The Router Book - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

Book Review

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The Router Book: A Complete Guide to the Router and its Accessories



The Router is one of the most versatile tools in the workshop, capable of many tasks. This book by Pat Warner, who is a specialist on routers, covers all the bases (see contents below).
 
Pat begins with some fundamentals on the router, discussing the various applications and types of routing jobs. This includes decoration, millwork and joinery, where the route really excels. He covers the issues around hand routing, plunge routing and table routing, setting the stage for the following chapters that deal with specific topics in more detail. Each chapter is well illustrated with colour photographs.
 
The next 12 chapters start with a discussion on controlling the router. He explains how important direction of cut is, along with various ways to make sure it goes where you want it, including template guides, bits with bearings and finally, edge guides. He gives tips and techniques to ensure you get the best possible results.
 
Different types of routers are discussed in the next three chapters. Pat discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each type, including their primary uses and limitations. He also provides some buying tips as well as identifying his router preferences in a way that gives you an opportunity to decide which is best for you.
 
The next topic is about the Router Table. Extensive information on design of a router table, including the tabletop material is useful for anyone planning on making their own. Various options for a fence are presented, from the dead simple, to the complex. Pat then reviews safety, identifying dangerous situations, which may not be obvious.
 
The router table is followed up with the business end of the router, the router bits. A discussion about performance, life and materials provides a better understanding about the choices that have to be made when buying bits. As well, the shank diameter and types are reviewed, followed by a very short discussion on sharpening.
 
The next two chapters focus on accessories and jigs, both store-bought and shop-made. This includes guides, bases, chip collection, circle routing, tenon making, mortising and more. A photograph accompanies each jig, detailed illustration you can follow in order to make it yourself, and tops for their use.
 
A full chapter on router safety is presented, followed by a discussion on router issues such as risks, problems and ergonomics. Following this is a discussion on starting the router and finally, details on template routing.
 
Book Type:  Technique/Info
Level: All Levels
Author: Pat Warner
Publisher: The Taunton Press
Softcover, 8.25” x 10”, 185 Pages (full colour photos), $32.50 CDN
 
About the Book’s Author:
Pat Warner has written over 70 articles on routers for various magazines in addition to writing four other books. In addition to writing, he has produced three router videos, teaches routing and makes furniture, jigs and accessories for the router.
 
CONTENTS:
Introduction to Routing
 
* Applications
* Types of Routing
 
Cutter Pathway Control
* Bearing Guided Cutters
* Collar Guides
* Edge Guides
* The Sub base
* Tool Shank
* The Circle Cutter
* Other Guide Options
 
Fixed Base Routers
* Router Basics
* Leading Fixed Base Routers
* Department Store Routers
* Best Fixed Base Applications
 
Plunge Routers
* Basic Anatomy
* Power as an Asset
* Adding Stability
* Helpful Features
* Best Uses for Plunge Routers
 
Laminating Trim Routers
* Guide Systems
* Other Features & Applications
 
Router Tables
* Router Table Basics
* The Fence
* Protection from the Cutter
* Depth of Cut Strategies
* Climb Cutting
* The Miter Gauge
* Router Table Safety
 
Router Bits
* Evaluating Performance
* Cutter Life
* Materials
* Shank Diameter
* Cutter Types
* Sharpening
 
Router Accessories
* Guides and Bases
* Router Table Accessories
* Chip Collection
 
Simple Shop-made Jigs
* Right Angle Templates
* Slot Makers
* Shop-made Mortiser
* Tenon Maker
* End-Lap Template
* Adjustable Tenon Maker
* Circle Maker
* Router Horse
* Pin-Routing Jig
* 45 Degree Bevel
 
Router Safety
* Hand Router Safety
* Router Table Safety
* Climb Cutting
* Stock Preparation
* Cutter Surprises and Risks
* Health Concerns
 
Common Router Limitations
* Risks and Problems
* Weight and Ergonomics
 
Starting up the Router
* Preparation and Setup
* Router Table Setup
 
Template Routing
* Tools and Materials
* Template Uses and Types
* Making Basic Templates



MICHEL THERIAULT is a writer and woodworker living
Michel Theriault

in Guelph, Ontario.