Hello, new to the forum. I am an amateur wood worker with minimal router experience. 25 years ago I used my dad's router free hand to rout out the pick up cavities for a home-made bass guitar because I was so clueless that I never even considered that templates were a thing. I have recently acquired a used Bosch router, hoping to make better use of it.
Glad you could join the fun. What kinds of things are you interested in making? Sounds as if you may have done some DIY projects over the years. Did you get the plunge base? A router table (home made is fine) is a very good thing and makes routing much safer than working freehand. If you search for shop made or home made router tables, you'll find a wealth of informaiton. You can put together a workable table for maybe $25 to $100, depending on how fancy you want to get. Also, do you have a table saw yet? These questions are very helpful for Forum members to offer input or help.
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