Handheld routers are extremely versatile tools for woodworkers but notorious for generating drifts of chips and clouds of blurring, choking dust, and there’s been no reliable way around it, until now.
By Mark Salusbury
Handheld routers are extremely versatile tools for woodworkers but notorious for generating drifts of chips and clouds of blurring, choking dust, and there’s been no reliable way around it, until now. I’ve been routing for several months now with my plunge and fixed-base routers fitted with the Oneida Universal Dust-Free Router Hood and never worked so cleanly. The kit fits a host of router brands and models (their base template is very helpful). Molded of optically clear polycarbonate, the kit comprises a base-plate, a top-fitting “dome” with detachable hose port plus both tall and short interchangeable chip covers that snap on below the base as required.
For edge routing, one of the two chip covers surrounds the cut below the base, while the dome and dust port above effectively trap and draw away virtually all debris. When internal routing, the chip cover easily snaps off, while the dome above allows for adjustments and cuts to be made unobstructed and cleanly, yielding more accurate, safer freehand and pattern shaping. Even when doing deep internal routing with exposed edges, I’ve experienced clear sightlines, clean air and a mere veneer of dust on the shop floor, rather than the thick drifts of the past, and none on the workpiece. I’ll never again use a handheld router without it. Information about the dust-free router hood, base template and dust extraction hose whip can be found at Oneida-Air.com