Newbie in using a Router..... - Router Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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First Name: Walter
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Default Newbie in using a Router.....

Hello All!

Being a total Newbie on using a Router I hope to learn from this Forum. Also I send you greetings from the Republic of Panama (Central America)!

The purpose of purchasing my Porter Cable 690 kit Router:
We are presently constructing two Earthbag structures. On these Earthbag Structures the Loft/Roof is being finished out of wood.
This implies also having wood panels to complete our Loft Wall.

Our Search:
Here in Panama the US Army Corps constructed Military Housings and Infrastructures over 70 years ago!. At that time many of these structures where made out of wood. As I understand this wood was all treated and imported from Canada at that time.

History and Findings:
Amazingly some of these wood structures still are in good/perfect condition today. They have withstood Rain Storms and Termites during decades. This drew my attention and I decided to have a closer look at these wall panels to see how these wood panel walls where made and interlocked.

My thought was:

Why not apply on our Loft Wood Panels what has proven to have worked so well?

One of the groove cut on these US Army Wood Panels is simple Rabbet cut. The other I could not identify nor have been able to find on the internet for its name. It is a long "tongue type" cut (see pics here included). Once 2 wood panels are lined these cuts seem to seal off quite well. The "tongue" shaped cut seems to have a roller coaster effect on water... Maybe its purpose is to speed up the flow of water down the wood wall ot is it just aestetics?

Adquisition of Router:
So I went off and bought me the Router with Rabbet bit. But could not find the "Tongue" shaped bit....

Routers and Accesories in Panama:
The market here in Panama seems pretty much limited to available Routers and Router bit accessories. Also nobody at the shop could explain to me how the Router worked. They said that it is supposed to be installed under the work bench table as that is the way to work with the Router. So bascally I bought it on the solid sound it had when it was turned on. Also that it would not pike my electrical setup at the workshop location at the farm as it rates 11 Amp and under 2000 Watts.

My awful expierence with Router Manual & Instructions and Packing:
The next task for me was to try decipher the Instruction Manual which comes with the Porter Cable 690 kit. Spending some time looking and reading the instructions I concluded the manufacturer wrote the Manual for Professionals, not for Newbies like me... To me it was all Chinese. The instructions in the Manual are extremely poor and of bad quality (this is my personal view and would love to hear from others on this). Many of the pictures where not clear (I had to go to the internet to download another version of the Manual to try and read and learn through it)...
Even putting the Router kit back to its original box was a challenge. The carved drawings on the inside of the box there seem to belong to a different Router. Then the box cover point 10 is printed but nowhere to be found as ID... 1-10 are written there one after the other with identification on points 1-9, but where is the ID for 10? For some reason the manufacturer forgot or excluded this.

Internet Search:
So quite frustated about all this Manual disastererous experience (remember I am a total Newbie on this) off I go to the internet to try and find some videos to see if I can obtain and learn some useful information. I managed to find some videos made by some professional workshops or knowledgable people.
Also I was lucky to find your Forum.

First working experience with the Router:
Today (2 days after purchase) I went off to the Farm with the Router packed under my arm. All our Panamanian workers lined up wanting to see this new acquisition which supposedly is going to make wonderful things to our Earthbag Loft Wood Wall Panels (by the way our workers are all of farming background. They have experience on building wood houses with Thatch Roofs since they where small kiddos)
At the farm workshop I put into practice what I learned from the Video two days before. To my dismay I found that the Router bit I purchased only allows to operate from the outside of the round bottom of the Router. I could not use the "Push Option" of the kit. The Router bit is too wide to pass through the round hole of the Router so I was not sure if this was going to work on a "standup cut" I had intended. Who on earth has already a hole and fixtures ready to install a Router to a workbench for a Trial and Demo, right?
After some experimenting around and being careful on how to ensure some safety with the tool (we even had a man which was there just for plugging and unplugging the electrical cord as an extra safety precaution) we cut our first perfectly sized Rabbet groove on two 3/4" wood panel. Both panels we cut ligned up perfect! Finally we had learned to avoid the humps, teared or weird cuts....

We (about 12 people) all took turns on working with the tool. All eventually managed to make beautiful strait Rabbet cuts without sliding off with the Router..... some still drew a hick when they stopped or turned on the Router (it bounces if you do not hold it firmly).... but all in all, a succesful initial learning experience but only thanks to some Videos I managed to watch two days earlier.

We concluded that we have a beautiful very useful tool and a new baby in our workshop but with the shortcomings of not yet been able to take full advantage of its proper usage due to the limitation of the instructions and the Router bit. Why on earth does'nt the Manufacturer include a Video CD or have Tutorial Videos on their webpage for the Routers? Am I missing something?

Can anyone please point me to:

- Router bits drawings so that I can try to identify the "Tongue type" shape
(see enclosed pics). Maybe someone knows the name for this Router bit or cut.

- Are there any Router usage/instructional videos with the Porter Cable 690 kit?

- Are there any simple Drawings on how to install the Router work bench?

Any input and suggestions are highly appreciated!

Uuff, this took a long time. Thank you for reading through it!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 02:01 AM
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Welcome to the forum, Walter.

That was a very good explanation of your need and trials with the router.

The profile you show is commonly used in Australia for "weatherboard" external timber walls. I have not seen how the profile is cut at the saw mill.

Sydney, Australia

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Last edited by jw2170; 04-11-2012 at 02:03 AM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jw2170 View Post
Welcome to the forum, Walter.

That was a very good explanation of your need and trials with the router.

The profile you show is commonly used in Australia for "weatherboard" external timber walls. I have not seen how the profile is cut at the saw mill.

Abbey Cypress Distributors - Weatherboards
This was quite usual here in Quebec (Canada) and we can see reproduction today.
But as I see the profile, it can be do with Cove Raised Panel Router Bit, but only the panel bit and use the rabbet bit to complete the other part for ovehang.
here an example of the bit you can, there is many size.
And if you are a little bit scare about the big chuk, there are those less intimidating.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the information. This seems to be called "Rusticated Weatherboard".
On the weblink sent it looks identical to the sample piece In the meantime I have also found lots of useful information by scrolling through your Forum.
Again, thank you!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 08:11 AM
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That is what they call ship lap,I beleive their are router bits made by Grizzley that can be purchased for that application
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 09:53 AM
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I guess that would qualify as a ship lap joint but that only means one piece overhangs the other.

Walter, for use with your router a vertical panel raising bit is the right choice. The smaller diameter requires less power than the large horizontal panel raising bits. Do not attempt to remove all the material in one cut. This should be cut in stages removing no more than 1/4" of material per pass. In other words set the bit for a partial cut, run your boards, adjust the depth of cut and go again. Give your router regular breaks since this is heavy material removal, let it cool down after a couple boards. This will also prolong bit life. The small chamfer on the rabbet can be done with a V bit.

You can view a large selection of bits at reasonable prices at

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 02:20 PM
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Welcome to the forum!

I suggest this site for some very good info, especially his pages on "The Router Table" and "Safety".

Pat's "Router Book" is a great introductory work, you can get it in a Kindle edition from Amazon and download it immediately.

Welcome again, be safe!

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