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Our first introduction to a router was as a tool for making wood signs with engraved lettering, but a router has far more versatility. For example, we put in a 1/4" rounding bit to give our wood furniture a uniformly rounded edge. Here are some tips:

  • Buy a "plunge" style router (or at least one with a plunge base kit). This allows you to start routing in the middle of a piece of work rather than from an edge.
  • Buy a good router table if you want to work with molding or other long pieces -- it does for a router what a table does for a circular saw (you get the idea)
  • A router is only as good as its bits, so invest in good router bits
  • Like most power tools, horsepower is particularly important when you are working with dense

    materials like oak and want to rout a wide or deep channel. In this regard, buying a router with a variable speed control is also a big plus as it helps reduce burning.
  • An attachment to a good dust collection system is a nice option -- by design, a router chews the material into a fine dust.

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