Thursday, May 2, 2013

This One Goes Out To All The Ladies With a Handheld Router.

I told a friend a month ago that I'd do a router tut.
 
 
She's like,
"Can you show me how to get started?"
 
and I'm like,
 
"Well.  . .you just clamp the board down and then go for it.?."
 
But duh, that's silly, because I needed more than that when I got started.  "Clamp it and go" just isn't enough.  So let's talk.
 
Aw. .  look how cute mine is.  I was gonna clean it all good for ya, but then I'm like,
 
 
hello this is a tool, not a medical instrument.
 
I have a handheld router.  If you have a router table complete with plunging router, then I hate you.  I mean, I LOVE YOU, friend.  Can I borrow your router table, friend??
 
This same tut-wanting friend also told me I basically suck at giving tutorials.  It's 'cause I figure no one really cares, so why talk your ear off when you don't really care, right?  But this time I solemnly swear to try and be as clear as possible.
 
(clear as mud.)



But First!:

--You need to know what size of collet your router is, so you can buy the right size bits.  As far as I know, there is 1/4" shank bits, and 1/2" shank bits.  I'm pretty sure I've got a 1/4", but I've got a terrible memory and I'm too lazy to go out to the garage and check.

--I'd give, as part of this tut, info on how to put in and remove a bit, but I have no friggin idea if all routers are even remotely similar, and I'd wager they're not, so we won't bore anyone with that.  So. . .
 
Step 1.  We can have lots of fun.
 
 
You need clamps.  Clamp that board down to a sturdy surface.  Isn't this easy so far? 
 
Step 2.  There's so much we can do.
 
Regard:
 
 
One side has a little cover on it.  Other side, not so much.  Crap is going to be spitting out the side without the cover, and you want that away from you, because it kinda hurts to get barraged with little pieces of pine or whatever.
 
Not that I would know.  Just take my word for it. . .
 
Step 3.  It's just you and me.

I'm bringing sexy back. 


You watch: safety glasses will be the shee this summer.  And hee-uge ear protection.  Watch.
 
 
You are gonna grab this bull by the horns, because this is not your first rodeo, woman.

 
And you are gonna go for it.   NOTE: do not make stupid faces whilst using a power tool, instead of paying attention to what you're doing.  This is why I only have an annual picture of me on the blog.  Because crap like this happens.

Kay:
You're gonna make a first pass over your board, and you're going to be firm, slow, and steady.  If it's not coming out clean, go ahead and make a firm, steady, second pass.

(Closeup!  Not my arms.)


 (*And all the while, watch your cord-- keep it out of the way.)
 
Step 4.  I can give you more.
 
A handheld router, and even a fixed router on a table for that matter, doesn't always do a perfect, factory finish.  Just plan on that.  If you've got little things that bug you, (if you're a perfectionist) then run a little sandpaper over the little grooves and give 'er a light sanding. 


But I am not a perfectionist and ultimately am fairly sloppy so I don't need the sandpaper ever.

Expect to have to move your clamps around, so as to get 'em out of the way and be able to route the entire board.  Yeah.  It's a little annoying.
 
Step 5. Don't you know that the time has arrived?  ("Hoo-uh!" pelvic thrusting noise)
 
Okay-- so-- let's talk what can be routed.  Better routed pieces are going to come from better cuts o' meat. 
-i.e., Pine routes okay, oak routes better. 
-Knotted pieces (when the knot is in the path) don't turn out as well 
-Plywood looks like POO.  So, no plywood.
-MDF?  Hmm, let's find out, shall we?
 
MDF:
 
 
Well, I'll be.  I was thinking it was a "NO" for sure, but it actually routes better than pine.  I am shock.  Ed.
 
And then expect to look like this after just one pass on MDF.  But this is okay for me, since all my clothes are paint clothes.  But it might not be okay for you.  Or to the State of California, as this is known to cause cancer.
 
 
 
So pretty much, once you've started routing crap, you're having so much fun that you're finding anything you can to route, and the family is like,
 
"When are you coming in?"
 
and you're like,
 
"I am done when I am done!  When you pry this thing from my cold, dead fingers!"
 
So, it can be a problem.
 
 
 

18 comments:

Samantha said...

I'm disappointed that your family do not support you in your need to route everything. Clearly you need a new family. I am willing to let you adopt me. You're welcome.

(Is it weird to have a 30 year old daughter? Does it make you feel old now?)

Marcy said...

Mandi, I love you. You should have awesome "I'm enjoying power tools" pics of you more often. Also I love your tutorial and your maybe-i'm-serious sassing of California who know everything causes cancer.

Elisha Albretsen @ Pneumatic Addict Furniture said...

Ah, a double roman ogee bit! I need to get me one of those bad boys in the worst way! P.s. If I have a cute little body like yours, I'd try to work a photo into every post just so I could show off.

Sherron said...

I bought a router 3 years ago. It came with a fancy little table and everything. Last year when I finally got it out of the box to use it on a project (I had a baby in between the purchase and the project!) I discovered that it didn't come with router bits and I was completely overwhelmed with which ones I wanted. After reading your post, I really want to go dig it out of the garage and buy some routers and make something pretty! Thanks for the encouragement.

Sherron said...

I bought a router 3 years ago. It came with a fancy little table and everything. Last year when I finally got it out of the box to use it on a project (I had a baby in between the purchase and the project!) I discovered that it didn't come with router bits and I was completely overwhelmed with which ones I wanted. After reading your post, I really want to go dig it out of the garage and buy some routers and make something pretty! Thanks for the encouragement.

Deanna said...

none of my husband's power tools are sacred after reading this! boo-Yah! going to rout everything now! I can see why your family might have a problem...mine is going to as well. Mwahahahaha!

p.S. Love reading your blog....love, not-creepy (but it sounds like it) stranger. :)

Hippymom83 said...

This was such a great tutorial that I think I might have to go out this weekend and buy me a router! Thanks for the push!

Heather said...

You. Are. My. Hero!! My new BFF, really. You just haven't realized it yet.
Thank you!!!

Heather said...

You. Are. My. Hero!! My new BFF, really. You just haven't realized it yet.
Thank you!!!

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

Oh my gosh if I owned that thing I would be dreaming up things to route on a daily basis. Wait - can we backtrack - did you just write a tutorial? Can we have more from whence that came? Because I need to know about the stuff that's in your head in regard to carpentry projects, woman. Please FRIEND, please more tutes. Cause you know you love to write them!

Suesan Kennard said...

This. This right here? This is why I love you.

You sure do have an AWESOME friend who "encourages" you to be even MORE awesome than you already are!

Thank you for the tutorial. It was worth the wait. I decided not to route my butcher block countertop. It was too thick, but I have some MDF that is just waiting for me to go all crazy up on it.

You are the BEST!!

KRISTI GARWOOD said...

New Kids on the Block Rule!!!! Love the tute as well!!

Clarachk said...

FAN-TAS-TIQUE! You make everything look so damn easy. Now my other half is going to wanna hide the router and table. (I need to Christen that biatch!) Hey, you are welcome to come to MY house and make ANOTHER tute on how to use a router with a router table! We have a nice wood cave outfitted for just these kind of projects. It's supposed to be where the kids get trapped to do homework but we haven't spawn any yet, lol! Thanks for the seriously awesomesauce tute. (Skips off to find scraps of pine) You rock.

Evelyn said...

Wow, I SO want a router now! And yes, you brought sexy back. In a big way. I'm proud of you, girl.

The Egan 4 said...

"known to cause cancer in Calif" I died!! After spending 8 days in Calif for the BIL wedding. And helping with the wedding food and decorations. I was sooo sick of bottle redemption fees and signs and warnings that things can cause cancer! Never mind the fact that half the houses there are so old they have asbestos popcorn ceilings and lead paint on the walls!!
You are the best!
Thanks for keeping me entertained with your blog!

Pamela Hill said...

I about died when I read "We can have lots of fun". I'm not even sure if we have a router, but I definitely want to go rout(e?) some crap now. Please keep the tuts coming, this one was very helpful and most certainly did not suck!

Meagan Mann said...

I love the NKOTB references! You are the right stuff. Please, don't go girl!

Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick said...

Plus 50 trillion points for the NKOTB. I love you.