Router Tables: the basic accessory for mounting wood routers - Part 1

Odds are, if you have worked with wood for very long at all, you have a pile of wood stock tucked under your table or in a bin full of past mistakes and rejects. I keep mine not as a constant reminder of how they came into being but for testing new techniques and bits. No, I don't need my stack of mistakes to remind me. The memories still ring all to clearly in my mind - of the rising smoke, the steady roar of my wood router as it would seemingly shift in response to the plethora of curses I uttered as the mistakes were born.

The 1-step you need to enter the next level of fun and productivity: start using a router table for your wood working projects.

It still amazes me just how fast an expensive and beautiful piece of wood stock can go from being a potentially awesome piece of artwork to just another piece of scrap wood - but the revenants of my dead wood pile attest to the many cases where a split instance did just that. The loss of most of them was lamented not only by my voice, as only a frustrated wood butcher can seem to espouse, but by the rapidly shifting scream of my wood router as the smooth passage of wood across its bit changed. It almost seemed at the time that the router and I both shared the same frustration and anger at the mistake - both directed in the same direction: at me! But, enough of my reminiscing.

Although somewhat difficult to master, gaining the techniques and abilities that a quality wood router (and the jigs we can create to use with it) provide us, is doubtless one of the greatest gifts of wood working that we can give ourselves.

What other single tool can be so versatile? We can use it for joining, shaping and decorative edging. It can cut grooves, help create panel doors both raised and recessed, enable us to etch our names in wood or create fabulous inlays. Both a craft and a construction tool anyone who owns a router knows that, in addition to this wonder tool that so enriches our lives, there can be no more significant accessory than a quality router table upon which to mount it.

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