A Life Saver Guide For Woodworkers: Tips On Using Wood Router Safely
Router is the most versatile tool for a woodworker. This compact handheld or fixed tool can do a variety of jobs like carving edges, making mouldings, cutting grooves, trimming plastic laminates, milling woodwork joints and so on. Router may be the most useful power tool, if used safely. Simply stated, Router can be compared to a multiple times sharp knife that keeps rotating at high speed, making it quite dangerous. Adhering to these simple tips on using wood router safely could help deliver hazard-free results.
- Routers are fast and as they work through wood, will release chips and dust and are quite noisy. Hence it is important to wear proper eye, ear and dust protection gears while routing.
- It is also important to protect your hand. If using a free-bit, never hold the work-piece and fit a guard to the work table. Use a push-stick whenever required, especially for working on narrow pieces or a feather board on larger pieces which can help improve quality of cut as well.
- It is a safe option to use router bits fitted with ball-bearing pilots which could cut at the right width even without an edge guide.
- Never start or stop the router while it is in contact with the wood bit. This could bend the bit or even damage the router. Wait for the bit to stop spinning before you keep it down.
- Always move the router against the bit rotation, which could give a good grip and control over the machine.
- Check your wood for visible damages and place it in the collet, making sure to place at least 3/4th of wood inside collet.
- If you require excess pressure, reset the bit to get a lighter cut rather than forcing the router. Stop and inspect router in case of unusual vibration or noise.
- Whenever the router needs adjustments, be sure to unplug it and ensure it is switched off and parts are securely tightened before re-plugging it.
- While using router free-hand, always make sure to secure the wood piece on the work table, if not heavy enough to stay steady under pressure.
- To protect you while working on very small parts, use a jig such as coping sled or another sliding carrier for securing.
- Resort to router table if you have a piece larger than 1″ diameter or longer than 1 and 1/2″ and stick on the speed instructions in your router manual.
- It’s a safe way to rout a large wood or deep groove in a series of cuts since single cut could cause splintering and tear out.
- While shaping the edge of router table, make sure to rout with the bit inside fence and edge of material against fence to prevent stock getting stuck.
Usage of router is safer if you are confident enough of the operation which comes out of practice. Buy yourself some experience before engaging in detailed woodwork and as any other device, keep it out of the reach of children and pets, even while not in use.