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How To Fix Common Mistakes Of A Router Table

Wood routers and router tables are fantastic tools for any wood worker or craftsman to have because they let you do some really neat things like cutting patters, creating edges for shelving, makes grooves and notches, as well as a variety of other tasks. However people often experience some problems with their router tables, especially when using one for the first few times. Here we have listed the most common router table problems and how you can fix them.

Going Too Small

One mistake that many beginner wood workers who want a router make is to get a router table that is too small. Sure people may be tempted to buy a smaller table because they are cheap and save some space, if you are a dedicated craftsman you will likely outgrow the table within a short matter of time. Don’t invest in something small and cheap, instead you should invest in something slightly more pricey that has standard factory parts which can let you equip guides, fences, miter gauges, and other important accessories such as a dust collector.

A Slipping Bit

One common problem for router tables is to have a slipping bit. This is where the bit can move around inside the housing or the chuck and eventually as the chuck turns the bit will slip around and won’t actually move in the wood. The simple way to solve this issue is to tighten the chuck around the bit to create a tighter fit. Another problem may be that the chuck itself is stripped, which means that no bits will be able to tighten properly. In this case you will need to buy a new chuck for your router table.

Need For A Dust Collector

When many people first buy a wood router and a router table they don’t consider getting a dust collector. Many router tables don’t come with their own dust and debris collector and that can be a problem because excess sawdust and wood debris can get into the cracks of the table and can also infest the workings of the router itself. The easy solution to this problem is to get yourself a dust collector at the same time as buying the router table.

Inconsistent Bit Speed

Sometimes your bit may be inconsistent in terms of its speed and may slow down or move faster depending on the project you are working on. The most common cause of this problem is if your router has worn out belts that cause it to operate at different speeds. To solve this problem you will need to shut off the power, unplug the router and open up the housing to look at the belts to see if there is any abnormal wear and tear, rips, or other damage to the belts which cause the bit to move. If the belts are no longer in good condition they will need replacing. If it is not the belts that are damaged you may need to check to see if the belts are connected properly to the drive wheels. If they are not properly connected make sure that they are set properly on the wheels and also tight enough to stay on them.

Power Problems

Sometimes when you go to turn on the router table nothing happens and of course this is very frustrating when you are trying to work on something. This is a common problem that happens quite often, but it does have some simple solutions. First of all, you may have pulled out the power cord by mistake so always check to see if your router table is actually plugged in. Next you can also check the circuit breakers or the fuses to see if the problem lies there. You may need to replace a fuse or switch the breakers on and off. If that does not solve the problem then you either have a malfunction with your machine or a problem with your electricity; in both cases you will need to call a repairman or electrician.

Bit Depth

For all woodworking endeavors you are going to require the table and the bit to be set at a very specific height, and any changes in that height may result in errors being made in the woodworking. This is because as you work away sawdust will accumulate and this can actually cause the bit to be pushed upwards, something that is definitely unwanted. To solve this problem use a screwdriver to dig out the compacted sawdust and then use compressed air to get rid of any loose sawdust on the table or on your workspace.

Stuck Guides

Another common problem experienced by people who use a router table is that the guides will become stuck. These guides are needed to do precise cutting, especially in straight lines, but with temperature fluctuations and other factors these guides can quickly become immovable and useless. The simple way to get rid of this problem is to use pliers or a wrench to slightly loosen the bolts so that the guide can move. Be careful when loosening the bolts because they may break. It is best to use some lubricant to help loosen the bolts and also to help the guide move along easier. After lubricating make sure that the bolts are securely locked in place so that the guide doesn’t move while routing.

Buying Everything At Once

Some people who use a wood router table make the mistake of buying all of their accessories first before ever using the router table. This can be a mistake because using a router table is somewhat of a trial and error experience. You want to work with the table for a while to see which accessories are best suited for your purposes. Buying too much at once may very well just be a waste of money.

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Roger - Sep. 2016

I see many interesting posts here.

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