That Router Thingy

cfmuehlingApril 3, 2011



I got both routers out yesterday when the dado blade wouldn't fit on the table saw. Yes, I had the blade up all the way.

I thought, "I'll get those rabbits in these somehow!"

I looked at those routers. I read the directions. I turned the "map" the other way, thinking Greek might be read upside down, but nooOOoooo... it made no more sense than before.

I've got 30 or 40 bits. I know what 10 are?

I have determined that when Halloween comes around again, I'm going to use the router as a hat and be an Alien.

I gotta beg a friend (and I mean beg) to come show me what the heck is what on the router, how I change it, and how I don't destroy everything in site.

I thought this self-teaching beginner might give you a laugh.

In the meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out how to use my Fein Multi-Master to make 30" rabbits without effing everything up. No good way, so far.


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There are any number of 'how to use a router' books available.

Routers are not particularly dangerous to the user, but can make a real disaster of the wood they are used on if not handled correctly.

Things like feed direction REALLY matter.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 10:26AM
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Do you have a dado insert for your saw table?
It takes the place of the regular table insert, except it has a 1" wide slot instead of the normal 3/8" blade aperture.
Do you have a proper rabbet bit set for the router?

Here is a link that might be useful: Rabbet bit set

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 10:30AM
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I know I have a throat plate, but I take that off to change the blade anyway.

I guess I actually don't know what it is. I'm willing to bet if I have one, I have three.

I'll check to make certain I have the rabbit bit. Thank you for the link.

I think I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. It was a big deal for me to change the table saw blade in the first place, so to find the dado couldn't fit? My plans went crashing down. It's a cool dado. One of those that has the dial and it's the dial in the way.

I'll check links.

(You don't think it'd make a nice alien hat?)


    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 11:33AM
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"I know I have a throat plate, but I take that off to change the blade anyway. "

Dado throat plate openings are MUCH wider than a plain narrow plate for a regular blade.

Many have an opening over 1 inch wide.

Dado blade are normally also smaller in diameter than the standard blade size for the saw.

A 10 inch saw commonly uses 8 inch dado blades, or even 6 inch (but this produces limits on cutting depth).

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 11:47AM
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I've got that, too.

My table is 10", the dado is 7".

It's the dial thing that I can't get past the part where the blade sits.

I'll get brave and figure out the router soon. I think!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 11:53AM
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Often you have to play around with the saw's blade washers to get the dado blade to fit properly. It could involve removing the inboard washer, etc.; the dado blade should wind up centered in the opening of the plate when reassembled.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 12:04PM
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It's not the mechanics of the installation.
The space between the end of the spindle & the table part where the blade rests is too small to fit the dial thru, to get the hole to line up with the end of the spindle.

If I could even get it on the spindle, making it fit & line up would be the least of my troubles.

Thanks, though

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 1:19PM
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"dial thing "

What kind of dado blade do you have?

The most common is a set of outer blades and 'chippers' with fewer teeth bat varying thickness that go between the outer blades.

The various 'adjustable' dado blades are not more than a gimmick.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 1:26PM
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That gimmick is a Craftsman.
I was curious as to how to blades were going to do this.
They start flat against each other, but as you dial bigger, they end up at an angle like a tee-pee.

Someone gave it to me and I wanted to try it out.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 1:43PM
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The blade washer at the inboard side (closest to the arbor bearing) should come off. It may have a tight fit caused by it never having been removed, but it will come off.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 3:16PM
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It's not the things on the spindle,.
It's the metal that shields the blade underneath the table. It kind of makes a pocket that the blade rises in and out of.

The spindle end is too close to that metal shielding for me to slip the dado in to put it on the spindle, which would be just fine.

Thanks, though.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 4:07PM
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Got ya.
You can only fit a "stacked" dado on your type of saw. Goes on as a bundle of individual pieces until it is stacked to the desired thickness.
I guess that sheet metal thing would be a dust shroud.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 9:56PM
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I have a mini table saw. I wonder if it'd fit on that.

Dust Shroud. OK.

Thanks for trying.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 11:52PM
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Do you happen to have a Woodcraft store in the area? They usually have basic woodworking classes. They aren't free but generally cheaper than the deductible on health insurance. There are also plenty of videos on woodworking available, check with your local library. You might also try watching The New Yankee Workshop with Norm Abram. While some will disagree with Norm's methods, he is a good teacher. If nothing else, you'll get a feel for how tools should be used.

One of the drawbacks of wobble type dado blades (like the Craftsman you have) is that they don't produce a perfectly flat bottom.

You can make a rabbet with a table saw, router, or hand plane.

Since the dado blade isn't working out, you can use a router either freehand or mounted in a table. Freehand you will need a rabbeting bit:

By changing the size of the bearing you can change the depth of cut:

If you use a table you can use either the rabbeting bit or a straight bit in conjunction with a fence.

Generally speaking when using a router free hand you push it from left to right. Make sure your work piece is clamped securely to your bench. When you use a router in a table, you feed the stock from right to left.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 6:02AM
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Now that's interesting.

I do have the rabbit bits. I have no idea how to change the bearing. Like I said, I read the manual, but it was confusing, hence the alien hat reference.

One of the routers has the panels you use to screw it into the table, plus I have the fences. Doesn't really matter if I have no idea how to change the bits, etc.

I have taken Introduction to Carpentry and Introduction to Cabinet Making, since my purpose is to make cabinets.

I found them .. interesting.
I discovered I have most every single hand tool they have and now know what a lot of them are.
I discovered I have most of the big machinery, but on a smaller scale. Didn't know I gave away an entire lathe set, but I know the fellow who took it was so excited he was dancing in place. And, I can still call him if I want to use it.

As for the tools, we were barely allowed to set up or adjust anything. For insurance purposes, we couldn't adjust or change the table saw blades. We couldn't set up the drill presses, or the planer & jointer. Have you ever tried to have 6 people jockeying for space to see down in the table saw slot to learn how to change a blade? Not happening.

So what I've been using, I've figured out here at home. Since I know now what a lot are, I can pull the manuals offline. Or I've begged a patient friend to come show me. The thing is, it's work for him & not fun. He also feels he has to do the work for me, when that's not what I want. You know. Easier to do it for you than show you?

We did use a router table in class, after the teacher set it up. Lots of tips, but what good are they if you're not putting them into practice to cement them in yer noggin'? At least that's how I learn.

The 2nd class' teacher was very particular and we weren't allowed to make mistakes. I put it that way because he got SO irritated. I'd cut a miter too short, which to me is very fixable, but I came in the next night and he'd fixed it and attached it for me. So we didn't get behind & nothing that wasn't perfect didn't leave his class. Uh huh. I've always found fixing my errors in anything had me learn better and what not to do.

So no, another $400 to $600 I won't be dishing out. I can use that money to buy materials (which I have not wasted), or pay my mortgage so I have a place to live and work.

I appreciate the drawings. They're informative.

Formerly C F Muehling

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 10:09AM
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I forgot to mention I've been eyeing the table saw to make these rabbits. I will have to mull this over for awhile. It can take me weeks before I decide to bite the bullet and turn the thing on.

Now that I've been using that machine, I'm not so freaked about it. However, these are different uses in my head, so I have to think about it.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 2:45PM
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Router tables and hand held routers with straight edge guldes are MUCH safer tools than a table saw.

The down side of routers is the ease of making a big mistake, thereby ruining stock.

Generally speaking, making cabinets with benchtop tools---which is what I understand you have-----is very difficult. Not impossible, just very difficult.

Now, a spelling correction. One made quite often, BTW.

Boy and girl rabbits make rabbits. Tabel saws and routers make rabbEts, which are channels in wood. :-)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 12:07PM
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Ok. RabbETS.

Returning full circle to the beginning of the post?
I'm still wondering about how to make it into an alien hat for Halloween...


    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 8:21PM
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Bolt it to a football helmet and wrap a wig around the helmet.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 2:58AM
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