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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought this book awhile back: Woodworking with the Router: Professional Router Techniques and Jigs Any Woodworker Can Use: Bill Hylton and Fred Matlack ISBN: 0-87596-751-5

The book is loaded with information...And is putting me to sleep! It is way over my head, and not an easy read or entertaining in the least.

Can anyone recommend a beginner, easy to read and understand router learning book for us slow minded folks?

Perhaps that has easy to follow samples, some easy to make useful jigs for beginners.

I don't want to learn everything at one time, I just want to learn the basics and build from there.

Thanks as always in advance.
 

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I'm assuming you've caught some of the Youtube videos on Basic Router stuff...?

Books are great but really more for reference material. Best way to read the books is to skim through it so that your mind's eye remembers what might be in there. Just read one chapter at a time and while doing that, try what the chapter discusses...

Is your router in a table or are you wanting to learn some free-hand techniques...? How it is used dictates the information you will need...

Sometimes it's more practical to pick your project and then determine the one or two technique required. For example, the project might require some edge-profiling...maybe a slot or two.

By doing this you will get some explicit direction on this Forum and you can search Youtube or your Hylton books for that particular operation.

Might this make it easier for you...?
 

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There's sound advice there. It's similar to an encyclopedia, and if that doesn't date me nothing does, but look at an aspect that interest you and read/try that. But of course read the safety information first and the basic use chapters where they explain direction of cut and so on. Build on that a bit at a time. As for the jigs and so on I build them as needed. Likely there will be some you may never use, why build those? It's like covering inlay, unless you have a project you want/need to do this you may never actually do a project that needs this so anything you learn you'll likely forget. Move on to something that applies to what you're doing or want to do. Of course you'd want to scan the book for stuff you might be interested in or maybe likely to be interested in later. Then you'll have an idea where to look when the time comes. Like watching the trailer of a movie sorta..........
 

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I wouldn't bother wit a book. A router is a pretty simple tool to use but do be careful with it. My advice would be to mount it on a table and leave it there. I'm a pretty heavy router user and three years ago I did a test to see how many times I had to remove the router from the table to do a job. The count so far is zero. There may be times when you need to plunge a router into something so for that you will remove the router but for everyday things that a router is designed for you are safer using it on the table. As far as building jigs, forget it. I'm going to get roasted but the only simple jig that is better made than buying is a circle jig. Of course, you will have to remove the router from the table to use it. The other jigs usually take longer to build and set up and are less accurate than simply buying a jig. In addition, jigs are a way of getting around buying the correct tool to do whatever it is that you are trying to do and that in itself can be dangerous. That's not saying that all jigs are bad I'm just saying that once you take the time to make one you will see what I mean.
 

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Art, that might make sense for some but it really depends on how and what is wanting to be done and not everyone has a router table. Now I admit that I use my router table 99% of the time but that's me. I have a friend, if you can believe that, and he uses mostly his handheld router quite well. Table vs. handheld is so subjective to use and need. And let's face it, educating oneself on the use and possibilities of a tool can't be bad. Heck even I learn something new after rereading some books at times. Having an open mind and learning from others, videos, and books is what keeps us educated and none of us know it all although I've met a few who swear they do.....and sharing on this forum helps us all learn new things. Just saying it's always good to have multiple sources to draw from.
 

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Hylton's earlier book with lots of color illustrations is an easier read, but I got my mind wrapped around routers, by watching particular videos.

Check out Youtube, videos by Marc Sommerfeld. He has a company that sells bits, jigs and other stuff, but he was a cabinet maker before that and his technique is really simple and easy to learn from. There are many other videos on youtube about using routers, many are great, many are mediocre, and a great many have removed all safety devices so you can see what the bit is doing.
I agree with the others that a book is for quick reference for spedific solutions to woodworking project problems.

If you are fairly new to woodworking, you might find the attached pdf of the 18 things that accelerated my learning curve, and might help you avoid a couple of the expensive mistakes I made. It's long, but has pictures and pretty concise information.

Here's a place to start with Sommerfeld.
 

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I (only) have four, and i use them all freehand. I will at some point get around to building a table!
Having said that, this seems like a pretty nice investment for $150...
https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/sho...0566-veritas-table-system-for-compact-routers

Plus the $15 for the acrylic base plate of course...
https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/sho...ries/110560-veritas-compact-router-base-plate
That is really cute little router stool. very versatile a person could stand on that to reach the top shelf.
Herb
 

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Jessie books like that one of Hylton's are meant to be used as references. Look through it now so that you are familiar with what's in it and when you have a job that it covers go to that section and read it in detail. When the material pertains to something you need to do it will become more interesting and easier to understand.

I also had a book of Spielman's, maybe the same one Doug mentioned, and it was pretty basic and easy to understand. Lots of Youtube videos too, some good, some bad. Some people think you watching them in real time is more interesting than editing out the monotonous parts.

As for whether to table rout or rout handheld the general rule for all tools is that if the job is large it's usually easier to take the tool to the job (handheld) and if the job is small it's usually easier to take the work to the tool (table).

As for the statement about buying jigs as opposed to building them yourself- if you are a DIYer and doing a lot of what gets put on your honey-do list then you'll only use a lot of jigs once. Spending money on them and then having them take up space in your shop doesn't make sense. Most jigs can be simply made out of shop scraps and don't take much more than 1/2 hr to an hour to make. I dismantle pretty well all of mine as soon as I finish with them and save any reusable parts. It could be years before I would use it again, I might forget I even have it by then, I might not remember how to use it by then, it may be the wrong size, and I may have figured out a better way by the time I need to do it again. Once you start making jigs the basic principles apply to many jobs and it keeps getting easier as you do it.
 

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@newbie2wood

Jessie...I'm going to take a shot at suggesting some audio/visual and also recommend you stop reading any more...:smile:...even the stuff that's been posted on this thread.

You may have done this already...go to Youtube and search for "basic router skills"...you will see a host of videos describing and showing all the basics. Norm Abrams has a few on YT discussing router basics. You will see discussions on direction of feed, importance of feed rate, how much to cut at one time, etc...

Reading without the benefit of watching or doing will certainly be overwhelming...you could even try some of the handheld basics with your trim router jsut to get the feel of the bit working on the wood...then do the same thing with your big router.

So, stop reading and do some watching...it'll be a good break for the eyes and mind...:smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Thanks all, your responses are greatly appreciated.

Yes, I am new to woodworking. I've been "hobbying" it for just over 3 years and I've learned quite a bit from the few classes I've taken (I like and have taken Steve Ramsey's classes and am currently taking his newest one).

However, I have avoided the router during this whole time because someone gave me an old Craftsman and when I turned it on I just about jumped through the roof! It was loud, heavy and when I applied it to a piece of wood it sent shards every where LOL.

I then purchased the trim router I have (the colt) which is a little easier for me as it's no where near as loud and heavy. I have a bench top shelf like table for it that I clamp to my bench but have not used it yet either. I have 2 bit sets, one 1/4" and 1/2" as well as a sleeve adapter.

My main woodworking hobby is scrolling. I try to do about 3 or more scrolls a week. I also make my own frames is primarily why I wanted to learn to use the router.

I've been making a bunch of shop furniture (flip top carts, work benches and a few tool carts) because of the current course I'm taking, and many of them use rabbets and dadoes. I've been using my table saw for the rabbets and dadoes, but someone suggested I use and try the router.

I have not tried using the router for rabbets or dadoes as it just seems too far beyond my skill level at the moment. Rabbets not so much, but dadoes yeah I'm not even comfortable doing them on my table saw yet.

So from what I can tell so far, I would mostly use the router for sprucing up my frames. I also want to cut out a bunch of 12" circles from my BB for some scroll work I have in mind which is another reason I bought that circle jig so it wouldn't be a "one off" purchase.

Thanks again for the guidance you all have provided - it is greatly appreciated and very useful.
 

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Excellent, Jessie! I love to hear that 'newbies' can find and take woodworking courses. Best way ever to get a safe start in this hobby. You also probably get to use fairly high end tools(?)...
You bring interesting material to the forum; the other members love to get their teeth into questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Excellent, Jessie! I love to hear that 'newbies' can find and take woodworking courses. Best way ever to get a safe start in this hobby. You also probably get to use fairly high end tools(?)...
You bring interesting material to the forum; the other members love to get their teeth into questions.
Actually, the tools are my own as the course is an online course.

The course provides plans (imperial and metric), cut lists, videos and a discussion group.

We then select what we want to make, buy the wood and make it best we can. In a few courses, I made all the projects. In the current course, I don't have room for most of the projects so I'm making the ones I can use/have room for.

Take pics of the finished projects, upload the pics and get our brownie points/gold star badge for completing the project.

It's actually a lot of fun, and the discussion group is not bad either. Lots of positive support and reinforcement for everyone.
 

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Jessie you seem to be interested enough that you'll stick with this hobby so it's getting time for you to think seriously about upgrading in the router department. You can get a good Bosch 1617 kit from CPO for reasonable money and that will give you plunge capability. Plunge routers are safer to use than fixed ones because when you are done you let up the pressure on the handles and the bit retracts out of the way. It's safer when you do things like making dadoes too. Fixed bases are nicer for edge profiling because of the lower center of gravity on them so the kit routers with two bases give you the best of both worlds.

For doing dadoes you should look up "exact width dado jig" on the forum. Using a jig like that makes dadoes just about fool proof and you won't be intimidated about doing them after one or two.
 

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Further to Charles' comment, i usually do rebates on plywood gables (cabinetry) with my router, freehand, using the Bosch micro- adjustable edge guide. every one is identical, and I don't have to manhandle large plywood panels...they're lying flat on my work table. In the case of rebates the fixed base works just fine.
 

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Yes. Go to your local library and look thru their books. Likely to have one. Or go to a bookstore and look thru what they have. Expensive if you buy there, I would buy used, on-line.xxxxxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Jessie you seem to be interested enough that you'll stick with this hobby so it's getting time for you to think seriously about upgrading in the router department. You can get a good Bosch 1617 kit from CPO for reasonable money and that will give you plunge capability. Plunge routers are safer to use than fixed ones because when you are done you let up the pressure on the handles and the bit retracts out of the way. It's safer when you do things like making dadoes too. Fixed bases are nicer for edge profiling because of the lower center of gravity on them so the kit routers with two bases give you the best of both worlds.

For doing dadoes you should look up "exact width dado jig" on the forum. Using a jig like that makes dadoes just about fool proof and you won't be intimidated about doing them after one or two.
I just got a plunge adapter for my Colt. I haven't used it yet as I'm still setting up from redoing my shop.

Currently waiting on my Wen air filtration

I'm hoping to be scrolling today (Sunday) as it's been a few weeks since I've scrolled anything

Also, I'm on a fixed budget and don't have access to a lot of funds for tools. My high end tool budget is just about maxed for life, specially after buying the new Wen + circle jig + plunge adapter :(

Further to Charles' comment, i usually do rebates on plywood gables (cabinetry) with my router, freehand, using the Bosch micro- adjustable edge guide. every one is identical, and I don't have to manhandle large plywood panels...they're lying flat on my work table. In the case of rebates the fixed base works just fine.
What is a rebate?
 
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