How to Operate a Plunge Router

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A plunge router is named after its plunging abilities that come from its plate that slides on a rail to put the bit into a piece of wood. Learn how to work the speed adjustments on a plunge router with help from a furniture-making student in this free video on woodworking and wood routers.

Part of the Video Series: Wood Routers
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Video Transcript

Hi. This is a plunge router. Plunge router is named after its plunging abilities due to its plate that slides on a rail which puts the bit into your piece of wood. The first thing on this one is the on off switch. The switch is located right here beside the right handle. When it is pushed down it is off and when you flip it up it is on. So what happens is at first it is off, turn it on, make your cut, and push it down to turn it off. The speed adjustment, on this router, is located near the top. Different speeds go accordingly to different bits. There are two handles on a router to where you can turn it hold it, and you, it is just a it is just a good firm place to hold on to. The depth adjustment is located on the back of the router near the left handle. You push it down and then lock it in place at the desired depth. The next part is putting a bit in your router. The first step is to make sure you have your wrench to adjust the collet. How you place a bit into the collet on the router, you slide the shank of the bit into the collet, push it all the way in first and then back it off about a quarter of an inch. Next thing is, is, tighten it by hand until the shaft on the router begins to turn. Once this happens push the button located near the collet, that locks the armature of the motor. Once you have gotten it hand tightened use your wrench, and tighten it the rest of the way. You want to make sure that it is really tight to where it does not slip while you are routing. Next you want to adjust your depth of cut to make sure that you are cutting in the proper position on your board. You do this by pushing down on your router with your depth adjustment lever unlocked. Once you get it in place, lock your lever. The first step of actually making your cut on your board with your router is making sure that you have a smooth surfaces that you will be routing against. First I am going to take the board, and lock it into this bench with the bench dogs. Once it is in place, check your depth of cut again. If everything is good go ahead plug up your router. Make sure you wear safety glasses when using a router a lot of chips and stuff fly around and you do not want them getting in your eyes. When using the router, do to the rotation of the bit you start from right and move to the left on your piece of your piece of wood. Adjust your speed to the proper speed adjustment. And then go ahead turn on the router and make your pass. Once you have done this you should have a nicely routed board.

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