wood shop #2: tools, router table

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Blog entry by thrillseeker posted 08-16-2009 06:04 PM 784 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: in progress Part 2 of wood shop series no next part

I have ZERO skill with this tool. Can anyone suggest some simple projects to develop this skill and help me along a career of wood working. I have a craftsman router table that is metal stamped, with about a 12×12 work surface. I have no bits except the rusted one that is attached to the router and will also need some info on bits to purchase.

Since I am new to this site can anyone help me locate plans to attempt some of these projects. Pictures are wonderful, but I need all the instruction I can get.



-- Enjoying life one experience at a time!

5 comments so far

View Rustic's profile


3253 posts in 3595 days

#1 posted 08-16-2009 08:41 PM

I have some plans that I can email to ya. pm me with your email address and I will locate them and send them to you in day or so

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3576 days

#2 posted 08-16-2009 08:47 PM

Hey Thrill
I would suggest simple boxes or bird houses. There are tons of plans on line like or, .Welcome to LJs

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3648 days

#3 posted 08-16-2009 08:55 PM

first things first – welcome aboard.

before you go develop the skills with a router table – I would suggest at looking on, youtube for any videos that are router-table related. this would give you a few ideas as to what can be done with this table to begin with – which is more important than “finessing a skill”. once you understand the “what”, the “how to” becomes easier to follow. Gary Rogowsky of FWW has a good video/DVD that deals with the router table – you can rent it from the local library, or get it online. a good router DVD, and also deals with router tables in a good way.

whatever you do, do not get your hands too close to an exposed bit on the router table – this thing is fast and nasty. think safety first, and do not under any circumstance do climb cutting on a router table – unlike freehand, on the table it’s practically impossible to control = disaster.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View thiel's profile


387 posts in 3291 days

#4 posted 08-17-2009 04:22 AM

I remember years ago when I got my first router and table.

I bought a “set” of (about 12) bits on ebay for about $20. I’m both proud and embarrassed to say that I still use them when I need 1/4 bits and they do fine. I would do this again :-)

I first used my table just to do edge treatments on simple stuff, which was a nice way to get used to using it and the work wasn’t hard on the router.

As I got more and more comfortable, I got more and more use out of the table. It’s just a natural progression. Once you know what you’re doing, buy really GOOD bits when you need them (e.g. Whiteside brand) and you’ll soon start to build up a collection. Woodcraft also occasionally has a sale on bits—they sell a bunch of their own brand for about $5 each… a GREAT BARGAIN. Also, look for clearance items at Rockler. Often then have bits for $5 or less (good ones: Porter Cable, Freud, etc.)

Good luck and have fun… but be safe. Routers don’t seem as scary as they really are!

-- Laziness minus Apathy equals Efficiency

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3285 days

#5 posted 08-17-2009 10:27 PM

I totally agree with PurpLev on the safety thing. Do your research before you jump in. I guess you are, or you wouldn’t be asking here—Duh! Watch videoes as others have stated. Get a feel for what router tables do . Check out “Jigs” under “Projects” There are lots of good ideas there. You can safely route even tiny pieces if you secure the work right.

Good luck, There is a lot to learn.


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