Subscribe now and save up to 56%
Although most router bits are small, routers and bits deserve your attention and respect. As with all power tools, you can enjoy them safely by following these safety guidelines, excerpted from Taunton’s Complete Illustrated Guide to Routers.
1. Use push blocks to position your hands a safe distance from the bit.
2. Large-diameter bits are for use only in a router table. Using bits over 1 in. dia. in a handheld router can easily cause you to lose control of the tool.
3. Always wear eye and hearing protection.
4. Take light cuts. Heavy cuts invite kickback. If necessary, move the fence closer to the bit or switch to a larger guide bearing.
5. Use a featherboard to support the workpiece against the router table or fence.
6. Never climb-cut. Always feed the stock from right to left. (see illustration at right)
7. Avoid shaping small stock. Instead, shape a larger piece and reduce it in size afterwards. If you must shape a small piece, build an appropriate jig or secure the work within the jaws of a wooden handscrew clamp.
8. Always use a guard. If the fence didn’t come with a guard, purchase an aftermarket guard or devise one of your own.
9. Never start the router with the bit in contact with the stock.
10. Don’t force the bit or overload the router.
11. Secure the motor in the base before starting the router.
12. Don’t bottom out the bit in the collet or partially insert the bit. Instead, completely insert the bit, and then back off approximately 1/16 in.
Browse more articles by Lonnie Bird, or visit him online at www.lonniebird.com.
Taunton’s Complete Illustrated Guide to Routersby Lonnie Bird
Expand your skills through understanding of the router and what you can achieve with it. More than 800 photos and drawings show you how to use and care for your router and how to get the most from it.
Get woodworking tips, expert advice and special offers in your inbox
Become a member today
Get instant access to all FineWoodworking.com content.
Subscribe to Fine Woodworking
Save up to 56%
This week's prize is a 7-piece router bit set from Whiteside valued at $118!
Make something fun while learning new skills
Given the choice between a fixed-base router and a plunge model, Jeff Miller will take the plunge router every time. Because it can plunge in and out of the work,…
When my pipe clamps aren’t working as clamps, they double as versatile shop stands. To create a broad, stable base, I glue up a stack of 12-in.-dia. disks of 3⁄4-in.-thick…
For fast, accurate cuts in plywood and more, these compact saws are hard to beat
Custom-made sanding drums let you smooth any curve
Become a member today and get instant access to all FineWoodworking.com content!
Plus tips, advice, and special offers from Fine Woodworking.
Our biweekly podcast allows editors, authors, and special guests to answer your woodworking questions and connect with the online woodworking community.
Browse our collection of hundreds of quality plans including Shaker furniture, Arts and Crafts pieces, beds, diy plans, chairs, workbenches, tool storage, and more.
© 2016 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
Become a member and get instant access to thousands of videos, how-tos, tool reviews, and design features.