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Good evening to you all

1961 Views 21 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  Old_Tom
HI ..I'm a lady who is very much a novice but love the way and that a router will bring a new enlightenment to my woodworking projects. I have so much to learn from all of you...I've already purchased two secondhand routers but I'm already lost with the bits,Collett ,depth, etc so please be patient with me....
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Hello and welcome to the router forum. Sandy
Welcome Sandy...
you'll like it here... to bump ya outta your novice status we have a bit a reading for ya at this here link...
BTW.. what routers did you get???
Welcome Sandy, We are here to help you along with your adventures. We like pictures of you tolls and projects and your questions, don't be bashful.
Welcome to the forum, Sandy! Add your first name to your profile to clear the N/a in the side panel. Add your location, as well. This often helps us to help you.

As has been said, we like photos of shops, tools, projects, etc. so post some whenever you're ready! :grin:

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Welcome to the forum Sandy. This is a great place to pick up wood working advice. There are many folks here that are very helpful.
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Welcome, Sandy!!!
Welcome Sandy. As you can see most of us are even friendly. And I must say we also like pictures of your tools as well. There is a huge amount of collective knowledge and experience here so don't be bashful, ask away.
Welcome aboard.
Hi Sandy and welcome. Feel free to ask any question.
Hi Sandy,

You join a small group of ladies who also love woodworking. Stick posted a link to a number of pdfs on router use and safety. They are well worth taking the time to read, maybe not all at once. What brand and model routers you have is an important bit of information because we have members who have probably owned the same machine and can answer questions with specificity.

Since you're new at this, I've attached a pdf of the 17 plus things that helped me accelerate my woodworking learning curve. It covers a period of 12 years and touches on many important issues, but don't expect to do what's in there all at once. Take your time, make stuff just for the fun of it. Learn as you go. The pdf is intended to help you make good choices, not waste money or repeat some of the dumb mistakes I made over the years.

Someone is almost certain to suggest you make your own router table. Lots of information on that on here and YouTube. A router table can be as simple as a sheet of plywood with a hole in it with the router mounted below. Table routing is FAR SAFER than using one freehand. You need a fence with a router table, and that can be just a piece of very straight 2x4 clamped to the edges of the plywood. You can even find a second hand table and cut the hole in that for the router. There's a picture of a home built table and fence below.

Bits are a whole different world. The shape of the bit varies according to what you want it to do. The most common is probably the roundover bits. It gives you a quarter of a circle shaped cut, like the edge of a quality table. Bet everyone here has a set of 3, for 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 inch bits. Those are the ones you're likely to use right away to soften the sharp edges of a board. The picture is of a set of 3 that show the way the bit cuts their shape.

The direction you make cuts is something you have to pay close attention to. Stick's documents cover that and will clear up any confusion.

Bit height just means how far the bit sticks out from either the base (freehand), or above the table. You measure this with a very simple little tool, which I suggest you order to make your router life easier. Picture attached. It spans the opening and a small sliding measuring stick just touches the cutting edge of the bit telling you its height. Amazon has this one for $13,aps,204&sr=8-11

Most of us here are dads, and we try to take really good care of the lady members, kind of a protective thing for any dad with daughters. With that in mind, please go to a Lowes or Home Depot and buy the following:

--A dust mask (3M makes one with a valve to let exhale escape, but keeps sawdust from getting in.)
--Hearing protection (Earmuff style with 25 db noise suppression--Routers can be very noisy and can damage hearing.)
--Safety glasses (You can find one with bifocals if you need them.) If you need to wear glasses, search for goggle type eye protection that fits over your glasses-see pix. First time you get sawdust in your eye you'll know why this is important.

A lot of us here had someone in our lives who got us interested in woodworking. Was/is there someone like that for you? We always love to know such things.


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Welcome to the Router Forums Sandy. We all look forward to helping you with your first projects with your routers. Just let us know what questions you have and we will all give our two cents worth.
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Welcome to the Forum,'re gonna love it here. Before you know it, you'll be juggling those routers like nothing.'ll get plenty of help spending your money on tools... :grin:
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Collets look a lot like a nut with internal threads that screw down on the threads at the end of the motor shaft. But collets are actually high precision devices, made of at least two parts. The outside has straight, parallel sides, usually 6 of them, but inside is a precisely machined slightly indlined space tube. The second part is a tapered, slotted tube precisely machined so that as the outer nut is tightened down, it squeezes the inner part, that tightens the inner part's grip on the shank of the bit. The fit is really tight, just a few thousandths of an inch between free removal of the bit to a tight grip that holds fast at 25,000 to 30,000 rpms. They do wear out, and some brands are more vulnerable to wear than others.

Some routers require you use two wrenches, one grips a flat spot on the motor shaft to hold it still, the other wrench fits the collet. A few routers have a button you depress that keeps the shaft from turning, so you only need one wrench to tighten or loosen the collet. One problem on some of the older routers is that the collets are no longer made. Sometimes you can find a substitute, but it's one reason older routers are not necessarily a good deal.

One thing to think about is that you don't bottom out the shank (shaft) of the bit in the collet. When you do that, there's no room for the inner portion to get a good grip on the shank. A bit spinning at 25,000 rpms can come flying off and it will do serious damage to anything it hits, including you. That the why of the safety glasses. I just find a half inch grommet and drop that in so the bit isn't bottomed out and has room to move so the collet gets a good grip. But you can also bottom the bit, then raise it about 1/8th of an inch. Some bits have a line inscribed for how deep you should seat the bit.

Now, this may be more detail than you bargained for, but now you know.


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G'day, Sandy, welcome to the forum..
Welcome aboard to our fun and knowledgeable corner of the world.
Welcome aboard Sandy. As a novice myself I can vouch for how good the members of this forum are at providing great advice and helpful suggestions.

I've learned quite a bit from here, and no question is too trivial.
Love to see pictures of your work as you go.
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Welcome to the forum Sandy.
Welcome to the forum Sandy :)
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