You would be hard-pressed to find a tool that’s more versatile than a router. And it’s that versatility that requires us to understand exactly how the router (and bits) work in order to keep things safe. The setup and accessories can change so often that you can quickly find yourself doing something unfamiliar and potentially dangerous. So here is a short list of things not to do with routers:
- Don’t Go the Wrong Way – It’s important to understand the direction the router should travel with respect to the work.
- Don’t Disregard Speed – Make sure you run the router at the speed that’s appropriate for the bit and learn to control the speed of your hands as you move across the work.
- Don’t Forget Your Support Pin – Router table lifts usually come with a support pin that can go a long way in supporting workpieces on bearing-guided operations.
- Don’t Bottom Out Your Bits – Don’t push your bits all the way to the bottom of the collect.
- Don’t Over-tighten Your Collet – Most good quality collect should not need to be muscled into submission just to grip a bit.
- Don’t Take Too Deep of a Cut – Taking off too much material at once will cause excessive chatter and put a lot of stress on the bit.
- Don’t Route Narrow Edges – Routers are big and top-heavy, so don’t try to use them on narrow edges without additional support.
- Don’t Ignore the Sounds – Being able to hear the sounds your router makes during a cut can tell you a lot about what’s happening.