How To Use A Router (Section 4)

How To Use A Router

Techniques, Tips and Guides on all aspects of working with a Handheld Router

Section 4: Joinery Routing

Joining of Boards

1. Biscuit jointing is fast and effective, and is common practice with purpose made joinery.

biscuit joining 1                   biscuit joining 2

2. By inserting a biscuit, a normal butt joint becomes stronger and can be easily aligned. Biscuits are supplied in three sizes 0, 10 and 20.

By fitting one of three bearings a slot can be accurately cut to suit the appropriate biscuit.

Trimming Cutters

Bearing guided trimmers can be used for trimming laminate or hardwood lippings flush with the work piece.

router trim cutter 1To achieve best results and to prolong the life of the cutter, no more than 3mm of overhang should be left to trim.

They can also be used for shaping material to a template.


Profiling Cutters

Profiling cutters have bearings mounted on the shank arouter profile cutter 2nd are used for trimming the work piece from a template.

This type of cutter is advantageous when following templates as the ratio is 1:1, eliminating calculations for the offset or margin when cutting a square edge.


Pierce and Trim

router trim cutter 3These cutters pierce the laminate before trimming around the aperture. They are ideal when laminating carcassing or worktops after construction.

The base of the cutter acts as a guide allowing the cutter to follow intricate shapes.

Double trimmers can cut top and bottom laminates simultaneously.

Combination Trimmers

Combination trimmers have multi-purpose trimming applications, including bevel trimming, surface trimming and lip trimming.

A side fence is used with this type of cutter to ensure accuracy. Bearing guided cutters, are quick and easy to set up, and are designed for edge trimming, especially curved edges.

Stopped Grove or Housing

For shelf construction, rather than using unsightly fixing blocks, locate the shelf ends in the supports with stopped housing joints.

Router housing 1            Router housing 2

1. Select a cutter to match the thickness of shelf, and a suitable guide bush ensuring adequate clearance.

2. Construct a housing jig should a quantity of shelves require routing. This consists of a slotted section of MDF.

The guide bush runs in the slot which is set to allow for the stopped groove housing.

A batten is fixed at 90 degrees to the underside edge of the jig to ensure it is positioned correctly and securely.

3. Lay supports side by side with both the front edges facing out. Position the template and rout the slot in two passes. Re-position for the remaining shelves.

router housing joint 3                           router housing joint 4

4. After routing the housing groove, a radius will be left. By using a rounding over cutter, the shelf can be adapted to the radius, leaving a nosing.

Alternatively a notch can be cut out of the shelf to bring it flush to the front.

Construction of Raised Panels Doors

1. Traditionally, panelled doors involved complex mortise and tenon joints.

The router mounted in the table and used in conjunction with a profile and scriber set, now produce an equivalent joint with greater ease.

There are several profiles available with raised panel cutters to match.

Construction of Raised Panels Doors                    Construction of Raised Panels Doors 2

2. As the name implies the ‘profile and scriber’ cutter performs both operations by re-arranging the block, groover and bearing.

Raised panels can be made from solid wood or MDF and shaped by panel cutters again mounted in a table.

3. The scribing of the rail is cut first with the face side uppermost. The bearing regulates the depth.

With all the scribes cut, re-arrange the cutter to profile all the components face side to the table.

Raised panel doors3                    raised panel doors 4

4. When machined, the panel locates into the groove. Several passes with the panel cutter will be required to obtain the correct depth.

Dry assemble all components to ensure a tight fit. Glue joints and cramp up. The panel is left unglued to allow movement over time.

Straightening Edges

A useful application for bearing guided profilers is for straightening the edges of boards.

edge straightening 11. By using a straight edge or chalk line, mark a straight line. If the width of waste is more than 3mm, remove excess material with a jigsaw.

2. Clamp a wide straight edged batten against your marked line.

3. Fit a template profiling cutter which has capacity to trim the thickness of the material.

4. Adjust the depth of the cutter so that the bearing runs along the batten guide.

5. Always retract the cutter by releasing the plunge lock on the router when you have finished.


Related Routing Pages:

Routing 1: Introduction, Safety, Holding The Work, Template Use

Routing 2: Windows & Doors

Routing 3: Kitchen & Bathrooms

Routing 4: Joinery