight-sided­grooves­or­dadoes.­you’ll­probably­find­the­up-cut­style­­ the­most­useful.­the­bit­will­safely­pull­the­stock­ toward­the­table­surface­rather­than­pushing­ it­upward.­and­compression.­But­for­the­smoothest­surface.­And­when­you’re­ cutting­or­trimming­in­a­table-mounted­ router. Straight bits come in various sizes and configurations. refined.­has­a­unique­ flute­design­that­cleanly­shears­through­­ even­tough­end­grain. There­are­three­types­of­spiral­bits:­­ up-cut.­ Straight.­Some­are­designed­specifically­ for­trimming­plastic­laminate­(see­the­right­ photo­on­the­facing­page). The­best­straight­bits­have­skewed­cutting­edges­that­create­a­smooth­surface­free­ of­burning­and­tearout.­ Straight Bits Straight­bits­are­among­the­most­useful­ bits­you­can­own.

skewed flutes. All About Bits 37­ . or double-stick tape. and spiral flutes. Flush-trimming bit Router table These flush-trim bits are specifically designed for trimming plastic laminates.section 2 FlUsh-triM Bit Template can be attached with brads. Workpiece Bearing follows the template. screws. Flush-trim bits are available with (from left) straight flutes.

­you­ simply­choose­a­guide­bearing­of­a­suitable­ diameter. Router table Slot-Cutting Bits Like­straight­bits.­Adjustable­stacking­cutters­are­available­ too.­ 38­ All About Bits .­you­ just­remove­a­nut­and­add­or­subtract­cutters.) Slot-cutting­bits­are­available­in­various­ sizes.­With­this­clever­design.­The­difference­is­that­a­ slot-cutting­bit­cuts­a­groove­parallel­to­the­ router­baseplate.­much­like­a­dado­head­for­a­ tablesaw.section 2 PAttern Bit Template Workpiece Flush-trimming bit Bearing follows the template.­A­ lock­collar­and­setscrew­hold­the­guide­bearing­in­position.­such­as­the­top­rail­in­an­arched­ door.­ To­determine­the­depth­of­the­groove.­Straight­bits­can’t­(see­the­top­left­ photo­on­the­facing­page. ­ Pattern­bits­are­straight­bits­with­a­bearing­ at­the­shank­end­of­the­bit­(see­the­drawing­ above).­you­simply­turn­ a­knurled­screw­to­quickly­and­easily­adjust­ the­bit­(see­the­bottom­left­photo­on­the­ facing­page).­To­adjust­the­cutting­width.­for­cutting­grooves­of­different­widths. Work is held to the template with toggle clamps and/or fasteners.­This­style­of­bit­is­perfect­for­flushtrimming­curved­stock­with­a­template.­What’s­the­significance?­ Slot-cutting­bits­can­cut­a­groove­along­a­ curved­edge.­Slot­cutters­are­also­available­in­ a­stacking­set.­There’s­no­need­to­remove­the­ Adding a bearing on the shank allows you to position the template above or below the work. Screws are added for heavier cuts in dense woods.­slot-cutting­bits­cut­a­ square-sided­groove.

or­to­create­a­lip­along­the­edge­of­a­half- Joinery Bits By swapping the bearing. ­ nut.­A­rabbet­bit­set­is­extremely­versatile. A slot-cutting bit will cut a groove into a curved edge.­ overlay­drawer­front.­Rabbet­bits­cut­a­square­recess.­Like­ or­rabbet.­rabbet-­ There­are­a­number­of­different­styles­of­ bits­for­producing­accurate­joinery­with­your­ ing­bits­can­be­found­in­every­manufacturer’s­ lineup.­Because­rabbets­­ are­used­so­often­in­woodworking.section 2 This large rabbet bit can make smooth rabbets of any size. you can change the cutting depth of this rabbeting bit.­A­compression­spring­ between­the­two­pushes­them­apart­while­ adjusting­the­bit­for­the­desired­setting. All About Bits 39­ .­the­best­rabbet­bits­have­ used­to­accommodate­a­door­or­backboard­ skewed­cutting­edges.­ as­it­comes­complete­with­an­incremen-­ tally­sized­stack­of­guide­bearings.­ router. The turn of a dial easily adjusts this slot cutter. This­unique­bit­uses­two­mating­cutters­that­interlock.­along­the­edge­of­a­board.­often­ straight­bits.­Probably­the­most­common­is­the­ rabbeting­bit.

­ to­remove­the­waste­between­the­pins.­This­is­­ a­large­bit­that­should­be­limited­to­use­in­a­ router­table.­Dovetail­bits­can­be­purchased­in­various­diameters­and­pitch­angles. These bits are specially designed for use with dovetail jigs.­ fit­the­pins.­­ left­photo­on­p.­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ 40­ All About Bits .­the­idea­behind­a­finger-joint­­ ➤ See “ Commercial Dovetail Jigs” on p.­135).­­ you­might­enjoy­a­method­I­use.­yet­ Now­there­are­a­number­of­panel-raising­bits­ unlike­the­jigs.­A­bearing­on­the­bit­shank­or­a­bushFinger joint bits­cut­rows­of­interlocking­attached­to­the­base­of­the­router­guides­ ing­“fingers”­for­joining­stock­end-to-end. 137.­ If­you­prefer­to­cut­dovetails­by­hand.­until­recently.­ glue­bond.­The­short­grain­ on­dovetail­joints.­ the­router­bit­along­the­“fingers”­of­a­temBecause­end­grain­doesn’t­create­a­strong­ plate­that­is­part­of­the­jig.­I­first­ Panel-Raising Bits lay­out­the­dovetail­in­the­usual­manner.­ if­you­didn’t­own­a­shaper.­This­method­is­efficient.­ Raised­panels­are­a­popular­element­in­furThen­I­use­a­dovetail­bit­and­rout­freehand­ niture­and­cabinets.­you­may­want­ most­commonly­7­and­14­degrees.­you­would­have­ Afterwards.­I­saw­the­tails­by­hand­to­­ to­bevel­the­panel­edges­with­your­tablesaw.­­­A­drawer­lock­joint­ creating­the­interlocking­tails­and­pins­found­ appears­deceptively­strong. ­Another­popular­bit­is­the­drawer­lock­bit.­ to­reserve­its­use­for­drawers­that­receive­ Many­woodworkers­use­dovetail­bits­with­ little­abuse.­However.section 2 Dovetail bits cut the tapered pins and tails of this timehonored joint. bit­is­to­join­long-grain­surfaces.­it­yields­a­dovetail­joint­­ available­in­several­sizes­and­shapes­(see­the­­ with­a­hand-cut­appearance­(see­the­top­­ top­left­photo­on­the­facing­page).­If­you­ choose­to­use­this­joinery­bit.­ used­to­create­a­simple­interlock­between­ Dovetail bits­cut­a­wedge-shaped­slot­for­ mating­drawer­parts. a­jig.­ inherent­to­the­joint­breaks­easily.

­One­example­ is­the­cope-and-stick.­they­don’t­cut­as­smoothly­as­ traditional­panel-raising­bits.­­ Matching stile-andrail bits are used for making cabinet doors.­These­bits­are­ All About Bits 41­ . designed­to­follow­the­edge­of­templates­­ to­form­letters.­So.­unless­you­ plan­to­bevel­the­edge­of­a­coopered­panel.­Most­panel­ bits­come­equipped­with­a­guide­bearing­for­ shaping­arched­panels.­ They­typically­consist­of­two­complementary­ bits­that­make­a­complex­joint.­The­most­common­signmaking­bits­use­a­V­profile.­router­bits­for­shaping­ the­edge­of­a­panel­are­quite­large. 199.­These­ bits­deserve­your­respect­and­should­only­be­ used­in­a­router­table­with­a­variable-speed­ router­running­at­a­lower­rpm.section 2 The vertical panel bit at left has a smaller diameter than the horizontal bit at right. This panel-raising bit should only be used in a router table.­or­stile-and-rail.­ ➤ See “Raised Panel” on p.­set­ for­making­paneled­doors.­ Vertical panel-raising bits­are­designed­ to­cut­a­panel­fed­vertically­rather­than­ horizontally­on­the­router­table.­One­of­the­two­ bits­is­used­to­make­a­decorative­profile­ (sometimes­referred­to­as­“sticking”)­along­ the­inside­edges­of­a­door­frame. Sign-Making and Carving Bits­ Router­bits­for­sign­making­have­a­guide­ bearing­mounted­on­the­shaft­with­a­lock­ collar­to­hold­it­in­place.­others­use­­ an­inverted­T­that­undercuts­the­letters­to­­ make­them­stand­out­from­the­background­ of­the­sign.­It­comes­down­ to­bit­geometry:­Small-diameter­bits­are­ too­small­to­incorporate­the­effective­cutting­angle­used­by­larger­bits. As­you­can­imagine.­ I­would­stick­to­using­the­smoother-cutting­ horizontal­bits. Matched Sets Matched­sets­have­become­very­popular.­Shaping­ the­sticking­also­cuts­a­panel­groove.­Although­ they­can­be­used­with­routers­of­smaller­ horsepower.

Similar­sets­are­available­for­making­ divided­light­doors.­The­profiles­allow­the­use­of­­ a­special­offset­hinge­to­attach­the­leaf­to­­ the­table.­ it­will­also­be­strong.­you­may­want­to­consider­bits­that­use­ interchangeable­cutters. This bit uses interchangeable cutters.­And­ if­you­glue­a­plywood­panel­into­the­frame.­The­idea­is­to­­ put­together­an­economical­assortment­of­ edge-forming­profiles­that­use­one­shank.­ .­ or­“light.­Buying­ one­body­and­several­insert­knives­of­various­ profiles­allows­you­to­build­an­assortment­­ of­shapes­economically­(see­the­top­photo­­ on­the­facing­page).section 2 A pair of bits can produce a complex molding or a dropleaf edge. ­ ­­­­The­complementary­bit­in­the­set­cuts­the­ cope­on­the­ends­of­the­rails.­One­design­is­best­ described­as­a­diminutive­shaper­cutter­ bored­to­fit­the­bit­shank.­The­two-piece­set­makes­ door­making­quick.­Along­with­ the­cope.­This­set­shapes­the­matching­ cove­and­thumbnail­profiles­on­drop-leaf­ table­edges.­simple.­The­inserts­are­ purchased­in­matching­pairs­that­fasten­ securely­into­the­body­of­the­bit. Specialty Bits There­are­a­number­of­specialty­bits­from­ which­to­choose.­a­short­tenon­is­also­cut­to­fit­in­ the­panel­groove.­ These bits cut cost by sharing the same shank.­and­precise.­ A­newer­style­of­interchangeable­bit­uses­ replaceable carbide inserts.­The­cope­is­a­ reverse­profile­of­the­sticking.­If­you’re­on­a­tight­bud-­ ­ 42­ All About Bits get.”­Divided­light­door­sets­are­very­ popular­for­making­doors­for­furniture­or­ cabinets­that­display­contents. Still­another­style­of­matching­bits­is­the­ drop-leaf­set.­This­style­of­set­cuts­a­rabbet­instead­ of­a­panel­groove­to­accept­a­glass­pane.­a­divided­light­door­set­shapes­a­decorative­sticking­along­the­edges­of­the­door­ frame.­Like­the­cope-and-stick­ set.

­Although­it­wears­faster­ than­carbide. Another­style­of­insert­bit­is­designed­specifically­for­high-wear­situations. Custom Profiles Although­there­are­certainly­many­more­ profiles­to­choose­from.­The­inserts­have­ two­or­more­cutting­edges­and­are­designed­ to­be­repositioned­when­the­cutting­edge­ becomes­worn. you may want to consider an inexpensive HSS bit.­For­a­short­run­­ of­a­special­molding.­then­consider­­ high-speed­steel.­Once­all­the­sharp­edges­are­ used.­ However.­a­custom­HSS­bit­­ is­affordable.­If­that’s­the­case.­complete­with­ carbide­tips.­it­holds­an­edge­when­used­ exclusively­on­natural­wood­and­is­easier­­ to­sharpen­than­carbide.­This­ensures­that­the­cutting­ diameter­remains­constant.­many­saw-sharpening­shops­can­ grind­a­custom­router­bit.­there­are­still­times­ when­you­may­not­find­the­shape­you­need. All About Bits 43­ .­such­as­routing­abrasive­sheet­stock.­the­knives­are­replaced­rather­than­ resharpened.­ This bit features disposable carbide inserts.section 2 An innovative bit features a mechanical interlock system to secure the replaceable carbide inserts. For a custom profile.

you can produce either shape here with the same bit.­just­changing­bearing­sizes­will­ alter­the­shape­or­depth­of­the­profile.­ This­allows­you­to­shape­segments­of­a­large. ➤ See “Bird’s Mouth” on p.­By­changing­the­position­in­which­­ the­molding­is­applied.­ Swapping the bearing on a roundover bit converts the shape to a beading bit.­such­as­the­Crown­ Molding­Set­from­CMT®. Creative Uses for Bits If­you’re­creative.­square­edge.­And­by­removing­­ the­guide­bearings­and­sometimes­even­ By rotating the profile 90 degrees.­you’ll­often­find­several­ uses­for­the­same­one.­switching­to­a­larger­bearing­on­a­ beading­bit­will­convert­it­to­a­roundover­­ bit.section 2 Some­specialty­bits. 172.­which­is­obviously­a­ great­way­to­extend­your­woodworking­budget.­ complex­molding­that­would­be­impossible­ with­ordinary­router­bits.­Other­times.­you­can­alter­the­shape­­ of­the­finished­profile­by­rotating­the­molding­90­degrees. This bit can produce an edge bead or a corner bead.­ This profile is inverted to shape areas that ordinary bits can’t.­a­common­technique­with­­ ogee­bits.­And­when­used­in­conjunction­with­a­V-bit.­Often.­you­can­create­a­­ reverse­ogee. 44­ All About Bits .­a­bird’s-mouth­joint­ can­be­created.­­ A­chamfer­bit­is­typically­used­to­taper­ an­octagonal­post­or­leg­or­just­to­remove­a­ hard. Beading­bits­can­be­used­for­an­edge­­ bead­or­a­corner­bead.­For­ example.­use­standard­ profiles­that­are­inverted­on­the­bit­shank.

­­ spinning­bit.­Of­course.­Soft-start­­ routers­have­electronics­that­cause­a­router­to­ ­ develop­full­speed­over­the­course­of­about­ one­second.­they­deserve­your­respect.­ Mount­the­router­in­a­table.000­rpm­in­a­fraction­of­a­second­ causes­a­router­to­jerk­suddenly.­especially­­ if­equipped­with­a­large­bit.­ Large Bit Safety Shapers­are­expensive. The bearing stud on this bit was purposely ground away to avoid marring the adjacent cove.­Some­bits­ are­just­too­large­for­hand­routing.­Going­from­zero­ to­20.­you­­ can­increase­the­versatility­of­a­bit.­steady­work­sur-­ face­to­support­the­router­and­the­large.­you­can­now­create­many­cuts­with­ your­router­that­were­once­done­by­a­shaper.­But­as­the­sizes­of­router­bits­have­ grown.­ Large bits should only be run in a router table.­which­all­but­eliminates­the­jerk. grinding­away­the­mounting­stud.­46).­Large-diameter­bits­run­ at­the­same­rpm­as­small­bits­have­a­much­ higher­rim­speed.­Hold­a­­ panel-raising­bit­in­your­hand.­that’s­a­lot­ of­steel­and­carbide­to­spin­in­a­high-speed­ router.­And­when­ you­compare­the­size­of­these­huge­bits­to­ their­much­smaller­predecessors­of­20­years­ ago.­and­so­are­the­cutters.­To­use­large­bits­safely.­here­are­­ some­guidelines: Always­follow­the­manufacturer’s­­ guidelines.­So­be­safe­and­run­these­ bits­slowly­(see­the­top­photo­on­p.­A­router­ table­provides­a­massive. Use­a­soft-start­router. Lower­the­rpm.section 2 Sometimes the bearing and even the mounting stud can obstruct the desired cut. All About Bits 45­ .­ Check­with­the­bit­manufacturer­for­a­suggested­speed.­ Raised­panel­bits­and­cope-and-stick­sets­are­ just­a­couple­of­examples­of­the­large­router­ bits­that­have­become­available­to­meet­the­ demands­of­today’s­woodworkers.­you’ll­need­a­router­ with­electronic­variable­speed­(EVS).

This guard will shield your hands from large panelraising bits.­If­bits­are­tossed­together­in­a­drawer.­There­are­a­ number­of­tool­cleaners­available­that­will­easily­ dissolve­the­buildup­without­damaging­the­carbide­or­brazing­(see­the­top­right­photo­on­the­ facing­page).­So­it­ makes­sense­to­take­good­care­of­them.­ This drawer protects the carbide and makes it easy to locate the bit you need.­It­is­also­easy­to­set­up­and­use.­Clear­plastic­boxes­compartmentalized­ for­fishing­tackle­or­small­die-cast­cars­are­ ideal­storage­containers­(see­the­top­left­photo­ on­the­facing­page).­­ Proper­storage­is­critical­to­the­life­of­a­ router­bit. 46­ All About Bits .­such­as­ the­Panel-Loc­guard­from­Bench-Dog®. Use­light­cuts.­listen­ to­the­router­and­don’t­bog­it­down­by­removing­too­much­stock­at­once.­A­well-designed­guard.­Heavy­cuts­can­lead­to­ kickback­and­overheating­of­the­router­motor.­causing­a­bit­to­overheat.­And­ if­your­fence­isn’t­equipped­with­a­T-slot.­Bits­should­be­stored­in­a­rack­or­ compartmentalized­box­to­keep­them­sepa-­ rate.­ Bit Storage.­Even­super-duty­15-amp­ routers­don’t­have­the­power­to­make­heavy­ cuts­in­a­single­pass.­Dirt­and­ resins­will­commonly­build­up­along­the­cutting­edges.­Depending­on­how­often­you­ use­it.­­ the­brittle­edges­of­the­carbide­will­be­damaged. Use­a­guard.section 2 This multi-speed router can be slowed down for use with large bits.­take­several­light­cuts.­It­ simply­fastens­to­the­T-slots­in­the­fence.­provides­a­protective­barrier­between­your­hands­ and­the­bit.­ a­high-quality­router­bit­will­last­for­many­ years.­the­ Panel-Loc­comes­with­one­that­easily­attaches­ to­your­existing­fence. and Sharpening Router­bits­are­not­inexpensive.­you­may­not­ever­need­to­purchase­a­ replacement.­a­dozen­or­so­ can­add­up­to­several­hundred­dollars.­In­fact.­ For­best­results. Cleaning.­with­care. It’s­also­important­to­keep­bits­clean.

­You­can­polish­the­steel­shanks­with­ fine­steel­wool­or­a­mild­plastic­abrasive­pad.­When­a­bearing­ begins­to­show­signs­of­rough.­Attempting­to­ prolong­the­life­of­a­bearing­by­soaking­it­in­ a­solvent­will­only­shorten­its­life.­sawblades.­because­ the­solvent­will­penetrate­the­seal­and­dissolve­the­bearing­grease. All About Bits 47­ .­and­they­have­the­knowledge.­ Router­bits­will­often­last­longer­than­ their­tiny­guide­bearings. It’s a good idea to keep an assortment of extra bit parts on hand.­the­ shank­of­a­bit­should­be­smooth­and­polished.­ Attempting­to­hone­the­edges­may­change­ or­even­ruin­the­geometry.­The­cutting­ geometry­of­most­router­bits­is­complex.­ Surface rust should be removed with steel wool or a synthetic abrasive pad. A storage case keeps the bits separate to protect the carbide tips.­shaper­ cutters.­erratic­movement.­I­send­all­my­ tooling—including­planer­knives.­and­router­bits—to­a­local­ professional­shop.section 2 A commercial bit cleaner will dissolve built-up pitch on a bit.­it’s­time­to­replace­it.­Their­prices­are­reasonable.­skill.­ Sharpening­your­router­bits­is­best­left­to­ a­professional­sharpening­shop. For­the­best­possible­grip­in­the­collet.­and­ equipment­to­sharpen­the­tools­correctly.

B c 48­ All About Bits . Most routers have two wrenches. pitch. or burrs. Insert the bit fully and then withdraw it approximately 1⁄ 8 in. it simply compresses and squeezes the bit. Finally. snug the collet firmly against the bit shank by tightening the collet nut.s e tt i n g U P B i t s changing Bits Before installing a bit in a router. Position the wrench on the router against the benchtop for leverage as you apply pressure to the wrench on the collet nut (c). Make certain it grips the shank and not the radius at the base of the A shank (A). This should be removed with mineral spirits. so that the collet makes contact only on the shank (B). As you tighten the collet. make certain that the bit shank is smooth and free of rust. New bits often have a thin coat of grease on the shank.

Insert most of the bit shank (B) and tighten the collet firmly (c). make sure that the bearing shield is in place (e). come supplied with several bearings so that you can alter the cutting depth. To change a bearing. When replacing the bearing. Also. Resist the temptation to grip the bit shank with pliers. such as rabbeting bits. Next.s e tt i n g U P B i t s changing Bearings Why change bearings? A good-quality bit will often outlive the bearing. A bearing that feels rough as you spin it or one that whines during use should be replaced. you’ll want to first secure the bit in a collet (A). place a wrench on the router collet to prevent it from rotating. A B c D e F g All About Bits 49­ . some bits. Replace the cap screw (F) and gently tighten it. and remove the tiny cap screw with an Allen wrench (D). (g). as you’ll scar the bit shank.

Resist any temptation to grasp the bit shank with pliers or place it in the jaws of a vise. B c D F e 50­ All About Bits . Spacers are used to control the width of the cut and prevent the carbide tips from making contact. A A guide bearing is included for template or curved work. and a nut holds all the parts onto the bit shaft. Begin by mounting the cutter in a router (B) and locking it in place (c). which will damage the smooth surface of the shank.s e tt i n g U P B i t s Adjusting a stacking Bit A stacking bit has cutters of various widths that can be used alone or in combination to create a groove or a pair of parallel grooves (A).

g h i J K All About Bits 51­ . Place a spacer between cutters (g). carefully remove the cutter (e). Now place the washer on the shaft (i) and replace the nut (J). When stacking the cutters on the bit shank. make certain that the teeth are positioned to rotate counterclockwise as you’re facing the end of the shank (F). lock the nut firmly in position (K). Now. orienting the carbide tips so they don’t touch (h). Finally. place a wrench on the router and position it against the bench surface for leverage (D).s e tt i n g U P B i t s To remove the nut on the bit.

­and­a­variety­ of­complex­joints.)­By­inverting­a­ router­and­mounting­it­in­a­table.­vibration-prone.­ in­essence.­stamped-steel­ router­tables­of­a­few­years­ago­have­been­ replaced­by­large.­ Router Table Designs Like­routers­and­bits.­can­be­used­only­with­a­ router­table.­created­a­mini-shaper.­For­example. 72) Making a Sled (p.­you­have.­sturdy­cabinet­models.­storage­for­accessories.­it’s­easier­to­shape­small­ pieces­on­a­table­than­to­hold­and­balance­ the­router­over­a­small­workpiece. 69) ’ Zero-Clearance Fence (p.­­With­the­ small­investment­of­a­router­table.SECTION 3 Router Tables Router Table Fences ➤ ➤ Benchtop Router Table ➤ Router Table Sled ➤ Simple Fence (p. 70) Support Stand (p. 68) ‘L Fence (p.­In­addition.­many­largeprofile­bits. There­are­other­advantages­gained­by­ using­a­router­table­instead­of­a­handheld­ router.­you­can­ shape­large­profiles.­router­tables­have­ come­a­long­way­in­recent­years.­ straight­and­curved­moldings.­are­also­easier­ to­shape­because­the­table­surface­provides­ plenty­of­support.­ lightweight.­such­as­cope-and-stick­sets­and­ panel-raising­bits. 67) Jointing Fence (p.­The­small.­such­as­raised­panels.­Long­ N workpieces. 71) Two-Dollar Top (p.­such­as­moldings.­ complete­with­features­such­as­accessible­ electrical­switches. 75) ➤ ➤ ➤ o other accessory­will­add­more­ versatility­to­your­router­than­a­ router­table­(as­shown­in­the­top­ photo­on­the­facing­page.­ 52­ .

­too. Router Tables 53­ .­ Stationary Router Tables If­you­have­the­floor­space­in­your­shop.­the­reduced­ weight­and­compact­size­make­a­benchtop­ router­table­truly­portable.­ You­can­even­purchase­cast-iron­and­ phenolic­tops­that­eliminate­sag­from­heavy­ routers.­­ And­if­you­do­job­site­work.­Of­course.­the­best­models­are­loaded­ Like all benchtop tools.­And­if­you­have­limited­space.­Mount­a­large.­Benchtop­router­tables­are­typically­ more­affordable­than­stationary­models.SECTION 3 A router table adds tremendous versatility to your router.­you­can­build­a­table­for­ a­minimal­investment­of­time­and­money.­you­ can­purchase­a­router­table­wing­that­bolts­ onto­the­top­of­your­tablesaw.­The­best­fences­are­ arrow-straight­aluminum­extrusions­with­ T-slots­for­mounting­accessory­guards­and­ featherboards.­ Let’s­take­a­closer­look­at­your­options.­ Benchtop Router Tables A­benchtop­router­table­will­offer­you­the­ advantages­of­table­routing­without­taking­ up­more­floor­space­in­an­already­cramped­ shop. a benchtop router table can conserve valuable space and be easily transported to a job site. and­dust­collection.­3-hp­router­ under­the­top­and­you’ll­have­a­high-performance­power­tool.­You­can­ also­use­the­space­underneath­for­storage.­Stationary­router­tables­ have­large­tops­for­support­of­the­work­and­ extra­weight­to­minimize­vibration.­A­ stationary­router­table­is­definitely­the­best­ choice­if­you­plan­to­do­a­lot­of­routing.­Fences­have­seen­vast­ improvements.­if­ you’re­on­a­budget.­ then­a­stationary­router­table­is­definitely­ the­way­to­go.­Even­though­ they’re­small.

although not complicated.­Wing­tables­­ are­cast­iron­to­reduce­vibration­and­are­­ outfitted­with­a­high-quality­fence­with­­ simple.­you­may­want­to­consider­ a­wing-type­table.­supports­the­ router.­Think­of­it­as­ the­ultimate­upgrade­of­your­tablesaw.­ Tablesaw Wing Tables If­you’re­looking­to­save­space­without­losing­convenience. A sturdy yet inexpensive top was constructed from kitchen sink cutouts. you can construct a modest yet sturdy table that’s capable of doing much of what the large. And you’ll need a fence as well.­and­a­miter­gauge­slot­ for­end-grain­routing.­The­best­ benchtop­router­tables­include­a­zero-­ clearance­aluminum­extrusion­fence.SECTION 3 ➤ BuIlDINg vS. the nominal cost of buying a quality top and fence provides you with extra time for woodworking. Router tabletops. with­features­that­enable­them­to­go­headto-head­with­the­floor­models. expensive tables will do. You can customize it to your height and equip it with doors and drawers for storage of all the stuff that you use with your router. This space-saving cast-iron top bolts to the top of your tablesaw.­and­provides­a­surface­on­which­to­­ ­ 54­ Router Tables . However.­yet­solid­fence­locks. You may be wondering—why not just build a router table? My recommendation? Buy the top. The­most­important­aspect­of­any­router­ table­is­its­surface­flatness. and then build a cabinet to support it. the best support stand is one that you build yourself.­Wing­tables­replace­the­ extension­wing­on­your­tablesaw­without­ limiting­the­use­of­the­saw.­supports­the­workpiece. can be somewhat time-consuming to construct. For most woodworkers.­­ The Top This shopmade router table and sled are just as capable as many commercial models.­a­router­table­is­just­a­flat­top­with­ an­inverted­router­suspended­underneath. useful table. For a few dollars and a weekend of your time.­a­­ dust-collection­port.­Stripped­to­the­ essentials. And don’t feel that you have to blow your woodworking budget to have a sturdy.­ It’s­the­table­that­provides­a­reference­surface. BuyINg Open the pages of almost any woodworking catalog and you’ll see an enormous selection of router tables.

­ including­plywood.­Given­that.­MDF.­heavy­routers.­and­you­can­often­buy­ a­partial­sheet­of­plywood­at­your­local­home­ supply­center.­If­you­plan­ to­purchase­a­particleboard­top.­ It­lacks­sufficient­stiffness­across­the­grain.­laminate­two­pieces­of­ 3⁄4-in. a miter gauge slot.­ and­it­easily­warps­when­the­relative­humidity­changes.­the­extra­weight­and­thickness­will­ absorb­vibration­and­resist­sagging.­This­design­eliminates­the­wear­­ ­ Router Tables 55­ .­laminate­two­pieces­ together.­So­let’s­take­a­ look­at­material­choices­for­tops.­That’s­because­ many­tops­sag­under­the­weight­of­today’s­ high-powered. there’s no need to spend a lot of money to get started with table routing.­ Plywood­is­a­good­choice­because­its­laminated­plies­provide­stiffness­and­stability.­so­it’s­important­to­cover­ both­faces­with­plastic­laminate.­which­will­provide­thickness­ and­strength­at­the­cutout.­ The­most­important­component­in­a­ router­table.­If­you­plan­ to­build­the­top­yourself.­and­possibly­a­router­lift­ mechanism­with­a­built-in­height­gauge.­There­are­more­suitable­options.­ phenolic.-thick­plywood­together. ­­­­Particleboard and MDF­are­flat­and­ heavy—good­qualities­for­a­top.SECTION 3 A micro-dial makes it easy to make height adjustments as fine as .­It’s­ relatively­inexpensive.­and­cast­iron. and insert-plate leveling screws.­ This sturdy top features accessory T-slots.­the­top­can­also­be­the­Achilles­ heel­of­the­entire­system.­particleboard.001 in. secure­a­fence.­ the­insert­plate. As this simple plywood stand shows. Table Materials The­best­router­tabletop­is­one­that­stays­ strong­and­flat­over­time.­The­top­consists­of­the­table.­These­ materials­can­warp.­look­for­ one­that­features­a­metal­framework­with­ built-in­leveling­screws­to­support­the­router­ insert­plate.­the­ worst­choice­you­can­make­is­natural­wood.­For­a­stiff­top­that­resists­sagging.

Baseplate Options Most­commercially­available­router-table­ tops­feature­a­rectangular­baseplate­from­ which­the­router­is­suspended.­ Phenolic­is­a­relative­newcomer­among­ router-table­tops.­ transforming­the­layers­into­a­laminated­ plastic.­It­is­very­hard. For­best­stock­support­when­you’re­routing. phenolic. This phenolic table features a lift with a built-in crank for fast. precise adjustment.­which­ helps­reduce­vibration.­dense.­Heat­and­ pressure­is­applied­to­cause­polymerization.­and­heavy.­­The­baseplate­sits­within­a­recess­in­the­tabletop.­resists­warping.­­ 56­ If­you’re­making­your­own­top.­the­bit­opening­in­the­baseplate­should­ suit­the­size­of­bit­you’re­using­without­leaving­a­large­space­around­its­perimeter.­Phenolic­wears­well.­instead­ of­simply­drilling­a­bit­access­hole­in­the­top. that­would­otherwise­occur­on­the­particleboard­from­the­leveling­screws­in­the­insert­ plate.­Some­ baseplates­are­outfitted­with­insert­rings­that­ Router Tables .SECTION 3 Baseplates are available in plastic.­ and­has­sufficient­strength­and­stiffness­to­ resist­sagging­under­the­weight­of­a­heavy­ router.­­ and­strong. Cast-iron­tops­are­available­from­several­ manufacturers. and aluminum.­ A baseplate gives you quick access to the router for adjustments and bit changes.­you’ll­probably­want­to­use­a­baseplate­as­well.­ Phenolic­is­made­by­laminating­layers­of­ resin-impregnated­paper­or­fabric.­It’s­a­great­choice­for­the­job.­Cast­iron­wears­extremely­ well­and­is­stiff.­making­it­well­suited­to­the­job.­strong.­ The­baseplate­allows­you­to­quickly­lift­the­ router­out­of­the­table­for­making­height­ adjustments­and­bit­changes­(see­the­bottom­ right­photo­above).­Some­commercial­ cast-iron­tops­are­designed­to­be­used­on­ either­a­freestanding­router­table­or­as­an­ extension­wing­of­your­tablesaw.

­To­solve­­ ­ Router Tables 57­ .­You­can­purchase­a­ ­ ­ baseplate­complete­with­mounting­holes.­is­the­best­choice­for­a­ plastic­baseplate­because­of­its­strength­and­ stiffness.­aluminum­baseplates­are­typically­available­with­ insert­rings.­ Commercial­baseplates­are­available­in­ several­different­materials.­or­ baseplate comes with an insert ring.­an­industrial­laminated­plastic­ mentioned­earlier. This aluminum A phenolic baseplate includes insert rings for minimizing the bit opening.­ Aluminum­is­another­good­choice­for­a­ baseplate­material.­to­resist­sagging­ from­the­weight­of­a­heavy­router.­Aluminum­has­greater­ stiffness­than­most­plastics.­ Phenolic.­As­you­can­imagine.­including­aluminum­and­various­plastics.­Although­it­doesn’t­have­the­ stiffness­of­phenolic.­Also.­­ Unfortunately. Acrylic­is­also­a­good­choice­of­plastics­ for­baseplates.­this­ can­quickly­become­a­time-consuming­chore. you­can­make­your­own.­forcing­you­to­switch­baseplates­ when­changing­from­a­very­large-diameter­ bit­to­a­small­one.­It­usually­ requires­that­you­either­reach­underneath­the­ table­or­remove­the­heavy­router.­acrylic­works­well­with­ all­but­the­heaviest­routers­and­is­usually­ available­at­your­local­glass­shop.­some­baseplates­don’t­have­ insert­rings.SECTION 3 This universal baseplate fits virtually every router without drilling. Lifts A­major­drawback­of­router­tables­has­always­ been­the­awkwardness­of­changing­bits­and­ making­bit­height­adjustments. allow­you­to­quickly­adjust­the­bit­opening.

­ convenient. ROuTER lIFT 3/8-in. socket driver 9/16-in.­baseplate.­The­lifts­also­add­ extra­weight.­it­does­ not­need­to­be­removed.­which­helps­limit­vibration.SECTION 3 this­problem.­the­router­motor­is­fastened­directly­into­the­carriage­of­the­lift.­just­crank­ A lift is the ultimate upgrade for any router table.­Instead.­Router­lifts­use­a­ speed­wrench­or­a­crank­(see­the­top­right­ photo­on­the­facing­page)­for­making­height­ adjustments­from­the­top­without­having­to­ reach­underneath. Lead screw Guide posts 58­ Router Tables . can be adjusted from above when used in a router table. which incorporates a built-in lift mechanism.­ and.­and­router­motor­become­one­unit.­some­manufacturers­now­offer­ router­lifts­to­make­these­adjustments­fast.­as­ shown­in­the­drawing­below. deep-well socket Fine-adjustment scale Insert plate Carriage Height-adjustment access hole Carriage lock Anti-backlash adjustment This unique plunge router.­To­change­bits.­­ Router­lifts­eliminate­the­need­for­the­ router­base.­and­accurate.­once­installed­in­the­tabletop.­The­lift.

A precision lift comes with a full set of insert rings.­and­you’ll­have­easy­access­to­ the­bit­and­collet.­A­router­ lift­provides­the­ultimate­conversion­of­your­ router­table­into­a­true­stationary­power­tool. the­motor­up. Router Tables 59­ .­ This lift features a dust collection fitting under the table.­router­lifts­use­insert­rings­to­eliminate­the­need­to­swap­out­baseplates.SECTION 3 A lift allows for fast bit changes and adjustments from above the table.­To­adapt­the­system­for­a­ large­bit. This top includes a built-in lift and micrometer height adjustment.­Some­ router­tables­come­equipped­with­a­built-in­ lift­and­integral­dust­collection.

using­a­router­table­and­fence­offers­greater­ control­and­convenience.­ Commercial­fences­are­typically­made­ from­extruded­aluminum.­you’ll­find­that­ for attachment to a router table fence.­or­an­overarm­ guide.­you­can­easily­construct­a­fence­ with­more­support­and­features­by­attaching­ two­strips­of­plywood­at­right­angles­to­each­ other.­MDF­inserts­in­the­face­of­the­ fences­adjust­laterally­to­accommodate­different­bit­diameters­and­can­be­cut­to­cre- .­ This shop vacuum can be switched to power up automatically when you start the router.­because­you­can­attach­a­dust-collection­ hook-up­directly­to­the­back­of­the­fence.SECTION 3 guiding Cuts There­are­four­tools­for­guiding­the­cut­ when­you­use­a­router­table:­the­fence. 60­ Router Tables However.­Besides­guiding­the­ cut.­a­guide­bearing.­If­you’re­ Various dust-collection fittings are available used­to­handheld­routing.­Cleanup­is­a­snap­ too.­the­fence­provides­a­place­to­position­a­ guard­and­featherboards. The graduations on this fence help with making fine adjustments to the setup.­a­ miter­gauge.­and­include­T-slots­ for­quick­and­easy­attachment­of­guards­and­ accessories.­Braces­added­behind­the­fence­will­ stiffen­it­and­keep­it­90­degrees­to­the­table­ surface.­ A­router­table­fence­doesn’t­have­to­be­ elaborate­or­expensive­to­work.­strong. The Fence The­most­common­method­for­guiding­cuts­ on­the­router­table­is­to­use­a­fence.­Aluminum­fences­ are­lightweight.­a­plank­and­ a­pair­of­C-clamps­will­serve­the­purpose.

­The­ fence­serves­as­a­guard­to­cover­the­unused­ area­of­the­bit­(see­the­drawing­above). 3.­ you’ll­probably­want­to­purchase­an­aluminum­insert­for­the­miter-gauge­groove­ for­resistance­to­wear. 2.SECTION 3 ROuTINg END gRaIN Tearout will occur here. Feed direction Rotation Grain When routing end grain.­If­you­make­your­own­top. The Miter Gauge The­miter­gauge­provides­support­when­ you’re­shaping­the­ends­of­narrow­stock­ such­as­door­rails.­it’s­still­important­to­use­a­fence. To minimize tearout: 1. minor tearout on trailing edge is to be expected. Shape end grain first. Use miter gauge with backup board.­you’ll­need­a­groove­ in­the­top­of­the­router­table­to­guide­it­in­ a­straight­path. BIR 02 A miter gauge is useful when routing the ends of narrow stock. ate­a­zero-clearance­opening. Then shape edges of stock or rip to width. Router Tables 61­ .­Of­course.­if­you­plan­to­ use­the­miter­gauge.­When­using­a­miter­ gauge.­Commercial­ fences­also­have­built-in­clamps­to­securely­ lock­them­to­the­table.

plywood Toggle clamps hold stock to template. OvERaRm guIDE Stock Template extends beyond workpiece.­just­align­the­fence­so­that­it­is­tangent­to­the­bearing. If­you’re­shaping­curved­stock­with­a­ template. Bit rotation Feed direction Block resists thrust of bit.­ As­with­handheld­routing.­This­makes­setting­the­ fence­fast­and­accurate. 62­ Router Tables .­ When­shaping­curved­stock­with­the­ bearing­as­a­guide.­ This­method­provides­a­smooth­entry­into­ the­cut­without­a­starting­pin­(as­shown­in­ the­drawing­at­left).­so­that­it­contacts­the­bearing­before­ the­work­contacts­the­cutting­edge­of­the­bit.­The­ guide­bearing­even­helps­when­used­with­the­ fence. so starting pin is not necessary.­the­bit­can­ grab­the­stock­and­pull­it­from­your­grasp. TEmplaTE ROuTINg Stop blocks are glued and screwed to base of template.­the­bearing­can­ follow­a­pattern­or­the­workpiece­itself.­The­starting­pin­threads­into­a­ hole­in­the­tabletop­and­provides­a­fulcrum­ to­safely­lever­the­workpiece­into­the­spinning­bit.­Without­a­starting­pin. preventing stock from moving laterally.­it’s­important­to­use­a­ starting­pin.­ A starting pin provides a fulcrum when you’re routing curves.­extend­the­template­beyond­the­ work. 3/4-in.SECTION 3 Guide Bearing The­guide­bearing­is­one­of­the­best­guide­ tools­for­shaping­freeform­curves­and­arcs.

A T-slot in a router table fence allows attachment of guards.­Plus.SECTION 3 Overarm Guide An­overarm­guide­(as­shown­in­the­bottom­ right­drawing­on­the­facing­page). This unique guard is effective when you’re routing curved stock. Router Tables 63­ .­This­ allows­you­to­make­internal­cuts­on­curved­ stock.­ Unless­your­shop­has­lots­of­room­to­spare. featherboards. and other accessories.) Guards­provide­a­barrier­between­your­ hands­and­the­spinning­bit.­the­ added­weight­of­a­cabinet-style­base­(and­­ its­contents)­adds­to­the­stability­of­the­­ router­table.­wrenches.­you­can­add­a­T-track.­By­building­ the­base. A custom cabinet provides plenty of storage for bits and accessories. Base Designs Even­if­you­choose­to­purchase­a­top­and­ fence­for­your­router­table.­The­space­ below­the­table­is­an­ideal­storage­area­for­ bits.­The­Panel-Loc­barrier­guard­by­Bench­ Dog­is­a­large­aluminum­extrusion­designed­ ➤ See “Curve with Template” on p.­(If­your­fence­doesn’t­ have­a­T-slot.­ you’ll­probably­want­to­avoid­mounting­the­ top­on­an­open­base­or­leg­set.­the­overarm­guide­ can­be­positioned­off-center­to­the­bit.­ Many­of­these­are­designed­to­fasten­to­a­­ T-slot­in­the­fence.­and­accessories.­you­can­customize­its­height­and­ enclose­it­to­create­a­useful­storage­area.­works­ much­like­a­bearing.­the­best­base­ is­one­that­you­build­yourself. 215.­This­helps­prevent­kickback­ and­offers­greater­control­and­a­smoother­ cut.­as­when­coving­a­gooseneck­molding.­the­most­important­are­safety­ devices­such­as­guards­and­featherboards.­The­difference­is­that­ unlike­a­guide­bearing.­ Router Table accessories Of­all­the­accessories­you­can­add­to­your­ router­table.­while­feather-­ boards­hold­the­stock­firmly­against­the­ fence­and­table.


This guard provides an effective barrier when you’re using large bits.

A featherboard doubles as a stop block.

An external switch eliminates groping under the table for the power switch on the router.

for­shaping­panels.­­The­heavy­extrusion­ shields­large­panel-raising­bits­from­your­ hands­while­working­as­a­hold-down­­ to­keep­the­panel­firmly­positioned­on­­ the­table.­ Other­worthy­accessories­include­stop­ blocks­used­to­limit­kickback­when­you’re­ making­stopped­cuts,­and­an­exterior­power­ switch,­which­eliminates­groping­under­the­ table­for­the­switch­on­the­router.­­


Router Tables


While providing a uniform feed rate, this scaled-down power feeder keeps your hands clear of the bit.

Power Feeder
One­of­the­best­accessories­you­can­add­to­ your­router­table­is­a­power­feeder.­This­tool­ keeps­your­hands­safely­distanced­from­the­ bit,­while­the­constant­feed­rate­provides­a­ smoother,­more­uniform­surface­than­you­ can­achieve­by­hand­feeding.­Today­there­are­ small,­lightweight­feeders­that­are­perfectly­ suited­for­router­table­use.­

Feathers measure 1/8 in. wide by 5 in. long and are cut with a wide blade in the bandsaw. 30ϒ 6 in.

Eye and hearing protection are critical when you’re using routers.

11/4 in.

Router Table Safety
Although­most­router­bits­are­small,­routers­ and­bits­deserve­your­attention­and­respect.­ As­with­all­power­tools,­you­can­enjoy­them­ safely­by­following­a­few­safety­guidelines: •­­ arge-diameter­bits­are­for­use­only­in­ L a­router­table.­Using­bits­over­one­in.­in­ diameter­in­a­handheld­router­can­easily­ cause­you­to­lose­control. •­­ lways­wear­eye­and­hearing­protection.­ A

16 in. to 18 in.

•­­ ake­light­cuts.­Heavy­cuts­invite­kickback.­ T If­necessary,­move­the­fence­closer­to­the­ bit­or­switch­to­a­larger­guide­bearing. •­­ se­a­featherboard­to­support­the­workU piece­(as­shown­in­the­drawing­above).

Router Tables



Push blocks and sticks distance your hands from the spinning bits.

Router bit rotates into stock (against feed direction) and pushes stock away from fence and back toward operator. Stop blocks must be positioned to resist these forces. Router bit rotation

Fence Router bit pushes stock in these directions. Feed direction is right to left.

•­­ lways­use­a­guard.­If­the­fence­didn’t­ A come­with­a­guard,­purchase­an­aftermarket­guard­or­devise­one­of­your­own.­ •­­ ever­start­the­router­with­the­bit­in­conN tact­with­the­stock. •­­ on’t­force­the­bit­or­overload­the­router. D
If your router table doesn’t have a guard, you can make one of your own.

BIR 06

•­­ ecure­the­motor­in­the­base­before­startS ing­the­router. •­­ ever­climb-cut.­Always­feed­the­stock­ N from­right­to­left,­as­shown­in­the­drawing­ above.­ •­­ se­push­blocks­and­featherboards­to­ U position­your­hands­a­safe­distance­from­ the­bit.­ •­­ void­shaping­small­stock.­Instead,­shape­ A a­larger­piece­and­reduce­it­in­size­afterwards.­If­you­must­shape­a­small­piece,­ build­an­appropriate­jig­or­secure­the­­ work­within­the­jaws­of­a­wooden­handscrew­clamp.­ •­­ on’t­bottom­out­the­bit­in­the­collet­or­ D partially­insert­the­bit.­Instead,­completely­ insert­the­bit,­and­then­back­off­approximately­ 1⁄16­in.


Router Tables

RO u T E R Ta B l E F E N C E S

Simple Fence
If you’ve built your own router table, here is a simple fence that works well for routing edges and grooves (a). Select a plank of hardwood and mill it slightly thicker than the average piece of stock you plan to rout. Use a scrollsaw or saber saw to cut a notch in which to fit the router bit (B). Fasten a rectangle of Plexiglas® to the top of the fence to serve as a guard (C). Two small clamps are used to secure the fence to the table (D). The opposite side of the fence is used for routing grooves and dadoes (E).






Router Tables


With a straight bit installed in your router (F).R O u T E R Ta B l E F E N C E S Jointing Fence You can joint the edges of stock too short to safely run through a jointer by using your router table and a jointing fence (a).. from half of the fence (C). This method ensures that the jointed edge will be straight. say 1 ⁄32 in. The first step is to cut a strip of plywood and cut a small notch in the center to contain the bit (B). The setup works like a mini-jointer with a vertical bed. A jointing fence is one in which the two halves are parallel but not in the same geometric plane. Instead. Next. first clamp it to the C D router table (E). the outfeed fence is forward by a small amount. E F g 68­ Router Tables . As you make this cut. use the router table and a straight bit to remove 1⁄ 32 in. to support the stock after it passes the a B router bit. maintaining pressure against the outfeed half of the fence (g). joint the edge of the work. To use the fence. maintain pressure against the infeed side of the router table fence and stop cutting when you reach the bit opening (D).

Now repeat the process for the second half of the fence.R O u T E R Ta B l E F E N C E S Zero-Clearance Fence To get maximum support from a fence. attach a a sacrificial fence (B) that fits into the slots on the L -shaped fence (see previous photo-essay) (C). If the bit has a guide bearing. Now clamp the outfeed end of the fence to the table (D) and pivot the infeed half of the fence into the spinning bit (E). Remember to clamp the infeed end of the fence in place before use. Then loosen the locknuts that hold the fence insert. A zero-clearance fence has no opening for the work to drop into because the bit is used to cut an opening. the procedure is to first secure the fence to the table. The first step is to adjust the height of the bit (a). To avoid spoiling the standard fence. slowly feed the fence half into the spinning bit. Next. B C D E 70­ Router Tables . you’ll want its bit opening to be as small as possible.

This will keep it out of the way during routing operations. glue. a ➤ See “Two Dollar Top” on p. assemble the table with glue and screws (B).B E N C h TO p R O u T E R Ta B l E Support Stand If you would like a router table but your woodworking budget is tight. BIR 29 B C D E Router Tables 71­ . but it also serves as a benchtop router table when outfitted with a top. Drill a hole in the side of the cabinet for the cord (C).-thick plywood joined with dadoes. lightweight. you may want to consider building this support stand (a). Fasten a top from underneath (D) and drop the router in from the top (E). You can equip it with a plywood top or construct a thick. 72. The unit is inexpensive. and screws. and compact for easy storage. The stand can be used for hand routing. This simple stand is made of 3/4-in. sturdy top from sink cutouts. After cutting the parts and sawing or routing the dado joints.

Template 5/8-dia. I laminated two 3⁄4-in.-dia. Next.-dia. because it has plastic laminate on both faces.-dia. Routing for a baseplate isn’t difficult. straight bit in the collet (E). Remove its baseplate (C) and install a 5⁄16-in. bushing 3/16-dia.B E N C h TO p RO u T E R Ta B l E Two-Dollar Top If your woodworking budget is limited. Router tabletop bit to make a template from 1⁄4-in. but you’ll probably want the advantages of a baseplate. making an extra-thick top that won’t sag. you’ll like this top. which will allow you to lift the router out of the table to make bit changes or adjustments to the bit height.thick cutouts back-to-back. bit Step 1: Rout template from baseplate. because you’ll need it a 3/16 -in. bushing Baseplate dollar apiece (a). B BIR 26 C D E 72­ Router Tables . it’s constructed from two sink cutouts obtained from a local cabinet shop for a Template 5/16-in. 3 ⁄16-in.-dia. but get or make the baseplate first. Your local shop may even give them away.-thick plywood for routing the opening in the top (B). guide bushing in place with the lock ring (D). The first step is to set up the router. You can rout a shallow recess for the router on the underside of the top. For this router-table top. install a Step 2: Rout opening perimeter in top. It’s less likely to warp too.

Now rout around the inside perimeter in a clockwise direction (m).-dia. Apply pressure to the tape with clamps or a mallet to increase its holding power (l). bushing. Once it is in position. After routing the perimeter of the cutout (N).B E N C h TO p R O u T E R Ta B l E Double-sided tape works well to secure the baseplate to the template and the template to the underlayment (F). Now lay out the baseplate location on the top. drill a starter hole in the template material to accept the router bit (g). use a h I J K l m N Router Tables 73­ . straight bit in the router. and secure the template to the top with double-sided tape (K).-dia. Begin by equipping the router with a 5⁄ 8-in. The next step is to use the template to rout the baseplate recess in the top. Now rout around the perimeter of the baseplate in a clockwise direction (h) and remove the baseplate and attached offcut (I). Then set 3 F g the cutting depth to equal the baseplate thickness (J). while leaving the ⁄16-in.

and trim the outside edges of the top flush (T). size the template to serve as a guide for the edge of the router base. using plenty of glue and clamp pressure. Once the glue dries. make a template for rounding the corners of the table. (In the photo. and install a flush-trim bit in the router (p). When you’re routing. rout the opening for the router with a flush-trim bit (S).B E N C h TO p RO u T E R Ta B l E second template to rout an opening for the router (O). the top and template are staggered for clarity.) O p Clamp the template to the top and then rout a radius on the corners (Q). In this case. chamfer the edge to make it user-friendly (u) and seal the edges of the particleboard with a couple of coats of Q shellac (v). leaving a 1 ⁄2-in. To complete the top. Now laminate the second sink cutout to the underside of the top (R). R S T u v 74­ Router Tables . the template is aligned with the edge of the top.-wide ledge to support the baseplate. Next.

a groove exposes the raw edges of the substrate. The common solution is to feed the workpiece using a miter gauge. An alternative solution is to build a sled that rides the edge of the tabletop (a). you may not want to cut a miter-gauge groove in your top. Adjust the clamp so that its pad is compressed when the handle is in the closed position (D). Size the plywood to equal the distance from the router table fence to the front edge of the table. Remember to add a couple of inches of overhang for the runner.R O u T E R Ta B l E S l E D making a Sled When you’re routing the ends of narrow stock such as door rails. the fence doesn’t provide adequate support. The last step is to fasten a toggle clamp to the backing board. because even with an aftermarket metal insert. Next. fasten the runner in place with glue and screws (B). However. Begin by cutting a rectangular piece of plywood for the base of the sled. inviting warping. This is a simple jig that takes just a few minutes to construct. a B C D Router Tables 75­ . Now attach the backing board to the top of the base the same way (C).

Common Cuts. page 101 Flush-Trimming. page 123 . page 78 Edges and Moldings.

the information in this part of the book will show you how to begin. I’ll show you how to perform some of the router’s most fundamental and useful operations.PART TWO Basic Operations I f you have never used a router. I’ll cover flush-cutting— an invaluable technique for which you’ll continue to find uses over time. And even if you’ve owned a router for several years. I’ll offer lots of information on making these common cuts. which range from routing stop cuts and narrow edges to making coves and small parts. In Section Four. Along the way. In Section Five. provide transitional elements. . you may find valuable insights here as well as a few new ways of routing. in Section Six. Lastly. and even define particular furniture styles. you’ll learn how to use the router for making moldings. which are used to add decoration.

The speed at which they can shape a delicate curved molding is unmatched. 90) Making Stop-Cuts (p. and it’s especially important for routing. The Work Area A large. 95) Cove Cut on the Router Table (p. It’s important to have good lighting too. capable of cutting everything from decorative shapes to fine joints. sturdy workbench is an essential part of any shop. 88) Baseplate as a Guide (p. routers can also destroy a beautiful piece of wood in a heartbeat. They’re efficient too. 91) Shaping Edges (p. But let’s face it. That’s why it’s so important to spend time on setup before turning on the power. The work must be R secured to a bench at a comfortable height. 97) Shaping Small Parts with a Jig (p. And there’s more to setup than locking the bit in the collet. In this section. we will take a look at routing essentials as well as some tips for making your work with the router safe and accurate. 99) Shaping Small Parts with a Miter Gauge (p.SECTion 4 Common Cuts Plunge Cuts ➤ Guided Cuts ➤ Shaping Cuts ➤ Routing Small Parts ➤ Plunge Cut with Edge Guide (p. The workbench provides 78 . 94) Using a Starting Pin (p. 86) Internal Cut with Guide Bushing (p. 100) ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ outers are incredibly versatile tools. 89) Bearing as a Guide (p. with clamps or hold-downs positioned out of the path of the router. 96) Template Shaping Small Parts (p. 93) Shaping Narrow Ends (p.

Routers generate a considerable amount of force. Instead.SECTion 4 solid support for the workpiece as well as a way to secure the work with clamps or hold-downs. Common Cuts 79 . This method solidly secures a small workpiece. As you rout a groove or shape the perimeter of a tabletop. the workbench should be steady and immovable. If you’re routing completely through the stock. Although routing pads work well when new. Alternatively. Regardless. One option is to purchase a rubber routing pad to grip the stock. although it’s usually necessary to stop halfway and reposition the clamps and the workpiece. they gradually lose their tackiness as the surface becomes infiltrated with fine dust. Good lighting is critical for safe. which can easily launch a small piece of stock. You may opt to attach a power strip to a leg of the bench or bring the power in from overhead. a power supply should be nearby. This inexpensive shopmade stand serves as a router table and a support base for hand routing. A reflector-type lamp with a spring clamp is my favorite. you can lay it on riser blocks to lift it off the bench. you’ll need to position the work so that it overhangs the bench. it’s important to add task lighting. I don’t care for the spongy feel created by the pad as I’m guiding the router. Natural light works well if you’re fortunate enough to have lots of windows. It’s inexpensive and I can easily position it where I need it by attaching it to a pipe clamp. As you push and pull the router along the stock. Sometimes the work is so small that there just isn’t room for clamps. However. accurate work. you don’t want to risk routing into the cord. you may not have enough natural light. The height of the dogs can be adjusted below the stock surface. yet keeps the area free of obstructions. I secure the pipe clamp to the edge of the bench and reposition it as the position of the work changes. the workpiece must be immobilized. Of course. if your shop is in a basement or garage. yet out of the way. I prefer to pinch small work between bench dogs. Securing the Work It’s not enough to have the support of a solid workbench. Clamps are an easy solution.

Many bits include a bearing for guiding the cut. There are four common approaches for guiding the cut: guide bearings. Bearings and bushings are common tools that help guide the cut. The most basic of cuts is to shape a decorative profile (such as an ogee or thumbnail) along the edge of a straight-sided surface. 80 Common Cuts . at times handheld routing is still the best option. sometimes the workpiece is too large or awkward to push across a router table. because you’ll need a guide system separate from the bit. Internal cuts. The most common guide method is to simply allow the guide bearing on the router bit to follow the edge of the stock. and an edge guide or fence. Also. Handheld Routing The most common and inexpensive method for using the router is hand routing. Bearing-Guided Cuts The easiest solution for guiding the cut is to use the bearing that is fastened to the end of the bit. For example. guide bearings will also follow curves (as shown in the drawing on the facing page). internal cuts often start and/or end at a specific point. The bearing simply rolls along the edge of the workpiece to guide the bit along the edge while limiting the cutting depth. bushings. are somewhat more complicated. This is also a common technique that’s used for shaping the edge of a tabletop or drawer front or for making a strip of molding. And even if you have a router table. As you might expect. In addition to straight edges. And if you need to cut a groove for a partition or divider inside a cabinet.SECTion 4 Hand routing does not require a router table or expensive jigs. each approach has its advantages and disadvantages. such as grooves and mortises. the baseplate. handheld routing may be your only option.

Guiding from the baseplate is fast and easy. you’ll need a template for the bearing to ride on. when guiding the router from the baseplate. If the entire edge is to be cut in the process. it’s important to realize that the baseplate of most routers isn’t concentric with the collet. Using the baseplate as a guide isn’t as foolproof as the bearing method. it can also be used to guide a straight bit for flushtrimming one surface adjacent to another. A guide bearing can also be used at the base of a straight bit to make an internal cut. The edge guide has been around nearly as long as the router. You can solve the BIR 11 problem by using two parallel fences and trapping the router base between them. You can easily overcome this potential problem by keeping the same point of the base in contact with the fence throughout the cut. however. Baseplate-Guided Cuts Another way to guide internal cuts is to use the edge of the baseplate. This is a quick and practical method for cutting grooves. as long as you keep the router baseplate in contact with the fence. Common Cuts 81 .SECTion 4 BEARinG AS A GuidE Baseplate Rabbeting bit Workpiece Pilot bearing follows edge of workpiece as bit cuts profile. Pilot bearing This makes it easy to shape a decorative profile along a circle or arc. the bit will cut a straight path. A guide strip is first secured to the workpiece with clamps or brads to serve as a fence. Or you can replace the round baseplate with a square one. ➤ See “Internal Cut” on p. Also. the location of the cut may be inconsistent. Although edge shaping is the most frequent use for a guide bearing. If the baseplate wanders. A fence or guide attaches to the other end of the rod and rides the edge of the workpiece. The position of the fence from the center of the groove must equal one-half the width of the baseplate. So if you rotate the base along the guide as you push the router. 214. the cut is spoiled. For example. It has a rod or a pair of rods that attach to the router base. 82). Edge Guide Another method for guiding the cut is to use an edge guide (as shown in the top photo on p.

BiT WiTH GuidE BuSHinG Workpiece Bit Bushings require a jig or template to bear against. you can quickly spoil the cut if the fence wanders even slightly from the edge of the stock. A bushing is a metal collar or sleeve that fits within the baseplate opening. Like a guide bearing. an edge guide can be somewhat awkward to use. a bushing can guide the cut along the edge of both curved and straight stock. But guide Edge guides allow for internal cuts.SECTion 4 Although it is still useful at times. As when you guide the bit from the baseplate. Bushings Still another method for guiding the cut employs a bushing. with the bit passing through it. Guide bushing Template 82 Common Cuts . especially when positioned several inches from the router base. also called a template guide (as shown in the drawing below).

• Don’t attempt to climb-cut. Template Bushing dia. Freehand routing is a great yet often overlooked option with several applications. Realize too that bushings are typically not concentric with the router collet (or the bit). Allow the router to develop full speed before making contact with the workpiece. and wood fragments that can cause serious eye injury. The bit can grab the stock violently and pull the router from your grasp. The template can be curved or straight. check with the bit manufacturer. important to carefully follow safety guidelines. • Don’t cut the power cord. when I cut half-blind dovetails. If in doubt. So for the greatest accuracy. Afterwards. it is capable of inflicting serious injury. Also. They’re also used extensively with jigs for making accurate joinery such as dovetails. For example. Check with the bit manufacturer for the recommended rpm. • Wear hearing protection. I pare to the lines with a chisel. • Wear eye protection. chips. • Never start the router with the bit contacting the stock. I just rout within the layout lines. Routers propel dust. But in spite of its size. CAlCulATinG oFFSET Bit dia. it’s the router will damage your hearing. To use a guide bushing. Workpiece • Always read and follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines. portable machine. • Use the appropriate speed. The high-decibel scream of Common Cuts 83 . and don’t exceed it. you’ll need to guide from the same portion of the bushing throughout the cut. Freehand Routing There are times when I rout freehand.SECTion 4 bushings excel at guiding internal cuts such as grooves. Plan the route you’ll use and position the cord out of the cutting path. As with all power tools. • Large bits are not intended for handheld routers. you’ll need to first make a template. but it’s important that it be sized to accommodate the offset between the bushing and the bit (see the drawing below). I usually rout the dovetail sockets freehand and then saw the ➤ HAndHEld RouTER SAFETy The router is a relatively small. without a guide. when routing a shallow mortise for a lock or hinge.

Before routing. Safe Cutting To make clean cuts safely. Clean. This severs the grain at each cut to limit splintering. If the cut is guided with a bearing. The long. But first replace the round baseplate with a square one. Entering the Work As with all power tools. an optional method is to first bore a hole that is larger than the bit and start the cut with the bit in the hole. but where do you draw the line? At some point. cut shallow stopped grooves and flutes with your fixed-base router. Also. plunging cut with a fixed-base router. But sometimes the guidelines contradict each other. straight edge of a square base will stabilize the router as you tip it into the cut. but the key is to use only sharp. then switch to smaller bearings until the final depth is reached. it’s always important to work wood with the grain to achieve the smoothest possible surface and avoid tearout. Sure. You can’t safely make a deep. And a rule of thumb when routing is to work the perimeter of a board in a counterclockwise direction. small-diameter bits. don’t climb-cut. Take three or four light passes if necessary. Instead. it’s necessary to approach the workpiece in a certain fashion and to feed the tool at the appropriate speed and in the correct direction. intermittent cuts along the edge. The solution? Take lighter cuts. when you least expect it. the router base should make contact before the bit. Still another method for avoiding splintering is to first make several short. However. 84 Common Cuts . If you plan to cut mortises with a router. Following are a few general guidelines. You can. take the first pass with a large-diameter bearing. allow the tool to develop full speed before making contact. stable entry into the cut. I lay out the joint with a sharp knife. the bit can grab and pull the router from your grasp. The workpiece or the router could jerk violently. and then I follow the knife lines with a router and dovetail bit. But what do you do if the latter advice has you routing against the grain and tearing and splintering the stock? There are solutions. you can usually climb-cut relatively safely with smaller bits. and the bit could snap. For example. In other words. however. but I don’t consider climb-cutting one of them. never turn on a router with the cutter contacting the workpiece. ➤ CliMB-CuTTinG Woodworking has many rules of thumb that keep us on track and help us avoid potential problems or safety issues. then you’ll need a plunge router. This approach ensures a smooth.SECTion 4 tails by hand to fit the sockets. Routing freehand may sound difficult.

Rout clockwise internally. because of their chemical composition. Rout end grain first. you’ll be in control. washboard surface that is difficult to sand out. especially as you approach the end of the cut. there’s a possibility that the unsupported wood at the trailing end of the cut will splinter. Scorching or burning is especially a problem for certain wood species. the subsequent cuts along the perpendicular edges will remove the splintered corners. always push it counterclockwise around the perimeter of a board or frame and clockwise around the interior (as shown in the drawing above). chisel. So with a handheld router. An excessively slow feed rate will overheat the bit as well as the stock and scorch the surface. you can minimize or eliminate any splintering by using a sharp bit and reducing the feed rate. If you feed too quickly. Even so. This way. and other woodworking power tools in the direction opposing the cutter rotation. If this method isn’t feasible. you can clamp a backing board to the stock to support the trailing edge as you rout. shapers. such as cherry and maple. Avoiding Splintering Anytime you plane. or rout an end-grain surface. One is to shape or rout the ends of a board first. saw. Another method for avoiding splintering is to rip the board to its final width after routing. each wing of the bit will take larger bites and create a rippled. CuT SEquEnCE And diRECTion Rout counterclockwise externally. The key is to listen to the router. Feed Direction Workpieces are always fed across tablesaws. observe the finished surface. Just remember. jointers. The same principle holds true for a router. despite your best efforts wood will still sometimes splinter. you’ll gain a feel for the proper feed rate. Otherwise the workpiece would be grabbed and launched across the room. the feed direction is always the opposite of the direction the router wants to feed itself. and practice. BIR 28 Common Cuts 85 . In just a short period of time. In that case.SECTion 4 Feed Rate and Direction The speed at which you push or pull the router through the stock has a direct effect on the surface quality of the cut. There are several solutions. When routing.

PlunGE CuTS Plunge Cut with Edge Guide With its motor mounted on spring-loaded posts. But before turning on the power. Loosen the locking screw that holds the depth stop rod. the plunge router has the unique ability to start and stop a mortise or groove at any point on the workpiece (A). Next. At this point. the stop rod should be positioned against the base casting. it’s important to first set the cutting depth. plunge the router until the bit touches the A surface of the work (C) and lock the depth stop rod in position (d). which allows for the deepest cut. Then lock the depth indicator B C 86 Common Cuts . and position the rod against the depth stop (B).

and lower the spinning bit (G). With the depth stop setup complete. d E F G H Common Cuts 87 . position the edge guide against the workpiece. push the router to the ending point of the cut (H). Power up the router.PlunGE CuTS at ‘‘O” (E). tighten the depth rod locking screw. Finally. you’re ready to make the cut. While maintaining contact between the edge guide and workpiece. Now loosen the depth rod locking screw and raise the depth rod until the depth indicator is positioned for the cutting depth (F).

you’ll first have to calculate the offset (bushing diameter minus bit diameter divided by two) and make a template.GuidEd CuTS internal Cut with Guide Bushing Before using a guide bushing. A B Fasten the template with small nails or doublestick tape (B). I’m cutting a rectangular-shaped recess into the back of a frame that has an oval opening (A). Set the cutting depth (E) and make the cut in a clockwise direction (F). Secure a straight bit in the router collet (C) and install the guide bushing in the router baseplate (d). C d E F 88 Common Cuts . In this case.

I’ve replaced the factory baseplate with a custom baseplate with straight sides. A B C d Common Cuts 89 . 23. align the fence and clamp it in position. For increased accuracy. Next. A cut in the T-square fence makes setup fast and accurate (C). and it makes setup a snap (A). ➤ See ‘‘Making a Straight-Sided Baseplate” on p. make the cut (d). A T-square fence ensures that the cut is perpendicular to the edge of the workpiece. Begin by laying out the cut on the face of the workpiece (B).GuidEd CuTS Baseplate as a Guide Using the baseplate as a guide is pretty straightforward. Finally.

As you approach the corner. it’s common to experience minor tearout (d). Begin by using the workpiece to gauge the cutting depth (B).GuidEd CuTS Bearing as a Guide Probably the simplest and most common routing method is to use the bearing on the bit to guide the cut. C d E F G 90 Common Cuts . such as in this example (A). Shape the outside edge. To avoid climb-cutting. the tearout will be cut away (E). But as you shape the edge. remember to rout in a counterclockwise direction (F) on the outside and in a clockwise direction on the inside (G). It’s often used to shape decorative edges. starting with an end and moving in a counterclockwise A B direction (C).

To begin. (Text continues on p. disconnect the router from the power source. 92. Next. Position the workpiece against the fence and slide it until it makes contact with the bit (B).) A B C d Common Cuts 91 . To make a stop-cut along the edge. Align the layout mark on the workpiece with the outfeed mark on the fence (d). It’s very important for your personal safety that you use a stop block clamped to the fence to prevent kickback as well as to accurately position the board. locate the point at which the router bit begins to project through the fence opening on the outfeed side of the bit. The next step is to position the stop block.SHAPinG CuTS Making Stop-Cuts A stop-cut begins and/or ends before it reaches the end of the workpiece (A). Now mark a line at that spot (C) and repeat the process on the infeed side of the bit. the workpiece is pushed sideways into the spinning router bit.

SHAPinG CuTS Now clamp the stop block to the infeed side of the fence directly behind the workpiece (E). Feed the stock right to left until the stop line on the work aligns with the mark on the outfeed fence (H). Now pivot the work into the spinning bit until it makes full contact with the fence (G). first position the workpiece against the stop block and away from the bit (F). E F G H 92 Common Cuts . To make the cut.

The corners will often tear out (G). but the splintering will shape away when you’re routing the long-grain edge (H). Begin by positioning the fence tangent to the bearing on the bit (B). There is no need to reposition the clamps halfway through the process or precariously balance the router as you push it along the workpiece. the workpiece is pushed along the fence with the full support of the table. A B C d E F G H Common Cuts 93 . Position the board behind the bit on the infeed side of the fence (E) and begin routing one end of the workpiece (F). you can construct the one shown in the photo or just clamp a thick plank to the fence. Instead. Then lock the fence securely in place (C). If your router table isn’t equipped with a guard.SHAPinG CuTS Shaping Edges Shaping edges on a router table is much easier than shaping them with a handheld router (A). Next. position a barrier guard (d).

and reduce the opening around the bit (F). The solution is to use a miter gauge (A). Remember: It’s still important that the fence be locked in place. it adds a measure of safety by placing a barrier around much of the bit. Loosen the screws that hold the fence inserts. However. d E F G H 94 Common Cuts . Next. A B C Press the end of the work against the fence to correctly position it (G). It serves as a stop to position the workpiece. place an insert ring around the base of the bit to provide extra support for the workpiece (d). Begin by locking the bit securely in the collet (B).SHAPinG CuTS Shaping narrow Ends Many cuts on the router table are guided by the fence. Position the fence tangent to the guide bearing and lock it in place (E). narrow stock such as door rails doesn’t receive adequate support from the fence. Then adjust the bit to the necessary height (C). and it directs shavings toward the dust collector. Hold the workpiece firmly against the miter gauge and make the cut (H).

the common guide method is to use the bearing on the bit. pivot the work away from the starting pin (C) and proceed with the remainder of the cut (d). it’s important that the workpiece be smooth and free of bumps or ridges from bandsawing. The safe solution is to position the workpiece against the starting pin to enter the cut.SHAPinG CuTS using a Starting Pin When you’re routing the edge of a curve. the cutting portion of the bit makes contact with the workpiece before the workpiece makes contact with the guide bearing. The potential is for a kickback to occur. The starting pin is an important part of this type of setup (A). Because the bearing rolls along the stock. Once the workpiece makes contact with the guide bearing. As you enter the cut. especially with the large router bits available today. The pin acts as a fulcrum on which to pivot the workpiece into the spinning bit (B). A B C d Common Cuts 95 .

It’s important to keep each cut light. heavy cuts are prone to kickback and tend to cause overheating of the router. But there’s a practical way to increase the size of the cove. an elliptical cove is Even a large router bit can't shape a very large cove. Adjust the fence position and the bit height to blend the curves from each of the two router bits. C Second Cut 1 in. Use featherboards to keep the workpiece in position. Use two bits of different radii and create an elliptical cove (A).SHAPinG CuTS Cove Cut on the Router Table Even the largest router bits will not cut a very deep cove. This will greatly increase the depth and width of the cove and enable you to create a large molding profile. Begin by making multiple light passes with the B first bit (B). The final cove should be a smooth. switch 15/8 in. First Cut Instead use two large router bits with different radii to create a large elliptical cove. After making the first portion of the cove. more appealing than one with a constant radius. radius A d 96 Common Cuts . continuous curve (d). radius bits and complete the cut (C). As an added benefit.

and glue the two main parts of the fence (g). Glue block Slot for attachment of sacrificial fence Bit opening Sacrificial fence Machine screw a B C D BIR 30 E F g h Router Tables 69­ . cut a bit opening.RO u T E R Ta B l E F E N C E S ‘l’ Fence Although a plank or strip of plywood can serve as a fence. attach the glue blocks (h). Construction is simple—two plywood strips are joined at 90 degrees (a). Biscuits increase the glue surface area (B) and glue blocks at the back stiffen the fence (C). Begin by laying out and cutting the slots on the face of the fence (D). Finally. Next. in many situations you’ll most likely want a taller fence. A tall fence gives greater support for feeding stock on edge and also provides a place to position guards and featherboards (as shown in the photo at left below). Machine screws and wing nuts fit in the slots (E) for mounting a guard or sacrificial fence (F).

but leave it oversize in width and length. Begin by milling the stock to the final thickness. After shaping. glue the stock to a piece of 1⁄4-in.-thick plywood with heavy paper in the joint (B). The plywood will provide a template for the router bearing during the shaping process. 98.Ro u T i n G S M A l l PA RT S Template Shaping Small Parts These tiny blocks (A) measure approximately 1 ⁄2 in. joint the edge of the assembly with a bench plane or jointer (C). Next. After the glue has dried. and require a thumbnail profile along one edge and both ends. the paper will allow you to separate the plywood easily from the workpiece. Because the entire edge is shaped. A B C (Text continues on p. the blocks will be mitered on the ends and carefully fitted into a notch in the seat board. Then rip the stock to final width and crosscut it to final length (d). by 7⁄ 8 in.) d Common Cuts 97 . the setup requires either a fence or a template to limit the cutting depth. After shaping. by 3 in. The next step is to shape the profile.

there’s no dangerous metal-to-metal contact. feed the work into the spinning bit until the plywood template makes contact with the bearing (E). F G 98 Common Cuts . One solution is to grip the part within the jaws of a wooden handscrew. gently pry the plywood from the workpiece by placing a chisel into the seam along the back edge (G). The heavy wooden clamp effectively adds mass and positions hands a safe distance from the spinning router bit. After the shaping is complete. if the bit inadvertently contacts the jaws of the clamp. shape the edge using the same procedure (F).R o u T i n G S M A l l PA RT S There are a couple of keys to shaping such a small piece: add mass to reduce chatter and provide a method to grasp the part safely for shaping. Tighten the jaws of E the clamp firmly around the stock. Also. Begin by shaping the ends. After shaping the ends. Next.

Feed Stock must fit snugly. As you use the jig. mill the stock for a snug fit within the groove of the jig (B). It involves a simple jig that is designed for shaping multiple parts. The fit of the workpiece within the groove must be snug. This way pressure is applied to the stock as it is shaped. maintain firm pressure against the router table and fence (d). Place stock here for shaping ends. the second workpiece is held within a groove as the end is shaped.Ro u T i n G S M A l l PA RT S Shaping Small Parts with a Jig Here’s a second method for shaping the entire edge of a small part. you can also position a second piece into the jig for end shaping (C). Next.-thick plywood with pockets for holding the work (A). A rabbet holds the first workpiece as it is shaped along the edge. A B C d Common Cuts 99 . such as the candle-slide front for a desk. preventing chatter. Then place it into the rabbet for shaping an edge. Furthermore. a finger hole in the top of the jig provides a way to push the work free from the jig after shaping. the rabbet that secures the work for shaping the edge must be slightly less in dimension than the stock being shaped. After making the jig. The jig is a piece of 3⁄4-in. Place stock here for shaping edges. shape the ends of the stock. If you are shaping multiple pieces.

the ends of the blocks must be shaped. For each profile. 224 See “Small Stock Fluted on the Router Table” The first stage in this process involves shaping a strip of molding. This setup allows safe and accurate shaping of very small workpieces such as these. or flat column. short blocks of the molding are cut B from the strip for use as the base and capital (A). After shaping. The router table fence is first secured parallel to the miter gauge slot. the complete pilaster is added to the interior of a desk. ➤ on p.R o u T i n G S M A l l PA RT S Shaping Small Parts with a Miter Gauge This small-part setup uses a miter gauge in conjunction with a backup board. After shaping. orient the stock on the edge (B) or end (C) and firmly clamp it to the backup board on the miter gauge. C 100 Common Cuts . with the same profiles used on ” the face of the block. A The parts being shaped in this example are the base and capital for a pilaster. the small workpiece is then clamped to the backup board for safe shaping. which is fastened to the head of the gauge with a pair of screws. But first. or “returned.


Edges and Moldings

Routing Edges

Making Moldings

Bullnose in Two Cuts (p. 109) Edge Bead (p. 110) Edge with Fence (p. 111) Beveling Curved Edges (p. 113)

Molding on Face (p. 114) Complex Molding (p. 116) Complex Molding II (p. 118) Built-Up Molding (p. 119) Arched Molding Face (p. 121) Arched Molding Edge (p. 122)

➤ ➤

oldings and edge­treatments­ have­been­used­throughout­the­ ages­to­create­visual­interest­and­ to­add­detail­to­furniture­and­architecture.­­ In­fact,­furniture­styles­are­often­dictated­­ by­their­moldings,­among­other­things.­ While­most­period­pieces­are­embellished­ with­elaborate­moldings­and­cornices,­even­ simple­furniture­styles­use­basic­molding­ profiles­or­chamfers­to­soften­an­edge­and­ add­a­small­degree­of­detail,­as­shown­in­­ the­top­drawing­at­left­on­p.­102.


There­are­two­basic­methods­for­adding­ a­molding­profile­to­a­piece­of­furniture­or­ cabinetry,­as­shown­in­the­drawing­at­right­ on­p.­102.­The­first­is­to­shape­a­strip­of­ molding­and­attach­it­to­the­work­with­glue­ and/or­fasteners.­The­second­is­to­shape­­ the­edge­of­the­work.­Each­method­yields­a­ different­effect.­For­example,­applied­moldings­stand­proud­of­the­surrounding­surfaces­­ and­create­a­strong­visual­effect.­A­good­ example­is­a­crown­molding­on­a­chest­of­ drawers,­which­provides­a­visually­powerful,­­



This cornice can be made with a router from six separate molding strips using simple profiles. Dentil can be made on tablesaw with dado head. Crown Fascia Fascia Soffit Cove Tongue-and-groove knives cut this profile. Ovolo Reverse ogee

Crown molding "looks" downward.

Edge treatment lightens look of drawers.

Dentil Reverse ogee

Front view

Transition molding between case and foot

lIppEd dOORS aNd dRawERS wITh ThuMbNaIl pROFIlE

Face frame

Double doors

distinctive­terminus­to­the­top­of­a­case­ piece.­In­contrast,­edge­treatments­can­ reduce­visual­weight­or­thickness­and­create­ a­lighter­appearance.­For­example,­lipped­ doors­or­drawer­fronts­can­benefit­from­a­ 1/4 in. BIR 05 7/8 in. simple­roundover­along­the­edges,­which­ creates­a­thin,­almost­delicate­appearance­ and­reduces­visual­weight­(see­the­drawing­ Door at­left). One­of­the­most­efficient­and­productive­ Thumbnail tools­for­creating­both­edge­treatments­and­ moldings­is­the­router­(see­the­photo­on­the­ facing­page).­The­edge­of­a­large­tabletop­is­ more­easily­shaped­by­pushing­a­router­along­ the­edge.­On­the­other­hand,­the­router­table­ Expansion gap is­a­better­choice­for­shaping­long­strips­of­



Edges and Moldings




Astragal Fillet




When you’re shaping edges, the router table provides support for the workpiece.

Quirk Fillet

moldings.­The­fence­and­the­tabletop­provide­support,­and­featherboards­can­be­used­ to­hold­the­stock­and­guide­it­past­the­bit­in­ a­straight­path.­In­fact,­a­small­power­feeder­ is­ideal­for­routing­strips­of­moldings­on­a­ router­table.­It­will­keep­your­hands­a­safe­ distance­from­the­bit­and­allow­you­to­safely­ rout­even­narrow­pieces­of­stock.­

Quirk bead

Reverse ogee




using Edge Treatments
All­the­moldings­that­we­use,­from­simple­ beads­to­complex­crowns,­comprise­basic­ profiles­that­have­origins­in­ancient­Greek­ and­Roman­architecture­(see­the­drawing­at­ right).­The­ogee,­bead,­cove,­and­ovolo­are­ a­few­examples.­Of­course,­there­are­router­ bits­available­to­create­each­of­these­basic­ profiles­in­a­number­of­different­sizes.­The­ profiles­can­be­used­individually­or­combined­to­create­a­complex­molding.­Complex­ moldings­are­a­combination­of­two­or­more­ simple­profiles.­Good­examples­are­found­­ in­many­of­the­crown­moldings­for­furniture­ and­architecture.­Many­crown­moldings­­ comprise­a­large­central­cove­or­ogee­flanked­ by­smaller­profiles.­As­the­molding­steps­up-­ ward,­it­also­“looks­down”­toward­the­viewer,­ as­shown­in­the­left­photo­on­p.­104. Simple­profiles­are­often­used­along­the­ edges­of­tabletops­and­drawers­(see­the­­


Edges and Moldings



TablE EdgES





BIR 17

This clock construction combines shaped edges and applied moldings. Tabletops and drawer edges are profiled to reduce their visual weight.

drawing­above­right).­They­are­an­effective­ way­to­eliminate­a­hard,­square­edge­while­ adding­a­degree­of­style.­Often­a­strip­molding­of­a­simple­profile­is­used­in­casework­to­ provide­a­transition­between­the­upper­and­ lower­cases.­

Combining profiles
There­are­three­methods­for­combining­ profiles­to­create­a­large,­complex­molding,­ as­shown­in­the­drawing­on­the­facing­page.­
Edges and Moldings

The­first­method­is­to­shape­individual­strips­ of­wood­of­various­widths­and­thicknesses­ and­stack­them.­This­is­a­great­way­to­create­ a­large­architectural­molding­with­a­router. The­second­method­is­to­shape­one­­ large­piece­of­stock.­Unlike­architectural­ moldings,­which­are­often­painted,­furniture­ moldings­are­usually­finished­in­a­natural­ stain,­and­stacked­strips­can­result­in­visually­

­ Edges and Moldings 105­ .­as­shown­ in­the­top­photo­on­p. Shape solid stock.­Although­a­flat­molding­is­not­useful­ at­the­top­of­a­case­where­it­would­create­ a­visual­void.­A­good­soluand a tablesaw cove cutter. Shape flat stock and bevel edges.­Also.­This­is­also­the­ best­way­to­shape­curved­moldings.­mismatched­grain.­bevel­the­edges.­it­works­well­as­a­transition­ molding­between­two­stacked­cases.­when­used­as­a­furniture­ crown.­106.­solid­stock­fills­the­void­that­would­ otherwise­result­from­using­a­thin­strip­of­ architectural­crown­molding. Joint distracting.­as­in­a­ tall­clock. tion­is­to­cut­a­large­cove­on­the­tablesaw­ and­flank­it­with­smaller­routed­profiles.­ shaping­a­solid­piece­of­stock­eliminates­ this­problem.­ This crown molding bit set The­drawback­to­the­last­two­methods­is­ has special inverted router bits the­limited­size­of­router­bits.SECTION 5 ThREE METhOdS FOR ShapINg CROwN MOldINg Shape and stack strips.­and­attach­it­at­an­ angle.­This­method­gives­the­appearance­of­ a­large­molding­without­the­need­for­heavy­ stock. The­third­method­is­to­shape­a­strip­of­ flat­stock.­In­contrast.

flexibility.­With­an­assortment­of­basic­profile­ bits.­because­a­multiprofile­bit­is­dedicated­to­making­a­specific­ profile.­It’s­an­easy­decision.­Whenever­ possible. 106­ Edges and Moldings .­You­can­shape­a­complex­profile­with­ a­dedicated­multi-profile­bit.­complex­molding­profiles­are­ just­combinations­of­two­or­more­basic­profiles. Router Table Most furniture styles use moldings.­I­prefer­to­shape­moldings­and­ edges­on­the­router­table­(see­the­photo­on­ the­facing­page). handheld vs.­you’ll­have­greater­flexibility­to­design­ a­complex­molding­to­match­the­project­at­ hand.­or­you­can­ use­individual­bits­and­make­several­cuts­to­ achieve­the­same­results.­and­the­fence­allows­ use­of­guards­and­featherboards. Shaping Complex Profiles Remember.­­ Although­a­dedicated­multi-profile­bit­ may­take­the­guesswork­out­of­routing­a­ complex­molding.­The­ broad­surface­of­the­router­table­provides­ support­for­the­work.­ In­contrast.SECTION 5 You can combine several bits to make a complex molding.­it­can­be­somewhat­limiting. even if they’re just simple edge beads.­a­collection­of­individual­ single-profile­bits­gives­you­more­design­creativity.­it’s­simply­easier­to­manipulate­ the­workpiece­across­the­router­table­than­ to­support­the­router­above­the­work.­They­also­provide­you­with­less­ The­choice­of­whether­to­use­the­router­ freehand­or­in­a­router­table­depends­on­the­ size­and­shape­of­the­workpiece.­In­ most­cases.­these­bits­are­large­and­ expensive.­In­other­words.

­For­ safe­routing.­Of­course. This­is­a­great­advantage­when­you’re­ shaping­lengths­of­moldings. So­why­use­a­handheld­router­for­edges­ or­moldings?­A­large­workpiece­such­as­a­ tabletop­may­be­too­heavy­or­awkward­to­ maneuver­across­the­router­table.­and­door­panels.­A­rule­of­thumb­is­ to­use­straight-grained­stock­for­moldings­ and­figured­stock­for­show­surfaces.­thin­strip­moldings­are­shaped­ on­wide­stock­and­ripped­free­afterwards.­heavy­workpiece.­such­as­ tabletops. Stock Selection Stock­selection­plays­an­important­role­in­ the­visual­success­of­moldings­and­edge­ Large Coves As­mentioned­earlier.­It’s­also­important­to­the­success­ of­the­shaping­process.­It­ can­be­difficult­to­mill­an­identical­strip­of­a­ complex­molding.­It’s­always­ a­good­idea­to­shape­an­extra­piece­or­two­ of­strip­molding­to­avoid­coming­up­short­ in­case­you­miscut­a­piece­while­fitting. treatments.­many­moldings­are­ based­upon­a­large­central­cove­flanked­ Edges and Moldings 107­ .­ Straight-grained­stock­will­be­less­likely­to­ twist­and­distort­as­it­is­ripped.SECTION 5 Making moldings is easier with a router table than handrouting them. When­you’re­making­moldings.­you’ll­instead­find­it’s­ easier­to­push­a­handheld­router­along­the­ edge­of­the­stock.­In­fact.­a­­ power­feeder­used­in­conjunction­with­the­ router­table­allows­you­to­safely­and­accurately­shape­even­narrow­molding­strips— something­you­don’t­want­to­attempt­with­­ a­handheld­router.­the­router­ table­is­always­cleaner­because­of­the­ease­­ of­attaching­dust­collection.­straightgrained­stock­produces­less­tearout.­drawer­fronts.­With­a­ large.

­and­ ogees.­I­look­for­those­that­shape­a­narrow­quirk.­you­can­reduce­the­ sanding­time­by­using­a­specially­designed­ cove­cutter­available­from­CMT.­you­can­ shape­a­large.­To­shape­a­ cove­on­the­tablesaw.­many­beading­bits­cut­a­large­ quirk­that­appears­disproportionate­to­the­bead.­When­shopping­for­beading­ bits.­attach­a­fence­to­the­ saw­table­at­an­angle.SECTION 5 uSES FOR ThE VERSaTIlE bEad Table edge Backboard Stile Rail Scribed bead on drawer Cock bead on drawer Beaded sticking This spice cabinet features a large bead as part of the crown molding.­the­bead­is­one­of­the­most­ useful­edge­and­molding­profiles­available­ (see­the­top­drawing­above).­coves.­ Unfortunately. • Edge was trimmed after shaping.­there­are­router­­ bits­available­to­cut­beads­in­a­number­of­ different­sizes. • Surface was planed or sanded after shaping. effective­method­for­creating­large-scale­ moldings­with­small-shop­tools.­ when­combined­with­router­profiles.­However.­Fortunately.­This­time-honored­technique­is­as­old­as­the­tablesaw­itself­and.­such­as­table­legs­and­­ stretchers.­dividers.­Coves­cut­with­this­method­ require­scraping­and­sanding­to­remove­the­ saw­marks. Bead is flat on side • Incorrect setting of tool.­ which­is­the­shallow­groove­that­flanks­a­bead.­A­greater­angle­pro-­ duces­a­wider­cove.­elliptical­cove­that­is­larger­ than­the­individual­bits­used­to­create­it.­is­an­ Undoubtedly. by­smaller­moldings­like­beads. pROblEMS wITh ShapINg bEadS Bead is flat on top • Warped stock didn't make full contact with bit.­­ and­backboards.­ Another­method­for­shaping­large­coves­ uses­the­tablesaw.­By­combining­cove­bits. 108­ Edges and Moldings .­and­to­soften­the­corners­­ of­square­stock.­ The Bead Correct profile • Bead is full and round.­The­depth­of­the­cove­­ is­determined­by­the­height­of­the­blade­on­ the­final­pass.­It’s­used­­ to­form­the­edge­of­drawers.

the bearing will not receive support from the workpiece (a). Begin by setting the height of the bit (b).ROuTINg EdgES bullnose in Two Cuts Although you can purchase bullnose router bits. Instead. Set the fence tangent to the guide bearing and make the first pass (C). Then shape the opposite face to complete the bullnose profile (d). because on the second pass. This process is best done on a router table. a b C d Edges and Moldings 109­ . you can shape the same profile with two passes of a roundover bit. the fence is used to guide the cut.

a b C d 110­ Edges and Moldings . When properly set up. Begin by setting the height (b) and then the depth of the profile (C).ROuTINg EdgES Edge bead Although quite simple. the edge bead is a good choice for adding a small embellishment to a table apron or the backboards in a cabinet (a). the bead will be 180 degrees of a circle with no flat spots on the side or top (d).

You won’t need a split fence. The problem with this method is that it requires an offset fence and a fussy setup. 112. and. To avoid sniping of the trailing edge due to the loss of stock width.) a b C d Edges and Moldings 111­ . there is no need to reset the fence at the end of the process. Next. adjust the bit height (C) and minimize the fence opening (d). of course.ROuTINg EdgES Edge with Fence Conventional wisdom dictates using a split fence when you’re shaping the entire edge of a workpiece (a). It’s much easier to adjust the fence so that the full profile is tangent to the stock. the outfeed half of the fence is positioned forward to support the workpiece. (Text continues on p. be sure it is secure in the collet (b). When using a large bullnose bit like this. The idea is to shape away a little more than really needed to ensure that the full profile is shaped. and afterwards the fence must be reset to its original position.

After a first pass (F).ROuTINg EdgES A guard is always important. the fence is adjusted tangent to the smallest cutting circle of the bit (g). the bit cuts the full profile without reducing the size of the stock (h). E F g h 112­ Edges and Moldings . When properly set. especially on a large bit like the one pictured here (E).

a b C d E Edges and Moldings 113­ . you will still need to carve the corners (E) and complete the bevel. grind away most of the steel to create a chamfer bit with a 15-degree angle (b). interconnected curves is extremely tedious. which is really a small router (C). Next. Beginning with an inexpensive high-speed steel router bit (a). To help speed the process. The small base will easily follow the curved surface of the splat. mount the bit in a laminate trimmer. Before beginning the cut. first bevel the edges with a modified router bit. The splat (the back center area) of a chair is a good example. But much of the tedious handwork has been eliminated. The difficulty is that the work of beveling all those tight. After routing. and the small-diameter pilot on the bit reaches into the corners (d). adjust the depth so that the pilot of the bit just grazes the edges of the surface.ROuTINg EdgES beveling Curved Edges Beveling the edges of curves is a centuries-old technique for making the stock appear thinner than it actually is. This detail creates an illusion of lightness without sacrificing strength.

then it was fastened to the case. Molding on Face By shaping the face of a board.M O l d I N g Sh E R E This corner cupboard cornice was shaped as two separate strips to avoid waste. For a smooth surface. turn the a Thumbnail b C BIR 27 d E 114­ Edges and Moldings . Before beginning. The first step is to shape the small thumbnail profile at the base of the molding with a roundover bit (d). it’s best to make this cut in two passes (E).M a k I N g lO TO g O S E C T I O N . you can create a wide molding. such as this cornice base (a. b). Next. it’s important to make a sketch of the molding and plan the cutting sequence so Bead Cove Ovolo Cove and bead Joint Fillet Bead that the workpiece has sufficient support from the table and fence during each step of the routing process (C). It’s also important to use featherboards to hold the stock firmly in place as you feed it past the bit.

The next step is to shape the small coves on the molding face (h). to control the cut and the feed rate (I). To safely shape the “step” at the top.S E C T I Oa kRN g M O l dh Eg S M N . F g h I J k Edges and Moldings 115­ . along with featherboards. invert the molding (k). Two sizes of corebox bits are used. Clamp a featherboard in place to hold the work to the fence and prevent it from tipping (g). I O TO g O I N R E workpiece on edge and shape the bead (F). shape the flat areas between the profiles (J). Finally.

It looks best when shaped from one piece of stock as opposed to combining several strips. This technique positions your hands a safe distance from the bit during routing. Start with a light cut (E).M a k I N g lO TO g O S E C T I O N . it’s best to make a sketch. it’s important for your safety that you shape a plank and rip the molding free afterwards. b C d E 116­ Edges and Moldings . and adds workpiece mass for a smoother.M O l d I N g Sh E R E Complex Molding This small crown molding (a) is from a spice box. As always. Two light passes ensure a clean cut without burning (d). The next step is to shape the cove. Then. and gather the bits you’ll need. raise the bit and take a second pass (F). A slot cutter will create the fillet between the cove and bead. safer cut. plan the cutting sequence. The last step is to turn the stock on edge and shape the thumbnail profile with a roundover bit (J). Inverting the stock enables you to reach the area with the short bit (C). Sometimes you’ll find that it’s necessary to remove the bearing to create an undercut (b). First set the height (h) and the fence so that the fillet will properly flank the bead (I). A third light pass (g) ensures that this cherry routs cleanly with no tearout or burning. Before routing a complex molding.Featherboards support the stock as it passes through the router table on edge (k). Begin by shaping the bead at the top of the profile. It provides a good example of how to use your router table and a number of different bits to a make a complex molding.

S E C T I Oa kRN g M O l dh Eg S M N . I O TO g O I N R E F g h I J k Edges and Moldings 117­ .

Then invert the stock and rout a the ovolo (d). b C d 118­ Edges and Moldings . Set the fence in position and make the ogee in two passes (C). However. to create the deep ogee along with the fillet.M O l d I N g Sh E R E Complex Molding II This reverse ogee and ovolo (a) is cut using just two bits.M a k I N g lO TO g O S E C T I O N . you’ll first need to remove the guide bearing and grind away the mounting stud (b).

I O TO g O I N R E built-up Molding To avoid the need for thick stock. 120. Then set the height (C) and minimize the fence opening (d). bit height. you can create a a number of shapes with one bit. you can stack separate strips to make a large molding. take care to match the grain and color before you begin (a).S E C T I Oa kRN g M O l dh Eg S M N . First. or both. In this case. position the (Text continues on p.) a b C d E Edges and Moldings 119­ . I’m using a large multiple-profile bit. For the best results. By adjusting the fence. After an initial light pass (E). lock the bit securely in the collet (b).

F g h I J 120­ Edges and Moldings .M a k I N g lO TO g O S E C T I O N . To make the cove on the top of the molding. begin by raising the height of the bit (h).M O l d I N g Sh E R E fence tangent to the guide bearing (F) and make a second pass to the full depth of the profile (g). set it tangent to the fillet underneath the cove profile (I) and then make the cut (J). To position the fence.

a b C [ TIp ] To get a feel for the technique. it’s necessary to keep the face of the stock against the fence and the edge of the stock against the cradle (F). make a practice run without power. in which the stock travels in an arc during shaping (a). Now mount the bit and adjust the height to align with the edge of the stock—and you’re ready to begin (E). Now bandsaw the outside (convex) curve of the molding stock (b) and the inside (concave) curve of the cradle. When you’re finished. I O TO g O I N R E arched Molding Face This technique is useful anytime the profile has a quirk that can’t be shaped from the edge. strike the radius of the outside edge of the molding onto the face. or cradle. d E F g Edges and Moldings 121­ .S E C T I Oa kRN g M O l dh Eg S M N . To shape the curve without spoiling the profile. shape the cove using the same process (g). After milling the stock. bandsaw the inside radius to complete the molding. You may find it helpful to use a featherboard to maintain pressure against the fence. After cutting the bead. It involves making a curved jig. strike the radius onto a rectangle of plywood to serve as a cradle. Using the same compass setting. Smooth the edge of the stock with a spokeshave (C) and fasten the cradle to the router table fence with screws (d).

Then. The difference is that you’ll first have to bandsaw the curve into the stock (a). a ! s waRNINg Remember to use a starting pin as a fulcrum to enter the cut safely. After shaping.M a k I N g lO TO g O S E C T I O N . bandsaw the outside radius of the curved molding and smooth the edges (C).M O l d I N g Sh E R E arched Molding Edge The process of shaping a curved strip of molding is much like shaping a straight strip of molding. when shaping. you’ll guide the workpiece against a bearing instead of a fence (b). b C 122­ Edges and Moldings .

­you’ll­ begin­to­discover­other­uses­for­it­that­will­ give­you­greater­efficiency­and­accuracy­in­ your­woodworking.­As­the­bearing­rolls­along­the­ original­surface.­it­can­be­ used­to­trim­the­face­frame­of­a­cabinet­flush­ to­the­box­to­which­it­is­attached.­you­can­ flush-trim­curves­after­bandsawing.­which­is­the­ process­of­routing­a­surface­level­or­flush­to­ an­adjoining­surface.­For­example.­But­attempts­ to­construct­a­face­frame­to­exactly­the­same­ dimension­as­a­box­or­cabinet­to­which­it­is­ attached­are­tedious­and­time-consuming­ at­best.­Once­ you­use­the­technique­a­few­times.­the­spinning­bit­trims­any­ excess­from­the­adjoining­surface.­Of­course.­124.­For­example.­You­can­also­flushtrim­work­that­has­an­unusual­shape.­oversized­and­then­to­ trim­1⁄32­in.SECTION 6 Flush-Trimming Flush-Trimming ➤ Flush-Trimming Face Frames (p. 127) Flush-Trimming a Curve (p. 128) Flush-Trimming Interior (p.­ flush-trimming­isn’t­needed­if­you­align­the­ surfaces­when­you­join­them.­from­each­edge­after­assembly.­as­shown­in­the­ left­photo­on­p.­such­as­ 123­ .­The­diameter­of­the­ guide­bearing­equals­the­cutting­diameter­ of­the­bit. 129) ➤ ➤ ne of the most­useful­techniques­ you­can­perform­with­the­router­ is­flush-trimming.­which­ is­much­faster­than­filing­or­spindle­sanding­ and­yields­better­results. O Flush-trim­router­bits­are­just­straight­ bits­with­a­guide­bearing.­It­requires­much­less­effort­to­make­ the­frame­about­ 1⁄16­in.

tendency­to­splinter­and­tear­dense. If­you­plan­to­use­plastic­laminate­in­­ a­kitchen­or­for­a­router-table­top­or­shop­ cabinet. A flush-trim bit in any form is basically a straight bit with a guide bearing.­Flush-trim­ shear­flush-trim­bit.­you­can­flush-trim­the­laminate­­ to­the­substrate­after­assembly.­­ face­quality.­some­manufacturers­offer­a­ the­rule­of­thumb­is­to­choose­the­shortest­bit­that­will­perform­the­job.­By­trimming­ each­shelf­flush­to­a­template.­for­the­greatest­accuracy. choose the shortest bit that will do the job.­it­is­ important­that­the­guide­bearing­contact­the­ original­surface­as­close­as­possible­to­the­ surface­to­be­trimmed.­That’s­because­the­small­diameter­ you’ll­see­straight.­ Length For­improved­cutting­geometry­and­surWhen­selecting­a­straight­bit­of­any­sort.­you’ll­be­guaranteed­that­all­the­shelves­are­identical.­and­spiral­flushof­router­bits­doesn’t­allow­for­the­effective­ trim­bits­in­a­wide­selection­of­diameters­ cutting­angle­found­on­larger­shaper­cutters.­shear. or Spiral? The­least­expensive­straight­bits­have­cutBits for Flush-Trimming ting­surfaces­that­run­parallel­to­the­bit­ You­can­choose­from­quite­a­variety­of­flush.­This­minor­change­in­the­design­ are­only­supported­at­one­end.­Choosing­the­best­bit­for­the­ job­ensures­that­you’ll­achieve­the­results­you­ Ordinary­straight­flush-trim­bits­work­well­ on­soft.­ 124­ Flush-Trimming .­ less­deflection­with­a­short­bit­than­with­a­ long­one.SECTION 6 For the smoothest cut.­figured­ stock.­and­ woods.shank. Straight.­Open­a­router-bit­catalog.­Also. Shear.­you’ll­get­ dramatically­improves­the­quality­of­the­cut.­the­cutting­surfaces­are­ bits­are­no­exception.­straight-grained­wood­but­have­a­ are­after. shelves­for­a­corner­cupboard.­Instead­of­being­parallel­to­the­shank.­ and­lengths.­These­are­the­least­effective­at­cutting­ cleanly.­especially­when­trimming­difficult­ trim­bits.­Because­router­bits­ skewed.

➤ TOp Or BOTTOm BEarINg? Flush-trim bits are available with either a top or bottom bearing to suit the job at hand.­ Now you can swap out bearings and The­inserts­are­locked­in­place­in­the­body­ use the bit either way.­free­ of­voids.­stable. However.SECTION 6 However.­and­every­piece­from­the­first­ centers­also­sell­partial­sheets.­and­easy­to­shape­with­ matches­the­bearing­diameter.­Of­the­materials­from­which­to­ choose.­Some­bit­manufacturers­make­laminate­bits­with­replaceable­carbide­inserts.­makes­ is­flush-trimming­with­a­template. if you’re flush-trimming with a handheld router.­I­don’t­ how­to­attach­it­to­the­workpiece.­Eventually­the­ Materials inserts­are­replaced.-dia. if you’re using a router-table setup with the workpiece locked into a tem- Flush-Trim Bits for Laminate plate jig that rides on the router-table Flush-trim­bits­for­trimming­plastic­laminate­are­small. For example.­However. you’ll need a bearing on the bit fit­in­laminate­trim­routers.­You­can’t­ mistake­the­distinctive­look­of­a­spiral­flushtrim­bit—it­looks­like­a­twist­drill­with­a­ bearing­on­the­end.­Here­are­ care­for­the­nasty­dust­that­it­produces.­most­home­ method­is­fast. of­the­bit­with­tiny­screws.­Of­course.­burning. quickly. sharp­corners­tend­to­wear­quickly­after­a­ Flush-Trimming 125­ .­sheet­ One­of­the­most­efficient­routing­techniques­ can­be­somewhat­expensive.­I­use­a­spiral­flush-trim­bit.­They­are­availshank—a top bearing.­ to­the­last­is­identical.­As­the­cutting­ edge­becomes­dull.-dia.­and­ some­ideas. botPlastic­laminate­is­hard­and­brittle­and­ tom bearing bit and purchase an extra tends­to­wear­down­even­carbide­rather­ top bearing along with the lock collar.­and­tearout. Want the greatable­in­straight­as­well­as­beveled­profiles.­The­only­drawback­to­spiral­ flush-trim­bits­is­their­cost.­for­the­smoothest­possible­cut­that­ is­absolutely­free­of­tearout­even­on­difficult­ grain.­Replaceable­insert­cutters­ensure­that­the­cutting­diameter­always­ Materials­for­templates­must­be­stiff.­x­8-ft.­ shop­tools.­But­before­you­begin. you’ll want a bit with the bearing at the end—a bottom bearing.­my­favorite­is­cabinet-grade­plyTemplates for Flush-Trimming wood.­ A­lower-priced­alternative­to­plywood­ you’ll­need­to­make­a­template­and­decide­ is­tempered­hardboard.­The­unique­design­slices­ and­shears­and­leaves­behind­an­incredibly­ smooth­surface­that­is­free­of­chatter.­32­sq.­Because­of­the­ steep­price.­with­a­1⁄4-in.­The­ a­lot­of­templates.­ est flexibility? Choose a 3⁄4-in.­shank­to­ top.­­Although­an­entire­4-ft.­the­insert­can­be­repositioned­to­expose­a­fresh­edge.­I­reserve­their­use­for­when­the­ lesser-priced­shear­bit­isn’t­effective.­ft.

­For­larger­ work.­and­toggle­ clamps­apply­pressure­to­hold­the­work­in­ place­throughout­the­cut.­In­contrast.­including­small­brads.­You’ll­ get­the­best­possible­surface­if­the­bit­is­ skimming­off­no­more­than­ 1⁄32­in.­Depending­on­the­ work­at­hand­and­the­size­of­the­cut. Small­brads­work­well­when­the­subsequent­nail­holes­can­be­hidden­from­view­ after­the­workpiece­is­assembled. When­making­a­cut.­the­best­option­is­to­construct­a­jig­and­secure­the­work­with­toggle­ clamps.­The­blocks­ also­counteract­the­pushing­force­of­the­bit.­Stop­blocks­are­used­to­accurately­position­the­workpiece.­aggressive­cuts­tend­to­leave­the­surface­ rough­and­torn.­To­obtain­ consistent­dimensions. Positioning the Template and Workpiece Whether­I’m­flush-trimming­with­a­handheld­router­or­on­a­router­table.­ where­it­doesn’t­obstruct­the­view. Curves can be flush-trimmed with a template jig.­rounded­corners­on­the­work­instead­of­ crisp.­ this­also­means­that­I­need­flush-trim­bits­ with­top­and­bottom­bearings.­initially­squeeze­the­taped­pieces­ together­using­a­clamp.­and/or­toggle­ clamps.­The­grip­of­woodturner’s­ tape­is­surprisingly­strong. few­passes­with­a­router.­ you’ll­need­a­method­for­securing­the­template­to­the­workpiece.­Of­course.­distinctive­corners.­I­use­ a­variety­of­fasteners.­Obviously.­It­is­critical­for­ safety­that­the­steel­clamps­be­positioned­ clear­of­the­path­of­the­spinning­bit.­the­exact­location­is­ critical.­Other­times.­double-sided­tape.­screws­serve­the­same­purpose.­ Although­it’s­expensive.­The­base­of­a­jig­can­also­serve­as­ the­template. When­the­cut­is­somewhat­large­and­the­ workpiece­is­small.­it­is­usually­important­that­the­overall­ dimension­is­exact­after­trimming.SECTION 6 Fastening the Template Whenever­you­flush-trim­with­a­template.­I­use­stop­blocks­to­ position­the­workpiece­in­the­jig.­it­is­ important­to­locate­a­metal­fastener­well­out­ of­the­cutting­path. 126­ Flush-Trimming .­when­trimming­parallel­ edges.­For­the­greatest­ strength.­I­prefer­the­ template­positioned­below­the­workpiece.­Nails­ and­screws­can­be­quickly­attached­and­ removed­after­trimming.­keep­it­light.­ especially­when­the­work­is­dense­and­the­ cut­is­large.­ screws. Positioning­a­workpiece­on­a­template­is­ often­simple—just­allow­an­edge­to­overhang­the­template­slightly­and­fasten­in­ place.­double-sided­ woodturner’s­tape­is­a­good­choice­when­ the­hole­from­a­fastener­would­be­seen­in­ the­finished­work.­which­results­in­ soft.­For­example.

push the router in a counterclockwise direction around the perimeter of the cabinet. pushing the work against the rotation of the bit (C). When trimming with a handheld router. a common technique is to make the face frame slightly proud of the casework and trim it flush after assembly (a). a B C Flush-Trimming 127­ .FluSh-TrImmINg Flush-Trimming Face Frames When you’re making cabinets. Smaller cabinets can be trimmed on a router table. Begin by selecting the shortest bit for the job and setting the height (B).

it’s best for efficiently smoothing multiple identical pieces. Another option is to flush-trim the surface smooth (a). the template should extend beyond the work on the starting end of the cut (C). The guide bearing should follow the template.FluSh-TrImmINg Flush-Trimming a Curve After bandsawing a curve. And a stop block should be fastened to the jig on the trailing end to provide support for the stock (D). Remember. B C D 128­ Flush-Trimming . it’s standard practice to smooth away the saw marks with a file or spokeshave. and the cutting surfaces of the bit should extend slightly above the workpiece. Begin by securing the workpiece to the tem- a plate/jig and setting the height of the bit (B). Because this method requires making a curved template.

it’s necessary to secure the template to the workpiece. When you’re routing the interior. Next. Otherwise. you can use double-sided woodturner’s tape.FluSh-TrImmINg Flush-Trimming Interior There are times when you need to flush-trim an opening to a template (a). Before flush- trimming. shy of the final cutline (C). a B C D E F Flush-Trimming 129­ . position the workpiece and the template adjacent to the bit and adjust the bit height (E). use a scrollsaw or jigsaw to cut the opening in the interior. Next. this means working in a counterclockwise feed direction (F). sawing about 1 ⁄ 8 in. it’s important to feed the workpiece against the rotation of the bit. As with any routing operation. Small brads work well if the holes will not show in the completed work (D). Begin by laying out the interior cut on the workpiece by tracing the template (B).

page 132 Doors and Drawers. page 180 .Router Joinery.

as well as a very efficient approach to making drawers. grooves. many others can be made with just a simple straight bit and a fence.PART ThRee Joinery T he router is among the most efficient joint-making tools available. Because so much router work these days is devoted to building cabinet doors and drawers. mortise-and-tenon joints and dovetails have tremendous strength as well as broad applications. ranging from basic dadoes. In this part of the book. Due to their interlocking nature and extensive long-grain glue surfaces. and rabbets to mortise-and-tenon joints and dovetails. I’ve devoted considerable attention to the latter two because of their importance in the realm of furniture making and cabinetry. Although cutting some joints may require an expensive bit and perhaps a jig. I have also addressed those techniques at some length. describing how to make a variety of cabinet doors. . I’ll show you how to make a variety of essential joints.

153) Sliding Dovetail (p. 147) Dedicated Rabbet Bit (p. and then I’ll discuss various jigs. 178) Rule Joint (p.section 7 Router Joinery Grooving ➤ Rabbets ➤ Dovetails ➤ other Joints ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ Stopped Groove (p. With your router and a selection of bits. we use edge joints to make wide panels. 164) Tenon with Jig (p. 172) Box Joint (p. mortise-and-tenon joints. 145) Rabbet with Straight Bit (p. 179) ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ W 132 ith a few exceptions— such as carvings or baseball bats—most woodworking projects involve joinery. dadoes. . 158) Through Dovetails with Katie Jig (p. Some jigs you’ll want to purchase. and even dovetails (see the top right photo on the facing page). box joints. 156) Half-Blind Dovetails with Porter Cable Omnijig (p. and dovetails for casework and drawers. 170) Bird’s Mouth (p. 144) Tongue-and-Groove (p. 148) Lap Joint (p. 150) Shopmade Dovetail Jig (p. 168) Splined Miter (p. 163) Mortise (p. 142) Two-Pass Groove (p. As woodworkers. Let’s begin by looking at the bits available for router joinery. making many of these joints requires a jig. And no other power tool can match the versatility of the router for making joints. 159) Half-Blind Dovetails with the Akeda Jig (p. 149) Freehand Routing Dovetails (p. but many you can make yourself. 173) Box Joint Bit (p. 176) Rout a Keyhole (p. mortiseand-tenon joints for door frames. 161) Glue Joint (p. you can cut grooves. 165) Tenon on Router Table (p. 167) Lock Miter (p. Of course. 140) Panel Groove (p.

dovetail bits. it’s best to use a spiral up-cut bit along with the jig. 164. I’ll use a 1⁄4-in. If you want to cut mortises. too. And when I’m installing hinges ➤See “Mortise” on p. However. as some specialty bits are high-priced. Straight Bits Every bit drawer should contain several straight bits in various diameters and lengths. (Don’t try that with your tablesaw!) To adjust the dimensions of Router Joinery 133 . Rabbet bits are versatile.-dia. Straight bits can cut a wide variety of joints. dadoes. The number of router bits for joint-making has increased dramatically in the past few years. Rabbet Bits Sure. and even rabbets. including this rabbet. I use straight bits for cutting grooves. The most common joinery bits are straight bits. and you may not want or need them. A stopped groove is easy to cut on the router table. it makes sense to choose carefully. Bits for Joint Making Regardless of the joint you want to make.section 7 There are router bits available to cut almost any joint. Hands down. You can also use them for cutting mortises and the fingers of a box joint. but they won’t be nearly as smooth as those cut with a rabbet bit. and rabbeting bits. choose the bits based upon the quality and integrity of the joint and how it fits with your style of woodworking. straight bit in a laminate trimmer to quickly cut the recesses. Instead. But nowadays there are also a number of sophisticated bits that will enable you to quickly and easily create complex cuts such as those for box joints and lock miters. there’s probably a router bit for it. and locks. you can cut rabbets on your tablesaw. straight bits are among the most versatile that you can own. You can cut curved rabbets with a guide bearing.

Afterwards. there are a number of commercial router dovetail jigs on the market. My preferred method for cutting dovetails is by hand. If you have an occasional need for plate joinery (otherwise known as biscuit joinery) but don’t want to invest in a biscuit joiner.004 in. as shown in the top left photo on the facing page. Wing Cutters Similar to rabbeting bits are wing-type bits for cutting grooves. yet it results in a “handcrafted” joint.section 7 This rabbet bit comes with a set of bearings to cut rabbets of any size. In fact. too—most commonly either 7 or 14 degrees. these are designed for cutting the narrow grooves into a door frame to accommodate a panel edge. Still others adjust simply with a turn of a knob with . you can instead purchase a router bit that cuts a narrow slot to accept a biscuit. you can purchase rabbeting sets that come complete with an incrementally sized selection of bearings. accuracy. I use a dovetail bit to first remove most of the waste between the pins. to make the process of cutting half-blind dovetails more efficient. These new 134 Router Joinery .004-in. Instead. as shown in the bottom left photo on the facing page. However. Dovetail Bits Nothing speaks of fine craftsmanship like the time-honored dovetail joint. This grooving bit adjusts quickly to within . I prefer the look and strength of the more pronounced 14-degree pitch. It has both strength and good looks. the rabbet. this method requires both time and skill.-dia. Like dado heads for the tablesaw. If you prefer. shank bit in order to slip inside the bushing that guides the router through the jig. some grooving bits come as stacking sets of cutters that can be arranged for a specific size groove. Be aware too that some require a 1⁄4-in. grooving cutters are just what’s needed for working with today’s undersized plywood. I scribe the tails from the pins and complete the joint with handwork. The long grain of the tails and pins provides plenty of surface area for glue. The cutters are not as wide as those on a rabbet bit. They typically each require that you purchase a special bit that fits with that brand of jig. Dovetail router bits are available in several angles. This method of combining router cuts with handwork is more efficient than cutting the joint entirely by hand. just swap out the guide bearing for one of a different size. and the precise interlocking fit gives the joint unmatched strength even before the glue is applied. Of course.

Another useful joinery bit is the lock miter. This bit shapes a tongue-and-groove The rule joint is easily made with a router. the edges of the table form an attractive ovolo profile. Drop-leaf tables have extensions that hinge upward for use. Rule joints are both practical and attractive. the main tabletop is shaped with a roundover. hence the name “bird’s mouth” (see the top photo on p. it’s partially supported by the roundover profile.section 7 Routing freehand allows greater spacing flexibility than using a dovetail jig. After shaping. and the underside of the leaf is shaped with a cove of the same radius as the roundover. while others can be easily made with bits you may already own. which should be fed slowly through the wood to prevent chatter. the bird’s mouth joins shelves and partitions. Like a squareedged shelf fit into a groove. The bird’s mouth is also the only method for effectively joining shelves or partitions that are profiled. 136). When the leaf is up.-radius roundover and cove bits. To make a rule joint. Many jigs require a small shank bit like the one at right. yet it looks much more refined. the top and leaf are joined with a special offset hinge. It is used to join thin dividers and partitions. Router Joinery 135 . When the leaf is down. You can purchase matching router bits to produce a rule joint. specialty Joints There are a number of specialty joints that you can make with your router. The joint is easily created with a 90-degree V bit and a 45-degree chamfer bit. The bird’s-mouth joint is a V-shaped groove that accepts a 90-degree point. The mating edges of the table and leaf use what has come to be known as a rule joint. or you can simply use 1⁄ 2-in. Some require a special bit.

section 7 The bird’s-mouth joint is an attractive method for joining small partitions. the jig may be guided by the fence and/or miter-gauge slot. Half-BlinD Dovetail Baseline joint on 45-degree surfaces to prevent the mating parts from slipping out of alignment as the joint is assembled. All jigs require careful setup. Jigs can be simple shopmade guides or elaborate multifunctional tools that are capable of creating a variety of complicated joints. or a bearing on the end or shank of the bit. If a router table is used. 136 Router Joinery Pin Tail Baseline . First. All jigs perform the same basic function in that they guide the router and bit or the workpiece in a linear path. Sometimes the jig may be as simple as a backing board attached to the miter gauge. a guide bushing. The lock miter bit ensures perfect alignment of a 90-degree corner. One type of routed joint that is often made using a jig is the dovetail joint. Jigs for Joinery Jigs allow you to cut fine. The cutting depth of the bit is important too. Dovetails are considered by many to be the hallmark of finely crafted furniture. It’s a perfect choice for casework and mitered bracket feet. If the router is handheld. They also require lots of skill to master. precisely fitted joints without the time and skill it often requires to cut them by hand. And there must always be a system in place to guide the bit. the jig is either secured to the workpiece or the stock is clamped within the jig. the bit can be guided by the router base. That’s where dovetail jigs come in. They’re both strong and beautiful—which is why everyone wants to make them (see the drawing below).

This The interlocking fingers of the Akeda® jig make it one of the easiest to set up. As you feed the router through the jig always keep the mark oriented in the same direction. Realize too that no dovetail jig will cut joints with an authentic hand-cut appearance. Another option is to use a router along with hand tools to create an authentic joint more efficiently than with hand tools alone. for some woodworkers dovetail jigs may be the best approach. Some jigs use a guide bushing mounted to the router baseplate. The best jigs use adjustable guide fingers that allow for greater variation in spacing. Router Joinery 137 . it’s usually ➤ See “Freehand-Routing Dovetails” on p. Commercial Dovetail Jigs Dovetail jigs use machined “fingers” to guide the spinning bit through the stock. and the sharp. One solution is to mark a point of reference on the router baseplate with a dab of brightly colored paint. The stock is secured in the jig with an integral clamping system. distinctive baselines of a hand-cut dovetail are all important details that are not duplicated with a jig. Unfortunately. can create errors in the final fit if the router is inadvertently rotated during the routing process. Because the bearing is concentric with the bit shank.section 7 They have a strong selling point—allowing you to quickly master a difficult joint with a jig. and it takes time and patience to master. Cutting dovetails by hand requires skill. And although commercially available dovetail jigs will cut an accurate joint. 150. Although I prefer to cut dovetails by hand. they take time to set up. The Akeda jig has fingers that snap into position. The narrow pins. In contrast. But if you’ve never used a dovetail jig. router base. the bushing is typically slightly eccentric to the bit. subtle variations in angles and spacing. and baseplate. and the router is fed in a precise path between the fingers. because of the imprecise fit between the bushing. other dovetail jigs use a bearing-guided bit instead of a basemounted bushing. realize that they have a learning curve too.

There are three types of commercially available dovetail jigs—half-blind. The tail board This Porter Cable Omnijig is one of the most versatile dovetail jigs available. which will cut both. so you’ll often end up with an unattractive termination at one end of the joint. Through dovetail jigs require using two bits: a straight bit to cut the pins and a dovetail bit to cut the tails. A guide bushing on the router base directs the path of the bit between the “fingers” or guides on the jig. and combination. using a different set of guides. Combination jigs. as the name implies. you’ll have to cover the joint with a separate piece of stock once the dovetails are assembled. Shopmade Jigs There are a number of router jigs for cutting precise joinery that you can make in 138 Router Joinery . you would have to change the depth of the box. The designs of these jigs are ingenious. easier to achieve a precise joint with jigs that use this system. while allowing you to vary the spacing of the tails and pins. So if you want half-blind dovetails. And you’ll likely have a much higher level of personal satisfaction from the hand process. The fit of the joint is determined by the cutting depth of the bit. These jigs cut the mechanical-looking joints that are associated with mass-produced furniture. Unfortunately this type of jig doesn’t cut half-blind joints. Although this type of jig is fairly simple to use once set up. but their setup and use are complex. the setup itself can be time-consuming. Halfblind dovetail jigs have been around almost as long as the router.section 7 This Katie® jig is well constructed and versatile. such as those used in drawer construction. By the time you’ve read the manual and made a series of trial-and-error cuts. you could probably have learned the basics of cutting dovetails by hand. The fit of the joint is determined by the thickness of the backer board. To solve the problem. There is absolutely no flexibility with the spacing on these jigs. and pin board are each routed separately. will cut both half-blind and through dovetails. through. Both the pin board and the tail board are clamped into the jig and routed simultaneously. Mill several test pieces and be prepared for several trial runs in order to get the friction fit you’re after.

For example. It requires that you first carefully lay out each dado and then position the jig according to the layout prior to each cut. your own shop. This method is a real time-saver too. A guide bushing follows the template to keep the spacing accurate and the cuts uniform. Routing sliding dovetails with a template ensures perfect spacing. as shown in the drawing above. The jig holds the workpiece securely while guiding the router in a linear path. A miter gauge and backing board makes a simple yet effective jig. Although some woodworkers use a Tsquare-type jig to guide the router when cutting dadoes. By positioning the guide against the inside of the box. Work is positioned between sides. BIR 32 The space between the pins on half-blind dovetails can be routed quickly with a dovetail template. Box joints can be easily cut with a straight bit on the router table. The tails are marked out from the pins and cut with a dovetail saw. Router Joinery 139 . you’ll probably want to make a dedicated mortise jig. because there’s no need to measure and mark the location of each joint. A much simpler method is to rout the dadoes in the box after assembly with a strip of thin plywood to guide the router. The entire process is error-prone.section 7 MoRtisinG JiG Sides support plunge router. A block glued into the backing board ensures perfect spacing. this type of jig has a major drawback. if you’d like to frequently use the router for mortise-andtenon joinery. perfect location is assured and mating joints match perfectly. It’s simple to construct and it accommodates stock of a variety of sizes.

G R o ov i n G

stopped Groove
Tongue-and-groove joints are strong and useful, but not necessarily attractive, especially when viewed from the end of the workpiece (a). But they’re easy to hide just by making a stop cut. Depending on the project, you can stop the groove at one end or both ends. A straight bit works best for a stop cut because it creates an abrupt, distinctive stopping point for the groove, thereby eliminating most of the handwork required when you’re completing the wide arc left by a grooving bit.
Begin by adjusting the bit height (B). Typically the depth of the groove is one-third to one-half of the bit diameter. In order to provide the greatest support for the stock and provide for your safety, close the fence halves (c). Next, position the fence the correct distance from the bit and lock it in place (D). To make a stop cut safely and accurately, it’s important to secure a stop to the fence. Otherwise, you risk kickback while plunging the workpiece onto the spinning bit.






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G R o ov i n G

To locate the position of the stop block, first lay out the groove and make marks at the starting and stopping points (e). Next, make a pair of marks on the fence to indicate the parameters of the bit (f). Finally, align the leading layout line on the workpiece adjacent to the forward mark on the fence and clamp the stop block in place (G). To cut the groove, position the stock against the stop block and slowly lower it onto the spinning bit (H). Now push the stock forward (i). Stop when the trailing layout mark on the stock aligns with the mark on the fence (J).







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G R o ov i n G

Panel Groove
When constructing cabinets for the shop or kitchen, it’s typical to join solid wood with plywood. For example, plywood is often used for door panels and drawer bottoms. Because much of today’s plywood is dimensioned undersized, it’s necessary to adjust the panel groove for a precise fit (a). Otherwise the panel will rattle in the framework each time the door is opened. This bit from Amana® uses two interlocking cutters, much like a stacking dado head. The cutters are separated by a compression spring and are easily adjusted by turning a knurled adjusting screw. This is a unique bit that makes cutting odd-sized grooves quick and precise (B).
Begin by securing the bit in the router collet and loosening the lock nut (c). Turn the nut counterclockwise until it stops against the limiter (D). Next, turn the adjuster to dial in the size of the





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G R o ov i n G

groove (e). Marks are etched on the bit to make it easier to make precise settings. each mark represents .004 in. Remember to tighten the lock nut once you’ve adjusted the bit. Now adjust the cutting height by placing a graduated square next to the bit (f). To adjust the bit for grooving in one pass, position the guidebearing tangent to the fence (G). Remember to reduce the fence opening as much as possible for maximum safety and stock support (H). Finally, position featherboards to hold the stock against the fence, and then make the cut (i).







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If the bit is positioned to cut on the inside of the groove. To widen the groove. the standard method for avoiding potentially hazardous kickback. the router will grab the work and possibly draw your hands into the spinning bit. position the fence. To make the second pass safely. away from the bit (G). So let’s take a look at the safe approach for widening a groove. it’s important to position the bit to cut on the outside of the groove. Next. c D e f G 144 Router Joinery .G R o ov i n G two-Pass Groove Sometimes it’s necessary to cut a groove in two passes because either the bit you’re using is too small or the groove may be an odd size for which there is no bit with the proper size cutter a B (a). Now cut the initial groove (f). Using this method. you’ll cut against the bit rotation. move the fence back. and lock it in place (e). Begin by closing the fence opening (B) and reducing the table opening (c). set the bit height (D). these two steps are always important for providing safety and maximum support to the workpiece.

and lock the fence in place (D).G R o ov i n G tongue-and-Groove The tongue-and-groove joint is commonly used for joining panels edge to edge. With glue added. With the bit set up to cut a tongue. (Text continues on p. such as in wood floors (a). Now use a straightedge to position the fence tangent to the guide bearing. for taking two passes. Tongue-andgroove joints are often assembled without glue. the tongue-andgroove is useful for aligning the corners of a box a (B) or joining a face frame to a carcase.) B c D e Router Joinery 145 . you may want to initially position the fence forward. adjust the bit height so that it is centered on the stock thickness (c). a dedicated bit like the one used in this photo-essay makes the process more accurate and efficient. (If the stock is very dense. This way you’ll avoid the tearout associated with a too-heavy cut.) Now you’re ready to cut the tongue (e). 146. the dry joint keeps parts aligned while allowing for seasonal wood movement. Although the joint can be cut with multiple passes of a straight bit.

The next step is to adjust the height of the bit to correspond to the first half of the joint. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for restacking the parts on the bit. Remember. Now make the cut (i). To secure the arbor nut. position the stock on edge and support it with featherboards to keep it firmly against the fence throughout the cut (J). H i J 146 Router Joinery . the cutter should always be positioned for counterclockwise f rotation when you’re viewing the bit from the threaded end (G). and adjust the bit height G (H). position the stock with the tongue next to the bit. Now secure the router shank with a wrench and loosen the arbor nut on the end of the bit (f). it’s best to lock the bit in the collet first. you’ll first have to remove one of the cutters from the bit shank.G R o ov i n G To cut the groove. To cut a groove on the corner. For the greatest accuracy. But first disconnect the router from its power source.

Minimize the fence opening to maximize the support for the stock (c). Next.RaBBets Rabbet with straight Bit A rabbet is a recess along the edge of the stock that’s used for a variety of purposes—from creating door and drawer lips to cutting a recess in case sides to hide the back of a cabinet. Two or more light passes eliminate the tearout that can easily occur when you’re routing hard. Begin by making a light scoring pass (e). brittle stock in one large pass (G). position the layout adjacent to the bit and adjust the bit height to correspond with the layout (B). and you may already have one in your kit (a). Although a dedicated rabbet bit works best for the job. I position a board on the layout line as it contacts the cutting edge of the bit (f). a B c D e f G Router Joinery 147 . a straight bit works well too. which will make a light incision on the stock and limit the possibility of tearout on the final pass. To accurately set the fence for the final pass. Begin by laying out the height and depth of the rabbet on the corner of the workpiece. it’s important to use a guard (D). As with any setup.


Dedicated Rabbet Bit
For cutting lots of large rabbets in hardwood, a rabbet bit is the best choice. Rabbet bits have cutting angles superior to those of straight bits, and so they’ll create a smooth, clean joint free of tearout (a).
Begin by mounting the bit securely in the collet

(B). Next, use a ruled square to accurately adjust


the cutting height (c). In order to provide the maximum support for the workpiece, reduce the size of the fence opening as much as possible

(D). Now position the workpiece adjacent to the
bit and adjust the fence for the cutting depth (e). To shield your hands and help hold the stock, position a guard over the bit (f) Remember, always feed the workpiece from right to left, against the rotation of the bit (G).








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lap Joint
A lap joint can be substituted for a mortiseand-tenon joint or, as shown here, used to join backboards in casework (a). Like the tongue-andgroove joint, the completed lap joint is commonly assembled without glue to allow for seasonal wood movement without a gap between mating boards.
A lap joint is essentially two rabbets of equal dimension. The key to making the joint is to cut away one-half of the stock thickness from each of the mating boards. After layout, position the stock next to the bit as an aid for adjusting the bit height (B). If you’re using a straight bit, as pictured here, it’s best to first take a light scoring cut to avoid splintering along the edge (c). Next, position a guard over the bit (D) and make the cut (e). I use a second piece of stock aligned with both the layout marks and the bit to set the fence for the final pass (f).







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D ov e ta i l s

freehand Routing Dovetails
Dovetails undoubtedly have a mystique associated with them. In reality, they’re quite easy to cut—it’s essentially just sawing and chiseling to a line (a). Although jigs may be an efficient method of creating dovetails, especially in a production setting, there’s a special satisfaction that



comes from cutting them by hand. however, to ease the tedium that can come from chopping all the waste from between the pins of a halfblind dovetail, I use a router to quickly remove the excess wood. Although there is still handwork involved with this method, using the router to remove the excess stock makes this a very efficient process for creating authentic dovetail joinery with a hand-cut appearance. here are the steps I use:



The first step is to mark the baselines with a sharp gauge (B). After marking the tail board, use the same measurement to mark the pin board

(c). Using the same measurement on each of the
adjoining pieces ensures a precise fit. As you pull the gauge across the stock, use light pressure to avoid tearing the grain. A sharp, crisp baseline is critical to setting the router bit depth. The next step is to lay out the pins. One of the advantages of this method over using a jig is that you can make the pins any size you wish. I begin by marking the pins at the edges of the stock (D). For strength, I make the end pins wider than the rest. Afterwards, I locate the center of the remaining pins with dividers (e). each step of the divider represents the center of a pin. You can easily increase or decrease the pin size during this step by adjusting the setting on the dividers. Now mark the slope of each pin with an adjustable bevel (f). I use a 14-degree angle, which matches the slope of the dovetail bit. Use a square to mark the face of each pin to




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D ov e ta i l s

the baseline (G). Photo (H) shows the complete layout. The next step is to rout the space between the pins. First set the depth of the dovetail bit so that it just touches the incised baseline (i). A router with a micrometer depth adjuster makes this step much easier. Clamp the stock securely to the benchtop and rout between the layout lines

(J). As you rout, work from left to right against
the rotation of the bit. Also, to avoid undercutting the joint, don’t attempt to rout up to the baseline. Instead, leave a small amount of stock to trim away with the chisel afterwards. A small degree of undercut is OK because it is an end-grain surface, but a severe undercut may weaken the base of the joint. Don’t worry about minor variations in pin width or spacing; it only adds to the “hand-cut” look. Besides, you’ll be cutting the tails to fit. Now use a chisel and mallet to complete the socket between each pin (K). Once you’ve completed chopping to the baseline, a quick check with a small square will show you if you have any errant surfaces that need to be trimmed further. Although routing freehand may seem difficult, it is actually quite easy to create smooth, 90-degree pins if the layout is accurate and the bit is sharp. In fact, with just a small amount of practice, you’ll be surprised at how accurately you can perform this step of the process. Notice how the router (Text continues on p. 152.)






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Use a sharp knife to mark the tails from the pins (n). you’re ready to begin sawing. l M With the layout complete. Assemble the completed joint with gentle taps of a mallet (s). As you assemble the joint. remove the waste between the tails with a sharp chisel (Q). Angle the saw to follow the 14-degree slope of the router bit and saw to the baseline (P). look carefully for tight spots and pare them away (R).D ov e ta i l s bit leaves the back of each space rounded (l). n o P Q R s 152 Router Joinery . Next. Position the routed pin board over the tail board adjacent to the base line. Complete the layout by transferring each mark around the end of the board (o). The next step is to square the corners to the baseline with a chisel and mallet (M). Now you’re ready to create the tails.

however. it’s the half-blind form that’s typically used for drawers and casework. you’ll still need to learn two important aspects of dovetailing: sawing and chiseling to a line. this process requires a bit with a flange at the top of the shank above the cutter. Once you’ve constructed the jig. 49. Once the sockets are cut out. lay out the joint as usual by marking the baseline on the end (D) and the face of the stock (e). And although the through dovetail is faster and easier to cut than the half-blind version. a 5/16 BIR 43 B c ➤ See “Changing Bearings.-thick plywood. the jig is especially worth the few minutes that it requires to construct. One method for easing the tedium of chopping all those tail sockets is to rout them out first using a jig to guide the router (B) and then square up the corners with a chisel and mallet. not MDF. The bottom line is this: The jig in this essay makes quick work of creating the pins on a halfblind dovetail. wide for strength. the tails can be scribed from the sockets and sawn to fit. be aware that with this jig. Next. Stops locate the workpiece. And if you’re making multiple boxes the same size.) D e Router Joinery 153 . the dovetail joint is undoubtedly the strongest.D ov e ta i l s shopmade Dovetail Jig All woodworkers want to make the dovetail joint a part of their work. In order to secure the bearing in place. and for good reason. Bearing on bit follows fingers. Fingers must be at least in. and mount a guide bearing on the shank (c). select a dovetail bit.” on p. Place the pin board in the jig with the inside (Text continues on p. But the jig will quickly and accurately remove much of the excess stock so that you can instead focus your efforts on the finer details. Use 3/4-in. 154. most beautiful method for joining the sides of casework and drawers (a).

there will be none of f G the tedious hand work that is typically required to clean up the bottom of the space between each tail! The router table fence isn’t actually required for use with this jig. indicating that you have split the baseline in two. grasping it as you would a pencil (M). If your bit depth is set correctly. it isn’t J K l M 154 Router Joinery . use a narrow chisel (such as a 3⁄ 8 in. created when the marking gauge pin scribed the baseline across the end grain (l). This method will provide you with the greatest control. It will prove useful by providing a hookup for dust collection and. again look for the tiny burnished area to remain. As you chisel back to the baseline scribed across the face of the workpiece. Begin on the left corner of the H i workpiece (J) and work toward the right (K). a place to fasten a guard (i). which creates the pins. all that remains is to square the inside corners. Once you’ve completed the routing. When squaring the corners. most importantly. Now use the baseline on the pin board to adjust the height of the bit. but it’s a good idea to position it near the bit anyway. most of the work on the pin board is complete. Although conventional wisdom would dictate using a wide chisel. Now you’re ready to rout the tail sockets. the cut should reveal a tiny line of burnished surface at the very end of the socket. When the bit is accurately positioned. Place the jig adjacent to the bit and adjust the height until the corner of the bit grazes the baseline (H).).D ov e ta i l s facing down (f). Secure the workpiece with toggle clamps and put a clamp at the opposite end to lock it in place (G).

as you’re chopping out the corners. and a small degree of undercut will make it easier to assemble the joint. it’s a good idea to undercut the back wall slightly (n). the next step is to lay out and cut the tails. Finally. And a narrow chisel is easier to control because it has less resistance than a wide one.D ov e ta i l s needed because the scribed baseline keeps the chisel in a straight path. After sawing the tails. remember to position the chisel on the baseline (o). Now carefully saw to the layout line (Q). First position the pin board over the tail board and clamp it in place. Once you’ve squared the corners. As you make each cut. Because this surface is end grain. use a chisel to remove the waste (R). n o P Q R s Router Joinery 155 . slide the tail board into the pin board and admire your work (s). Also. Then mark the tails with a sharp knife (P). it’s not really useful as a glue surface.

the sliding dovetail is most often used to join drawer dividers to the sides of the case (a. mount the dovetail bit in the table (d) a and reduce the table opening to maximize stock B BIR 33 C d 156­ Router Joinery . Thin plywood guides ensure uniform spacing and the correct position of each socket.d ov e ta i l s sliding dovetail Unlike a row of dovetails. Begin by routing the dovetail sockets in the case side (C). This process involves both handheld routing and the router table. which is used to join the sides of drawers and casework. B). Next.

Now clamp a board to the workpiece at 90 degrees to provide stability as you make the cut. e F G H Router Joinery 157­ . Set the height of the bit to the socket depth (F) and reduce the fence opening (G). Remember to distance your hand from the bit by using a push block (H).d ov e ta i l s support (e).

layout mark aligns with the drawer side (d).-dia. J). position the drawer side in the front of the jig and lock it in place with the clamp (C). slide it out from the front. template guide to the router baseplate. i J 158­ Router Joinery . it cuts both members of a halfblind dovetail joint simultaneously. In order for the process to work effectively. Now position the half-blind dovetail template so d e that the bottom of the gullet midway between the fingers is 19⁄32 in.-dia. dovetail bit in the collet and adjust the height to 19⁄32 in. Like many jigs. To use the jig. Position the stop bars against the stock and lock them in place (e) for use on subsequent cuts. Instead. the mating members of the joint must be mounted offset to each a B C other—in this case by 3⁄16 in. To set up the router. from the edge (B). always slide the router in from F G H the front and feed it from left to right (i. Remember.d ov e ta i l s Half-Blind dovetails with Porter Cable omnijig This Porter Cable Omnijig® can cut a number of variations from through to sliding dovetails (a). Next. Photo (G) shows the stock correctly positioned in the jig and ready for the cut. Then secure a 1 ⁄2-in. from the end of the drawer front (F). (H). never attempt to lift the router directly from the jig. attach a 5⁄ 8-in. Begin by marking the end of the drawer front 3 ⁄16 in. Now position the drawer front in the top of the jig so that the 3⁄16 in.

d ov e ta i l s through dovetails with Katie Jig Among dovetail jigs. Now remove the plywood spacers (F). Position 1⁄4-in. 160.-thick plywood as spacers between the stock and the guides. adjust the guides a B (B) so that the joint will begin and end with a pin (C). Each guide has two ends. The jig is designed so that the tails and pins on the completed joint will protrude.) e F Router Joinery 159­ . and then clamp the stock firmly in place (e). Of course it’s important to account for the loss of material when you’re milling the stock to size. one for the pins and the other for the tails (a). In this photo-essay I show how to create the joint so that the mating surfaces are flush. C d (Text continues on p. position the edge stop against the workpiece and lock it in place (d). the Katie is one of the least complex to set up. which I prefer. The edge stops will align the boards in the jig for subsequent cuts. The idea is that you can flush-trim the joint after assembly. And it does have adjustable guides so that you can vary the spacing to suit your taste and the job at hand. Beginning with the pin board. Next.

G H Before routing the pins. The cutting depth should equal the sum of the tail-board thickness. i J K 160­ Router Joinery . Finally. and the spacer (J).d ov e ta i l s To set up the router. cut the tails (H). make the cut (K). you’ll need to switch to the straight bit. Using the straight end of the guide fork. the guide thickness. and the spacer. guide thickness. lock the bit in the collet and adjust the cutting depth (G). Always feed the router from left to right as you’re facing the tail board (i). The depth equals the sum of the pin board thickness.

Begin by locking the first tail guide in position 1⁄ 8 in. Next. Once the first and last guides are in place. away from the reference mark (B). Position the remaining guides and mark their locations on the jig (C). The first and last guides should slightly overlap the edges of the pin board (d). the Akeda® is a relative newcomer (a).d ov e ta i l s Half-Blind dovetails with the akeda Jig Among dovetail jigs. Now set the depth of the bit (G) (Text continues on p. snap the remaining guides into position (e). It will cut both half-blind and through dovetails. position the tail board in the front of the jig firmly underneath the guides and clamp in place (F).) a B C d e F G Router Joinery 161­ . 162.

It should extend beyond the pin bar a distance equal to the thickness of the tail board. H i J K M l 162­ Router Joinery .d ov e ta i l s and cut the tails (H). Make the cut on the pin board (l) and assemble the joint (M). As you rout. Now place the pin board in the top of the jig. I use a small cutoff from the tail board as a gauge (K). For the greatest accuracy. To cut the pins. be very careful not to cut the area between the guides (i). first remove the tail guides and then put the pin guides in the same location according to the layout marks that you made previously (J).

Pre-cutting the edges with a glue joint bit can help with alignment (a). Begin by adjusting the bit height to cut precisely in the center of the stock thickness (B). a B C d e F Router Joinery 163­ . Now you’re ready to make the cut (F). This is a large bit. To accurately locate the fence position. place it tangent to the smallest cutting circle on the bit (d). reduce the fence opening to increase safety and support of the stock as it is cut (C). Next. the joint is actually stronger than the surrounding wood. so remember to use a guard to shield your hands (e).ot H e R J o i N t s Glue Joint When two boards are glued edge to edge.

you’ll first need to set the cutting depth on the plunge router. Also. most straight bits are not designed for plunging. Although an ordinary straight bit will work. To cut the mortise. it tends to cut slowly and overheat.ot H e R J o i N t s Mortise The mortise-and-tenon joint is undoubtedly the strongest method for joining frame members (a). But you’ll first need to construct a jig to hold the workpiece and provide stability to the router. A much better choice is an upcut spiral bit. One approach to cutting the mortise is with a router and a straight bit. Begin by measuring (B) and marking the mortise location (C). whose spiral flutes eject the chips from the mortise. a B C d Now. plunge the bit into the workpiece and feed it to the opposite end of the mortise layout (F). position the router guide against the edge of the jig (e). e F 164­ Router Joinery . position the work in the jig and secure each end with clamps (d). Next. Next.

it’s best to cut the mortise first. The joint has tremendous strength due to the mechanical interlock between the mating parts. and the shoulder. This method uses a router jig to hold the workpiece and guide the router in a straight path across the stock (a). Workpiece Guide for router base a B BIR 48 C (Text continues on p. which resists racking forces. With the workpiece secure in the jig.ot H e R J o i N t s tenon with Jig One of the most important joints a woodworker can choose is the mortise-and-tenon joint. the large long-grain gluing surface. There are a number of methods for cutting the joint. reposition the router closer to the tenon shoulder Stick serves as a stop. Slide the workpiece under the router guide and secure it in position with a toggle clamp (d). but undoubtedly one of the fastest ways is with a router. After each pass. Next. Begin by cutting at the end of the tenon so that the router will gain additional support from the portion of the stock that remains uncut (e).) d e Router Joinery 165­ .The first step is to use a gauge and lay out the tenon on a sample piece. use the gauge line to adjust the cutting depth of the router bit (B). 166. because it’s easier to cut the tenon to fit the mortise than vice versa. A stick placed into the jig serves as a stop to limit the length of the tenon (C). As always. you’re ready to make the first cut.

Now repeat the process on the opposite side of the stock (J) to complete the tenon (K). Depending on the diameter of the bit and the length of the tenon. you can first rout the corner (H). F G H i J K 166­ Router Joinery . To avoid splintering the shoulder of the tenon as the bit exits the cut.ot H e R J o i N t s for the next pass (F). The final pass will be with the router base positioned against the guide (G). two or three passes should be enough to rout the face of the tenon (i).

When cutting tenons on the router table. I always check the setup on a sample piece to ensure a snug fit between the tenon and the mortise (F). with no backlash. The router table is fast and easy to set up.001 in. Several passes will complete the tenon (e). while the miter gauge is used to guide and support the stock. 75. For the last pass. working toward the shoulder. Make the first pass along the end of the stock (B) and then take as many additional passes as necessary. be certain that the miter gauge is locked at exactly 90 degrees. Make sure to use a guard to provide a barrier between your hands and the spinning bit. The fence serves as a depth stop to control the tenon length. it’s important to use both the fence and the miter gauge. Mount a large-diameter straight bit in the router. lay out the tenon on a sample piece. especially if your table is equipped with a lift. a B ➤ See “Making a Sled” on p. Router lifts have built-in micrometers that allow you to adjust the bit height to within . Before cutting. you can use a shopmade sled that rides along the table edge.ot H e R J o i N t s tenon on the Router table A router table is a great alternative to a jig for cutting tenons. C d e F Router Joinery 167­ . The precision of a lift is a significant advantage for routing precise interlocking joints. place the end of the stock against the fence and make the cut along the shoulder (C). If your table lacks a miter-gauge slot. and adjust the bit height to the layout line (a). Invert the stock and repeat the process on the opposite face (d). A backing board fastened to the miter gauge will eliminate splintering at the end of the cut.

As you assemble the joint. This unique joint features an interlocking tongue and groove to create a flawless 45-degree miter (a). The next step is to adjust the fence. you’ll need to adjust the fence to be parallel to the miter-gauge slot (e). mill the two halves of the joint from the same board (B). the two halves can easily become misaligned as a result of the lubricity of the glue. To make the grain continue around the corner. Because the miter gauge is used in this process. Because of the large bit diameter. One solution is to use a lock miter.ot H e R J o i N t s lock Miter To make grain “turn the corner” without a visible seam. But cutting and fitting a perfect miter can be tricky. Begin by adjusting the bit height (C). Position a B Fence Workpiece Workpiece Fence Table First cut Stock face up Table Second cut Stock on end C BIR 34 168­ Router Joinery . the miter joint is a good choice. it’s important to increase stock support and safety by creating a zeroclearance opening (d).

attach a backing board to the miter gauge (G). Now cut the first half of the joint. To complete the setup. For support.ot H e R J o i N t s a guard over the bit (F). d e F G H i Router Joinery 169­ . The mating half of the joint must be positioned on end. Position the stock on the table with the outer face up and make the cut (H). clamp a board to the stock at 90 degrees and use a featherboard (i).

It’s important that the cut be centered exactly across C d 170­ Router Joinery . the most important consideration when making the joint is to run the grain of the spline perpendicular to the joint line.ot H e R J o i N t s splined Miter Miters are used whenever the goal is to hide end grain. the joint will be weak. For the greatest safety and accuracy. The only real downside to the miter is that it is inherently weak. If the spline grain runs parallel to the joint line. close the fence halves as much as possible (C). Next. From an aesthetic standpoint. The traditional method of reinforcement is to add a spline. install a grooving bit in the router table and adjust the fence tangent to the guide bearing on the bit (B). The miter is a simple yet elegant way to change directions. begin by sawing the miter and checking it for accuracy by fitting the parts together within the legs of a square (a). a B To make the joint. Alternatively. The spline is simply a third piece of wood incorporated into the joint to create long-grain surface area for glue. you can downplay the spline by making it from the same wood as your primary pieces. whether at 90 degrees or some other angle. because the joint primarily consists of end-grain contact. Also. you can emphasize the spline by making it of a contrasting wood. position a guard above the bit (d). However.

you’re ready to cut the grooves for the spline.ot H e R J o i N t s the thickness of the stock. Once you’re satisfied that the setup is accurate. e F G H i Router Joinery 171­ . otherwise. you’ll need to make half the cuts with the miter gauge turned away from the fence. It’s actually easier and much less awkward to adjust the bit height to center on the stock. Rotate the head of the miter gauge to 45 degrees. One method is to measure with a square set as a depth gauge (e). and make the cut (G). To complete the joint. using a dial caliper is more accurate (F). size the thickness of the spline for a snug fit within the groove (H) and then assemble the joints with glue (i). However.

The depth of the groove is less important than the width. the cutting geometry cuts cleaner than the groove bit used for the V (d). a B C d 172­ Router Joinery . To cut the point. it must equal the thickness of the mating piece (C). the best choice is a 45-degree chamfer bit. Begin by routing the V groove (B).ot H e R J o i N t s Bird’s Mouth A bird’s-mouth joint is essentially a mitered tongue-and-groove joint. A 90-degree V cut in the first piece joins with a point on the end of the mating piece to create a joint that is both strong and attractive (a).

the fingers are sanded flush. 174. Begin by selecting a straight bit to cut the space between the fingers. To make the jig. snug-fitting box joints is to use a simple jig that ensures perfect spacing (B). the box joint gets its ” strength from its mechanical interlock as well as the large amounts of long-grain glue surface area (a). in this photoessay I’m using a 3⁄ 8-in. Although you can cut the box joint with a tablesaw.-thick stock. That’s because a router bit creates a square. the rectangle is more eye-pleasing. Of course it’s important to account for this loss of stock when sizing the parts for the box. This will cause the fingers to protrude slightly from the stock surface once the box is assembled. BIR 44 B Router Joinery 173­ .-dia. After assembly. it has a much better appearance when cut with a router. Like the dovetail. I select a bit with a diameter that is three-fourths of the thickness of the stock. Adjust the height of the bit so that it is slightly greater than the stock thickness. Otherwise the completed box will end up smaller than you intended. Because a box joint lacks the tapered interlock of a dovetail joint’s tails and pins.ot H e R J o i N t s Box Joint The box joint comprises rows of interlocking “fingers. Although you can purchase a jig. a Finger is more attractive and has increased strength when proportioned as a long rectangle. smooth bottom between the fingers. first mill a piece of stock to serve as a backing board. However. bit on 1⁄2-in. The length of the stock should be at least twice the width of the material used (Text continues on p. as opposed to a square. it’s not quite as strong.) Joint looks best when it begins and ends with a full finger. Besides being stronger than a square due to its larger glue surface area. it more than makes up for this by its ease of construction. The key to making strong. it’s easy to make your own. as opposed to the slightly jagged surface created by a saw blade. This creates a finger with the proportions of a long rectangle. For example.

ot H e R J o i N t s to create the box joint. The slot and stick will serve as a spacer to locate the position of each cut. Position d the second bit between the stick and the bit in the router (F). position the stock against the stick for the first cut (H). which will interlock with the finger on the first half of the joint. The remaining cuts are now made by slipping each previous cut over the spacing stick (M). Slip e the freshly cut space over the stick and make the next cut (J). Now. This will provide plenty of support as the joint is cut into the workpiece. Now make the first cut (i). rest the cut against the stick to align the stock for the next cut (l). Now continue the process across the end of the stock. Remember. Therefore. Just use a second bit that is the same diameter as the first. G 174­ Router Joinery . C As each notch is cut. However. this half must begin with a space. Now you’re ready to begin cutting the joint. just align the edge of the stock with the F void in the backing board (K). On the first half of the joint. Fasten the backing board to the miter gauge (G). Apply glue to the fingers and slip the joint together (N). there is an easy way to ensure perfect spacing. it is important that the stick be positioned from the router bit at a distance that is equal to the bit diameter. Of course the next step is to rout the second half of the joint. Securely clamp the backing board to the miter gauge (C) and feed it into the bit to create a slot (d). This will start the board with a finger. This is the trickiest part of the setup. it is slipped over the stick to locate the correct position for the subsequent cut. To accurately make the first cut. Now carefully fit a stick into the slot (e). the mating board will begin with a space.

ot H e R J o i N t s H i J K l M N Router Joinery 175­ .

Or you can opt to use a finger joint bit like the one in this essay. As you lock the fence in place. To cut a box joint. Also. Because of these issues. instead of a separate pass for each individual finger. Also. so it is not nearly as strong. When designing your box joints. Minimize the fence opening to d 176­ Router Joinery . as well as the mechanical interlock of the adjoining halves (a). it’s not practical to cut box joints on full-sized casework. Like the dovetail. the mating half must end with a matching finger. Unlike the dovetail. and each corner of the box is quickly cut in one or two passes. the setup is fast. the box joint is primarily used for joining the corners of boxes. remember to rip it to a width that is a multiple of the finger/socket width. the box joint gets its strength from lots of long-grain gluing surface. when sizing the stock. Making box joints with this special bit is more efficient.ot H e R J o i N t s Box Joint Bit As the name implies. I limit the use of the box joint to small boxes. To avoid confusion. a B C Begin by adjusting the bit height so that the first cutter in the stack is flush with the lower edge of the stock (B). Next. the box joint does not have the wedging action of the angled tails and pins. make sure that it is parallel with the miter gauge slot (d). remember that one half of the joint must begin with a full socket. you can use multiple passes of a straight bit along with a jig to guide the stock and control the spacing of each cut. it’s a good idea to first position the parts on the bench in the order of assembly and label the cuts. position the fence tangent to the guide bearing (C).

Also.ot H e R J o i N t s provide support for the workpiece and to create a barrier around the bit (e). e F G H Router Joinery 177­ . This will ensure alignment during assembly. With the setup complete. clamp it securely to the backing board and make the cut (G). Remember to position each part according to the labels that you made earlier. Also. This is a large bit. you’re ready to make the cuts on all the parts. so don’t attempt to hold the workpiece with your hand. Instead. fasten a backing board to the miter gauge (F). But first adjust the bit so that the cutter aligns with the first cut (H). you’ll need to invert the stock for a second pass. if you’re cutting a joint on stock that is wider than the bit height.

Now pull the frame away from the fence until it aligns with the layout mark that you made earlier (G). By trapping the frame on three sides. such as the one pictured here. Begin by marking the desired location of the key- a B hole (C). will require at least two appropriately spaced holes.ot H e R J o i N t s Rout a Keyhole A keyhole bit isn’t really for routing a true keyhole but for a small. a large item. such as a shelf. Position the frame between the stops and against the fence. typically require only one hole. Once plunged into the stock. you can easily plunge the frame onto the spinning bit and pull it away from the fence to elongate the keyhole. and plunge the frame into the bit (F). this unique. Small frames. elongated hole in the back of a frame or shelf for ease of hanging (a). Position the fence near the bit. C d e F G 178­ Router Joinery . However. mark a line to indicate the stopping point of the elongation (e). largediameter bit creates an undercut hole designed to capture the head of a nail or screw (B). and use stops to position the layout line over the bit (d). But first.

For this unique movable joint to function properly. Also. cut a recess for the hinge barrel and fasten the hinges in place (e). fillet. toward the edge to prevent the finish from wearing away each time the leaf is raised or lowered. one leaf is longer than the other. you’ll need special drop-leaf hinges. mortise for the hinge thickness. a B BIRD 3-E C d (F) shows leaf in position. The result is both beautiful and functional. You can cut the profiles with molding planes if you are fortunate enough to have a matching pair. radius bits with a 3⁄4-in. I’m using 1⁄2-in. Next. After squaring the mortise with a chisel. After shaping the cove and thumbnail. I speed this up with a small router and a straight bit (d). top and leaf thickness. it is important that the cove and thumbnail profiles match. before you jump in to this process. Choose a radius that will leave a 1⁄4-in. e F Router Joinery 179­ . I prefer to position the barrel an additional 1⁄64 in. For the example in these photos. Photo Hinge is offset 1/64 in. the two profiles mesh to create an attractive ovolo profile (B). When the leaf is dropped.ot H e R J o i N t s Rule Joint Rule joints are used for drop leaves on tables (a). anything heavier tends to look clumsy. mark the hinge position with a knife (C). toward edge. A cove is cut on the lower edge of the leaf to mate with a thumbnail profile on the table edge. Or you can shape the profiles with router bits. Conventional wisdom is to locate the hinge barrel directly below the fillet.

­ .­as­ shown­in­the­drawing­on­the­facing­page.­finish. 201) Shaping a Lipped Door Edge (p.­Frame-and-panel­ doors­fit­year-round­because­the­seasonal­ expansion­and­contraction­takes­place­within­ the­frame. 205) ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ ➤ rame-and-panel construction­is­ one­of­the­most­important­design­ elements­in­furniture­making. 194) Arched Light Sash Door (p. 192) Sash Door (p.­By­changing­design­elements. Frame-and-Panel Design The­frame-and-panel­looks­best­as­a­long­ rectangle.­ such­as­wood. 188) Coped Mortise-andTenon (p.­either­horizontal­or­vertical.­In­fact. 203) Sliding Dovetail Drawers (p.­and­panel­ 180­ F details. 197) Raised Panel (p.SECTION 8 Doors and Drawers Frame Joinery ➤ ➤ Panels ➤ ➤ Door Details ➤ Drawer Joinery ➤ Door Bit Set (p.­such­as­ paneled­chests­and­roll-top­desks. 202) Lock Mortise (p.­the­frame-and-panel­is­used­for­ room­paneling­and­even­casework.­proportions. 190) Arched Door with Cope-and-Stile Bits (p.­A­ frame-and-panel­assembly­can­span­a­broad­ expanse­while­accommodating­seasonal­ dimensional­changes. 186) Adjustable Door Bit (p.­you­can­use­the­frame-and-panel­in­ virtually­any­style­of­furniture­or­architecture. 199) Raised Curved Panel (p. 184) Reversible Door Bit (p.

­space­overall.­ along­with­a­short­tenon­that­fits­within­the­ Doors and Drawers 181­ .­ to­5⁄ 8­in.­The­rails­typically­fit­between­the­stiles.­which­provides­ 1⁄ 8­in.­The­edges­of­thick­panels­ are­beveled­to­fit­within­the­groove­in­their­ frame.­and­commonly­range­from­ 1⁄ 2­in.­they’re­often­shaped­with­a­ simple­decorative­profile—usually­a­thumbnail.­The­ most­common­profile­for­a­bevel­is­flat.­In­that­case.­you­can­ instead­use­a­reversible­bit­that­changes­profiles­by­inverting­sections­of­the­cutter.­it­simultaneously­cuts­the­panel­groove.SECTION 8 FRAME-AND-PANEL CONFIGURATION Top rail Mullion Stile Panels Bottom rail The panel is free to float within the frame.­can­actually­be­part­ of­the­frame­joinery. Flat-panel­doors­can­be­made­using­panels­no­thicker­than­the­panel­groove­in­the­ frame.­at­the­ bottom­of­each­stile­groove. which allows for changes in seasonal humidity.­ The­thickness­of­the­shaped­panel­edge­ is­important.­but­most­ panels­are­beveled­on­the­outside­face.­it’s­possible­to­make­all­the­shaping­ and­joinery­cuts­for­a­paneled­door­on­your­ router­table.­It­should­be­thin­enough­to­ slip­easily­into­the­frame­groove.­or­ogee.­This­is­plenty­of­room­ for­even­large­cabinet­door­panels­to­expand­ during­summer.­­­­­­ Bits for Doors and Panels With­the­selection­of­router­bits­available­ today.­ and­horizontal­members­are­referred­to­as­ rails.­but­snug­ enough­that­the­panel­doesn’t­rattle­each­ time­the­door­is­opened.­ A­sticking­bit­is­used­to­shape­the­decorative­ profile­along­the­inside­edges­of­the­panel­ frame.­­­­­­­­ Some­raised­panels­are­beveled­on­the­ inside­face­of­the­door­(exhibiting­the­look­ of­a­flat­panel­on­the­exterior­face).­ As­a­rule­of­thumb.­ovolo.­the­ panel’s­width­should­allow­for­cross-grain­ panel­expansion­during­the­humid­season.­ Although­the­inside­edges­of­a­door­frame­ can­be­square.­thick.­although­they’re­generally­thinner­than­ the­frame.­ Although­the­profiles­are­usually­cut­with­a­ matching­set­of­separate­router­bits.­Of­course.­it’s­called­ cope-and-stick­joinery­because­the­sticking­ profile­on­the­stiles­mates­against­a­complementary­cope­cut­on­the­ends­of­the­rail.­but­ bevels­can­also­be­cove-­or­ogee-shaped.­As­it­cuts­the­sticking.­This­profile. The­vertical­frame­members­are­called­stiles.­creating­raised­panels.­The­cope­bit­ cuts­a­reverse­profile­on­the­ends­of­the­rails.­Cope-and-stick­bits­make­construction­of­the­frame­flawless­and­efficient.­which­is­ referred­to­as­sticking.­I­allow­for­ 1⁄16­in.­However.­thicker­panels­are­often­ used.

­there­are­two­types­to­consider:­ matched­sets­and­reversible­bits.­ But­for­the­woodworker­who­only­needs­to­ make­an­occasional­door.­ some­bits­adjust­for­the­plywood­thickness­ (see­the­top­left­photo­on­the­facing­page). place.­you­can­reinforce­the­corners­ of­a­solid-panel­door­frame­by­incorporating­ long­tenons.­ There­are­two­types­of­bits­for­panel­ raising:­horizontal­and­vertical.­in­which­ one­bit­cuts­the­cope­and­tenon­simultaneously.­If­you’re­using­a­plywood­panel.­ ➤ See“Coped Mortise-and-Tenon”onp.­Don’t­ attempt­this­with­a­solid­wood­panel.­as­the­ seasonal­expansion­and­contraction­would­ A reversible bit will cut both the cope cause­the­panel­to­split­if­it­were­glued­in­ and the sticking.­These­bits­can­quickly­produce­ a­kitchen­full­of­doors.­consider­using­a­plywood­or­MDF­ panel­and­gluing­it­into­the­frame.SECTION 8 Cope-and-stick bits greatly simplify door making.­Rearranging­the­sections­on­this­ bit­allows­you­to­cut­the­cope­and­sticking­ in­turn.190.­while­the­complementary­bit­cuts­the­ sticking­and­panel­groove.­As­an­economical­alternative. 182­ Doors and Drawers .­Of­course­it­takes­more­time­to­set­ up­a­reversible­bit. Stile panel­groove.­Instead.­ To­substantially­increase­the­strength­of­ a­door.­horizontal­two-wing­ COPE-AND-STICK JOINERY Sticking Cope Rail Offset shoulders on rail.­and­the­design­is­limited­ to­simpler­profiles­that­are­easily­reversed. When­shopping­for­cope-and-stick­ door­bits.­Most­ woodworkers­use­matched­sets.­you­can­purchase­a­“reversible”­bit.­The­most­ common­are­the­large.­reversible­bits­are­a­ good­option.

­ Sash­bits­allow­you­to­construct­sash-type­ doors­with­your­router.­When­shaping­the­narrow­bars­or­ mullions­on­a­sash­window.­And­like­the­ cope-and-stick­bits. With this bit. They should only be run in a table-mounted router.­These­cutters­are­my­first­choice­ because­their­large­diameter­offers­more­ effective­cutting­geometry­than­that­of­vertical­bits.­as­shown­in­the­drawing­on­p. you’ll need to construct a jig. cutters. This unique cope-and-stick set adjusts to accommodate undersized plywood.­resulting­in­a­smoother­cut.­sash­bits­cut­a­cope­on­ the­ends­of­the­stock­and­a­matching­sticking­profile­on­the­edges.­sash­bits­are­available­in­a­twopiece­set­or­as­a­reversible­bit.­it’s­important­to­ construct­a­jig­to­distance­your­hands­from­ the­bit.­these­bits­cut­a­rabbet­ for­glass.SECTION 8 The reversible sash bit cuts both the cope and the sticking. you can create raised-panel doors on your router table.­196.­The­small­diameter­of­ these­bits­allows­you­to­use­them­effectively­ in­smaller­routers.­The­ only­drawback­of­wing-type­panel-raising­ bits­is­that­spinning­them­safely­requires­a­ 3-hp­or­larger­router.­vertical­bits­ ! s WARNING Never attempt to use any of these door or panel bits in a handheld router. Doors and Drawers 183­ . are­a­good­option.­Like­cope-and-stick­ frame­bits. To safely shape narrow sash mullions.­However.­resulting­in­a­less­cleanly­ cut­surface.­instead­ of­a­panel­groove. For­those­woodworkers­who­have­not­ yet­purchased­a­big­router.­Just­be­aware­that­the­ smaller­diameter­also­means­a­less­effective­ cutting­geometry.

The other bit cuts the sticking profile.F R A M E J O I N E RY Door Bit Set Stile-and-rail bit sets have greatly simplified door construction (A). and make certain that the fence is positioned parallel to the miter gauge slot (E). its height to create a small fillet at the top of the sticking profile (C). Begin by installing the coping bit and adjusting A Adjust fence tangent to bearing. C Table B Second cut Sticking bit D BIR 39 184­ Doors and Drawers . which meshes with the cope cut to create a neat. Reduce the fence opening as much as possible (F) and position Table First cut Cope bit Adjust fence tangent to bearing. position the fence tangent to the guide bearing on the bit (D). Next. along with a short tenon that fits within the panel groove of the adjoining frame member. One bit cuts the cope. mitered appearance (B).

Next. fasten a backing board to the miter gauge (H).F R A M E J O I N E RY a guard over the opening (G). To cut the sticking and groove. Use a push stick to distance your hands (L). E F G H I J K L Doors and Drawers 185­ . secure the sticking bit in the router and adjust the height to match the cope cut (J). A featherboard can be used to hold the stock to the fence. position the fence tangent to the bearing (K). Now make the cope cut on the ends of the rails (I). To complete the setup.

Next. Next. Next. adjust the bit height to match the cope profile that you cut earlier (K). E 186­ Doors and Drawers . the first step is to cut the cope on the ends of the rails. reduce the fence opening (E) and position a guard over the bit (F). remember to use a push stick to distance your hands (L). make certain that it is parallel to the miter-gauge slot (D). The final step of the setup is to attach a backing board to the miter gauge for additional stock support (G). then you’ll probably want to consider using a reversible cope-and-stick bit (A). position the fence tangent to the bearing on the bit (C). Begin the setup process by adjusting the height A B of the bit so that a small “fillet” or step is created above the sticking profile (B). you’ll first need to rearrange the parts of the bit on the arbor. secure it in the router collet (I). To safely remove the nut without damaging the bit. Next. place the parts on a table to familiarize yourself with them (J). secure a guard over the bit and position a featherboard to hold the stock against the fence. Now. Now make the cope cut on the ends of the rails (H). As you position the fence. After you mill the stock for the frame. stack the parts on the arbor according to the manufacturer’s instructions and secure the assembly with the arbor nut. First. remove the arbor nut. Lock the fence in place tangent to the guide bearing.F R A M E J O I N E RY Reversible Door Bit If your woodworking budget is limited and/or you only need to make an occasional door. for your personal safety. C D To cut the sticking profile and groove. Now. When making the cut.

F R A M E J O I N E RY F G H I J K L Doors and Drawers 187­ .

To compensate for the undersize plywood that is so common today. at the top of the profile (D). As you secure the fence to the table. Begin by measuring the thickness of the plywood with a dial caliper (A). some bits are adjustable. Now reduce the fence opening (G) and position a guard over the bit (H). Next. A B C D E F Before cutting the “sticking” along the edges of the stock. Following the manufacturer’s instructions. Now position the fence tangent to the guide bearing (E). secure the cope bit in the collet and loosen the arbor nut (B). 188­ Doors and Drawers .F R A M E J O I N E RY Adjustable Door Bit When you’re making frame-and-panel doors. To complete the setup. fasten a backing board to the miter gauge (I). Replace the arbor nut and adjust the bit height to create a small fillet. These bits feature stacking cutters and shims that allow you to finetune the groove to fit the plywood. remember that the cutters must face counterclockwise when viewed from the threaded end of the arbor (C). Next. Now cut the cope on the ends of the rails (J). stack the parts to achieve the required spacing. As you stack the parts. adjust the bit to match the thickness of the plywood. mount the bit in the collet and adjust the height to correspond to the cope cut (K). you’ll want to first cut the cope on the ends of the horizontal frame members or rails. Position the fence tangent to the guide bearing and cut the profile on all the frame members (L). or step. be certain that it is parallel to the miter-gauge slot (F). As with any cope-and-stick bits. a good method for adding strength to the assembly is to use plywood for the panel and glue it into the frame groove.

F R A M E J O I N E RY G H I J K L Doors and Drawers 189­ .

I’m cutting a rabbet for glass or screen. it’s important to position 190­ Doors and Drawers . Begin by laying out and cutting the mortise-andtenon joints on the frame. the stubby tenon created by these sets lacks the strength and longevity of a true mortise-and-tenon joint. but they create a short tenon rather than the long tenon associated with traditional work. Sometimes a simple molding profile is shaped along the inside edges of the frame as an embel- A Cut sticking with corner rounding bit. lishment. Cut cope with drawer finger pull bit. and a 3⁄ 8-in.F R A M E J O I N E RY Stile Rail Coped Mortise-and-Tenon Mortise-and-tenon joints are commonly used to join rail-and-stile framework for doors (A). I’m using a 3⁄ 8-in. it is ideally suited for coping the shoulder along a tenon. roundover bit to create the decorative sticking along the interior frame edges. structed In this example.-radius “finger pull” bit to cope the shoulder (B). Mount the finger-pull bit in the router table and adjust the B C bit height so that it just grazes the underside of the tenon (C). Close the fence opening. This method is a unique way to create an authentic cope-and-stick joint with the strength and longevity of a traditional mortise-and-tenon. While cope-and-stick bits make door construction fast and easy. Here. but another option is to cut a groove for a panel. A much stronger method is to use a long tenon and cope the tenon shoulder with a bit that allows the tenon to pass unob- BIR 45 over the top of the bit. Because the bit is not between the fences. The next step is to cope the shoulder of the tenon. as the fence will be used to support the end of the tenon and correctly locate the cut. There are number of cope-and-stick router bit sets for efficiently producing doors. Position the fence so that the bit produces a quarter of a circle when the cope is cut. Although this bit was designed to cut a finger pull along the lower edge of a drawer front.

Now use the miter gauge to support the stock and cut the cope (D). E F G H I Doors and Drawers 191­ . adjust the height of the rabbeting bit to cut just below the sticking profile D (G). The rabbet forms a recess to accept glass or perhaps screen for a window or door. Now cut the rabbet (H) and assemble the joint (I).F R A M E J O I N E RY a guard over the bit to provide a barrier for your hands. The depth of the rabbet should be 3⁄ 8 in. It’s a good idea to make test cuts on sample stock to arrive at the final setup (F). The next step is to shape the sticking profile with the 3⁄ 8-in. roundover bit.. It’s critical to adjust the height of the bit so that the cut from the roundover bit intersects the cope cut to create the appearance of a miter (E). First. The last step is to cut a rabbet along the inside edges of the framework. which is equal to the size of the sticking bit.

shorten the compass setting and draw an arch to represent the top edge of the panel. full-scale layout. E F 192­ Doors and Drawers . Use a miter gauge for support. Then. then switch router bits and C D mill the sticking and groove while the template is still attached (E). Remember to shape the stiles and bottom rail as well. use your drawing to determine the radius. Now bandsaw the arch in the top rail (C). then you’re ready to shape the cope on the rail ends (B). it makes sense to use the fence (F). The next step is to set the bit height (A). Because the stock is straight rather than curved. using the same center point. mill the frame parts. fasten a template to the rail and trim it flush with the router table (D). Next. When you’re satisfied with the drawing. use a compass to draw an arch to repre- A B sent the top rail. Begin by drawing a rectangle to represent the outside dimensions of the door. The key is making an accurate.F R A M E J O I N E RY Arched Door with Cope-and-Stile Bits It may seem that making an arched door with a frame that matches the panel is complicated— but it’s really not. Next.

F R A M E J O I N E RY With the frame completed. Remove the template and begin with the arch. shape the opposite end and then the edges (J). Now you’re ready to shape the panel. The last steps are to sand the panel and assemble the door (K). First. G H I J K Doors and Drawers 193­ . turn your attention to the panel. drive the nails in the edges of the panel where they will be shaped away. Next. Use a box fence for safety. Position the arch against the fence (H) and pivot it into the spinning bit (I). mill the panel to size. When fastening the template. Then bandsaw the arch and trim it flush with the template (G).

you’ll want to arrange the cutters the Stock face down for that profile first. The bit used in this photo-essay is reversible (B) Table Table and was used to rout both the cope and stick profiles. cut the material for the mullions oversized in width. The intersections at A each corner are coped. After coping. adjust the bit First cut Cope setup Stock face up B Second cut Sticking setup Stock face down BIR 37 BIR 37 C 194­ Doors and Drawers . As with a paneled door.F R A M E J O I N E RY Sash Door A sash is a traditional framework for glass panes. This will make it easier to work. After First cut Cope setup Stock face up Table Table rearranging the parts on the arbor. To remove the arbor nut. you can rip it to final width. you’ll need to disassemble it and rearrange the cutters for each sequence of cuts. which creates the appearance of a miter (A). Since it’s best to begin with Second cut Sticking setup cope cut. The narrow bars that divide the glass into smaller. the outer frame members are called rails and stiles. To use a reversible bit. individual panes are called mullions. it’s best to begin with a drawing that shows the overall size as well as the dimensions of the individual frame members. first mount the bit in the router collet (C). To make a sash door. When milling the stock.

Attach a backing board to the miter gauge (H).F R A M E J O I N E RY height (D). 196. (Text continues on p. Next. The backing board will support the stock close to the bit and prevent tearout on the trailing edge of the workpiece. To provide optimum support for the workpiece.) D E F G H I Doors and Drawers 195­ . reduce the fence opening as much as possible (G). Also. Also remember to place a guard in position over the bit (I). position the fence tangent to the guide bearing on the bit (E). check to see that the fence is parallel to the miter gauge slot (F).

Set the fence tangent to the bearing (M). Use the jig shown to safely shape the narrow mullions (O. thinner than stock to be shaped. Stock is placed in notch. J K L M 1/4-in. Remember. P). they should face counterclockwise when viewed from the end (K). as you stack the cutters on the arbor. Next. plywood cap fastened with glue and brads N Make jig 1/64 in. refer to the drawings from the manufacturer and rearrange the bit for the sticking profile.F R A M E J O I N E RY Now cut the cope on the ends of the rails and mullions (J). Brads O P 196­ Doors and Drawers . position the coped profile next to the bit (L). Now use a push stick and make the cut on the rails and stiles (N). To find the correct height.

it may be necessary to adjust the cutter height. and then adjust the setup for the second shoulder (F). cut the tenons. The key is accurate layout and machine setup. Since the tenon shoulders are offset. Before bandsawing the curves. this makes feeding the work through machines safer and more accurate.F R A M E J O I N E RY Arched Light Sash Door Constructing a sash-type door with interlocking bars is another variation on the cope-and-stick construction shown on p. When correctly positioned. clamp matching pieces together and transfer the lines (A). shape the sticking on the stiles first (B). 182. For this reason. Begin by accurately milling the stock. ➤ See“Sash Door”onp. Then cut the mortises with a hollow chisel according to the layout (C). cut the cope on the tenon shoulder (G). cut the face of each tenon (E). or both. fence position. For greatest accuracy. Make the stock for the bars wide enough for two.194.) A B C D E F [ TIP ] Remember to check the cope for fit to the sticking. The location of the mortise in relationship to the sticking is critical. the mortise falls just on the edge of the sticking (D). G H Doors and Drawers 197­ . Next. Check the fit frequently and make any necessary adjustments. Then bandsaw the arches in the top rail (H) and smooth them with a spindle sander. (Text continues on p. 198.

K L M N 198­ Doors and Drawers . fill the first rabbet with a stick tacked into the jig (J). 196. To shape the sticking and to rabbet the arches. To shape the bars safely. To assemble the framework.F R A M E J O I N E RY The last two steps are to shape the sticking and the rabbet. fit the sash bars into the rails first (L) and then the stiles. I J Once all the cuts are made. Finally. This jig will add much-needed mass to the otherwise narrow stock (I). When cutting the second rabbet. fit each joint individually and check the fit. take a few extra minutes to shape the jig shown on p. it’s necessary to use a starting pin or block as a fulcrum when entering the cut (K). But first you’ll need to rip the narrow sash bars to final width. clamp the door and set it on a flat surface while the glue dries (N). Gently tap the joints together with a mallet (M).

200. adjust the bit height to the depth of the finished profile (C). and reduce the opening at the fence as much as possible (D). routers simply lack the power of shapers. Nowadays.) B C D Doors and Drawers 199­ . Insert the bit fully and then back it out 1⁄16 in. Next. Additionally. But first a word of caution: Bits for shaping raised panels are very large and should only be used with a guard. Also. so you’ll need to make the cut in several passes to avoid stalling the router. Begin by mounting the bit securely in the collet. panel-raising bits are available for use with the router (A). The final (Text continues on p. A (B). never exceed the manufacturer’s recommended rpm. you would need to do it by hand or purchase a shaper.PA N E L S Raised Panel If you wanted to create raised-door panels years ago.

Next. and position a guard such as the Bench Dog Panel-Loc over the bit (F).PA N E L S position of the fence should be tangent with the guide bearing (E). Always begin with the end grain (G) and finish the process with the long grain (H). Now you’re ready to make the cut. E F G H 200­ Doors and Drawers . lower the bit for the first pass.

Pushing the panel face against the fence wedges it between the fence and the stick. To maintain the correct angle while shaping. bandsaw a curve into wide stock for use as a fence. First.PA N E L S Raised Curved Panel Raising a curved panel requires a vertical router bit and a curved fence to guide and support the workpiece (A). To make the cut. After shaping the curved ends. feel the panel between the fence and a stick clamped to the table (C). shape the edges with the same bit and a straight fence. This prevents it from rocking or tilting as it passes the router bit. attach the fence to the router table fence. After cutting a small opening for the panel bit. A B C Doors and Drawers 201­ . feed the panel slowly and keep it firmly against the fence (B).

just don’t press too hard (D). shape the rabbet that allows most of the door to fit within the opening. carve the inside corners on the top of the door to complete the thumbnail profile (E). a lipped door looks refined. After bandsawing the top of the door. [ TIP ] A fence can be used to limit the rabbet’s depth along the straight portions of the door. The bearing on the rabbeting bit can ride along the C thumbnail without damaging it. D E 202­ Doors and Drawers . Set the height of the bit to create a 1⁄16-in. This fillet is important. Then carve the inside corners where the router bit didn’t reach (B). After the thumbnail. The top of the door has a decorative cutout. it creates another fine detail to capture light and create a shadow line. That’s because most of the door’s thickness fits inside the cabinet and the remaining lip is shaped with A a delicate thumbnail profile. Afterward. Next. use a roundover bit to B shape the thumbnail profile around the perimeter of the door (C). use a flush-trimming router bit and a template to remove the bandsaw marks (A).D O O R D E TA I L S Shaping a Lipped Door Edge Unlike an overlay door that closes against the cabinet face. fillet next to the thumbnail profile. The example I’m using here is the pendulum door from the waist of a tall clock.

A (Text continues on p. Now use a chisel to square the corners of the mortise (E). Next.) B C D E Doors and Drawers 203­ . For this essay. yet it has plenty of power for the task. Begin by laying out and drilling the hole for the key (A). be careful not to exceed the layout lines (D). In fact. a laminate trimmer is the best choice. As you rout the mortise. This traditional lock is a good example because it actually requires two mortises: A deep mortise for the lock mechanism and a shallow mortise for the thin brass backplate. lay out the pattern for the lock body and backplate (B).D O O R D E TA I L S Lock Mortise All doors require hardware—and the most efficient way to cut the recess for a hinge or lock is with a router. Its compact size makes it easy to control. I’m using a half-mortise lock. 204. Now set the cutting depth of the bit to the thickness of the lock (C).

Now square the corners and clean up the edges with a chisel to complete the job (H). taking care not to rout beyond the layout lines (G). F G H 204­ Doors and Drawers . Now carefully rout the mortise.D O O R D E TA I L S The next step is to rout the shallow mortise for the backplate. First. set the cutting depth to the backplate thickness (F).

the sliding dovetail is strong. thick 5/8 Drawer side in. because the position of the socket (Text continues on p.-dia. dovetail sockets are first cut into the back surface of the drawer front and then mating dovetails are cut on the ends of the drawer sides. yet hidden from view. from the fence to the center of the bit allows 1⁄ 2 in. you can rout an entire set of drawers for a shop or kitchen in short order (B). adjusting the bit height to 3 Groove for drawer bottom 3/4 Dado for drawer back Drawer back Drawer front in. 206. resulting in sturdy. plus 1⁄4 in. which is approximately one-half the thick⁄ 8-in. Begin by mounting a 1⁄ 2-in. thick Drawer bottom groove A Dovetail socket 1/4-in. The joint is strong and can be quickly and easily cut on the router table. plus 1⁄ 2 of the bit diameter. Best of all. but once it’s complete. Close the fence opening completely (D) and then position the fence the correct distance from the center of the bit (E).-deep socket will create a strong joint with- BIR 46 ness of a typical drawer front (C). of space to accommodate a typical commercial drawer runner. The resulting 3 out weakening the drawer front. Remember that the length of the drawer front is critical. Setup takes a few minutes. Careful measurements are critical if the drawer slides are to work smoothly.. adjust the socket depth to suit. B C (F) a distance of 11⁄16 in. As seen in the drawing. dovetail bit into your table router. To make the drawer. When using thicker or thinner drawer front stock. of overlay on the cabinet face. plywood bottom Sliding dovetail ⁄ 8 in.) D E Doors and Drawers 205­ . All that remains is to rout dadoes to accept the back. then the stopped sliding dovetail is a great choice (A).D R AW E R J O I N E RY Sliding Dovetail Drawers If you’d like to make a kitchen full of drawers but don’t want to take the time to cut rows of dovetails. and grooves to accept the drawer bottom. attractive drawers that will stand up to the rigors of hard use.

below top edge. it’s necessary to mark the stopping points on the in. Because a miter gauge is used to feed the workpiece. Use a block of wood to mark the fence to indicate the diameter of the bit (H) and then mark the stopping point of the socket on the stock (I). Begin by routing the left-hand socket. Because you’re making a stopped groove. you’ll need to feed the stock from left to right. To cut the right-hand socket. To prevent the bit from pushing the stock away from the fence and spoiling the cut. G fence. Clamp the stock to the miter gauge and feed it in the usual manner. Front 3/4 in. from right to left (J). 3/4 5/ 8 drawer front and stops an inch from the top. thick F in. Stop feeding when the layout marks on the fence and the workpiece align (K). thick Dovetail groove 11/6 in. it’s important to clamp the BIR 47 H I stock securely to the miter gauge (L). it’s necessary to position the fence parallel to the miter-gauge slot (G). The socket begins at the bottom edge of the in. in. 3/8 Dovetail Side 5/8 in.D R AW E R J O I N E RY Groove stops 1 in. J K L M N O 206­ Doors and Drawers . 3/4 is registered from the end of the drawer front.

First. Next. position the bit within the fence opening (M). apply glue and slide the parts together (T). Then rout the grooves (P).-thick plywood for the drawer bottom and slide it into place (W). Test the setup with a sample board before routing the actual workpieces. the smaller the tail will be and vice versa. apply glue to the rear joint and slide the back into place (U). To assemble the drawer. stand the stock on end and feed it past the bit (N). from the bit. P Q R S T U V W Doors and Drawers 207­ . A couple of small nails through each side will reinforce the joint (V). Two passes. will complete the tail. use the fence to position the cut. remembering to orient the parts as necessary to create a left-hand and a right-hand drawer side (Q). The deeper the cut.D R AW E R J O I N E RY The same dovetail is now used to cut the tail. measure between the drawer sides at the drawer front and add twice the depth of the drawer back dado to determine the length of the drawer back.-dia. Close down the fence opening. To rout the dadoes for the drawer back. straight bit in the router. A push block will make it easy to maintain contact with the fence while keeping your hands positioned a safe distance from the bit (S). After making the back. When making the groove in the drawer front. one on each face. Next. don’t rout beyond the dovetail sockets (R). and position the fence 1⁄4 in. The last step is to cut a piece of 1⁄4-in. mount a 1⁄4-in. The next step is to rout the groove for the drawer bottom. Finish up by rounding the corner of each tail to correspond to the rounded end of the socket (O).

page 222 . page 210 Special Shaping Operations.Routing with Templates.

I’ll also address fluting and dishing operations. which are both decorative processes that can add a very distinctive touch to your furniture. and the router lends itself perfectly to this particular task. When pieces are cut out using a template and a guide. T here’s no faster method for making multiple workpieces than using a template.PART fouR Special Shaping ing a template to the workpiece in order to guide either a bearing on the router bit or a sleeve-shaped bushing that’s mounted to the router base. template-routing involves attach- . they’ll all be identical. The technique is often used to clean up bandsaw marks after you rough-saw curved pieces like table legs. whether you’re making two pieces or twenty. As you’ll see in this part of the book. In this part. And it can even be employed to cut a profile completely across the edge of a tabletop or other projecting surface.

a template and straight bit are used to smooth away the saw marks. as shown in the drawing on the facing page. one of the most efficient and productive woodworking techniques is routing with a template. W curves with Templates Curves—such as the arched moldings used in doors. 218) Corner Shelf (p. Afterwards. After the curve is bandsawn slightly oversized. 217) Internal Rabbet with Template (p. and eliminates the tedium of smoothing bandsaw marks with a sander or file. It’s a particularly good method to use when you need to shape away the entire edge of a curved workpiece (see the bottom drawing on the facing page). Curves and arcs are easily shaped with a template. For practical purposes. and many case pieces—add beauty and visual interest to furniture. clocks. as shown in the top photo on the facing page. the profile can be shaped with 210 . With this method. 219) Scalloped Top on the Router (p. curves can be divided by type—circles. a template is fastened to the workpiece to provide a guide for a bearing or bushing to follow as the bit shapes the profile. 215) Flush-Trimming Tight Curves in Small Stock (p.SecTiOn 9 Routing with Templates Using a Bearing ➤ ➤ Using a Bushing ➤ Internal Cut (p. whether two or twenty. Template routing allows you to produce identical pieces. ellipses. and arcs (an arc being a segment of a circle). 214) Curve with Template (p. They capture the imagination and draw you in for a closer look. 221) ➤ ➤ ➤ ithout a doubt. freeform or S curves.

Routing with Templates 211 . Sure. 215. a template is needed for shaping this profile on a curved surface. Among other things. as shown in the top photo on p. the second option takes a few more minutes. Circles. Stock Router table SHAPinG An enTiRe eDGe Because the entire edge is removed.SecTiOn 9 HOW A TeMPLATe WORKS Template Bearing follows curve of template. arcs. and ellipses are easily shaped with templates. or if the entire edge is to be shaped. An S-curve molding—usually referred to as a gooseneck—can be among the most difficult moldings to shape. One solution is to eliminate sharp inside corners from the design. a template can be used as a guide for the bit bearing. Routing a gooseneck molding requires an S-shaped template and an overarm pin guide for your router table. but I prefer to carve the corners by hand after routing. templates allow you to shape freeform curves. An unfortunate drawback to template routing is that you cannot completely shape a sharp inside corner due to the rounded cut that a spinning bit creates. the workpiece as a guide. the workpiece is fastened to the template. but it will separate your work from the rest. ➤ See “Curve with Template” on p. In this case. which contacts the overhead pin in order to guide the workpiece past the bit. 212.

and not the inexpensive paper or foam carpet tape. they can often be positioned so that the hole won’t be seen in the finished work. smooth template edges. Any bumps or irregularities in the template will be transferred to the workpiece. Securing the Workpiece There are three common methods for securing a workpiece to a template: using toggle clamps. as shown in the photo on p. I use cabinet-grade plywood because it is free of the voids that can snag a guide bearing and spoil the work. they will obstruct the cut. Plywood is also easy to work with tools typically at hand. 1⁄4-in. or double-sided tape. Templates can be made from any smooth. Stop blocks are located on the jig to position the workpiece and counteract the forces of the spinning router bit.-thick cabinet-grade plywood is ideal. if the workpiece is to be shaped around the entire perimeter.thick plywood. You can smooth bandsawn curves carefully with a spindle sander or a file. If there is too much. As a template material. especially when routing a curve. and the grip is surprisingly strong. Always remember to position a fastener well out of the path of the router bit. Also. For the smoothest possible surface. so it’s essential to create clean. 128.SecTiOn 9 The rounded inside corner (right) created by a router bit can be hand-carved after routing to produce a distinctive square detail (left). fasteners. stable material. Toggle clamps are a good option when the work is only routed along one or two edges. the bit can splinter or tear out the wood. which is much more stable than solid wood. but I prefer to use 1⁄4-in. I leave only 1⁄ 32 in. I caution you to use only cloth woodturner’s tape. However. or so of material outside the cutline. 212 Routing with Templates . Although fasteners will obviously leave ugly holes in the work. such as nails and screws. Toggle clamps are used along with the template to make a jig. Fasteners. Work to be routed with a template should be sawn slightly oversized. Preparing the Template and Workpiece A router will faithfully duplicate a template profile for better or worse. However. Tape doesn’t leave an unsightly hole. hold the workpiece firmly to the template and are quick to install and remove. Another good option for securing a workpiece to a template is double-sided tape. I never use tape when making heavy cuts with large bits. There should be just a little material left to rout away cleanly.

To determine the correct amount to offset the template. When the diameter of the router base is too large to follow the curve of the template. This method is also the most straightforward. Bushings are available in various lengths and diameters to suit the template and the router bit. vertently rotate the router during the process. However. but you’ll first have to calculate the offset distance before making the template. because you don’t have to calculate an offset. A bushing is a metal sleeve that mounts to the opening in the router base. The solution is to make a mark on the base of the router and always keep the mark adjacent to the template. When routing with this method. or bushing. the cut will not be accurate. As when using the base as a guide. and it just isn’t practical to position the template below the workpiece. Just subtract the bit diameter from the router base diameter and divide the result by two. then divide the remainder by two. the solution is to use a bushing. and then keep the same area of the bushing against the template to compensate for the fact that the bushing isn’t concentric with the bit. as you do when using the router base or a bushing. and the router base.SecTiOn 9 Guiding the Bit There are three methods for guiding the bit: using a guide bearing on the bit itself. Routing with Templates 213 . which is slipped over the bit shank and held in position with a small stop collar. there are bits available with a top bearing. So. Simply make the template the size of the desired workpiece. It’s also an advantage that a bearing is always concentric with the bit. which isn’t true with guide bushings or router bases. Alternatively. if you inad- ➤ cALcULATiinG BUSHinG OffSeT When using a template guide. there are times when the desired router bit isn’t available with a top bearing. you’ll have to calculate the offset between the bit and the bushing in order to make an accurately sized template. more than ever before. The most common method for guiding the cut when routing with a template is to use the guide bearing on the bit. But how about when the template is placed between the router base and the workpiece? Today. you’ll need to first calculate the offset between the bit and the bushing (see the sidebar above). a bushing (also called a template guide). Using the baseplate as a guide is pretty simple. simply subtract the diameter of the bit from the outside diameter of the bushing. it’s important to realize that the base is probably not concentric with the bit. One option is to use the router baseplate to guide the bit. you can use a bushing that is fastened to the center opening of the baseplate. The precision that is built into a router bit and its guide bearing ensures much more accurate results than you’ll achieve with the other two methods.

Adjust the height of the flush-trim router bit so that the bearing contacts the template with the cutter set to engage the entire workpiece edge (D). jigsaw. you can use nails if the nail holes will not be visible on the inside of the completed piece. feeding it against the bit rotation.USinG A BeARinG internal cut Internal cuts involve laying out the opening. the workpiece is the side of a tall case clock hood. of material to be removed by a template-guided A router. As shown here. staying approximately 1⁄32 in. and then cutting away most of the interior using a scrollsaw. the workpiece will be fed clockwise around the bit (e). for this example. Remember that for an internal cut. or coping saw. To make the cut. As discussed previously. Begin by using the template to lay out the opening (A). inside the line (B). However. leave about 1⁄32 in. Next. push the stock along the bit. which is without a doubt the fastest method for smoothing away the saw marks. drilling a hole. B c D e 214 Routing with Templates . saw along the layout lines. Then attach the template to the workpiece (c). cloth woodturner’s tape could be used instead.

This will ensure smooth entry into the cut (D). Next. proud of the line (c). feed the workpiece against the rotation of the bit (e). you’ll need to use a simple jig to guide the template (f). 216. Begin by sketching the curve onto the template stock and sawing it to shape. Bandsaw the curve approximately 1⁄32 in.) A B c e D f Routing with Templates 215 . which has no bearing. you’re ready to add the molding profiles. The jig is simply a stick (Text continues on p. but it’s worth the extra effort for the detail it adds. use the template to trace the curve onto the stock (B). To smooth away the saw marks. When making the template. include an extra inch or so at each end so that the bit bearing will have contact with the template before and after the cut. In this example. The first molding cut here is made with a core box bit. once the curve is smooth. Therefore.USinG A BeARinG curve with Template Making curves in furniture is always a challenge. attach the template to the stock and then begin the cut with the bearing contacting the overhanging end of the template. I’ll show you how to make a curved piece with smooth edges and then how to rout a profile on the edge (A).

USinG A BeARinG with a rounded end that overhangs the bit (G). i J K L 216 Routing with Templates . The profile is small enough to take the cut in G H one pass (K). As you rout. follow up with a series of successively deeper cuts until the full depth of the profile is reached. After setting the bit height for a light cut. The next bit used for this molding is a roundover (J). begin by routing at the end (H). remember to feed the stock against the bit rotation (L). As always. feed the stock from right to left with the workpiece between you and the cutter (i).

tearout can occur on the drawer face. During the second cut. use a jig (A) that positions the toggle clamps in the back. the entry and exit portions of the cut are on end grain. away from the cut. The stock is small. Begin by bandsawing the stock just outside the layout line (B). presents unique problems. Secure the work in the jig (c). and the cut is somewhat heavy because of the stock thickness. B c D e Routing with Templates 217 . Blocks on the face of the jig counteract the clamp force and help prevent tearout as the bit exits the work. a drawer front from a desk. Make the first cut (D). A [ TiP ] Use a spiral bit. Also. As the bit exits the cut. and then raise the bit for the second cut (e). the bearing follows the surface created by the first cut instead of the template. To overcome the problem of the small stock size.USinG A BeARinG flush-Trimming Tight curves in Small Stock The small workpiece in this example. which is tough and doesn’t cut easily. it cuts much cleaner than an ordinary straight bit and with minimal tearout.

The rabbet shown here houses a A small pane of glass inside a clock hood window. When sizing the template. but that method does not work with an internal cut. which is clockwise inside the opening (D).USinG A BUSHinG internal Rabbet with Template When routing a rabbet on the router table. Now you’re ready for the cut. This internal rabbet is a perfect example of a case in which you’ll need to use a template and guide bushing. Attach the bushing to the router base and adjust the cutting depth of the bit (B). Position the bit in the opening and feed the router toward the perimeter until the bushing contacts the template (c). remember that it must allow for the offset between the bushing and the bit. you can usually guide the stock against the fence. Now push the router along the template against the bit rotation. B c D 218 Routing with Templates . The first step is to attach a rectangular template to the workpiece (A).

Next.) e Routing with Templates 219 . double-sided woodturner’s tape is the best approach (D). The technique has broad applications. mount the bushing in the base of the router (B).USinG A BUSHinG corner Shelf one of the most efficient methods for routing multiple workpieces is to use a template and a guide bushing. A B c D (Text continues on p. or routing shallow mortises in a stair stringer to accept the ends of the treads. 220. The unusual shape of a corner cabinet shelf makes it a great candidate for template routing using a bushing. which include routing identically shaped cabinet shelves. In order to minimize the strain on both the bit and the router. it’s best to first remove as much excess stock as possible. Make a template the same size as the shelf. trace around the workpiece using a spacer stick between the pencil and workpiece to account for the bushing offset (c). In this photo-essay I’ll show how to rout a corner cabinet shelf to size. In this case. because nails or screws would leave holes in the finished piece. fasten the template to the workpiece. and toggle clamps would obstruct the path of the router. saw away the excess stock. apply pressure with a clamp or a mallet to ensure good adhesion (e). minus the amount of bushing offset. because the technique can effectively produce multiple identical shelves. After selecting a straight bit and bushing (A). using the template as a guide. When using tape.

The bushing will duplicate the template exactly (G). Another option is to use the router table.USinG A BUSHinG To make the cut. position the fence adjacent to the bit and use a guard (i). for safety. if the top accepts a bushing (H). f G H i 220 Routing with Templates . so make sure that the template is precise and free of voids or irregularities. guide the router along the edge of the template in a counterclockwise direction (f).

Before shaping. which will provide extra stock to be removed by the router bit. set the bit height with an offcut from the top (D). it’s important always to feed in the opposite direction of the cutter rotation (e). The screw holes will later be hidden. When hand feeding a router. Because the entire edge is removed. However. If so. when the entire edge is shaped. move it counterclockwise around the top’s perimeter. After making the template. trace it onto the workpiece. but make certain that the screw doesn’t penetrate the full thickness of the top. When only part of the edge is shaped. To have complete control of routers and shapers. a template is needed for shaping this profile on a curved surface. the rub bearing on the bit must follow a curve to guide the bit and limit the cutting depth. Now saw the outline slightly proud of the line. clamp the work to the bench to keep it stationary while sawing. you may opt to use a portable jigsaw (B). Next.USinG A BUSHinG Scalloped Top on the Router Anytime you shape a curved surface with a router. attach the template to the underside of the top with screws (c). A c B D e Routing with Templates 221 . Now you’re ready to make the cut. the portion that remains can serve to guide the bearing. a template is needed to guide the cut (A). If the top is large and your bandsaw is limited in size.

Another­distinctive­furniture­treatment­ is­a­dished­tabletop.­Today.­This­dishing­and­the­ A resulting­raised-edge­molding­can­be­performed­on­the­outboard­end­of­a­lathe. After­you­true­the­perimeter­of­the­top­ with­a­straight­bit. 225) Routing a Dished Tabletop (p.­heavy-duty­lathe.­However. ➤ See“Routing a Dished Tabletop”onp. 223) Small Stock Fluted on the Router Table (p.­The­narrow­ grooves­used­on­the­surface­of­pilasters­and­ columns­trace­their­roots­back­to­the­times­ of­the­ancient­Romans­and­Greeks.­ Fluting­is­a­good­example.­ but­the­process­can­take­several­hours­and­ requires­a­large. 224) Fluted Quarter Columns (p.­ 222­ .228.­ you­can­use­your­router­along­with­a­specialized­shopmade­jig­to­rout­and­dish­a­tabletop­in­a­fraction­of­the­time. 228) ➤ ➤ number of­routing­operations­can­ add­tremendous­detail­to­your­work­ with­just­a­small­amount­of­effort.­the­interior­is­dished­and­ the­molding­profiles­shaped.S E C T I O N 10 Special Shaping Operations Fluting ➤ Dishing ➤ Large Pilaster Fluted with a Handheld Router (p.­ woodworkers­can­use­this­simple­detail­to­ add­an­architectural­element­to­any­number­ of­projects.­ranging­from­fine­furniture­to­ kitchen­cabinets.

you’ll need a guide accessory. clamp a stop block at each end to keep the flutes uniform in length. such as this pilaster for a corner cabinet. If you mill it oversize in length. cut two flutes with each new setting A B (E). Next. which attaches to the base of your router. After layout. C D E F Special Shaping Operations 223­ . Before you begin. Begin by routing the center flutes and work outward (D). After attaching the guide. position the router base against the stop block (F). Each time you start a new flute. adjust the cutting depth of the bit (B). as I did here (A).FluTINg large Pilaster Fluted with a Handheld Router Fluting lengthy stock. Or you can make a guide. you’ll have an area on which to lay out the flutes and check each router setting (C). can be awkward when the stock is passed across the short top of a router table. Afterward. it’s much easier to pass the router over the stock. In situations such as this. mill the stock for the pilasters.

torn surface. This small fluted plinth is narrow.FluTINg Small Stock Fluted on the Router Table A router table will dramatically increase the versatility of your router. For each side of the center flute. Here’s a good example. C D 224­ Special Shaping Operations . small- B diameter bits have a relatively slow rim speed even at higher rotations per minute (rpms). simply turn the stock end for end. Next. set the cutting depth of the bit and position the fence to cut the center flute. For each successive cut. Begin with layout. each fence setting will make two flutes. mark the position of the end of the flute (A). Then push the stock to the next stop (C). because it’s used to set up the router. Feed the stock slowly to avoid a fuzzy. Also. Finally. Position the workpiece against the infeed stop and lower it onto the spinning bit (B). set stops at each fence to control the length of the flutes and keep them consistent. You’ll want to be accurate A with the spacing. Now you’re ready for shaping. move the fence closer to the bit (D). which makes it difficult to keep the router steady if it’s handheld.

the columns are inset within the front corners of casework such as desks. Next. and clocks. which yields a quarter column that’s 7 1 in. If you mill it slightly oversize. To create quarter columns. The next step is to mill the stock for the columns. After aligning the ends. you must glue the four sections together to create a full column. Columns typically have a 13⁄4 in. you must glue four strips of wood together with heavy paper in the glue joints. Like full-round columns and pilasters. After milling. the number of flutes must divide equally into the number of divisions on the index head of your lathe. Otherwise the separate columns will not be exactly a quarter circle. After turning and fluting. align the joints with pressure from opposing clamps (B). Typically fluted. before you begin.FluTINg Fluted Quarter Columns Quarter columns. Column Case B Base ⁄ 8 in. For safety reasons. are one-quarter of a full circle. the column is easily split into four segments. However. allow the glue to dry overnight before turning. Starting with the ends. because the heavy paper in the joints allows the pieces to separate. chests. Begin by drawing a cross-section of the column full-scale (A). quarter columns provide a formal architectural look and additional detail. the four seams must align perfectly. as the name implies. across when viewed from the front of the case. Once complete. you’ll easily be able to turn the column to the required diameter. spacing is determined by the index head on your lathe. diameter. You can check the alignment by examining the joint at the end of the assembly (C). A C Special Shaping Operations 225­ . quarter columns require a base and capital to complete them visually. remember that joint alignment is critical. The size and spacing of the flutes must look proportional to the column. clamp the remainder of the work. draw the flutes in place. More specifically.

Afterward. Then mark the centers for mounting in the lathe. This is a great technique! The plane cleanly shears away the high spots to create a perfectly smooth. Then carefully turn it to the required diameter. F g H H 226­ Special Shaping Operations . As you lever the tool into the spinning stock with one hand.FluTINg The next step is to turn the square to a uniform cylinder. uniform surface (H). turn the blank round with a roughing gouge (E). First. gauge the diameter with spring calipers in the other hand (F). Begin by squaring the ends of the turning blank. Mark the exact location with the point of an awl (D). Once again. Support the plane on the tool rest and push it slowly down the length of the slowly spinning stock (g). Turning a straight. mount the blank securely in the lathe for turning. Afterward. uniform cylinder isn’t difficult if you follow a few easy steps. alignment is critical. You can accomplish this by cutting to the diameter at D E several locations with a parting tool. smooth the cylinder with a block plane. Then turn the remaining portion of the cylinder to diameter with the roughing gouge.

set the cutting depth of the bit and lock it in position. Lock the cylinder in place with the pin on the index head (K). Next. If the flute falls next to the glue joint.FluTINg The next step is to rout the flutes. then make a very short test cut on one end of the cylinder. I J K l M Special Shaping Operations 227­ . remember that the flutes must be spaced equally around each quarter column. The jig is actually a box that mounts to the bed of the lathe to support the router during the fluting process. Before you begin routing. attach a square base to your router to fit within the sides of the box (J). mount the box under the workpiece and. Finally. the first and last flute on each quarter column should be adjacent to a glue joint. If not. Once the setup is complete. But first you’ll need to build a jig (I). If you choose to stop the flutes. if necessary. fine. release the pressure slightly at the tailstock and rotate the column to bring the router bit into alignment. route the flutes (l). When fluting is complete. remove the column from the lathe and carefully split it into corners by placing a wide chisel at one end and tapping it gently (M). For this spacing to occur. successive flutes will be correctly positioned in relation to the glue joints. tack a wood block to the jig to act as a stop. it may be necessary to reposition the cylinder between the centers. Now tighten the handwheel at the tailstock and make a second test cut. Once the column is aligned for the first flute.

Before shaping the molding. Instead. The molding is small and refined. Next. but if you must use two boards. it is much easier to remove the hub after the process is complete. take care when matching the grain and color. The design is a classic one. After the glue has dried. mount the top in the jig (D). start the B C D router. Begin by milling the stock for the top. and rotate the top.DISHINg Use roundover bit for both sides of bead. and the effect is dramatic as it reflects light and casts shadows. Routing a Dished Tabletop Use spiral straight bit for dishing. Now draw the radius of the top (B). Always rotate the top clockwise against the bit rotation (F). A spiral straight bit cuts cleaner and with less chatter than an ordinary straight bit (E). 5/8 in. Never attempt to start the router when the bit is in contact with the stock. nique for producing it is relatively new. you’re ready to begin. Once the bit is mounted. clamp the router in position. E ! s WARNINg A dust collector is a must. F 228­ Special Shaping Operations . slide it along the rails until it touches the top. To use the technique you’ll first have to build a jig. A dished tabletop has a molded rim that sits slightly above the rest of the table surface (A). A Round lower edge with rasp. it’s necessary to true the edge of the top. If you sandwich a layer of heavy paper between the top and the hub. Use corebox bit for cove. Top [ TIP ] A one-board top looks best. which rotates on a hub. The router is suspended over the top. bandsaw the top perimeter and glue the hub to the center (C). but the router tech7/8 in. Otherwise this process produces a choking cloud of fine dust and chips.

Use care to avoid scarring the molding. which is shaped with a bullnose bit. clamp it in position. because there is no careful positioning of the router as there was with the molding. use a block of plywood from the jig (g). Now secure the top in the vise and rasp the edge (l). If you’re not able to find a bit without a bearing. This step also gives the top a thin. and rotate the top (H). Clamp the top to the bench and scrape the surface smooth (K). and then sandpaper. which sidesteps the process of clamping the router for each cut. The molding is shaped in three steps: outside edge of bead. one of you can hold the router while the other rotates the top. Shaping the molding is much the same as truing the perimeter: Start the router. inside edge of bead. switch back to the straight bit to dish the top (J). This process goes quickly. When you’re satisfied. smooth the edge with a file. the edge will need shaping along the underside to remove the square corner. If you have a helper. and cove. g H I J K l Special Shaping Operations 229­ . refined appearance. switch to the roundover bit to create the bead. With the router work completed. Work the surface from the fillet at the bead to the layout line. it’s easy to remove the bearing and grind away the bearing stud. To adjust the bit depth. A rasp works well for this process. Once the molding is complete. After you smooth the top. but first draw a line with a compass for use as a guide. begin from the outside edge and work inward (I).DISHINg Next. you’re ready for the handwork. To ensure that the molding isn’t squeezed. a scraper.

­34 Complex­profiles.­28.­46 straight.­63–64.­45.­27–28 rabbet.­104 Arched­doors.­102 Arcs.­56–57 router­table.­33–44 V-groove.­44 changing.­219–20 Cornice.­38 pilots­for.­23–24 Beading­bits.­architectural.­42–43 Carter.­134 Bits.­211 starting­pins­for.­35.­183 sets­of.­113 flush-trimming.­41.­107–108 Crown­molding.­18–20.­182.­105 Curves beveled­edges.­104 Changing­bits.­85 freehand.­56 230­ .­126 Built-up­molding.­35.­45.­28–29 shear­flush-trim.­103.­213 interior.­48 Clamps.­62.­109 Chamfer­bits.­129..­222.L.­201 pattern.­134 See also­Guide­bearings.­22–24 guiding­cuts­with.­150–52 guide­bearings­for.­133–34.­30.­218 Cutting­depth.­42–43 carving.­35–36 wing­cutter.­84 Cock­beads.­89 common.­ 213 guide­bushings­for.­81.­48.­38–39 specialty.­31–32 Columns.­119–20 Bullnose­profile.­40–41.­125.­36.­113 box­joint.­106.­192–93 reversible.­213.­37.­101–103.­33.­128.­28 skewed­straight.­85 feed­rate.­See­Guide­bearings Bench­dogs.­36–37.­44–45.­95.­33 joinery.­62.­28 types­of.­29 beading.­123.­42–43 spiral.­183 for­sash­doors.­105.­108 Baseplates clear.­89.­136.­197–98 Arched­molding.­28.­41 chamfer.­88.­122 templates­for.­fluted.­9 Carving­bits.­66 high-speed­steel.­44–45.­19 Climb-cutting.­78–100 entering­the­work.­17 Akeda­jig.­103 glue­joint.­65.­18–20.­183–85 raised-panel.­163 gooving.­80–81 raised­curved­panels.­84 feed­direction.­19 Adapter­sleeves.­161–62 Anti-kickback­bits.­138 Complex­profile­bits.­41–42.­R.­217 stacking.­28.­36 slot-cutting.­101–103.­176–77 Brads.­225–27 Combination­dovetail­joints.­176–77 carbide-tipped.­36 crown­molding­set.­36 Corner­shelves.­182–83 replaceable­carbide­inserts­for.­123.­8–10.­58–59 complex­profile.­135.­181–93 Cope­bits.­18.­82–83.­113 Bird’s-mouth­joints.­41 single-flute.­133–36 keyhole.­212 Clear­baseplates.­71 Beveled­bits.­13.­45–46.­108 beveled.­42–43 sash.­39.­124 sign-making.­30–31.­96.­108.­19 custom.­88.­181–93 adjustable.­79.­50–51 storage­of.­36 Cope-and-stick­bits.­5.­215–16 Custom­baseplates.­12 B Backboard­bead.­37.­173–77 Box­joint­bits.­36.­53–54.­33.­30–31.­27–51 anti-kickback.­22–24 Cuts baseplate-guided.­30–31.­164.­142–43 Carbide-tipped­bits.­33.­190–91 Corebox­bits.­148 rail-and-stile.Index A Acrylic­baseplates.­134 edge-forming.­181–82 Coped­mortise-and-tenon­joints.­84.­121–22 Architectural­cornice.­213 insert­rings­for.­110 Bearings.­126.­29 Applied­molding.­217 guide­bearings­for.­46.­84 straight-sided.­83–85.­83 maintenance­of.­105 dovetail.­210–11.­84.­172 Biscuit­joints.­186–87 safety­for.­34 cope-and-stick.­44.­180–93 corebox.­34.­108 Collets.­194–98 Cope-and-stick­joinery.­31–32 sharpening.­113 Beveled­curved­edges.­45.­56–57 square.­188–89 for­arched­doors.­44.­124.­81.­28–30 C Cabinet­panel­grooves.­139.­136.­80.­33.­29–30.­123.­35–36 guards­for.­90.­47 shear-angle­of.­102 Cove­profile.­80–81.­116–17 Crown­molding­bit­set.­210–11 Astragal­profile.­46–47 panel-raising.­79 Benchtop­router­tables.­34.­201 S-.­34.­133 triple-flute.­15–17.­31.­44 Chamfer­profile.­40.­41–42 shank­of.­33 quality­of.­116–18 Compression­spiral­bits.­178 large.­39–40.­Guide­bushings Box­(finger)­joints.­34–35 flush-trim.­28.­124–25 flutes­of.­192–93.­108 Beads.­41 Cast-iron­router­table­top.­41–42.

­222–27 Frame-and-panel­doors.­199–201 sash.­8–10.­25 Edge­shaping.­83 High-speed­steel­bits.­123.­94 End-grain.­180–204 drawer.­Stileand-rail­bits Doors.­179 Dust-collection­systems.­158.­134.­181 Flush-trim­bits.­139.­202 rail-and-stile.­144 wing­cutter­bits­for.­83 for­tabletop­edges.­6–11.­83–84.­101–103 maintenance­of.­139 Depth­adjustments.­122 beads­for.­163 Gooseneck­molding.­81 handheld­routing­for.­138.­127 Fasteners.­88–90 for­joinery.­228 Electronic­variable­speed­(EVS)­motors.­86–87 shopmade.­56–57 Interior­cuts flush-trimming.­106–107.­80–81.­217 face­frames.­40 jigs­for.­134 Guards.­42 flat-panel.­158–62 for­joinery.­205–7 Index 231­ .­83.­70 Finger­joints.­222.­134 Dovetail­joints.­159–60 Down-cut­spiral­bits.­85 Eye­protection.­213 H Half-blind­dovetail­joints freehand.­106 safety­for.­36.­85 Fence jointing.­202 router­table­for.­213 cutting­with.­64.­128–29.­106 lipped­edge.­139.­84 for­molding.­82–83.­36–37.­212 Featherboards.­136–39 for­moldings­and­edges.­29 templates­for.­80–84 for­fluted­pilasters.­81–82 plunge­cut­with.­93.­65.­81 E Eased­profile.­83–84.­182–83.­217 Flutes.­13 Flat-panel­doors.­123.­ 161–62 hand-cut.­123.­194–98 Double-sided­woodturner’s­tape.­123–29 curves.­ 194–98 raised-panel.­142–43 square-sided.­104 Edge-forming­bits.­213 top.­109–13 J Jigs dovetail.­225–27 pilasters.­192–93.­12 Depth­stop.­85 Feed­rate.­153–55.­134.­128.­102.­205–7 templates­for.­63–64.­46.­104 lipped.­28–30 Fluting.­133–36 cope-and-stick.­37.­150–62 combination.­138.­33 changing.­138 freehand­routing.­126.­136–38.­181.­129 guide­bushings­for.­12 Dished­tabletops.­80–82.­156–57.­63.­36 Drawers edge­shaping­for.­20.­158–62 sliding.­218 G Glue­joint.­66 Feed­direction.­150–52 half-blind.­124–25 Flush-trimming.­136–38.­34–35 Edge­guides for­handheld­routing.­67–70.­139.­20 Insert­rings.­83–84.­14 Insert­plates.­125–26.­139 shopmade.­68 “L”.­173–77 Fixed-base­routers.­228–29 Door­bits.­138.­47 on­pattern­bits.­35–36 Grain cutting­with.­153–55 for­small­stock.­template.­107 Grooves.­ 212 Dovetail­bits.­140–46 panel.­33 I Induction­motors.­88 handheld­routing­for.­138–39.­140–1141 straight­bits­for.D Dadoes.­42.­30.­213 Guide­bushings for­baseplates.­30–31 High-speed­steel­(HSS)­bits.­49 cutting­with.­60.­18.­135.­136–39 mortising.­62 for­templates.­102 sliding­dovetail.­39–40.­150–52 Furniture­profiles.­125–26 Hearing­protection.­40.­222.­180–93 Freehand­routing.­150–52 guided­cuts.­180–93 lipped­edge.­69 router­table.­126.­102 Hardboard­templates.­110 curves.­66 Guide­bearings.­139 through.­181–93 door.­90 for­edge­shaping.­36–37 two-pass.­127 spiral­bits­for.­180–204 arched.­218 templates­for.­bit.­99 t-square-type.­80 rabbet.­222–27 columns.­102.­ 14 Ellipses.­197–98 divided­light.­113 entire­edge.­213.­88 offset­for.­65.­165–66 Joinery.­38 stopped.­181 frame-and-panel.­narrow.­83–85.­205–7 Drop-leaf­tables.­183–85.­83 F Face­frames.­101–13 arched­molding.­139 for­tenons.­flush-trimming.­161–62 Handheld­routing.­38 for­router­tables.­126.­65.­60–61.­211 Gooving­bits.­31.­153–55.­211 End­cuts.­134 jigs­for.­88 for­internal­cuts.­123.­211 guide­bearings­for.­223 freehand.­131–79 bits­for.­109–13 zero-clearance.­See­Cope-and-stick­bits.­183.­190–91.­83–85.­158.

­142–43 Panel-Loc­barrier­guard.­103 roundover.­164–67.­172 biscuit.­114–15 grain­for.­119–20 M Maintenance of­bits.­218 Rail-and-stile­bits.­55 templates.­145–46 See also­Dovetail­joints K Katie­jig.­106.­router­tables.­11–12 Jointing­fence.­17 of­routers.­65.­168–71 lock.­138.­110 benchtop.­182.­See­Profiles Mortise-and-tenon­joints.­46–47 of­collets.­29–30 Phenolic­router­table­top.­104 combining.­148 Rabbet­joints.­106.­105.­102.­118 router­table­top.­139 glue.­107–108 eased.­121–22 base­for.­66 Q Quarter­columns.­104 on­furniture.­101–103.­136.­134 box­(finger).­125 Plunge­routers.­32 Laminates.­57–59 Lighting.­26 Matched­bit­sets.­63 Ovolo­profile.­ 194–98 Raised-panel­bits.­203–4 plunge­router­for.­118 Omnijig.­212 Narrow­end­cuts.­222–27 Pilots.­100 Miter­joints.­183–85 Rail-and-stile­doors.­107 handheld­routing­for.­139.­158 Overarm­guide.­103.­ 186–87 Roundover­profile.­ 190–91 Mortises freehand.­182.­5.­20–21.­164–67.­135–36.­19 Porter­Cable­Omnijig.­119–20 complex.­14–15 Mullions.­83 lock.­17–25 Router­bits.­79 Profiles.­See­Bits Router­tables.­56 Pilasters.­39.­188–89 R Rabbet­bits.­201 Panels flat.jigs­for.­7.­6.­182–83.­45.­125 Lap­joints.­118 quirkbead.­182–83 Raised­panels.­69 Laminate­trimmers.­86–87 vs.­139 Motors.­181.­163 lap.­202 Lipped­drawers.­103.­108 beads.­170–71 Molding.­183–85.­11–12 edge­guide­for.­62.­203–4 O Ogee­profile.­168–69 Lock­mortise.­safety­for.­181.­13 for­mortises.­190–91.­182 router­table­top.­55–56 Micrometer­dials.­199–201 Particleboard­router­table­top.­118 ovolo.­125.­135–36.­6.­110 bullnose.­65.­159–60 Keyhole­bits.­53–54.­158 Power­feeder.­83 Lifts.­84 Plywood baseplates.­103.­106 router­tables­for.­101–108.­118 Reversible­cope-and-stick­bits.­103.­114–22 applied.­103.­103–106 astragal.­202 Push­blocks.­96.­94.­33 Plastic­baseplates.­179 tongue-and-groove.­135.­56–57 for­bead­edges.­64 built-up.­42–43 Reverse­ogee­profile.­7.­41.­79 Lipped­doors.­168–71 mortise-and-tenon.­182–83.­63–64 Panel-raising­bits.­124.­109 chamfer.­80 ogee.­102–103.­173–77 dado.­plastic.­103.­212 Polycarbonate­baseplates.­124.­52–75 accessories­for.­19 Plastic­laminates.­135–36.­199–201 Replaceable­carbide­inserts.­44.­12–13.­19 panel­grooves­for.­101–103 handheld­routing­for.­135.­fluted.­103–104 thumbnail.­142–43 panels.­103 bead.­21.­139.­101–103.­33.­102 Lock­collar.­40–41.­102.­ 190–91 rabbet.­139.­168–69 splined.­147–49.­225–27 Quirkbead­profile.­71 building.­116–18 cove.­138.­149 miter.­fixed-base­routers.­84 up-cut­spiral­bit­for.­182.­68 Joints bird’s-mouth.­133–34.­45–46.­164 Mortising­jigs.­36–37.­55–56 Pattern­bits.­218 rule.­54 for­built-up­molding.­41–42 MDF panels.­33.­63 baseplates.­121–22 232­ Index .­102–103 Power­supply.­102 Router­accessories.­fluted.­138.­147–49.­136–39 plunge­routers­for.­104 arched.­194 N Nails.­178 Kickback.­61.­102 simple.­116–18 crown.­181 plywood­or­MDF.­116–17 face­of­a­board.­94 L “L”­fence.­63–65 for­arched­molding.­38 Pattern­trimming.­106–107 S-curves.­38 Lock­miter­joints.­104–105 complex.­211 Molding­profiles.­188–89 raised.­103 P Panel­grooves.­9–10 Miter­gauge.­149 Large­bits.

­14 Vertical­panel-raising­bits.­116–17 Spiral­bits.­42–43 Spice­cabinet.­79 Rule­joints.­36.­42.­106–107 for­panels.­26 plunge.­61.­212 Scribed­beads.­183 for­curved­cuts.­16 Shanks.­167 Through­dovetail­joints.­82–83 for­interior­cuts.­168–71 for­molding.­134 Workbench.­228–29 edge­shaping­for.­63–64.­30.­36.­108.­60–61.­65.­164 V V-groove­bits.­170–71 Splintering.­210–21 for­corner­shelves.­109 changing­bits­on.­54 for­tenons.­9 maintenance­of.­194–98 Scalloped­tabletops.­126.­41.­164 Splined­miter­joints.­83 for­large­bits.­70 T T-square-type­jigs.­103–104 Single-flute­bits.­209.­224 jigs­for.­for­cove­profile.­212 Tongue-and-groove­joints.­97–99 stationary.­96 for­crown­molding.­183 Sash­doors.­rubber.­85 Square­baseplates.­66 securing.­53 stop­cuts­on.­65–66 sled­for.­136–39 large­bits­in.­212 for­flush-trimming.­45 Specialty­bits.­54 Tabletops beads­for.­47 Shear-angle­bits.­114–15 fence­for.­13 soft­start.­221 Screws.­router.­159–60 Thumbnail­profile.­36.­65.­21.­9 Starting­pins.­58–59 for­cove­cuts.­133 Straight-sided­baseplates.­102.­100 safety­for.­212 Templates.­105.­199–201 power­feeder­for.­183.­30.­97–98 Tenons.­6.­139 Tables.­125–26.­102–103.­139 fastening.­13 history­of.­217 up-cut.­28 Skewed­straight­bits.­78–79 Z Zero-clearance­fence.­138.­215–16 dovetail.­38 Stacking­bits.­54–56.­205–7 dust-collection­systems­for.­79 templates­for.­179 S S-curves.­135.­37 compression.­106–107.­140–1141 Straight­bits.­75 small­stock­on.­45–46.­36 flush-trim.­145–46 Triple-flute­bits.­124 Shelves.­6–11.­35–36 Variable­speed­motors.­213 guide­bushings­for.­23–24 Tables.­221 Tape.­45–46.­100 for­miter­joints.­140–46 guards.­125 for­flush-trimming.­See­Router­tables Tablesaw.­103 for­rabbets.­108 dished.­213.­122 Stationary­router­tables.­202 Toggle­clamps.­205–7 Slot-cutting­bits.­20 for­joinery.­126.­36–37 for­flush-trimming.­165–66.­29–30.­135.­179 Index 233­ .­62.­avoiding.­212 for­scalloped­tabletops.­93.­116–17 for­door­frame­joinery.­5.­156–57.­53 Sticking­bits.­corner.­7.­144 U Universal­motors.­6–13 See also­Handheld­routing Routing­pad.­217 fluted.­108 Self-releasing­collets.­124 for­joinery.­91–92 Stopped­grooves.­184–98 for­drawer­joinery.­71 tablesaw­wing.­104 scalloped.­221 for­small­stock.­95.­97–98 Soft­start­routers.­222.­28 Two-pass­grooves.­28–29 Shear­flush-trim­bits.­67–70.­66 Sash­bits.­38–39 Small­stock flush-trimming­curves.­14 Up-cut­spiral­bits.­50–51 Stanley­Tools.­30.­210–11.­219–20 for­curves.­11–12.­62 insert­plates­for.­41 Simple­profiles.­75 Sliding­dovetail­joints.­84 Square-sided­grooves.­211 Safety for­cope-and-stick­bits.­double-sided.­ 111–12 for­face­molding.­30.­36 Sled.­109–13 for­fluting.­219–20 Sign-making­bits.­122 for­handheld­routing.­72–74 Routers.­102.­91–92 Stopped­cuts.­57–59 miter­gauge­for.­41.­183–85 Stop­blocks.­60 for­edge­shaping.­65 lifts­for.­32 Sharpening­bits.­123.­65–66 for­small­stock.­14.­64.for­bullnose­profile.­36 down-cut.­drop-leaf.­181–82 Stile-and-rail­bits.­83 for­router­tables.­ 217 guide­bearings­for.­14.­91–92 support­stand­for.­167 top­of.­147–49 safety­for.­41.­224–27 for­grooves.­6–13 fixed-base.­28.­13.­45 types­of.­201 W Wing­cutter­bits.­218 materials­for.­128–29.­99 miter­gauge­for.­125–26.­94.­66 guide­bearings­for.­126.­108 Tablesaw­wing­router­tables.­bit.

00­Canada Taunton’s complete Illustrated Guild to choosing and Installing Hardware Robert­J.95­Canada ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jigs Other Books in the Series: Sandor Nagyszalanczy of Bonny Doon. $52.S.95­U.95­Canada Taunton’s complete Illustrated Guide to Sharpening Thomas­Lie-Nielsen ISBN­978-1-56158-657-8 Product­#070737­ $39.S. The Taunton Press also publishes Fine Woodworking magazine. this book makes it easy to find exactly the information you are looking for. Setting Up Shop.95­Canada PaPerBack Taunton’s complete Illustrated Guild to Period Furniture details Lonnie­Bird ISBN­978-1-56158-590-8 Product­#070708 $27.95­U. A custom furniture builder for over twenty-five years. $52. California.95­U.S. Power Tools.95­U. $36. $52.95­U. The Ingenious.95­U. and devices to improve workshop safety. Visit our website at www.com US $39. he has also been a senior editor of Fine Woodworking magazine.95 / $54. $52. Organized for quick access.95­U.95­Canada Taunton’s complete Illustrated Guide to Turning Richard­Raffan ISBN­978-1-56158-672-1 Product­#070757 $39.00­U.95­U. $52. He is a four-time winner of the Golden Hammer award for excellence in home and workshop writing. Nagyszalanczy has authored and photographed nine books also published by The Taunton Art of Fine Tools. is a professional furniture designer. freelance writer. Over 850 photos and drawings illustrate how to build jigs for machines.S. from fences to stops and indexes. $52.95 CANADA ISBN 1-56158-770-2 53995 Taunton 0 94115 58770 9 9 781561 587704 02 DVRhdW50b24gUHJlc3MMVGF1bnRvbiBV 01 c2VyAEMfH6w= FnL1 02 0044 02 c2VyAEKpugc= 01 DVRhdW50b24gUHJlc3MMVGF1bnRvbiBV FnL1 02 0044 Taunton Product #070832 S The complete Illustrated Guide to Shaping Wood Lonnie­Bird ISBN­978-1-56158-400-0 Product­#070533 $39.95­Canada Taunton’s complete Illustrated Guide to Jigs & Fixtures Sandor­Nagyszalanczy ISBN­978-1-56158-770-4 Product­#070832 $39. $39. portable power tools. and tool con- ® ® ® ® ® sultant.95 U. as well as jigs for marking and layout.S.95­Canada CRAFTS & HOBBIES Taunton’s COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED Guide to THIS STEP-BY-STEP PICTORIAL REFERENCE covers the wide range of woodshop jigs and fixtures you can build.95­Canada Taunton’s COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED Guide to & Fixtures The complete Illustrated Guide to Furniture and cabinet construction Andy­Rae p P ISBN­978-1-156158-402-4 Product­#070534 $39. $54.95 CAN ISBN 1-56158-770-2 $39. photographer.taunton.S.S. Jigs&Fixtures SANDOR NAGYSZALANCZY Fences and Guides Sliding Jigs Portable Powertool Jigs Guards and Hold Downs Stops and Indexes Taunton’s complete Illustrated Guide to Working with Wood Andy­Rae ISBN­978-1-56158-683-7 Product­#070765 $39. and Tools Rare and N AG Y S Z A L A N C Z Y Press.­Settich ISBN­978-1-56158-561-8 Product­#070647 $29. $52. the single best source of woodworking ideas and information anywhere. $32.Other Books in the Series: HardcOver The complete Illustrated Guide to Joinery Gary­Rogowski Get accurate. consistent results by building ISBN­978-1-56158-401-7 your own custom Jigs & Fixtures Product­#070535 $39.S.95­U.95­Canada Taunton’s complete Illustrated Guide to Finishing Jeff­Jewitt ISBN­978-1-56158-592-2 Product­#070712 $39.95­Canada Taunton’s complete Illustrated Guild to Box Making Doug­Stowe ISBN­978-1-56158-593-9 Product­#070721 $24.S. including Woodshop Dust Control.S.95­Canada Taunton’s complete Illustrated Guide to Using Woodworking Tools Lonnie­Bird ISBN­978-156158-597-7 Product­#070729 $39.S.95­U.95­U.95­Canada . and hand tools. $52. $52.S.S.

doors. A contributor to Fine Woodworking. CT 06470-5507 www. Table of Contents: w Choosing Routers w All About Bits w Router Tables w Common Cuts w Edging and Molding w Flush-Trimming w Router Joinery w Doors and Drawers w Template Routing w Special Operations Lonnie Bird is a professional woodworker Look for other Taunton Press books wherever books are sold or visit our website at www. Outfitted with the right bits and accessories. P. He also designs router bits and router accessories for the nation’s top manufacturers. raise panels. a router can also cut grooves. drawers. Taunton’s Complete Illustrated Guide to Shaping Wood. flush-trim.taunton.com The Taunton Press also publishes Fine Woodworking magazine.taunton.O. the single best source of woodworking ideas and information anywhere. The Bandsaw Book. Routers excel at shaping decorative profiles. and cut nearly every joint used to build cabinets. Bird is also the author of The Shaper Book. Box 5507 Newtown. and Taunton’s Complete Illustrated Guide to Using Woodworking Tools. Pl Taunton Product #077988 . but they can do so much more.C R A F TS & H OBB iES Get the most from your ROUTER The router is the most versatile tool you can own. and furniture.com The Taunton Press 63 South Main Street. and woodworking teacher operating his own school in Dandridge. Tennessee.

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