[Simple Way] How to Cut a Groove in Wood with a Router?

How to Cut a Groove in Wood with a Router

Could be you require the groove for decorating purpose, cabinet making or even to hold the panels in your door frames. Whatever the reason, a router can help you cut the groove easier and faster. Before using the router, you should first identify the right type of tree that you want to cut the groove. Visit your local hardware store and decide on the type of the router you want to buy. Choose a router that you are comfortable to use. Follow the steps below.

Choose the Right Routing Bit

What shape do you want your groove to have? That will depend on the rotating bit that you choose. For instance, if you use a V-grove bit, your groove will have a V-shape. If the router lacks the rotating bits with the shape you desire, visit your local hardware store and buy a set of router bits. If you don't get it, you can shop online.

Attach the Bit

Once you get the rotating bit that you desire, it's time to remove the current bit and attach the new one to your router. Read the manual first before attempting to remove the bit. So how do you access the bit mechanism? If you check the bottom of your router, you will see a circular guard. Check if it has a quick-release lever. If it does, you can replace the bit easily. If it doesn't have the quick-release level, unscrew the circular guard. You will see the bit, but you can't remove it with bare hands since a bolt tightly secures it. You can loosen the bolt using a wrench. Remove it and replace it with the bit you have chosen. Tighten it with the bold and restore the circular guard and secure it.

Set the Routers Depth

So, how deeper do you want your groove to be? You need to match that depth with your router. The manufacturers mostly print the depth measurement on the adjustment dial. To verify that measurement, you can measure the depth of the bit using a ruler.

Mark the Wood

After identifying the righty tree, it's time to mark the wood. Take enough time to measure the area you require to channel into. You can measure it twice just to be sure. Use a sharp pencil or even a knife to make a specific mark. If you require a curved groove, a compass can help you mark the area.

If you want to crave a straight groove, it can be tricky. You can take a piece of wood and secure it on top of the wood that you intend to cut. Ensure that your wood touches the router guard but parallel to the line you drew. Before starting to pull your router, wear protective gear to protect your eyes and hands. The sawdust particles could enter your eyes if you don't have goggles. They can also affect your lungs if you breathe in. So apart from gloves and goggles, you can also consider buying a respirator dust mask.

Pull the Router

Get a shop vacuum to help you clean the sawdust produced by the router quickly. Before switching on and pulling the plunge lever, ensure that your router is at the end of the line you marked. After pulling down your plunge lever, the bits will get deeper into the wood. Continue pulling the router towards you, but make sure that it remains along the line. If you notice that the router is tearing out the beginning and the end of the wood, place some scrap material on the ends.

Do you want your woodworking project to have some style? Why don't you learn how to inlay wood with a router? If you love chess, you can make a chessboard then inlay to make a nice finishing touch. Other than the router, you can inlay wood using a chisel or a knife, among other hand tools.

You could be wondering, what speed should my wood router be? That will depend on the type of wood, size/type of the bit, the horsepower of the router you are using, and the feed rate of your wood. You can't risk burning the wood to high spinning speed or getting a ragged rough-cut due to slow speed. Other effects of high speed include; causing the bit to fail due to excessive strain and tearing the wood.

Note that if the bit is larger, the speed is slower. To get the accurate speed, you need to check the router manual. But roughly a bit with a diameter of one inch or below, it should have a maximum speed of 24,000 rpm. If it has a diameter of one to two inches, don't exceed the speed of 18,000 rpm. The one with a diameter of 2.5 to 3.5 the speed should not exceed 12,000 rpm. If you have a speed fixed router, use bits with small diameters and never use it with the large ones.

Final Words

With a router, cutting the grove in the wood is very easy. When purchasing the router, look for the one that you are comfortable to use. You also require choosing the right routing bits with the shape that you want on your groove. If you have no idea how you can remove the bit, you can check the manual. Remember, the router produces much sawdust that can harm your eyes and lungs. That why goggles and respirator dust must is vital. The gloves are essential since they will also protect you from any injuries. Craving a straight line can be tricky. You need to secure a piece of wood to help you crave a straight line. You have to be careful about the speed of the router you are using. You shouldn't use a very high speed or a slow one. The manual can guide you on the speed that you require to use. If your bit is large, you will have to use a lower speed. If your router is speed fixed, only use routers with smaller diameters.

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