Around this time of year, the “new year, new you” trend is in full swing. Instead of trying to reinvent yourself, though, why not try starting some brand-new projects with your router? The new year is a perfect break point from what you’ve been working on previously, and if you find yourself in a rut then a new project might be just what you need to get you back into the swing of things. Here are just a few projects that you can try in the new year.
Upscale that Mirror
Chances are, you’ve made some version of a picture frame since you started working with wood. Have you ever considered making a mirror frame before, though? This can be useful if you have an existing mirror with a cracked frame or if you have a frameless mirror that you think could use a bit of sprucing up. You can even opt to pick up one of the thin full-length mirrors with a tiny plastic frame that you find in big-box stores to serve as the heart of your project.
The concept is similar to making a picture frame, though you’ll need to create a groove within the frame large enough to hold the mirror. Depending on the size of your mirror, its thickness and how big or decorative of a frame you want to make, you’ll also need to add mounting hardware capable of supporting its weight. It may not be quite as simple as it sounds at first, but the end result can be spectacular.
Design a Cutting Board
Another common woodworking project is the cutting board, often made with pieces of different woods glued together and then cut and shaped to make the final board. Try stepping it up a notch, though, by connecting the pieces of wood using a tongue-and-groove assembly you create with your router. For added flourish, try rounding the edges and shaping the board with your router as well instead of breaking out your jigsaw or other tools.
Build a New Workbench
The workbench is an important part of any shop. When was the last time yours was upgraded, though? Think about what features you might want in your ideal workbench and then see if you can come up with a design that will include most, if not all of them. Depending on what you want out of your workbench this might be a big project, but what better time to take on the task of improving your shop than at the start of a new year?
Test Out a New Technique
Have you ever been looking at projects online and come across a new technique that just blew you away? Well, this is your chance to learn it. After all, what better time is there to try and master a new skill than the new year?
Break out the instructions (or buy a copy of the plans) and read through it until you have a firm grip on exactly what you’ll be doing. Pick up some new router bits if you need to and look at any illustrations or pictures that are available of what they’re doing with the router. Get out some wood that you can practice with and keep trying until you have the new technique down. When you finish the project, it will be a particular point of pride because of how much you learned from doing it.
Reinvent an Old Project
If you don’t have any new projects lined up, maybe it’s time to tackle an old one? Look back at some of your early projects and think about what you might have done differently if you had more skills and experience. Maybe you’ll even revisit the first project you used a router on and see if you can make a better version of it. The new year is a great time for new projects, so make sure you start up something even if it’s not one of these ideas.