How to use a router correctly. Features of using a manual machine

What do you need a router for wood and what they can do at home

The article describes in detail the types of work that can be done with a milling machine at home. Describes all the steps. from adjusting speed and processing depth parameters to step-by-step milling techniques. Also provides a number of rules for safe handling of the milling machine and its subsequent care.

What to do with a handheld cutter

Wood is probably the most popular material for making furniture and various home crafts. In order to increase the ability to produce complex parts, it is desirable to have a hand router in the workshop. With this tool, the home craftsman will be able to pass profiles on parts, make joinery cleats, make tongue-and-groove trim lath and many other operations.

In addition to wood, the hand router is used to work with plastic, plywood, fiberboard and Laminated chipboard. There are two basic types of routers, a fixed grass trimmer and a plunge cut depth adjustable router. The submersible tool is usually more powerful and gives you much more options to work with. Grass trimmer is a small router that is used for edge trimming, quartering, and grooving.

A removable cutter, or bit, is mounted from below on the end of the shaft and clamped with a collet nut. The cutter rotates counterclockwise and therefore must be guided counterclockwise. Mastering the skills of the work can be a master with any level of training, but all the secrets will not open at once. The possibilities of the tool are so great that you can learn new methods of work even after several years of close acquaintance with the tool. Start in the article how to work with a hand router.

Setting the main parameters of the wood milling machine

Before you start the wood router, you must install the work tool, a router bits, and set the main parameters. the rotation speed and plunge depth.

Setting up a router attachment

To insert a working nozzle into the wood router or replace the old one, it is worth adhering to the following algorithm of actions:

  • Disconnect the power tool from the mains. Check that the start button is off.
  • Lay the machine sideways so that the spindle locking button is at the top.
  • Press the button while turning the spindle until it engages with the locking mechanism. Use wrench to unscrew collet nut. Not all wood router models have a spindle lock button. Then two wrenches are needed. Use one wrench on the nut on the spindle to secure it. Use another wrench to unscrew the collet nut.
  • After unscrewing nut remove cutter shank from collet clamp.
  • A new tooling is inserted. Tail sinks all the way in.
  • Screw the nut on the collet clamp back on. securely, but not too hard so as to not tear off the threads.
  • Release spindle lock.

Important! Do not tighten the nut of the collet clamp with the cutter missing. you can break the clamp.

router, correctly, features, using, manual, machine

Cutter head speed

The choice of rotational speed of the wood router bit depends on two main parameters:

There is a general rule: The higher the rotational speed of the cutter, the cleaner and smoother the finished surface. Avoid exceeding the permissible speed when doing this, as the wooden workpiece may catch fire. It is recommended to work with hard wood at lower RPM than with soft wood.

Speed depends on the hardness of the wood

There is an inverse relation between cutter diameter and rotational speed. The maximum allowable speeds depending on the diameter of the wood router attachment are given in the table:

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Diameter, mm Speed, thousand rpm
under 25 24
26-50 18
51-63 16
64-75 14
more than 75 12

Milling depth setting

In order to operate the wood mill at a greater depth, it is recommended not to set the required index at once, but to achieve it in several stages. This is done to reduce the load on the machine and the working cutter. Depth setting is done with the turret stop. This is a disc located under the bar and equipped with stops of different heights. feet. There are usually 3 to 7. Lock the turret stop in position with the flag locking device.

Step-by-step procedure for setting the milling depth:

  • Set the router on a level surface and release all clamps.
  • Press the router bit with your hand until it reaches the surface.
  • Unscrew the stop on the turret.
  • Select the foot that corresponds to the desired plunging depth of the milling head and turn the disc.
  • Hold the slider with your finger, but do not lock the screw. The movable pointer is moved to coincide with the zero mark, as shown in the photo.
  • Raise the rod to the mark corresponding to the milling depth.
  • The turret retainer is lowered.

Interesting! Some expensive wood router models are equipped with a fine depth adjustment wheel. It makes it possible to adjust the value without disrupting previous settings.

Copying rings and templates

Copying bushing for a router is a device with a protruding rim that slides along the template and thus sets the cutter motion in the required direction. Such ring can be fixed on the router base in different ways: screwed down with screws, screwed into threaded holes, inserted with special claws into holes in the tool base.

Calculation of the milling cutter offset when using a copy sleeve

The diameters of the copying ring and the tool used should have close values, but it is important that the ring does not touch the cutting part of the cutter. If the diameter of the ring exceeds the lateral dimension of the copying mill, the template must not exceed the size of the workpiece to compensate for the difference between its size and the diameter of the tool.

The router template, made in the form of a ring, can be attached to a workpiece made of wood by means of double-sided adhesive tape and clamps, which hold both parts to the work table. After milling the template, check that the ring is firmly pressed against the edge of the template during the milling operation.

Oblong hole pattern and copying ring

Templates for milling can be used not only to process the entire edge of the product, but also to give its corners a rounded shape. Using such a template for a router, you can perform roundings of different radius on the corners of the processed wood product.

Templates used to work with a hand router can be equipped with a bearing or ring. In the latter case, the following conditions must be met: the ring must exactly match the diameter of the cutter or the design of the device should be provided with stops, which allow you to move the template from the edge of the workpiece and thus eliminate the difference between the radii of the tool and the ring.

With the help of templates, which can also be adjustable, you can not only mill the edges of the workpiece made of wood, but also create shaped grooves on its surface. over, if you make a suitable template, which is not too difficult, you can cut out the slots for door hinges quickly and accurately.

A few more tips for choosing handheld milling devices

If you plan to engage in woodcarving milling machines in your home workshop, then, as mentioned above, you can opt for less powerful devices, which are cheaper, but can provide the whole list of functions you need. In this case, it is better to choose those models in which there is an option to adjust the speed of rotation of the tool used. In this case, you should pay attention to the fact that the wheel, which provides such adjustment, was of the discrete type and moved with some force, but not too freely.

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convenient when determining the depth of milling is a power tool whose lower end of the collet does not protrude beyond the base plate. When you are shown the router in a store, make sure the collet locks into place quickly and securely.

The corrugations of insufficiently elastic material in an inexpensive router do not provide proper protection of telescopic columns from dust

The ergonomics of the chosen power tool should also attract your special attention, because it is much more convenient and safer to work with a hand-held cutter, which is designed in every detail. In the concept of “ergonomics hand router” includes not only the convenience of his handles and the presence of lighting, but also the convenience of the location of the dust ejector, and even such a trifle as the length of the electric cord.

The rubberized handles add convenience to the work

Reading reviews of handheld milling devices, you can meet the opinion that professional power tools are inherently of higher quality than household models. Meanwhile, as practice shows, even domestic models of milling machines can be very high quality, and the fact that the power tool belongs to the professional series is not an indicator of its high level of performance. In this case, everything depends on the specific manufacturer (before buying, it is advisable to study the rating of the respective brands).

If we talk about the main signs by which you can easily distinguish the manual milling machine professional level, they should include:

  • the presence of a large number of additional devices in the standard equipment of the router;
  • The use of metal bushings rather than polymer bushings in the design of the milling machine;
  • installation of bearing units in metal sleeves, in which even after numerous heating and cooling cycles there is no backlash.

A professional tool provides accurate milling and comfortable work

Professional routers, thanks to such features of their design, can work for several hours in a row, while household models should be allowed to cool down for the same period of time after a short period of use (15 minutes on average).

The question of how to choose a router is very important. However, it is equally important to know how to work with a router to get the desired results. If you have never dealt with a similar power tool before, it is not enough just to get acquainted with the theoretical part of such a question, it is also advisable to watch video lessons on the subject.

Below you will find a selection of excellent video tutorials on working with the hand router in the home workshop.

Machining wooden parts

The first thing you must learn is how to set the milling depth correctly. To do this, you have to set the zero point. It is impossible to set it rigidly, because it changes with every cutter change. The zero point is the position of the tool when the end of the cutter touches the material and is secured by a special device called a clamp.

Note that each router has a different locking position. To control the depth of plunge of the cutting tool into the body of the material, a stop pin with a coarse setting scale is used.

When milling with an end mill, the counteracting force from the cutting force drives the router sideways. To prevent this from happening, you need to use a parallel stop. The milling process is as follows. Set the cutter along the marked line, fix the position of the stop with the special screw. Set the milling depth and start the machine. If the parallel stop is set on the left side, pull the router toward you, when on the right side, pull it away from you.

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In order to choose a quarter on the bar, you need to set the cutting edge of the cutter along the edge itself, fix it, set the depth of the quarter, turn on the cutter and pull it toward you (if the stop is on the left side of the bar). Surface milling of narrow bars has its own peculiarity. The problem is that it is very difficult to hold the router on the narrow side of the workpiece. If it wobbles during operation, the groove is inaccurate.

To avoid this problem, clamp the block with a clamping clamp and put a block of exactly the same size in parallel. Then the milling machine will acquire two points of support and will not wobble.

Working with a hand router can replace the work of a planer. Several attachments to the milling machine are needed for this. It looks as follows: two equal-sized slats to fix the milling mechanism and use it as a planer, where a large-diameter cutter is installed instead of the shaft.


There are many attachments for working on wood with a hand router:

  • Edging. Equipped with a bearing that allows you to set the distance from the edge of the workpiece to the blade. Used to create both shaped and flat edges in wooden parts.
  • Slots (spiral, fillet, dovetail, profiled). Allow you to cut notches and grooves.

There are plain milling cutters as well as kit milling cutters, assembled from two or more cutting elements. Using a kit cutter, you can realize the desired shape of the product.

Hand router bits differ in thickness, height, and spacing of blades, so you can choose cutting tools for every application.

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Features of a router

When buying a hand router, pay attention to a number of performance and technical features.

  • Engine power. determines the maximum load, cutter diameter, processing depth per pass and, in part, the tool life.
  • Maximum spindle speed. the higher mill rotation speed, the cleaner the workpiece finish.
  • Speed regulator. adapts the working mode to any material.
  • Collet diameter. determines size of mill shank. Standard. 12 mm, the kit usually includes adapters for 8 and 6 mm.
  • Plunging depth of the cutter. for standard milling cutters up to 45 mm depending on the model, the method of fixation in the chuck.
  • Precise adjustment of plunging depth. by means of an undercutting screw.
  • Revolver stop. serves for quick change of the milling depth.

In the field of electronics, milling cutters are equipped with:

  • Maintain RPM under load. will keep the cutter speed under load.
  • Soft-start or soft-start system. prevents jerking when the engine starts.
  • Overload protection. warns you of high loads or cuts off power to the electric motor if you work too hard.

Milling capabilities depend on the materials from which it is made, the quality of components and their level of assembly. Inaccurate scale, lack of perpendicularity or parallelism, backlash. all reduce the accuracy of machining parts, products.

Equipped with

  • Parallel stop. for working at a given distance from the edge of the workpiece.
  • Guide rail. allows you to make straight grooves, but not necessarily parallel to the face or side of the board.
  • A copying bush. a tool for mass copying parts from a template.
  • Circular. will help to cut circles of different diameters.

The hand router itself is a multifunctional tool for the home workshop, woodworker and model maker. Simple fixtures, tables, and templates increase the capabilities of the machine many times over.

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