A router can create detailed edges, adding a professional look to your projects.
Always follow your router and router bit manufacturers' instructions for proper use, maintenance and safety procedures. Here are some general steps for using a fixed-base router.
Install a bit. Choose a bit for your project. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, loosen the collet using the included wrenches, insert the bit, and then tighten the collet.
Secure the work piece. Position the project part on a flat work surface, and clamp firmly in place.
Place a scrap board of the same thickness flush with the edge to be routed, and clamp in place. This board helps support the router and gives you better control.
With the router off and unplugged from the power source, make adjustments. Determine the depth of the cut needed, and adjust the router base to this height. Position the router on the work piece, and visually inspect where the bit will come in contact with the board. Be sure to make a few test cuts on scrap lumber before working on your final project.
Place the router on the work piece, making sure the base is flat and the bit is at least 1 inch away from the edge. Wearing the appropriate safety gear as specified above, start the router and move it toward the scrap board first. Once the bit contacts the work piece, move the router from left to right to complete the cut.
Forcing the router can bind or slow the bit, and going too slowly can create burn marks. Keep a firm grip on the router and the base flat against the work piece.
When using a router, wear eye and hearing protection, a dust mask and any other safety gear specified by the tool manufacturer. Disconnect the router from the power source before making any adjustments, installing accessories and bits, or storing the tool.