Things a router can do on wood?

Routers feature a flat base, as well as multiple rotating blades that project beyond the base.  With its flat base, the tool keeps a level surface while cutting on the edge of the wood as it moves along it. It has versatile uses in woodworking, in fact, is one the must-have tool for every carpenter. 

A router can do many things on wood, from edging to designing patterns or writing on wood, and making rabbet joints or dadoes, ever a router can be an alternative to a planner to plane a wood surface. But, above all these uses, the most common use of routers is to make square edges.

We just can’t go long without a router in woodworking. Time after time we get into tasks that can only be achieved with a router, the common ones are trimming or edging corners. 

Still not sure? Let’s take some examples of daily wooden furniture where a router has been used in crafting them.

Regardless of the projects, every piece of furniture includes the use of a router from cabinets to picture frames or to homemade trimming to windows or door frames, at some places you will need to acquire use of a router to get things done.  

The truth is there is no other tool that can be a good substitute for a router. Routers

To grasp the point, stop reading for a while and take a look at any of your room tables.

Have you noticed how square the edges are, yes they are made square using a router as many of us think there are grit-sandpapers that make them edged, which is not true?

Another example would be, take a look at furniture at a place that has beautiful designs.  

Which raised panel is on that door?  Maybe you noticed an engraved design on the surface of the door? Those patterns were not created naturally; they were created by routing the wood.

While I was searching for different ways people use a router in woodworking. I found this video tutorial which I think is worth sharing with you guys to brainstorm ideas to use a router. 

The guy in this video tutorial has done an amazing job. You should watch it before scrolling down this blog post.

Common woodworking application a router can do on wood

Here are some of the most common uses for a router in woodworking.

A router can make perfect edges

Get Smooth Edges with Router


A router can produce beautifully finished edges on various items including almost any furniture. Such as, if you want to do edging on a big piece of wood your best companion will be a hand-held router because you can carry it on hand and easily move across the surface. 

Here is how this works.

A router’s cutting depth can be adjusted by positioning it on the edge of the workpiece and adjusting its height. It is necessary at first to have large cutters higher than the final cut. The only part of the router bit that should be exposed is the curved part if you want to round the edge.

Making perfect edges is the most common use for a router, regardless of the furniture you are going to craft, at the end of the day you will want to keep edges squared. Either it’s going to be smooth edges or curved edges, by using a router, you can replicate even and level cuts on both straight and curved edges.

Routers can be used for Shaping Stylish Molding

Crown Molding with a Router


One of the most fascinating things you can make with a router is decorative molding. And if you are truly a woodworker, I don’t think you need any further explanation on where you would use decorative molding as it’s totally a versatile art. 

Using different bits, you can craft everything from simple rounded moldings to more elaborate Roman ogee or beaded patterns for doors, windows, baseboards, or chair rails.

It’s easier to cut easy dadoes with a router

Cut Dados with Router

In the arsenal of use cases of a router, the dado joints that we use for joining two pieces of wood can be counted in. We often use this technique to bind two pieces of cabinets together. 

Using it, it’s easy to cut the two types of dadoes most commonly found- through dadoes that cut both sides of a surface but leave the ends open, or blind dadoes that end before the cut reaches the edge of the surface.

Routers can cut clean rabbets

Cut Rabbets with Router


A variety of rabbet bits can be used in a router to cut the groove to the necessary width.

Many times, woodworkers use routers to make cuts at the sides of a wood surface, for instance, you can find this application on the side of a bookcase in your cabinets, casement windows, as well as sliding doors, and drawers. 

Tutorial- How to use the router for rabbet joints.

A router can create Patterns on wood

Using a Router on Patterns


A router is the best tool for woodworking beginners to intricate patterns on the surface of the wood. In fact, many professionals use routers to create a wide variety of patterns, grooves, and beautiful designs on wood. If you see your furniture, the design on them is made by this tool.

Designing patterns include so much in it, it can be something like you’re going to write some words on a wooden piece of pinewood for someone, for gifting purpose or maybe it’s your hobby to do some art on wood.

A flat and thick piece of wood can be used to trace elaborate designs or lettering easily. The process becomes even easier when you use template design, all you need to kick start designing, place the template on the surface and let your router’s base track marks, and there you get your job done straight right.

You can, for instance, use the router to “trace” the outline of a broken table or other pieces of wooden furniture and recreate it as many times as you like.

Recessing Door Hinges


Another application of routers we can count on here is the process of widening holes on a block of wood. When using a router with a jig, it is possible to widen spaces for mounting handles & hinges. That’s what often woodworkers do when there is very little space for a piece to be affixed: narrow space, then with routers it becomes less difficult to space those holes so the block can hold tight.

About Router- What to know?

As you know, the tool has a base where blades rotate at a powerful momentum. This tool comes in use when it comes to wood projects requiring flattening surfaces or corners. As we cannot keep a tabletop’s corners straight! In fact, no furniture should have straight and sharp corners.

Before we speak about how a router works, you should know there is basically one than one type: we will not go into the debate describing each type.

 However, in regards to their main categories, you can find hand-held or fixed ones. The only difference between them is that we use hand-held ones when working with large pieces of wood since due to their lightweight we can carry them and move across the surface needed to be edged.

Whereas we use fixed routers or stationery routers if the pieces of wood needed to be edged can be carried. 

As a whole, you can define them as, In the first, we move the router down the wood edge, while the second involves pushing the wood through a stationary blade.

Talking about a router’s blade size for different work, you should know that it’s the main factor on a router that affects the application on how and where it will be used.

What we recommend in this process of determining the size to use for your bit, you should consider the size of the wood and what cutting you intend to do. A handheld router is simply run along the line of the guide with the bit cutting the edge of a project piece using a guide of some kind, usually homemade, such as a straight-edged piece of wood clamped to the project piece.

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