How to Use a Wood Router Table

A wood router table is a versatile tool that can help you create intricate patterns and designs on wood. However, using a router table may seem intimidating for beginners. With proper guidance, it can be easy to use and can help you improve your woodworking skills. In this post, we will give you five simple tips on how to use a wood router table and make the most out of your woodworking projects.

How to Use a Wood Router Table

Can You Use a Wood Router Table?

If you love woodworking, chances are you’ve heard of a wood router table. But what exactly is it, and can you use one? In short, a wood router table is a tool used to route or carve out intricate designs in wood. It consists of a stationary base with a rotating bit that cuts the wood as it passes through.

You’ll need to have some basic woodworking skills and safety knowledge to use one. But with a little practice and patience, the possibilities of what you can create with a wood router table are endless. Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional woodworker, adding this tool to your workshop can take your craft to the next level.

Why Should You Use a Wood Router Table?

Woodworking can be a rewarding hobby that enables you to create personalized, high-quality pieces that will last for decades. However, a wood router table is a tool you don’t want to overlook regarding precision cuts and intricacies. With a router table, you can have a stable base.

This means you can execute specific cuts with ease and accuracy, helping to create beautiful assembly pieces more easily than using a handheld router alone. In addition, a wood router table is versatile, offering various cutting options. It is a must-have tool for any woodworker looking to make their creations with precision and care.

Wood Router Table is Versatile

7 Simple Tips on How to Use a Wood Router Table

1. Choose the Right Bit.

The type of bit is the first thing you need to consider when using a wood router table. Different types of bits exist, such as straight, chamfer, and round-over bits. Each bit has its purpose, so choosing the right one for your project is essential. For example, a straight bit is ideal for creating grooves and dados, while a round-over bit is perfect for shaping the edges of a piece of wood.

2. Secure the Wood.

When you start routing, it’s important to ensure the wood is securely clamped in place before you begin cutting. Failure to do so can result in injuries and damage to the piece of wood. Using a clamp or a hold-down device is recommended to keep the wood firmly in place.

3. Adjust the Height of The Bit.

Before you start routing, you need to adjust the bit’s height. Ensure that the bit is securely attached to the router and at the correct height. You can use a piece of scrap wood to test if the height is correct. Adjust the height until you get the desired result on the scrap wood.

4. Determine the Direction of The Cut.

When routing, you need to determine the direction of the cut. You can either go against or with the wood grain. Going against the grain can result in splintering or tear-out while going with the grain will give you a cleaner cut. It’s recommended to start with a small cut and work your way up gradually.

5. Use Featherboards.

Featherboards are essential when using a wood router table as they help keep the wood firmly against the fence and prevent kickback. They also ensure you make an accurate cut by keeping the wood in place. Adjust the feather board accordingly to apply pressure on the wood without hindering its movement.

Using a Wood Router Table

6. Make Multiple Passes.

When working on a project, it’s usually better to make multiple passes instead of cutting through the entire piece in one go. This will give you more control over the router and prevent mishaps or accidents. It’s recommended to start with shallow cuts and gradually increase the depth until you get the desired result.

7. Practice Makes Perfect.

Using a wood router table can be intimidating for beginners, but with practice, you’ll improve your skills and become more comfortable using it. It’s essential to start with simple projects and gradually move on to more complex ones as you gain experience. Remember to always prioritize safety and take your time when routing.

Following these tips will ensure you get the most out of your wood router table and produce high-quality projects. You’ll become more proficient in using a wood router table and confidently take on more challenging projects with practice. So, don’t be afraid to try new techniques and experiment with different types of bits to expand your woodwork skills.

5 Considerations Things When You Need to Use a Wood Router Table

1. Material Quality

When choosing a wood router table, it is important to consider the material quality. The table should be made from durable hardwood or high-quality plywood to ensure stability and longevity. Avoid tables made from cheap materials that may warp or break easily.

Choosing a Wood Router Table

2. Table Size and Surface Area

The size of the table and its surface area are also important considerations. A larger surface area allows for more versatility in the types of projects that can be completed. Additionally, ensure the table is large enough to accommodate your router and any necessary accessories.

3. Fence Design

The fence design is another crucial factor when selecting a wood router table. The fence guides the wood through the cutting process and should be sturdy and adjustable for precise cuts. Look for a fence with multiple adjustment options and a solid locking mechanism.

4. Dust Collection

Woodworking can create dust, so an effective dust collection system on your router table is essential. Look for tables with built-in dust ports or ones that allow you to attach a vacuum system for efficient dust removal.

5. Stability

Stability is key when using a wood router table, as any movement or vibrations can affect the accuracy of your cuts. Look for tables with sturdy legs or ones that can be secured to a workbench for added stability during use.

Secured to a Workbench

5 Benefits of Using a Wood Router Table

1. Precision and Accuracy

One of the main benefits of using a wood router table is that it allows for precise and accurate cuts. The flat, stable surface of the table provides a solid base for the wood to be routed, resulting in clean and smooth cuts. This is especially useful for intricate or detailed designs that require precision.

2. Increased Safety

Using a wood router table also increases safety while working with a router. The table provides a barrier between the user’s hands and the sharp cutting tool, reducing the risk of accidents or injuries. Additionally, many router tables come with features such as guards and feather boards to further enhance safety.

3. Versatility

A wood router table can also increase versatility in woodworking projects. It allows for more complex cuts and shaping techniques that may not be possible when using a handheld router alone. With various attachments and accessories available, a wood router table can also be used for edge routing, jointing, and sanding tasks.

4. Time-Saving

Using a wood router table can save time in woodworking projects compared to using only a handheld router. The table’s stability allows for faster production as there is less need to constantly adjust clamps or hold down the routed wood piece. Additionally, some advanced router tables have features like built-in dust collection systems to save time on clean-up.

Using Only a Handheld Router

5. Improved Quality of Work

Overall, using a wood router table can improve work quality due to its precision, safety, versatility, and time-saving benefits mentioned above. With cleaner cuts and increased efficiency, projects are more likely to turn out exactly as intended without mistakes or errors caused by manual handling of the router. This makes it an essential tool for any serious woodworker looking to produce high-quality work consistently.

6 Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Use a Wood Router Table

1. Not Securing the Wood Properly

One of the most common mistakes people make when using a wood router table is not securing the wood properly. This can result in the wood slipping or moving during the routing process, leading to uneven cuts and potential safety hazards. Always use clamps or other securing methods to keep the wood in place while routing.

2. Using the Wrong Router Bit

Another mistake people often make is using the wrong router bit for their project. Different router bits are designed for specific purposes, such as cutting straight edges, creating decorative edges, or making grooves. Using the wrong bit can result in a poor-quality cut or even damage to both the wood and the router.

3. Incorrect Speed Settings

Many routers come with adjustable speed settings, which are important to consider when working with different types of wood and router bits. Using too high of a speed can cause burn marks on the wood and reduce control over the router, while too low of a speed can result in rough cuts. Always follow manufacturer guidelines for recommended speed settings.

4. Neglecting Safety Precautions

Woodworking can be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken, especially when using power tools like a router table. Some common safety measures include wearing protective gear such as goggles and earplugs, keeping fingers away from moving parts, and ensuring that all guards and safety features function properly.

5. Rushing Through Projects

Using a wood router table requires patience and precision in order to achieve the desired results. Many people make the mistake of rushing through their projects, resulting in mistakes or accidents. Take your time when using a router table, and double-check measurements before making any cuts.

6. Lack of Maintenance

Lastly, not properly maintaining your wood router table can lead to problems. Regularly cleaning and lubricating your machine will help it run smoothly and extend its lifespan. It’s also important to regularly check for any loose or damaged parts and make necessary repairs before using the router table.

Maintaining Your Wood Router Table

What Are the Maintenance Practices Required for A Wood Router Table?

Wood router tables have become an indispensable tool for seasoned and amateur woodworkers. Like any other woodworking tool, a router table requires maintenance to keep it functioning effectively. Periodically cleaning the router table surface with a dry cloth helps remove dust and debris that may interfere with the cutting process.

Applying a coat of wax to the table helps protect it from moisture and reduces friction to make wood sliding easier. Regularly checking and tightening the bolts and screws of the table is also essential to prevent it from shaking or getting out of alignment, which can cause inaccurate cuts.

Lastly, properly storing the router table when not in use is critical in preventing damage to its parts. Maintaining a wood router table helps prolong its lifespan and ensures it functions correctly every time you use it.


Using a wood router table may initially seem intimidating, but with these simple tips, you can make the most out of this versatile tool. Always remember to choose the right bit, secure the wood, adjust the height of the bit, determine the direction of the cut, and keep your workspace clean. Following these tips, you can create intricate patterns and designs on your wood that will impress your friends and family. Thanks for reading our post about how to use a wood router table. Happy woodworking!

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Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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