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Using A Router For Trimming Wood

Routers are very versatile things and they can do so much. Wood workers and carpenters around the world use them for various different purposes and they can be used on different materials too. Along with cutting edges, bevels, and rabbets, they can also do things like trimming wood. Today we are here to talk about trimming wood with a router and how you can easily master the technique.

Making A Guide

Of course you can use a wood router to trim down bits of wood to make them the size that you want. The first thing you need to do, especially when trimming down several pieces of wood to be the same size, is to make a guide to make sure that you don’t cut away too much or too little. You can use a 2x4 or a piece of plywood to create the guide that you need in order to get the job done. You need to make this guide the exact size that your final product will be.

To get the job done and trim the wood properly you are going to need a flush trim router bit. The bearing and the cutter are exactly the same diameter, so whatever the bearing rides on it is going to make the cut below the same size. If you are cutting thicker wood you will need a big and beefy bit. If the bit is too small it will vibrate too much and cause damage to your wood. When it comes to choosing the bit that you want to use we would recommend using a shear or spiral bit because they will eliminate fuzz, cracks, and splinters when trimming the wood. These bits slice away at the wood instead of cutting right into it unlike other bits and this will result in a cleaner trim. Your bit should also have a combine up-cut and down-cut configuration to give you the cleanest possible cuts on the top and the bottom of your wood.

Using The Pattern

You will want to use double sided tape to stick the pattern or guide to the piece of wood that you are cutting. Make sure that the pattern is positioned properly because the double sided tape holds so well that you may only get one shot. Make sure that the pattern and the wood you are working on are centered properly and well attached to each others.

The Height

The height of the bit should be set so that the bearing will ride on the pattern and the cutter is just slightly above the material. Then get on the bearing, turn on the router, and start trimming away the excess wood. We would recommend using a piloted bit to ensure that you get straight lines when needed. You can also use a clamp guide to make sure that your wood is securely locked into place. Once the flush trim is done you can take the pattern off and remove the tape residue.


After you have trimmed the excess wood away you may want to do some sanding if you have any rough edges. Sanding is something you will have to do with either a power sander or with some hand held sandpaper.

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