Baptism by Router
Hello. I'm Walter. I'm a hobbyist woodworker from Central Virginia. Small basement shop. Small Craftsman dust collector (maybe 600 CFM? I forget).
I make...let's see...small-ish (6" to 14") boxes with "secret" compartments (most of which end up holding super-sensitive correspondence and braided bracelets of illusory but clearly enormous value; i.e. my 10-year-old daughter's got a stack of them).
I make basic little wooden accent pieces and knick-knacks (bookends; small planters; rather crudely inlaid mancala sets; etc.).
And, well, lately I've been focusing primarily on these 2- to 3-foot pieces of sculpture that combine power-cutting and hand carving (from the hatchet down to the bench knife down to the specialty blades).
In fact, it's in the interest of expanding the scope of these most recent weird little projects that I've pulled my old router out of the drawer and started experimenting anew with my limited set of cheap bits.
The router's an old Craftsman (circa late 70s, maybe early 80s); it was given to my little brother by our beloved departed uncle, ultimately to be used on many projects the two of them completed together over the years.
So when I found it buried in a corner of his shop, where he'd managed to "hide it from himself" for probably a decade or so, my little brother got pretty sentimental. So much so, that he completely rebuilt the old thing and insisted that I take it and learn on it; I was commanded to start applying the awesomeness of routing to my little projects. :-)
Yes, yes, I can ramble. Sorry. The fingers get away from me.
Anyway, a year later, I'm confident with the old Craftsman's basic operation, ever-vigilant about safety protocol (this beast scares me WAY more than my table saw), comfortable with certain mundane tasks, and I've got a pretty steady hand and a good feel for the rhythm of the devil. I plunge it patiently, with no problems, even though it doesn't have a plunge base. Don't laugh; that's huge for my amateur self! :-)
But I don't have a table. My bit set is limited. And more to the point: I want to add some joinery to these latest art projects.
Specifically, dovetails. And I don't want to hand-cut them. Partly because the very thought makes my arms ache, but mostly for aesthetic reasons. (I'll spare you. lol)
So I am here to read, and read some more (I've picked up a couple of jigs), and eventually maybe probe some of the expert brains around these parts, hopefully without too much bother. I'm looking forward mostly to a great deal of osmosis.
The router is my current tool-obsession. I find it deceptively diminutive, and capable of all sorts of feats that almost seem magical when I consider they come from that little motor driving that solitary angry spinning tooth.
For its next trick, I'll make it make perfect dovetails. But first I'm off to read. Must read much. Must WAY overthink the challenge, per usual. :-)
Glad to be here!