Top 3 Router Accessories

The router is an extremely versitile tool. It can be used to put a profile on an edge, cut slots and rabbets, trim edges and more. With the following accessories, you can make your hand-held router eve more useful.

Edge Guide

When you need to make repeated cuts the same distance from the edge of a board, the edge guide is your friend. Examples include cutting mortises and slots or carving out fluting on columns.

The edge guides attaches to the side of the router, usually via some guide rods that slip into holes in the base of the router made specifically for this purpose. The fence portion then slides along these guide rods to position the router a fixed distance from the edge of the work piece.

Some edge guides are very simple. Just slide the fence where you want it and lock it down. Some edge guides are available with a micro-adjust mechanism, which allows you to dial in the guide fence very precisely simply by turning a knob.

Guide Bushing

A guide bushing is a cylinder that attaches to the bottom of your router, projecting from the bottom and encircling the router bit. The guide bushing rides along a template or jig, allowing you to make cuts that would be impossible to do freehand.

Need to cut a mortise for a hinge? Create a U-shaped template, clamp it to your part and just guide the router inside the "U".

Need to patch a damaged piece of wood or carve out a recess for some inlay? Cut an opening in a scrap piece the shape you need, clamp it to your workpiece and use the router to carve out the wood.

Want to cut dovetails with a router? Chances are, your dovetailing jig requires you to use a guide bushing.

With so many uses for a guide bushing, try to find a good quality set. If the set doesn't come with one, also pick up a centering bit. As it's name implies, a centering bit is used to make sure the guide bushing is centered around the router bit. This is important if more than one point of the bushing will be up against your jig.

Circle Cutting Jig

If you ever need to cut a circle a router equiped with a trammel, or circle cutting jig can be just the tool for the job. Using a router ensures that a perfect circle is cut every time and usually does not require much additional sanding or other cleanup. your router is extremely useful. It produces a perfect circle every time.

The idea is very simple. Attach a replacement baseplate to your router, insert a pin into the base at a distance from the router bit equal to the radius of your circle (taking into account the diameter of the router bit and whether you're cutting a hole or a disc). Place the pin in a corresponding hole in the workpiece and just spin the router around.

These are just a few of the many accessories available for your router, but with just these three, there are very few things you cannot do with a router.

What are your favorite router accessories?

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