Canadian Woodworking

Router bench guide


This “Bench Guide” is part of the series of Bench Guides by Sterling. Similar to the other bench guides, it is a comprehensive look at the tool it covers.

Taylor starts by discussing the basic operating principles in the first chapter. He then covers the different types of routers and their uses, including the various features you can find on a router. Using illustrations, his chapter guides you through the various components in a way that will be most useful to someone buying their first router or thinking about adding a 2nd router to their shop.

This first chapter also includes information about maintenance and care of your router, discussing how to keep your base plate, plunge bars and collets in top shape, as well as other elements which are less likely to require regular care, including the switch, brushes, bearings and cable.

The second chapter deals with the most important part of routing – the cutters. In this chapter, Taylor discusses the difference between steel and carbide tipped cutters, as well as some details of their construction and what to look for when selecting your router bits. Next, he discusses the many types of cutters and their variations. This includes how they are used as well as considerations for selecting your bits, depending on what you will use them for.

Cutter maintenance is also covered in the 2nd chapter, including sharpening and care for the pilot bearings.

The third chapter covers clamping techniques that are commonly used when routing. He has included a number of clamping solutions that you can make in your shop as well as commercial products. The fourth chapter is a short one, briefly discussing how to effectively cut various materials including but not limited to wood.

In Chapter 5 and Chapter 6, Taylor covers a variety of routing methods and approaches, including a variety of commercially available accessories that make routing easier and more efficient. Template routing is covered in Chapter 7, including cutters, guide bushes and pilot bearings and templates.

The next chapter reviews some specialty accessories you can use with your router, including a router turning systems, the RouterRack router system and the Woodrat routing system.

Commercially available jigs and fixtures that can make your router more versatile and efficient are covered in Chapter 9, including Dovetail Jigs, Surfacing, pivot frame, Ellipse Jig, incised carving and letter routing. The last chapter is devoted to router safety.

Finally, an extensive glossary is included, as is a summary of currently available routers along with their basic specifications such as power, speed, collet sizes maximum adjustable depth and weight.

Router Components & Features

  • Operating Principles
  • Types of Routers
  • Advantages & Disadvantages of Fixed-Base & Plunge Routers
  • Features
  • Components
  • Router Care & Maintenance


  • Solid-Steel & Carbide-Tipped
  • Selecting Cutters
  • Buying Cutters
  • Types of Cutters
  • Care of Cutters
  • Installing Cutters
  • Removing Cutters from Collets Workpiece Clamping


  • Factors that Determine Clamping Technique
  • Types of Clamps Wood, Metal & Plastic Cutting Guidelines
  • Solid Wood
  • Cutter & Router Speed Guidelines
  • Man-Made Boards
  • Metals
  • Plastic & Related Laminates Router Applications
  • Freehand Routing
  • Fixed-Router Techniques Router Principles & Techniques
  • Routing Speeds
  • Direction of Feed
  • Routing Techniques


  • Template Applications
  • Guide Bushes
  • Pilot Bearings

Special-Purpose Machines

  • Turning
  • Joint-Making Machines

Jigs and Fixtures

  • Miscellaneous Jigs
  • Dovetail Jigs

For Safety’s Sake

  • Workshop Safety
  • Safety Techniques for

– Router Components
– Cutters
– Routing Operations
– Freehand Components

Book Type: Technique/Reference
Level: All Levels
Author: Zachary Taylor
Publisher: Sterling Publishing
SOFTCOVER, 8.5″ x 10″, 160 PAGES, $22.95 CDN

Last modified: September 29, 2023

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