By Rob Brown
Photos by Rob Brown
1. Become familiar with all the things your router can do
Routers do much more than just edge profiling. Mortising, levelling, joinery, decoration and pattern making are just a few examples of the wonders awaiting you.
2. Get a router bit set
Without the right bit a router is pretty much useless. Buying bits one at a time is great if you only have the need for a few bits, but if you’re looking to expand what can be done with your router, start with a large set of router bits. Sure, many may never be used, but the cost savings are still substantial. And some bits you don’t know how to use now may be in regular rotation down the road.
3. Honing stone to sharpen bits
There are times when a bit needs to be properly and completely sharpened by a professional. There are, however, times when a few minutes spent with a small slip stone will add a bit of sharpness to a router’s cutting edges. Only hone the flat portion of the carbide or steel.
4. Ear protection
Everyone knows to wear eye protection while routing, but some don’t realize how important hearing protection is. Not only does it protect your hearing when the loud screeching is reduced, you’ll be able to better focus on the operation you’re undertaking, increasing safety and quality of cut.
5. Learn about different jigs
These may be the single quickest ways to expand the accuracy and functionality of what you can do with your router. Whether shop-made or purchased, jigs will turn your basic one-dimensional router into an ultra-functional workhorse that will do things you never thought possible.