The Wood Router

One of the most versatile and heavily used power tools in the home wood shop, would have to be the router. These tools are capable of so many things, you could spend an awful amount of time learning their full potential. From cutting dado's, to making moldings, to making raised panel doors, these tools, equipped with the proper bit, can accomplish a whole host of wood working tasks.

There are a number of things to consider when buying a router. The first thing to consider would be deciding if you plan on owning more than one of these modern marvels. In most professional wood shops, dedicated routers are common. This simply means cutters, or bits, as they're commonly called and are left in the router, and set to perform a certain function. These routers are not used for anything else, as once they are adjusted for a specific task, they are used only for that. It might be to rabbit the back edge of cabinets, to allow the back panel to sit in this recess, or one set up with a commonly used edging bit. The advantage of this is the time saved in changing bits and adjusting it.

Obviously, a home wood shop is not as likely to own ten or more routers, but having more than one is a very good idea. If you want to have one installed into a router table, it is very convenient to have a dedicated one. Typically, you would want a plunge router for this, and one with sufficient power to handle larger cutter sets, such as raised panel cutters, for making cabinet doors. Trying to use one of these large bits in a hand held router would be quite dangerous.

Knowing router safety is imperative, as these tools, while considered relatively safe, can do a lot of damage. Using the proper feed direction, whether using a hand held router, or a router table, is important. This is not a big of a safety factor in a hand held router, as it is with a router table, but it is still quite important.

With a router table, feeding a board into a spinning router bit, in the same direction that the bit is turning, is likely to end up with the board being dropped out of your hands, and shot like a miss across your shop. If it were to hit someone, there is a very strong chance it would be fatal.

The feed direction in a hand held router is left to right, and in a router table, is right to left. The feed direction is opposite, since the router is held in the opposite position.

Eye protection is a must, and a mask for the dust is highly recommended. If your router has a vacuum port, it helps consider to use it. One tool that will fill the air with dust very quickly is the router.

Some routers have a toggle type switch, so it is important to verify it is in the off position, before plugging it in. It is also important to hold a router with both hands when turning it on, as the torque in these tools can cause you to lose control of it, or have it come into contact with your body. Therefore it is best to have the router held flat onto the work surface, with the bit not coming into contact with the board, and then turning it on. Then gently bring it into contact with the work piece.

Getting the best results with a router is dependent upon a few things. First is the sharpness of the bit. Next would be the feed rate. Moving the router too slow will result in burn marks on the board. Moving the router too fast, will not only put unnecessary strain on the motor, bit it will result in a poor cut. It will either be wavy, or will have tear out. The best feed rate will take some experimenting, and it will be different for various woods, and also for different router bits.

The learning curve for using a router is relatively small for the basics uses, but with all the possibilities these tools provide, you can spend a reasonable amount of time mastering them.

Source by Lee Jesberger

CNC Router Machine

The CNC router machine cuts in three directions at once. The precision of the router's cutting relationships on the design software, software that provides a two-fold advantage to the router operator.

To begin with, the CAD software gives the operator of the CNC router machine the ability to create the design that will be cut into the solid plate.

After the operator creates the design, that same operator relies on the computer to send the proper operating instructions. The instructions from the software send signals to the router motor drive. These signals, termed tool path files, allow the motor controls to direct the precise motion of the router drive system.

The router bits perform the cutting of the CNC router machine. These bits are similar to drill bits. As mentioned above, the cutting can proceed along three different axes simultaneously. The CNC controls cause the movements of the drill bits to take place in small and precise increments.

The cutting along the x-axis moves from front to back. The cutting along the y-axis moves from left to right. The cutting along the z-axis moves up and down. The ability of the CNC router machine to move in 3 directions at once leads to the creation of interesting patterns and shapes.

The use of a CNC router machine guarantees savings in time and money. The CNC router machine produces each of its elaborately shaped products in a very small amount of time. In addition, the CNC router machine eliminates the need for an employee to stand at the router. A computer controls the operation of the router. Either the computer linked to the router can stand adjacent to the manufacturing devices, or it can sit at the desktop of the operator.

In other words, the operator of the CNC router machine can sit at his or her desk and direct the movement of the device that holds the router bits. The operator keeps control of this device, a machine part that is called a gantry.

The benefits of a CNC router machine increase steadily, spurred in large part by the increasing need for the manufacture of prototypes. Prototypes are test versions of a product. The creation of prototypes provides the manufacturer with a way to detect those places where an error in production could occur.

The precision of the router allows the operator to detect the scale of any possible manufacturing error. The computer can inspect a prototype and then alert the operator to the precise degree of expected changes in the routed product. The benefits of this precision are magnified by the potential for offline simulation of manufacturing processes. Without access to such precision, the manufacturer would not be able to use the creation of prototypes by the CNC router machine. Thanks to the precision of the router, the manufacturer can use the prototype to plan the needed strategy for an efficient full-scale production.

The CNC router machine enables manufacturers to utilize the latest technologies in order to achieve their business needs more effectively.

Source by Peter Vermeern

CNC Router Machine: Making Use of Computer Aided Design

CNC or Computer Numerically Controlled devices can be used for working with plastics, aluminum, steel, composites, wood, and foam. A router is a specific type of CNC tool which is available with many configurations. They may be smaller for home workshops or designed to meet the needs of manufacturing facilities. Each machine includes a CNC controller, at least one spindle motor, a table, and AC inverters. Typical formats are either three or five axis. A CNC router machine utilizes computer supplied coordinates to create accurate pieces. One software program is used to create the actual design while another sends the required specifications to the machine. They may be controlled by manual programming or directly. Most users rely on the CAD / CAM software to receive each machines full potential.

Used Woodworking Equipment: Reducing the Cost of Innovative Tools

A router makes it easier to perform repetitive jobs and supplies consistent output. Each completed process meets exact measurements thus improving industrial productivity. Improved precision reduces the amount of waste as well as errors typically experienced when these processes are done manually. They also cut down the time required to finish each piece. A CNC is capable of performing multiple carpentry functions including that of the panel saw and boring machine. These devices provide additional flexibility both in design and finished products. Many industrial businesses utilize CNC equipment to obtain the mentioned benefits. Woodworking is another very common use for them. Used woodworking equipment makes this equipment affordable to smaller businesses and hobbyist who might otherwise have to do without this beneficial tool.

It can be difficult to get the entire concept of this equipment unless it has been personally used. A router can be compared to a computer printer. Designs are created on the computer. They are then sent to the router to create a hard copy which is a three dimensional representation of what needs to be done. Machine tools create the desired end product instead of printer ink. An X, Y, Z coordinate scheme is used to perform multi-dynamic motion control. They are amazing devices for hobbyists, prototyping, production settings, and development of products. Purchasing these devices as used woodworking equipment makes it easier for a business to remain in budget and receive the many benefits of having them available. Reduced pricing allows individuals to utilize them as well.

Measurements are input or uploaded to the equipment. The router sets up to meet the input specifications. Cutting bits may have to be changed out depending on what is desired. The wood is positioned on a work table and a vacuum pump keeps it in position during cutting or boring. Design characteristics for a particular piece are sent to the machine before actual operation. These specifications provide measurements used during the process. Completion takes minimal time while supplying a perfectly cut or shaped piece. A woodworking CNC router machine can be purchased from a second hand seller. These companies sell used equipment at a more affordable price to both individuals and businesses. Consignment sales are another great way to obtain affordable machinery.

Source by Mike Barone

CNC Router Machines: Frequently Asked Questions

Computer numerical control (CNC) machinery was invented in the early 1970s. Since that time, it has redefined the way woodworkers use a router, a milling machine and other types of equipment. Machines that feature CNC technology offer several benefits over standard woodworking machines:

  • Greater cutting accuracy
  • Improved production rate
  • Reduction of human error

If you are considering buying a CNC router, but need some answers before you do, the answers below can help:

When should standard routers be replaced with CNC routers?

The need to replace standard routers with CNC routers could be demonstrated by several things, particularly:

  • The inability of standard routers to meet increased production demand
  • The need to produce intricate woodwork
  • The need to increase cost savings by reducing waste pieces

In addition to cutting more accurately than standard routers, computer controlled routers also cut with greater speed. For woodworkers who have a high production rate, the speed of a computer-controlled router can be as valuable as its accuracy.

How expensive is the average CNC router?

The cost of a CNC router depends on two factors: machine grade (e.g. hobby grade, mid grade, or industrial grade) and machine design (e.g. table size, number of cutter heads, type of vacuum, etc.). With these things in mind, the average cost of a hobby grade router is usually under $5,000; the average cost of a mid grade router is usually under $15,000; and the average cost of a well equipped industrial grade router is usually over $20,000.

Because the price of CNC routers can vary widely based on the factors above, the best way to receive a reliable estimate is to consult a professional seller of woodworking machinery.

Is it sensible to buy a router used?

Because industrial grade CNC routers are expensive and have a long lifespan, many woodworkers consider buying them used. As with buying any used machine, the quality of the purchase depends on the integrity of the seller. When the right steps are taken to confirm the integrity of the seller and the condition of the machine, buying an industrial router used is a sensible choice.

What type of training is necessary to operate a CNC router?

To operate a CNC machine, a woodworker must train to use the software program that controls it. The training regimen for most router machines consists of a mixture of computer based training and first person training. Most trainees can learn to operate the machine within weeks, and master its operation within months. In comparison, mastering the use of a manual router can take years.


Since their invention in the early 1970s, CNC router machines have changed the performance of wood routing. Today, they are the optimal choice for woodworkers who experience a high production demand, must produce intricate pieces, and/or need to cut costs by reducing waste pieces. To learn more about buying a new or used CNC machine, consult with a seller of new and used woodworking machinery.

Source by Mike Barone