If you possess even the slightest experience with woodworking, then you must have heard about routers. They are exceptional tools that make woodworking much easier. They’re commonly used for cutting grooves, rounding edges, making wooden signs and much more. Routers come in different type, so having a clear understanding of its usage is important to fully reap from its benefits.
There are a number of things you must keep in mind when using a router. Among that, your safety comes first. Like all other power tools, albeit useful, routers can also be a bit dangerous to use, especially if you do not take the necessary protective measures.
If you are wondering how to cut curves in wood with a router and if it’s even possible, then the short answer is that it is. However, it’s not as straightforward as some people may think. So, let’s shed more light on it in this article to walk you through the process.
Key Considerations when using a Router
Before you move on to cut curves in wood with a router, just like every other machine, there are several things to consider. From your personal safety to understanding how to properly operate the tool, here’s some insight to make the process safer and easier.
1. Protective Measures
When working on DIY projects, it is easy to forget the importance of personal safety. Power tools are not something to be taken lightly, they can leave injuries and wounds that may last forever. While a router may not give you scars, wearing the right safety gear still comes first.
For starters, routers tend to make a lot of noise. Therefore, they can cause ear damage if you are not wearing ear protection. And of course, when doing any kind of woodwork, eyes are always the most exposed part of your body. So it goes without saying that there’s no bargain in wearing safety goggles.
2. Clean the Surroundings
When working on any DIY project using a power tool, having clean surroundings is a must. The last thing you want is to stumble on a piece of wood while working on your project and potentially getting injured. So, keep an eye out for anything that you think is not going to contribute to the project, and store it away.
3. Use of Right Bits
This is a mistake that most beginners make. If you do not use the right bits, then it may cause wood splintering. Which in result, costs you a tremendous amount of additional money. Ideally, when using a router you should aim to use sturdy and sharp bits to optimally get the job done.
The higher the quality of the bits, the cleaner the cuts. Thus, if you want to get the best results and prevent splintering and tear-outs of wood then prioritise using the right bits.
4. Bit Speed
Bit speed adjustment may be troublesome for some people. However, it is an important part of woodworking to avoid burning and heating of router. The general rule to adjust the speed is to observe the diameter of the cut. If the diameter is large, keep the speed slow, and vice versa.
5. Routing Table
If you have a routing table in your arsenal, using a router can become so much easier! Apparently, most people do not realize that. With the help of routing tables, the router can be fixed to one spot. This does not only reduces fatigue but also, promotes safety and efficiency.
Cutting Curves in Wood with a Router
Now that you have gone over the basics, let’s come to the real question. The following steps apply for not only cutting curves but also a circle:
- Start by cutting the wood in a circular shape;
- Prepare some holes on the circle;
- Drill pivot holes with a space of 1-inch on the jig;
- Prepare holes on woodblock.
- Cut a neat and precise circle.
- Use a sander to sand wood dowels.
- Keep the sander on both sides of the router.
- Set the right bits and with the help of a router, cut an arch then continue sliding the router
- Use a jigsaw to cut curves.
The Bottom Line
For people who are just getting into the world of woodworking, the use of a router might be challenging. However, they are one of the most useful tools out there to cut curves. So, sooner or later, you would have to learn to use it for your DIY projects. This is why we’ve tried to make sure to walk you through each and every step as intricately as possible. After all, there’s no room for confusion when doing woodwork.
The last thing you would want is for your hours and hours of effort to go in vain because of one rookie mistake. With that being said, regardless of how small the task is, always make sure to use personal protective equipment. This is one thing that you cannot negotiate upon if you prioritise your safety. Lastly, always make sure to use high-quality bits. The better and sharper the bits, the cleaner the cuts.
So we hope now you will easily be able to cut curves in wood with a router and embark on your epic woodwork journey!