- Hearing protection must be worn
- Safety glasses or a face shield should be worn.
- No loose clothing. Gloves may be need when handling sharp cutters/bits.
- Tie up long hair. Never leave cord, cloth or string around the work area.
- Check wood for metal and remove.
- Use dust extraction.
Router table components
- Hand held router – fixed upside down to the router table.
- Router bits, bearings, and collets; router specific spanners to fit bits.
- Table with detachable fence and T-track ( or similar).
- Accessories include adjustable hole covers (some), mitre gauge, stop blocks.
- Dedicated vacuum dust extraction systems plugged in through table on/off switch, so they operate automatically when the router on/off switch is activated.
The Guild has a range of router tables – Kreg, Triton, and a custom made (‘McCarthy’) table. All tables are fitted with Triton Routers. The Triton router has safety features including an on/off switch lock cover and locking through the table for bit changing.
Each table has a slightly different setup for adjusting its fence. The Kreg table, for example, has a fence which locks firmly in place with dual locks: a large paddle lock on the infeed end, and a quarter-turn lock on the outfeed end that prevents fence deflection.
Operation using a table
- Always disconnect the power supply before changing/installing router bits. A router which suddenly starts up when you are working on changing bits will leave you with substantial damage and you may not always be using a Triton router.
- Workpieces must be supported either by the fence or by using a bit with a bearing. Freehand routing should not be attempted on the Router Table.
- Ensure work area is clear and work piece is not touching bit/cutter before turning on. Run tool for a while before using; vibration may indicate an improperly installed bit.
- Feather boards and push sticks should be used to assist in controlling the movement of the workpiece particularly when using the fence.
- The router has a speed control setting and this should be adjusted to suit the diameter of bit being used:
Setting 5: RPM 20,000 – <25mm
Setting 4: RPM 18,000 – 25-50mm
Setting 3: RPM 14,500 – 50-65mm
Setting 2: RPM 11,000 – >65mm
Setting 1: RPM 8,000 – use only if burning
- Determining the proper feed rate for any bit is relatively easy, assuming the router speed is set correctly for the bit. If the bit burns the wood, the feed rate is too slow. If the wood chips or blows out ahead of the bit, the feed rate is too fast. Granted these are generalizations and there are other factors that could contribute to these problems, but they remain important clues about what you may be doing wrong.
- In addition to their being a wide variety of shapes and sizes, bits come with different sized shanks – mostly either 6.35mm (¼inch) and 12.7mm (½inch). Collets clamp (using a nut(s)) a bit/cutter in place. Shank and collet sizes must match. When inserting a cutter into the collet ensure that at least 20mm (¾inch) or half of the shaft (whichever is greater) is inserted into the collet. If you fully insert the bit into the collet it is important to back it out about 3mm (1/8inch) before tightening the collet otherwise the collet might not be able to ‘grip’ the bit securely.
- Always check the router bit before using. Dull cutting edges can lead to uncontrolled situations including stalling, increased heat and possible injury. Bits which are chipped or cracked should not be used and should be discarded (with the agreement of the Shed Boss or who-ever is in charge at the time) and record this in the maintenance book. Shanks should be clean and free of pitch. If the bit has a bearing ensure that it too is clean and moves smoothly. Apply a light oil to the bearing periodically. If there is any part of the bit using a grub screw, ensure that the screw is properly tightened.
- Keep the table clear of sawdust, chips and offcuts during operation. Any loose material will affect the accuracy of cuts and create the potential for the workpiece to not be properly controlled.
- Take several small passes rather than attempt a cut in one pass. Not only may the cut be unsatisfactory and the workpiece damaged but significant stress will be put on the bit and motor with obvious safety and maintenance implications. Trying to remove too much material in a single pass can cause or increase burning and blow out ahead of the bit. It is always better to make multiple light cuts than fewer deeper cuts. Lighter cuts (up to 2 mm) are far safer and produce much better results. This is especially important when using cutters with a diameter greater than 2” (50mm).
- Direction of feed. Bits turn anti clockwise. Work, in the majority of cases, should consequently be fed from right to left using the front of the bit. If using a bit with a bearing guide, for example on the inside of a frame, the cutting direction should be continued around the frame against the rotation of the bit. If the wood is introduced in the same direction as the bit is rotating the cutting edges instantly become extraordinarily efficient high-speed power feeders that can suddenly eject the wood, leaving the operators empty hands dangerously close to the cutter. This situation is particularly dangerous because the force the operator was applying to the wood before it kicked out immediately causes the now empty hands to lurch toward the bit. Disaster can be the instantaneous result. Never feed an item between the fence and the bit.
- Occasionally an operation may require a ‘climb cut’. This is where the workpiece is fed into the bit in the direction of rotation. If you haven’t used this type cut before and think you need to attempt it seek advice from an experienced operator. In any event such cuts must only be attempted with much care, light cuts and attention to safety.
- If you find yourself faced with a router-related task that you do not completely understand or do not have the proper safety equipment for, the only prudent course of action is to STOP! Wait until you get the information and equipment to make the operation safe. The task will be there later, your fingers may not. If you haven’t used the equipment for some time, please ask for assistance when setting up the router.
When you have finished your job
Clean up all sawdust and offcuts. Offcuts should be placed in the bin provided and when that is close to being full, empty into the trailer. Sawdust should be swept up and the area vacuumed with the large vacuum on wheels. Dust on the floor is a slip hazard. It is far safer for all if we ensure we leave the work area as we would like to find it.
Triton Router Manual