The Wood Whisperer: Get the Most From Your Router


These tips and tricks will take you a long way toward success.
By Marc Spagnuola
Pages: 26-27

From the December 2009 issue #180
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The router is, simply put, a multi-tasking workhorse in the woodshop. But you would be surprised by how many folks don’t get the most out of their router experience. After all, this hand-held powerhouse has the potential to create, and an equal and opposing power to destroy. While the concept seems simple – a metal bit spins in circles as you drag the unit along a piece of wood – it can be harder than one might think to achieve perfect and consistent results.

I vividly remember my first experience with a router. The shellac on my woodworking wings was still wet and I decided it was time to get serious about edge profiles and joinery. I dropped some hard-earned cash on the same router I saw David Marks use in his DIY Network show, “Woodworks” – the Dewalt DW621.

I had visions in my head of graceful roundovers, crisp chamfers and perfectly cut mortises. Unfortunately, the reality was a little less magnificent. Between the tear-out, the burn marks and the occasional piece of airborne wood, I was feeling discouraged.

Taking a step backward I decided to hit the books and reinforce the fundamentals of good routing. Armed with that knowledge, I returned to the shop and began to achievethe results I had originally hoped for. Sincethen, the router has become one of the most useful and versatile tools in my arsenal.

Over the years I’ve learned numerous tips, tricks and insights that I wish I was aware of when I first fired up that router. Here are some of my favorites.

Online Extras

* Click here to watch the Wood Whisperer video on Flush Trim bits.


From the December 2009 issue #180
Buy this issue now