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WoodWorking Blog

How to Work with Stationary Tools?

For those of you who are new to woodworking and mostly have used hand held tools so far, may be would like to try some stationary power tools.

The stationary tools you should be buying first are drill press and a table saw. Don’t bother about getting a big and expensive drill press. There is not much difference between a good drill press and a cheap drill press; in fact it is better to have cheap drill press than not having drill press at all. I started with a cheap drill press and it worked fine for me for a very long time.

On the contrary, same cannot be said about table saw. Cheap bench-top table saws are terrible and can never make a clean cut. The good quality bench-top saw cost almost equal to contractor saw.

A Contract saws is a type of table saw that have motor at its back and is open from bottom. It is usually made of cast iron and is actually a good machine for its price. Hybrid saws are another good woodworking machine.

They are similar to contractor saw, with only difference is that its motor is positioned in the cabinet instead of being at back like contractor saw.

For making cleaner cuts with a table saw, you will have to buy a good quality table saw. A good table saw can make smooth cuts that are good enough and require minimum work to get an excellent finishing.

These tools are good enough to make a simple project. One more tools that can be added to the list can be bandsaw.

A bandsaw is a very convenient to use tool that makes cleaner cuts than jigsaw. Though cut it make are not very clean but it can be used when you have to make some quick cuts. Personally I use this tool a lot.

This subject came up when my friend Rishabh, who is a destination wedding photographer by day and an avid DIY guy by night, asked me how it works.

One of the great thing about this tool is it is not scary to use. It may cut your fingers off, if you are too care-less with it but that will be a very slow process.

That will give you a lot of time to remove your finger before it can seriously get hurt. So if you are sacred of using table saw, get a bandsaw and use it for some time to get used to saws.

Once you are good with these stationary power tools, it may be the time to get more advanced power tools like a belt sander or a router. Router is a multipurpose tool, a very nice thing to have in your workshop.

It can be used as both hand-held power tool and stationary power tool. To use it as a stationary power tool it is mounted on a router table upside down.

There are some other tools that you can buy for advanced woodworking. You can purchase a miter saw for making crosscuts.

Although a crosscut sled will do that job better for you. Jointer planner is yet another tool that you can use to join pieces of wood side by side.

How to Use a Router

A Router is an incredibly versatile tool. You can do a lot of things with a router. From cutting dovetail joints to adding a profile to an edge, it can do it all. But if you are picking up a router for the first time you may struggle with it.


This article provides some techniques and tips about how to use a router, so you can get started with it.

Router Types – There are basically two types of Routers: fixed base and plunge base. In a fixed base router, the bit stays in a fixed position once it is depth is set and base is locked.

Where as in case of plunge base router the bit can be locked to the base and then plunged up and down into the material.

It is easier to change the bit in fixed base routers as its base can be simply be removed in order to change the bit.

Adjusting the height of micro-bit is also easier with fixed based router, making it a popular choice for working on router tables, dovetail jigs and with other tools where depth can be a problem.

Plunge router on the other hand is more useful when you have to make cuts with district starting and stopping points. This is possible because plunge router allows you to plunge in and it of the material as and when needed, making it ideal to work with mortise and dadoes. It can also be used to make adjustable shelf holes in the cabinets.

I personally use a bosch ra1181 Benchtop when working with my router. However, if you use another wood router then you can find a one that suits you better at

If you are still confused about which type of router you want, you can try a multi-base router. This will provide you with both fixed base and plunge base. Though, it can be bit expensive.

Variable speed – it is a very important feature that you must have in your router. This allows you to control the speed of the router. From safety point of view you should be running large diameter routers bit in variably lower rpm (revolution per minute) than small diameter router bit.

Router Bit Shank – Router bits comes in two shank sizes: ¼” and ½”. While buying a router you should be looking for the one which has both ¼” and ½” collets (the chuck that holds the bit).

You never know which shank you may have to use. But if you have to choose between the two bits always go for the larger shank i.e. ½”.

It is more stable under the cutting pressure so you get less quivering, which means better and cleaner cuts. Also the large bit shank gives the collet more surface to hold, which means there less chances of bit coming loose.

Installing Bits – Always unplug the router before changing the router bits. Also it will be a lot easier to install and remove bits if you remove the router base first.

Secure your work-piece – It becomes bit difficult and frustrating when your work piece keeps moving around while routing. One thing you can do to prevent this is, clamp the work piece.

But clamp often creates obstruction for router and thus has to be repositioned again and again. Another excellent solution is using a router mat. This provides a non-skid surface and also do not creates any obstruction for router.

Protect Yourself – It is very important to protect yourself while using router. Always wear an eye and ear protection before starting the router..


The Beginners Guide to WoodWorking

So you wanted to get into woodworking but don’t know where to start, what to make, what tools you should use.

My suggestion would be to start with the basic hand tools like a hammer, wood chisel, power jointer, screwdriver, thickness planer, nails, hand saws, and likes of that.

Start with doing basic woodworking, get used to wood before you start buying bigger and more powerful tools. I say that because it is very important get comfortable with the tools you are using.

Woodworking requires great deal of skills and as you get better with the basic tools you have, it will become easier to understand and decide, what tools you want next.

Also it saves you from wasting your money on buying tools and only later finding out that you are not actually into woodworking.

It makes no sense to invest in expensive branded tools at beginning. The most determinant factor while purchasing your first tools should be its price, its solidity and the conditioning.

They don’t have to be the best but should be good enough to get you started.

Later when you become more knowledgeable about woodworking and tool you can start buying the best and most powerful machines in the market.

In my opinion first power tool one should get is a drill and a jigsaw. These tools often come in handy even if you are not into woodworking.

Though, they won’t be enough to get your fine woodworking projects done like making a furniture but they sure will assist you in lots of basement or outside woodworking projects.

Other power tools that you might consider buying next could be a circular saw and a router.

A circular saw is more powerful than jigsaw and therefore is capable of cutting lot faster than jigsaw.

It is also easier to make cleaner and straighter cuts with circular saw. It is a great tool for cutting big sheets of plywood.

The router is even more powerful and versatile tool. It is capable of performing huge variety of functions. Getting used to router could take some time so it would be advisable to start with doing simple things like shaping the edge of the material. You should always wear your safety gears while using router.

At this point you have more than enough tool to start with woodworking. So stop thinking about buying more tools and start with some simple woodworking projects.

You can start with making a table or some storage shelving. If you want to take on some more challenging project, you can try to build a workbench for yourself.

A proper workbench can be a great addition to your workshop and may even increase your efficiency. You can also buy one from the market. Remember only more and more practice can make you a better woodworker.

How To Make Dovetail Joints


Dovetail Joints is a commonly used joint technique that is used by carpenters or woodworkers for attaching the joints in furniture, carcase construction, cabinets, timber farming and log building. In this article we will learn how to make dovetail joints.

Setting Up for Box Joints

For this we will be using table router. Make sure the router is unplugged while it is being setup. For making 3/8” joints, attach 3/8” spiral or straight bits to the router fixed on table. Keep 3/8” space between the bit and the fence.

Before start working with the main work-piece always run a test piece to check the setting. After the test clamp 2 pieces of equal thickness together. You can use a push block to hold the piece in vertical position.

Set the depth of bit slightly higher than the material thickness. Now start the router and make a cut for the first box joint. Now do the same for all the other box joints.

Unclamp the two work-pieces and check if the fit with each other.

Adjusting the Fit

If the spacing is too tight, move the fence towards the bit. If it is too loose, move the fence away from the bit. Do it until you get the desired fit. Then drill bolt holes in your router table, put in bolts and wingnuts and tighten them. Now you are ready to make a 3/3” box joints.

Making of Box

There are two sides and two ends in a box. Mark one edge of every piece. Keep the marked edge towards the fence and start cutting box joints on both ends.

To do the process quickly you can clamp the two side pieces together instead of doing it one by one to every piece.

Once you are done with side pieces its time to cut the end pieces but before that a groove cut has to be made on both ends of end pieces. We will do it with the help of offset block.

The Offset Block

An offset block brings the groove cut in front by shifting the stock on the fence. This let a groove in the end piece to fit in the box pin in the side piece.

Place the groove of the offset block on 3/8” spacer fence. Now see that the cutting edge of the bit is just touching the edge of the offset block.

Just like side pieces, clamp the two end pieces together and start making the groove cuts on both ends. This way you will get a perfect box join with top edge flush.

Setting Up dovetail Splice

To setup dovetail, you will need a ½” 14 degree dovetail bit in a table router. Attach the spacer fence over the table leaving the ½” space between the bit and the fence.

After ensuring that the fit is correct, you can start cutting the dovetail splices. At last raise the groove over the spacer fence and make a cut for the next groove. Keep doing it until the dovetail slots are cut along the entire end.

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