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I am a beginner woodworker. Doing great so far. I am currently looking for a router. Now I need to learn to use one. What would be the best way to do this? Any info is appreciated.

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Thank you for your advise. I am not at all offended. I know that I need to learn, and will most likely hold off getting one until I feel I can use it correctly. Is the table something that can be made or something that you have to buy?

Thanks again.


A small router like the Bosch Colt is a one-handed tool, which I think is more difficult to manage than a small two handled router. Let me repeat the warnings about safety!  That tool inside the router could quickly shred your finger or gouge a groove in your leg!   Look what it can do to wood.

The nice thing about a small router table is you always know where the cutter head is.   This helps your safety.  I still have this flimsy sheet metal Craftsman router table which probably cost me $20 max, but early on, it served me well. 

Thanks Rick. I have read up on the routers and the advice there is to get a D handled router for beginners. Does that sound right? I do think I want to have it mounted to a table for safety reasons. I do not want to injure myself as I learn.

check out this site look for internet sales They sell all popular brands new and factory refurbished. I buy all my stuff there even nail gun nails .

Another great site for refurbished tools is CPO outlets.  First quality, quick dely, no sales tax.

I never had a D-handle router.  Perhaps some one else could give some suggestions about D-handles.  I remember Norm Abrams loved them.

Teresa Walker said:

Thanks Rick. I have read up on the routers and the advice there is to get a D handled router for beginners. Does that sound right? I do think I want to have it mounted to a table for safety reasons. I do not want to injure myself as I learn.

Hi Theresa. Check out youtube.there alot of helpful woodworking how to videos

I am a beginner as well and subscribe to treating all tools with a healthy amount of respect but not to the point of being fearful of them.  I started with a dewalt combo kit and cheap router bits and a stack of different types of scrap wood.  I spent a lot of time in front of the computer then rushing outside to practice with straight edges, then to plunge then to templates then to circles.  More recently I took an intro to routers at a local woodcraft store which, whilst I didnt learn very much new, corrected some bad habits that I had started to develop.  I have recently moved to a portable router table and invested in another smaller (Bosch Colt) router for hand held work.  Like all things familiarity and practice get you better results but routing is so much fun and the turns the mundane into looking as though you know what you are doing that the sooner you start the better.

Hi Teresa - Welcome to the world of routing. I second the suggestion to visit some of the box stores, any tools stores in your area, Sears or anywhere else you can pick up and handle one. If there is a woodworking store or club in your area maybe you can get some hands on trial. The best router is the one that YOU can handle comfortably, confidentally and safely.

Meanwhile, here is some light reading material

The Bosch Colt ''palm'' router is an excellent choice, as a first router.

It performs almost all routing operations, using 1/4'' shank bits.

The Bosch Colt router operator should use ''two'' hands for safe operation.

Use one hand to firmly grip the ''body'' of the tool and the other hand to stabilize and guide the machine thru its cutting operations.

Please read and re-read the instruction manual, a few times, then read it again a couple more times---

so as to become familiar with all its funcitons, before performing any machining operations.

Rockler offers a palm router table, that facilitates the Bosch palm router, very nicely.

I have this set-up and use it frequently.

Router Manual---

For a beginner, novice, occasional wood worker, and as a reference book to have in any shop,

the shop manual titled ''ROUTER'', published by ''Fox Chapel Publishing'' is the way to go.

It is compact & concise, well written and illustrated.

I think any person, possessing a router, should have this book---for $12.95, you can't get anything better on today's market.


Excellent book.

John Schaben said:


Meanwhile, here is some light reading material

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