In order to make a router versatile, it is important to mount it on a table. To start with the process, the work surface should be larger so that there is no need to deal with the router possibly tipping off when cutting on a narrow stock piece. When working on the groove on a board edge, it is also necessary to hold it against the fence and table in order to avoid wobbling. Larger bits may be used, including those which are used to create raised panels.
Before starting the procedure, it is important to make sure that your hands are kept clear off the cutting bit. This applies even though the bit is fully buried within the wood, just like when you are cutting on a groove. The reality is that it is not safe due to the possibility of running your hands on the bit. It is very important to know the location of the bit, guiding the wood accordingly by holding the sections that are from away from the bit. You may choose to use a push stick to hold the wood as it passes through the cutter.
For piloted bits, place a straight edge on against the fence, moving it back and forth through the edge until it reaches the bearing. Afterward, lock it right in place. If you notice that the fence comes with sliding faces which may be used for adjusting the opening size, set them accordingly to make sure that the opening becomes slightly bigger compared to the bit.
The cuts to be made on the router table, such as with the router, should start shallow, eventually progressing deeper until the desired profile is achieved. After setting the fence, you can lower the router, creating a shallow cut on the bit. Then, route each of the pieces, and finally, raise the bit. This process should be repeated until the finished surface is completed. The level in which the bit is raised in each pass highly depends on the bit and the wood. Once the router starts to strain, it means that you are taking off a lot in just a single pass.
Create a Test Cut
At times, a router table may look as it has already been perfectly set up, but it may actually be off enough for it to possibly ruin your project. In order to avoid such problem, it is important to set everything up well, creating a test cut using a scrap piece so as to ensure that everything else is positioned properly.
The miter gauge can be used in order to help in holding narrower pieces while guiding them through the bit. The same job can be done by a plywood piece, thus offering more support. The first thing that needs to be done is to set up your cut, guide the plywood through the fence, routing it right through the plywood. This trick is often reliable and cheap, particularly if the miter gauge is only optional on the table.
Types of Tables
The types of tables may either be simple or elaborate, depending on your preference. When selecting a table, choose one that comes with a split fence, hold-downs, as well as safety guards. You may also want to have a dust port, allowing you to remove sawdust after routing.
When you mount a router in an upside down position under a table, the router becomes a small shaper, a very useful tool if you are into molding and customized trim work. In contrast to using a handheld router, a router that is mounted on a table is placed in an upside down position. This is down by feeding the stock starting from the right going to the left, through the fence. If you are guiding the stock against a bit that is piloted instead of a fence, you can work in feeding the stock, allowing it to travel in a clockwise direction around the bit.
The feather boards may also help in holding your wood right in place while routing. There are tables which may have built-in feather boards, though you can also make one on your own by creating a parallel series of cuts in a board. The output looks the same as with that of the teeth of a comb.