A router table is an important power tool. It plays a major role in almost all types of woodworking projects and it can add an entirely new dimension to these types of projects as well. In fact, it has the ability to make a woodworking project awesome because it is extremely versatile.
With that in mind, a router table includes different profiles such as – when you are using it for a project, it is just wood, but when you take it off, it will become furniture. Let’s find out why a router table is essential for your woodworking project.
The Usefulness of a Router Table
Following are the best reasons for using a router table:
- It is amazingly versatile with flexible edge profiles.
- The tool possesses template following capabilities.
- You can do dado and groove cutting with a router table.
- It has raised panel door construction with precision joinery and rounding over wood.
- There are tables available in big and bench top sizes.
- A router table comprises of loads of accessories.
The Process of Using a Router Table to Center Edge-to-Edge Joints
By using the center edge-to-edge joints technique, you can make solid tabletops, wide panels, etc. Even you can make edging go around your router table top. So, let’s see a real-life example of oak edging on an MDF Router Table Top. Keep in mind that the top is 11/8″ thick and the oak edging is 1 1/8″ thick.
- At first, select the proper tongue dimension and take a 1/4″ slot cutter. Now, you should keep in mind that the tongue thickness must be less than two times the cut. So, the tongue thickness is somewhat less than 1/2″. As a result, we will use 1/4″ depth of cut for this example.
- For this task, a tongue with a thickness smaller than 1/2″ is needed. Here, the rabbet on the table top will be more than 5/16″ on both sides1 1/8″ thick pieces.
- Now, put the rabbet bit on top of the rabbet along with a bearing to make a1/4″ rabbet. It will not be good to take excess amount in the first pass. Initially, you should set the depth of the cut at 1/8″. Also, you should put the fence according to the bearing of the rabbet bit.
- Next, you will cut from both top and bottom side of the top. You can take as much as time to go all the way. But, you have to make sure that the workpiece is kept flat on the top of the router table.
- At this stage, you will have to determine the depth of the tongue. Remember that if the thickness is bigger than 1/2″, you should adjust the depth of the cut. A router lift would make everything easy.
- Now, you will make the adjustment and rout the top and bottom part again. Subsequently, the tongue’s thickness will be smaller than 1/2″.
- In the next phase, you will substitute the rabbeting bit by 1/4″ slot cutter. Be aware of the fact that this change needs discontinuation of power from the source.
- Now, you will put the rabbeted piece on the router tabletop, which is close to the slot cutter. After that, you will need to lift the router to align the underside of the slot cutter to the bottom of the tongue.
- In this step, you will keep the depth of the cut at around 3/16″. Afterwards, you will slot the oak edging, turn it over, and slot it again. Besides, you have to examine the slot on the tongue to see if it’s too tight. In case the tongue is too tight, you will make two passes with the slotter.
- If the slot cut is 1/4″, the second pass will not use the full cutter. So, you will receive an accurate center slot to fit on the tongue. Also, when the slot fits on the tongue, you can make the final depth of the groove. Keep in mind that the final depth of cut is more than /4″, which will be allowed for glue.
- Finally, you will just set the fence for final depth and you should also make two passes with the slotter. It will provide you with an accurate fit.
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What Can You do with a Router Table?
Here are some of the things you can do with a router table:
- Box joints
- Biscuit joining
- Slot cutting
- Round over’s
- Glue Joints
- Lock Miters (for strong joints)
- Architectural moldings
- Stile and Rail joinery
- Panel raising
- Tongue and groove joints
- Finger joints
- Sign making
- Multi beading
- Picture hanging bits
- Mullion cutters
- Laminate trimming
- Face framing bits
- Dovetail joinery
To finish off, you can easily get confused because there are tons of accessories on the market. In fact, you can find any kind of tools or accessories for your project.
But having a router table at your disposal will be more of a blessing than a problem. The reason is that you can keep it anywhere at home and it is extremely useful too. So, use it to good effect and make your project a success!