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Routing Hints and Tips

Routing Hints and Tips
  A selection of useful tips and suggestions when routing.
     
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Feed Direction

Feed Direction
  Newcomers to routing don´t realise that there is a right and a wrong way to feed the router. With certain exceptions the golden rule is that the feed direction should always be against the direction of rotation of the cutter. This ensures that the cutter is pulled into the work and whatever is guiding it is then pressed against the edge of the work. This way, the cutter will not wander off line and you will have no problem controlling it.
Feed Direction
 
     

Feed Speed

Feed Speed
  The direction of feed is usually indicated on the fence or table of ready-made tables. Mark your own table with an arrow to avoid mistakes. At best, material might get flung back at you, at worst you are risking serious injury.
     

Freehand

Freehand
  Freehand routing is best achieved using a lead-on pin. Some tables have this as a standard feature.
     

Small is Beautiful

Small is Beautiful
  A powerful and heavy duty router may boast an impressive specification, but when you try and guide it along a delicate piece of edge moulding, then the sheer size and weight makes it very cumbersome to handle. The larger routers are normally reserved for heavier applications, such as cutting worktops, deep channelling and stair trenching, and for situations that require it to be mounted under a router table.
The smaller light and medium duty models are better suited for hand-held use, and will probably do the job just as well, but with much easier handling characteristics allowing better visibility and control of the cutter.

     

Why Cutter Shank Diameter matters

Why Cutter Shank Diameter matters
  The diameter of the cutter shank determines how strong it will be. A large diameter cutter mounted on a thin shank will be weaker and more susceptible to higher flexing and bending stresses.
     
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