Safety Manual: Routers and Router Tables
Routers and router tables have become essential tools for working wood. They do two main things, shaping decorative moldings on edges and making joinery cuts, such as dadoes, rabbets, and mortises. The shape of bit determines the shape of the cut, and with thousands of bits available, the possibilities are almost limitless. There are two main types of routers, fixed-base and the more expensive plunge type. Both allow precise adjustments to cutting depth, but the plunge router does it on the fly, and in precise increments, allowing a spinning bit to be extended and withdrawn for stopped cuts such as mortises. When it makes more sense to move the workpiece than the router, the router can be secured to the underside of a table, with a fence added. The table and fence provide much better support for workpieces, although plunge cuts are problematic.