July/August 2007
Volume 50
Issue 4
Archived Project Plans
Project Articles
woodworking Plan Low-Cost Outdoor Storage
woodworking Plan Luggage Rack
woodworking Plan Castle Puzzle
woodworking Plan Owners Gallery
woodworking plans Letters from Owners
Academy Notes
ROUTING: Professional-looking joinery & accents for your projects
Service Pointers
Bandsaw Service Pointers
What's New
Kreg Deluxe Bandsaw Fence
woodworking plans Find A Shopsmith Woodworking Academy Near You
woodworking plans National Woodworking Academy in Dayton, OH
woodworking plans Online Accessory Catalog
woodworking plans Request Printed Accessory Catalog
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Contacting Shopsmith
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Shopsmith, Inc.
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woodworking plans     

Notes from the Shopsmith Woodworking Academy

ROUTING: Professional-looking joinery & accents for all your projects

The router is one of the most useful tools in your shop. Its versatility is limited only by the
imagination of the woodworker. Decorative edging, dovetails, dadoes, grooves, rabbets, mortises and tenons are only a few examples of the tasks you’ll be able to perform with minimal practice.

RoutersPortable, Hand-Held Routers
A portable, hand-held router is nothing more than an electric motor, capable of rotating a special cutting bit mounted in a collet at a very high speed – usually between 12,000 and 30,000 rpms.
Normally, the higher the speed, the cleaner the cut. However, with hard woods and complex cuts that use the full profile of the bit, speeds that are too high can easily result in burning….so your speeds may have to be adjusted accordingly. When making heavy cuts, horsepower, more than speed, is what gets the job done best.
Hand-held routers feature an adjustable base for setting your depth-of-cut, handles for controlling the router when making freehand cuts and optional edge guides for making straightline cuts for edging with un-piloted bits or grooving workpieces. With few exceptions, hand-held routers can also be mounted in under-table routing systems and Overarm systems, such as Shopsmith’s Overarm Pin Router …but more about this amazingly versatile tool later.

Selecting The Best Router For You
There are three basic types of portable, hand-held routers. Here’s a description of each:

A: General-Purpose Routers…usually offer 1hp to 2hp motors that operate at 15,000 to 23,000 rpms and feature a 1/4” and/or 1/2” bit-holding collet. They usually weigh around 5 to 8 lbs and are offered with either dual, knob-style handles or a single “D”-shaped handle.
They’re a great, all-around choice for budget-conscious woodworkers with light to medium-duty expectations and will easily accomplish most of the jobs around the shop.

B: Trim Routers (or Laminate-Trimmers)…are small models, usually offering 1/2hp to 1hp motors that operate at 22,000 to 29,000 rpms and almost always feature a 1/4” bit-holding collet. They typically weigh 3 to 5 lbs and are small enough in diameter that they’re easily gripped around the body without the need for handles.
As their name implies, they’re most often used for trimming laminates for countertops and light edging jobs. However, many woodworkers use them for much more than this (including sign-making)…preferring their light weight over their heavier counterparts.

C: Plunge-Base Routers….are full-sized routers offering 2hp to 5hp motors operating at 10,000 to 22,000 rpms (often with variable speed) and feature a 1/4” and/or 1/2” bit-holding collet. They usually weigh around 5 to 8 lbs and are offered with a dual, knob-style handle set-up for better control.
What makes them different is the fact that their motors are mounted into a spring-loaded holder that can be plunged up-and-down on their bases. The up-down travel is limited by one (or a few) adjustable depth-stops that can be pre-set for different depths-of-cut.
These models are an excellent choice for routing mortises, making internal cuts and for template (or pattern) routing. Since they’re usually larger in size, higher in hp and frequently offer built-in variable speed controls, they’re also the best choice for use with larger diameter bits, harder woods and making deeper, more demanding cuts.


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