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4 tips for safer routing

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Tip 1: Know when to rout handheld

Tip 1: Know when to rout handheld

The router table is a great place to machine easy-to-manage, midsize pieces and narrow moldings. With the router fixed into a tabletop, you can focus your attention on the workpiece instead of the tool. And you always should "take it to the table" whenever you work with pieces so small that you wouldn't be able to see or grasp them beneath the base of a handheld router.

But what about oversize tasks, such as rounding over the edges of a dining-room tabletop? That's when you take a handheld router to the workpiece. Perched on the edge of a workpiece, a handheld router can get tippy; but you can counter that. Simply rotate the router so the handles run perpendicular, not parallel, to the workpiece edge (as shown at right), and use one hand to exert pressure squarely over the workpiece while merely moving the router with the other.

Continued on page 3:  Tip 2: Don't be afraid to ask for directions


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