How To Use A Router (Section 2)

How To Use A Router

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

Section 2: Routing Windows and Doors

Window Boards

After installing a new window or replacing a tiled window-ledge, timber window boards can be purpose made.

Routing Techniques_windows1. Allow for the overhang at either end when calculating the length of timber required. Choose the size of overhang to match those in other rooms.

2. A bull-nose moulding will be required on three of the edges. For 1” thick board, use a 1/2” radius rounding-over cutter, or similar.

Adjust the height of the cutter so that the top quirk is just clear of the top surface. The roller bearing fitted to the end of the cutter acts as the guide and runs along the centre of the board edge.

Routing Techniques_window3. Make sure the board is well clamped, and rout across the end-grain first. Then repeat this procedure for the other end and finally rout with the grain.

Invert the board and then repeat this procedure to complete the bull-nose moulding. Always rout in the correct direction as shown.

Routing Techniques_window34. Notch each end with a jigsaw and place in position. For fixing the board in place, countersink and counterbore holes for the screws.

To conceal the holes, use a matching plug-maker, cutting plugs from a section of waste board. This can be carried out by fitting the router with a one-piece drill/countersink cutter and a plug- maker.

Door Hinge Recessing

Hinges can be recessed quickly and accurately with a light duty portable router fitted with a 1/2’ diameter two flute cutter.

1. First construct a jig from MDF or plywood. Mark out the aperture according to the size of the hinge leaf. Allowance must be made for the offset between the outside of the guide bush and the cutter diameter.

Providing the template material is square, use the router fitted with a side fence to cut the aperture.

Hinge Recess - Routing2. Mark accurately the required positions of the hinges on the door and the frame.

3. Clamp or pin the jig in turn for each recess and rout in a clockwise direction.

4. Remove the small radius in the corners with a chisel.

5. When setting the router to cut the correct depth, the depth of cut can be pre-set using the hinge leaf itself.

Routing Techniques_hingesA. Place the router on the edge of the door and plunge the cutter until it touches the surface.

B. Activate the plunge lock and release the depth stop.

C. Place the leaf between the turret stop and the depth stop and tighten the depth stop.

D. Withdraw the hinge leaf. The depth is now accurately set to recess the hinge leaf.

Mortising Door Locks

1. Mark the centre line on the door edge at the height required for the lock. Mark the length of the mortise and position of the spindle.

Fit a long reach two flute cutter, and adjust the side fence to suit the width of lock. Remove the waste in several passes and repeat the operation on the other face to achieve the width of the mortise.

Routing Techniques_mortise locks

Routing Techniques_mortise locks22. To rout the faceplate, first insert the lock and score around the face plate with a sharp knife to prevent feathering on the door edge.

An adjustable template can be constructed for repetitive operations from thin MDF or plastic material. Rebate slots for adjustment screws will ensure the jig is central to the centre line of the door.

3. Clamp the jig to the door and adjust the depth of cut to suit the thickness of the faceplate. Rout in a clockwise direction around the aperture.

Remove the rounded corners of the recess of the face plate with a chisel. Increase the depth of the mortise with a chisel or 3D-Bit if the lock body is over 75mm in length.

Routing Techniques_mortise locks3

Routing Techniques_mortise locks4

4. Before fitting the lock, the spindles and key hole apertures on either face must be cut.

To allow easy removal of the lock when fitting it, leave it in the locked position i.e. with the bolt protruding.

Arched Mouldings

Decorative edgings for archways or arch formers for brickwork can all be made using a simple beam trammel attached to the router.

Routing Techniques_arced window moulding         Routing Techniques_arced window moulding

1. Construct the beam trammel from 1/4” plywood and 4” in width. The length will depend on the diameter of the arch.

2. To fix the router securely, a 30mm guide bush fitted to the base of the router locates in a pre-drilled hole in the end, allowing for adequate support for the router.

Alternatively, the wood trammel can be screwed onto the base of the router using two of the threaded holes in it’s base.

3. A pin is used to pivot the trammel. This can either be a screw or nail, or a bolt which is drilled through the plywood allowing the trammel to rotate.

4. A decorative mould can be built up, using a variety of paneling cutters. Flute spacing and depth of cut can be adapted to suit.

Routing Techniques_arced window moulding 35. The next operation is to cut the arch with a straight cutter and remove the waste. Re position the router and repeat for the inner radius.

The moulding of the inner and outer edges can be carried out either by using an ovolo cutter before cutting the arch free, or afterwards using a bearing guided ovolo.

Rebating Windows To Accept Double Glazed Units

Single glazed windows can be upgraded with sealed double glazed units without having to replace the frame or the sash.

Routing Techniques_windows 3                        Routing Techniques_windows 4

1. First remove the putty and any brads or pins which hold the glass in position.

2. Remove the glass carefully then clean the rebate of debris. The depth of the rebate will require deepening with a router. This can be achieved in two ways:

3. Fit a straight fluted cutter. Using a batten as a guide for the router, place the cutter edge against the rebate and fix the batten against the side of the router. Repeat for all sides.

4. Alternatively, the rebate can be cut with a bearing guided profiler which will initially follow a straight edge clamped to the sash and then follow the edge of the rebate as it cuts deeper.

Routing Techniques_windows 5                    Routing Techniques_windows 6

5. Square the corners of the sash to remove the radius left by the cutter. Apply a bead of silicone or putty to the rebate before inserting the new double glazed units.

6. Finally secure the glazing beads with pins, additional silicone on the back edge will keep moisture out.


Related Routing Pages:

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

Routing 2: Windows & Doors

Routing 3: Kitchen & Bathrooms

Routing 4: Joinery