What is Woodwork Routing?

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A Router is a tool used to create a hollow area on the face of a hard piece of wood or plastic. Routing is a common craft for woodworkers and is specifically used for cabinetry. Woodwork is a major industry and therefore requires machinery and innovation to quickly provide a product that looks like it has been hand made.  Originally routers were hand held and used predominately by stair case makers and wood artists who added patterns to their designs. However, the introduction of the first hand held power router in 1915 catalysed the industry of routing.

A hand held router is made up of a router bit, also known as the cutting tool, a guide template, and a an electric or air driven router. Routers have been adapted so that they can be attached to radial arms which enable it be a steadier, easily controllable tool.  Routers can be used for a variety of different applications and are easily adaptable through the use of accessories from Trend Direct UK. The Router styles vary from each variation of woodwork. Router styles are but not limited to plunge, D handled, double knob handled, and CNC Wood Routers. There is a huge range of routers on the market because there are so many different niche markets for which they are used.

The main accessories associated with routing equipment are the cutters. There are numerous varieties of Router bits that can be used to create either joinery aids or decorative effect. They are normally split into two categories; HSS (high-speed steel) and carbide-tipped. The router bits can then be split into categories of edge bits or non-edge bits. Edge bits utilize a small wheel bearing which is used as a fence for situations where the router is being used for edge mouldings. The bearings can be switched in and out of the router. It is extremely important to ensure that the correct bearing is used as the bearing itself dictates the diameter of the cutting edge. This is of significant importance when rabbeting/rebating bits are utilized.

Router bits also differ in the size of their shank. The diameter can vary at multiple intervals between  six millimetres and half an inch. The half inch bits are more expensive but provide better stiffness which prevents vibration and are more robust so are less likely to break under pressure. The bit shank and router collet sizes must match perfectly otherwise permanent damage can be caused to the router or human injury could occur.

Routers are now used in industry in the form of software controlled machines. The routers can be use 24/7 as long as safety obligations are met. They are most often used in the table, chair, and cabinet making industries. They are used to add the finishing touches to products on a huge manufacturing scale. However, there are still small shops where Routers are used by individuals to add the handmade touch. The Routing industry is still flourishing and time will only help as new and better ways of routing are developed.