If you are a DIYer enthusiast or a proficient woodworker looking forward to perform some advanced woodworking tasks with ease, then you probably know the importance of a router table. With a router table, you will make your job easier as well as your working space clean. Read more about it in this article.
So, what is a router table?
A router table is a stationary machine used in woodworking featuring a router fixed upside down with the cutter facing up. On the other hand, a router is a device that is hand-held and it is used to make engravings, cuts, and carvings on pieces of materials especially wood.
Do you really need a router table?
While the router itself can make your woodworking tasks easy, the router table makes it easier. On small pieces of wood, you will not have trouble using a router. However, don’t expect it to work conveniently on enormous pieces of wood, here expect some trouble.
What are some of the benefits of utilizing a router table for your most woodworking tasks? Below are some of the advantages of making use of a router table when working with wood.
To build raised panel doors
A router table is needed especially when working on projects involving large bits with several passes. After passes are made, the separately routed pieces need to be put together with a lot of precision. When you have a router table making accurate passes using the fence and the top of the blade is simple. It will even be more convenient to adjust heights to suit your purpose if the table router came with a lift.
Working with small or not too wide pieces
A router won’t help you when working with narrow or small pieces of wood. By doing this, you risk altering your design or risk getting injured because the router table isn’t available. Your options are limited and for you to be safer and comfortable when working on small pieces get a router table.
Making a dovetail
Without the dovetail part of a router table, making a dovetail is almost impossible. Even though there numerous ways of cutting a dovetail, the job will be almost impossible minus a router table.
Making varieties of jigs
The standard feature on all router tables is the T track. The T track makes it easier to create a variety of jigs as a pair with your table. When you have a router table, there are numerous ways to create jigs from simple crosscuts to more complicated ones.
Less mess to clean up
The common problem with using a router is the messy dust flying in all directions. This will give you hard times to clean up. The goodness with router tables is that they have dust collectors that tide up the mess the moment you make them.
At this point, I hope you now understand why you need a router table for your woodworking projects. But, how do you make sure you get a good router table, and what are some of the features to keep at the back of your mind before you purchase one.
Consider the following before you make your final decision: the guards, miter fence slot, the dust extraction port, insert plate, and the No-volt release switch.
Frequently asked questions
What is a good size for a router table?
2' x 2' can support around 6 to 7 feet unless they are light and narrow in section. If that is the case, you can think of getting 8+ feet on the table.
Will any router fit any router table?
Remember to check whether the router you have is compatible with the router table you intend to buy. In some cases, the universal inserts are not truly universal. There are plenty of router tables on the market, so make sure the router table you buy is compatible with the router you have.
Can a plunge router be used in a table?
It is okay to use a plunge router in a router table, however, some work better than others. Depending on the type of mechanism your setup utilizes for the router lift, safety practices may vary. However, using a plunge router in a router table is safe as utilizing a fixed-base router.
Can I use a router bit on a drill?
Because it can be utilized on a number of materials, and projects, it is possible to use a straight router bit for drilling. Apart from being used to cut flutes in molding and make mortises and rabbets, a straight router can also be applied in drilling projects.
Can a router cut through wood?
Though it is not typically used the same way as a jigsaw, a router can be used to cut wood. Always use a router with a pattern or jig, apart from when performing edgework where the router bit has a guide bearing.
There are numerous woodworking projects you can have done easily with a router table. Even though a router will do the job, it will not do it more accurately and better than a router table. A router table is more fun and less difficult when making various types of joints to shaping edges of tables. You can decide to build your router table or decide to purchase a professionally created router table. Make sure you get a table with lots of good features and one that is large enough.