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Using Routers

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A router is a woodworking tool used to rout out (hollow out) an area in the face of a piece of wood. It was a tool particularly used by pattern makers and staircase makers and consisted of a broad-based wooden hand plane with a narrow blade projecting well beyond its base plate gaining it the nickname Old Woman's Tooth. Since about 1960, it has been replaced by the modern spindle router, which was designed for the same work, although the first electric hand routers appeared in the years just after World War I. Further refinement produced the plunge router, invented by Elu (now part of DeWalt) in Germany in the late 1940s. This is even better adapted for many types of work. Today, traditional hand-powered routers are often called router planes. Modern routers are often used in place of traditional moulding planes or spindle moulder machines for edge decoration (moulding) of timber. Related to the router, is a smaller lighter version designed specifically for trimming laminates. It can be used for smaller general routing work. For example with an appropriate jig it can be used for recessing door hinges and recessing lock faceplates etc.

The widespread use of routers is based on their ability to perform an extensive range of smooth finishing and decorative cuts.

Your safety in operating a router starts with an understanding that it operates at a very high speed - in the 20,000 RPM range. Ranging from15 to 25 times faster than a drill.

Always wear safety goggles or safety glasses with side shields
complying with current national standard, and a full face shield
when needed. Use a dust mask in dusty work conditions. Wear
hearing protection during extended periods of operation.

Do not wear gloves, loose clothing, jewelry or any dangling objects that may catch in rotating parts or accessories. Tie back long hair.

Install router bits securely, and according to the owner/operators manual.

Always use the wrenches provided with the tool.

Keep a firm grip with both hands on your router at all times -
failure to do so could result in loss of control, leading to possible serious injury.

Read your operators manual carefully regarding laminate trimmers and other small routers that are used one-handed.

Always face the cutter blade opening away from your body.

When starting a router equipped with carbide tipped bits, the router should be started beneath a work bench to protect operator from a possible flying cutter should the carbide be cracked.

Hold only those gripping surfaces of the router designated by the manufacturer. Check your owner/operators manual.

If your router is equipped with a chip shield, keep it properly

Keep your hands away from bits or cutter areas when the router is plugged in.

Do not reach underneath the work while bits are rotating. Never attempt to remove debris while the router is operating.

Always disconnect the plug from the electrical outlet before
changing bits or making any adjustments. If you are changing a bit immediately after use, be careful not to touch the bit or the collet with your hands or fingers. They could get burned because of heat build-up from cutting.

Your desired cutting depth adjustments should be made only
according to the tool manufacturer's recommended procedures for these adjustments. Tighten adjustment locks. Make certain that the cutter shaft is engaged in the collets at least 1/2 in. Check your owner/operators manual carefully.

Be certain to secure clamping devices on the work piece you are using before operating your router.

The switch should be in the ''off '' position before plugging into the power outlet.

For greater control, always allow the motor to reach full speed
before feeding the router into the work.

Never force a router.

When removing a router from your work piece, always be very
careful not to turn the base and bit toward you.

Unplug and store your router immediately after use.

A router can inflict serious injury in the hands of children or
the untrained.