My new router

Hi,
I bought a router yesterday and I would like some simple ideas for first projects. Thanks, SB
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Well, Sam, be prepared. Your first project with a router is to get out your wallet. A router is an incredibly useful tool, when you add all of those wonderful router bits, a router table, and jigs and fixtures. By itself its dumb as a stump.
Now before you get depressed, I can tell you what my early projects were. Oddly enough, the router was the first official woodworking only tool I bought beyond an electric drill. I had a project to build a bunch of adjustable storage shelves that had movable 3/4" plywood shelves. They key to the whole thing was dado grooves cut every 4" in height. I bought a very good 3/4" carbide straight bit for this and its still with me. I had to cut 576 dados into 2x4 stock. My router was christened.
Another simple project was to put decorative edges on three simple boards to go in my daughter's kitchen. I used a small Roman Ogee bit for this. I bought it an several other styles of carbide bits from Woodcraft on sale for $5 each.
I needed to cut some clean round holes in a desk top that was already finished. I used a circle template with a straight bit for this.
I encourage you to play with some scrap wood to get the feel of your router and learn the skills. A good book is highly recommended. You'll see lots of links to amazingly expensive and complex router tables, some with burled maple drawers and walnut facing!!! I think people use router tables as a project in itself. My first router table was a piece of plywood clamped to a Workmate. My first router fence was a 2x4 clamped to the plywood. Don't laugh. You'd be surprised how much you can do with such simple things to control your work.
Bob
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depending on manufacturer and quality. Router bits, like most any other "bit", are cheaper in quantity. First recommendation is go buy a basic set of carbide tipped bits in a varity of shapes. If your machine has a 1/2" collet get 1/2" bits. Non carbide bits are cheap but they are throw aways and 1/2" bits are more durable than 1/4" bits. Don't break the bank here. Woodcraft and others have sets of 10 or 20 bits that will get you going and will provided a lot of variety in things to do. These sets are usually on sale for around $50 - $100. Not the best bits in the world but good starters.
If you didn't get an edge guide with the machine get one. It will help you do basic edging with bits that didn't include a roller guide.
What to do - Practice on scrap before you try to put an edge on the walnut dresser you inhereted from grandma. Then try making some basic plaques, picture frames, etc. As you get familiar with what the machines capability, start looking for projects to stretch you ability and more useful accessories.
Router tables are nice but I think it is smart to learn to use the machine first. A router table is a pretty neat shop-build project. You can even use the router to make it.
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Have you discovered the TV show "The Router Workshop?" They show useful techniques and project ideas. On DirecTV it is on PBSyou. They do also show you every cut, even if they are repeating the same cut 8 times, but you can record it and fast forward through the repetition.
Steve

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I'm in the UK,
but it sounds an excellent program.. I may try to get a DVD of it :)
SB

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Consider building or purchasing a router table for additional flexibility in using your new toy.
David
Sam Berlyn wrote:

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Sam Berlyn wrote:

And it won't be long before you'll to get a Hitachi MV12 and stick it under a router table like this...(I purchased this very model but in different trim 2 years ago; FABULOUS table)
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category 781&itemC36838471&rd=1
Your first project after you buy your table is to make yourself a couple of push sticks and a featherboard so you keep your fingers!
As for bits: remember to buy Whiteside (what I prefer), Freud, or Amana bits and buy only the bits you need for a project. Secondly, AVOID buying cheapo asian bits (individually or in those 35 or 50 piece sets) or HSS (high speed steel) because the price looks good; if they aren't already dull before you take one pass with 'em, they'll be dull before you finish your project. Consider yourself warned!
Lastly, BE SAFE! First thing is, ensure you wear an N-95 mask & goggles (available at any Home Depot/Lowes for a couple bucks); routers create a boatload of particulates and the last thing you want to do is be breathing that in a confined space!
Save for that router table - it'll open up a whole new door to routing!
DY
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Hi,
I didn't intend getting a router when I bought it, but I got it for 13.50 on a clearence stall in the DIY place. It's a plunge one etc..
http://www.diyer.co.uk/Performance_Power_FMTC1020R_Router_1020_Watts-150658.html is a link to the same as mine.
Thanks,
SB

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Always good to pick up a bargain Sam. Well done. Your local DIY place is obviously B & Q, like mine.
I picked up a Performance Pro orbital sander for 4.95 a few months ago -- 1/3 the normal price. Last month I paid full price for a belt sander -- 29.95. Both were without carrying cases. Two weeks ago, in B & Q in Doncaster (I can't resist looking in there when visiting a new place) they had a special offer of both sanders in a carrying case for 19.95!! The offer was marked "When its gone, its gone". I didn't buy it because I had both sanders, but realised like a fool later in the week that I can't buy a case for my existing sanders for 19.95.
Last week I went back -- and -- you've guessed it. All were gone.
So, don't be a fool like me. If you spot a bargain snap it up. Don't think about it. Just do it.
Malcolm Webb
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