A few weeks ago I finally decided on the DW618PK after exhaustive research for a router to suit my needs for home improvement projects as a hobbiest. After toiling over which router to purchase and finally ordering it online, I then had to turn my attention to a starter table to suit those same needs and decided on the Wolfcraft table which I then orderd a few days afterward.
All arrived in due time after which I spent the next few evenings assembling and studying the contraptions and pondering my sanity of why I needed this and how to put it all to use.
I already had my first project in mind which I believe I mentioned in a previous post. I needed to make simple covers for vent holes left in our hardwood floors in this 100 year old house that we had moved the heat and AC system to the attic and ceilings. I had priced the covers online and was quoted a value that equaled the price of what I paid for the router and table itself, so it made sense that if I could make these myself, I would save enough to own the router almost free from that point on and convinced the wife it was a good move. She bought my rationale so here I was with all this nice equipment and after putting it together and staring at it several days, I became intimidated on if I was still capable of doing woodwork after being away from the hobby for over 20 years. The more I stared at this setup the more terrified I became and the more the wife kept asking when I was going to take care of the honey do item I had promised.
Finally this past weekend, I took a DEEP
breath and headed to the lumber yard to purchase some heart pine for the project. Got home and cut my lengths for each vent hole in the house still trying to avoid that scary contraption setting in the corner of my workshop that I had not even worked up the nerve to plug in yet let alone hit the on switch. I slowly completed all the preliminary work and was running out of excuses to the wife as well as myself for proceeding forward. Just how dang hard could it be rounding the edges of 4 sides on some little square boards, I thought to myself. Oaky... Okay.... I slowly walked over to the router and table and made what appeared to be the height adjustments and set the guide to what looked reasonable to handle the undertaking. After becoming happy with the initial plan I grabbed a piece of scrap lumber equal in size of the stock I was going to work with. After another DEEP
breath it was time to plug in the machine and turn it on... I closed my eyes, said a short prayer, and hit the switch which would bring the beast, I had been fearing, to life. As I listened to the RPMs come up to speed, I was amazed at how quiet this model was and was shocked to see no vibration that I just knew would shake it loose from the table and turn it into a wild dragon snake striking at me with live venom from the shop floor.... It just did not happen
So far, so good..... as I reached for the scrap that was to take the maiden voyage through the rounder bit, I remembered a tip that said to do the cross cut ends first as they may splinter slightly and could then be smoothed by the grain pass afterward. Ahh... my courage was improving along with my self confidence as I began feeding my first pass, then the second pass and so on. The thrill was on as I realized how silly I had been by putting this off. I examined the scrap to be double sure it met my (I mean the wife's) requirements before proceeding to the REAL
stock. This was one sweet machine and so easy to use. I was able to complete the entire routing job in less than an hour and without one single glitch. After sanding, staining and varnishing the covers and then installing them the next day, I am feeling pretty cocky
. I now have the router "paid"
for and I am getting excited to see what else this baby has under the hood. What a Thrill
I am seriously considering making myself a first class router table with bells and whistles as a further learning and practice project before tackling more complex projects around "This Old House" Cheers to all and happy holidays