Mastering the Router Table

Mastering the Router Table

20 Practical Jigs,
Fixtures and Tips

By Brad Holden

Download this Mastering the Router Table Technique with complete plans and step-by-step instructions from AWBookstore.com.

Here are 20 practical jigs, fixtures and tips to help you get the most out of what is simply the most useful piece of woodworking equipment introduced in the last 25 years. Edge jointing, flush cutting, mortising, micro-adjusting, fluting, template routing, dust collecting—you name it. There's even a section showing 10 must-have features for your dream router table.

#8: Push Block

Use a push block to rout narrow
parts, such as door rails. A push
block steadies the part and prevents
blow-out on the back of
the cut.

Make the block about 1-
1/2" thick and trim it perfectly
square. Screw a handle of any
type to it. After each use, trim off
the routed portion of the block
in order to present a fresh surface
for the next job. Reposition
the handle as needed.

Click any image to view a larger version.

#15: Low-Tech Shims

This method may look crude, but it’s really very
precise. The basic idea is to use shims to position
the fence.

Here’s how it works: Place a number of shims
behind the fence and clamp a block to the table,
tight against the shims. Loosen the fence’s clamp
nearest the block and add or subtract shims to reposition
the fence.

Using playing cards as shims, you can move a
24" long fence in increments of approximately 0.01",
measured at the bit–half the thickness of a card. Using
standard copier paper, you can adjust the fence by as
little as 0.003", give or take a few thousandths.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker February/March 2010, issue #146.

February/March 2010, issue #146

Purchase this back issue.

Download this Mastering the Router Table Technique with complete plans and step-by-step instructions from AWBookstore.com.