The router is a highly versatile piece of woodworking equipment that can be used to carve and shape pieces of wood. The router has a number of different router bits that can be attached to provide a variety of different shape profiles. This shaping can be done along the edge of a piece or on the surface of a piece to make grooves.
You'll need to secure the piece you're working on to your workbench with clamps. You will likely want a "fence" clamped to your piece as well to guide the router and ensure a straight cut. Be sure to hold the router securely by both handles when it's on. Whether you're carving a groove through the middle of a piece or carving along the edges, keep the base plate on the bottom of the router flat against the surface of the piece for stability and control. If you want to adjust the depth of the groove, you can raise or lower the router bit so that it's the proper depth from the base plate.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I change out the router bits?
To change the bit, you have to lock the collet, which is the piece that attaches the bit to the router and will normally rotate with the bit when the router is on. By locking it, you can insert the bit and tighten the nut on the collet to lock the bit in place. You may want to use a wrench to tighten the nut further ensuring that the bit is secure while the router is on. Leave about a quarter of an inch exposed between the collet and the router bit.
How do I adjust the depth of the bit?
The router's depth adjustment is located on the back of the router. Lift the handle to allow for free movement of the router, and push down to the depth you would like. Once you've got it where you want, lower the handle to lock it in place.
How can I adjust the speed of the router?
The speed adjustment dial is located near the top of the router. The speed you should use is dependent on the kind of bit you'll be using. Consult the Design Center staff about router bits and speeds.