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Sear's Craftsman Tool Club with special tool sales and benefits for members. A great deal for the tool enthusiast.

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Always clean your hand tools before putitng them back in your tool box. Slightly wet tools can rust quickly.

Wood Router Basics

A router is one of the most versatile tools in a woodworkers toolbox. You can shape, trim, mold, or create decorative wood trim, chair rail and crown molding. When choosing a router, it is important to consider the type of work you plan to use it for and what kinds of wood you plan on using. If you work with harder woods such as oak or popular, a higher power router is typically recommended. In general, choosing a higher amperage router will not be a poor decision, especially if it is variable speed.

A wood router can do all sorts of wood working including cutting, shaping, and making crown molding, trim and bead board.

The majority of the time, a router is used for some pretty intricate wood work like cutting trim, making moldings or cutting beadboard. Due the fine detail in this kind of woodwork, the brand and quality of a router can yield more professional results. Routers with a metal casing tend to be more rigid in design and have less variance in cutting - something quite important in work like biscuit joining. We also think that a heavier router is easier to control as the router bit does not tend to drag the tool all over the work. We like router brands like Dewalt, Porter Cable, and Craftsman professional.

Routers are often featured as sale items at major home improvement stores and Sears tool departments (or a special member deal in the craftsman Tool Club). Many times these special prices come as a package combo and may include a router table. We have found a lot of the sale priced combo tables to be fairly flimsy and not worthy of anything but very general cutting and trimming, certainly not something a serious woodworker would want in their toolbox. It's best to go with a higher end steel or cast aluminum router table that is compatible with your router but is often sold separately. Look for a table that bolts down to a larger surface to create even more stability while working. There are also a number of good router table plans available on the internet and from quality wood worker supply companies is you would like to make your own router table.

The type of router base is also of consideration. The most popular kinds of router bases are the fixed base router and the plunge router. Fixed base routers are exactly that, they have a rigid base that does not flex or and change of depth during the cutting process. The depth is variable by a separate control that cannot be used during operation of the tool. A plunge base router is usually spring loaded and allows the depth to change by the amount of pressure used on the tool. These bases are extremely useful when cutting into the middle of a board to cut a center hole or for different kinds of biscuit joining. It is important to note that plunge base routers usually include a way to fix the base and they usually work well in both modes.

The type of router and router bits vary greatly on your intended usage. If you are cranking out massive amounts of bead board, crown molding, or chair rail, you may decide on different features than if you plan to have varied use on all different types of woodworking. Find a good work working supply like woodcraft in your area and take a look at your options.