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
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Shopsmith, Inc.
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Notes from the Shopsmith Woodworking Academy


Routing Techniques

Freehand routing…is the most common routing method of operation. With freehand routing, the workpiece is held secure while the router is passes over it to make the cut. If you’re using a piloted bit on the edge of a workpiece, the pilot will guide the cut by bearing against the remaining edge of the stock that is not removed during the cut. If you’re using a non-piloted bit to make internal or piercing-type cuts in workpiece edges (example: mortises) or surfaces (example: lettering), you’ll need a jig or template to control your cut.
Direction: During freehand routing, the bit is rotating in a clockwise direction…so the router is moved from left-to-right…or in a counter-clockwise direction around perimeters.

RoutingOverarm routing…is performed with the router motor and cutter mounted in an arm or other holder, above the worktable, which supports the stock during the cut. With this method, the bit remains stationary while the workpiece is guided through the cut by a fence, jig or template. One of the big advantages here is that the workpiece can be held firmly with both hands…and at a comfortable working height…while the rotating bit does its job.
With overarm routing, the depth-of-cut is controlled by raising or lowering the worktable and/or the overarm. If you’re a MARK V owner, two examples of this are provided by the MARK V Routing Package and Shopsmith’s Overarm Pin Router attachment for the MARK V. In both cases the worktable and the overarm may be moved up-and down for accurate control of the depth-of-cut.
Pin Routing…is performed with the aid of a device such as Shopsmith’ Overarm Pin Router
attachment mentioned above…which lets you use a shop-made fixture or template to guide one or as many duplicate workpieces as you like through one or more routing operations. The projects in the group photo shown in this article were all made using this template-guided pin-routing technique. When performed according to manufacturer recommendations, the pin-routing approach delivers a great combination of repeatability, accuracy and safety for those who want to make more than one.

Direction: During overarm routing, the bit is rotating in a clockwise direction…so the workpiece is moved from left-to-right…or in a counter-clockwise direction around perimeters.

Under-table routing…works with an inverted router motor suspended beneath the worktable. As with overarm routing, the workpiece can be grasped with both hands…and at a comfortable working height…while the rotating bit makes the cut. With under-table routing, you must use a fence with non-piloted bits for straight-line routing and a starter pin with piloted bits for optimal safety. WARNING: NEVER attempt to make freehand internal routing cuts with a router table, since the router bit will be out of sight during the cut, making this operation very dangerous.
With under-table routing, the depth-of cut is controlled by your router motor’s plunge base or other depth-control mechanism. A number of elaborate router motor raising devices are available today for router tables, but you’ll pay a hefty price for the added convenience they’ll provide.

If you’re a MARK V owner, three examples of under-table routing set-ups are available. The first is powered by the MARK V’s motor and uses Shopsmith’s Speed Increaser to deliver 10,000 rpms of under-table routing. It uses your MARK V’s worktable with an optional adjustable guide fence for straight line operations.
The second (Shopsmith’s Router Table Kit) drops into the MARK V’s Extension Table Mounts and accepts a router motor of your choice. It includes an adjustable, 2-piece fence and an overhead guard/dust collection hook-up.
The last is Shopsmith’s Pro-Fence Router Table System. Designed to work with MARK V’s equipped with the Pro Fence Table System, this deluxe system also accepts a router motor of your choice. It features a unique, 2-piece, micro-adjustable Fence that attaches to the top of your MARK V’s Pro Fence and offers amazingly efficient built-in dust collection.


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