Router skills

Due to my semi-retirement this course is no longer offered.

However, you may find the series of free to watch online instructional videos below helpful.

This course was designed to take the fear out of routing! Many people have a router but feel uncomfortable using it because of health and safety concerns or worries that they will spoil the work. On this course students would become familar with the router, making routing a more enjoyable, less stressful activity.

Table made on the course.

Table made on the course


The router is possibly the most versatile machine in the woodworker’s tool cabinet, however many people only use it for a very limited range of tasks and have difficulty with the quality of cut. Some routing techniques can also lead to injury.

On this course you will explore the many tasks that a router can perform and find out how good technique can improve the accuracy and quality of cut and how to prevent trips to A&E!

The five day course will be based around making a small circular inlaid occasional table in walnut with a box wood inlay (720mm diameter 490mm high). This will be done almost entirely with the router. The table is an elegant piece of furniture, but the emphasis of the course is mainly on skills acquisition.

About This Course

I have designed this course to provide a good all round introduction to the router. As this is a five day course you have the opportunity to really get to grips with the wide range of tasks the router can perform and to understand some of the pleasures and pitfalls of using this versatile machine.  The course will also show you how to recover from some of the more common calamities. I should know – I’ve made plenty of the mistakes myself!

To give you some idea of the scope of the course, here are some of the topics covered:

  • Choosing a router
  • Cutter selection and care.
  • Types of cutter available.
  • Setting up the fence and depth stop.
  • Safe practice for hand and table routing.
  • Importance of feed direction.
  • Morticing with the router.
  • Tenoning on a router table.
  • Use of the guide collar .
  • Cutting a halving joint with the router.
  • Edge moulding.
  • Creating jigs and templates for use with bearing and collar guided cutters.
  • Cutting to a template and shaping curves.
  • Inlaying.
  • Using a trammel to cut circles and arcs.
  • Making and using feather boards and other accessories for the router table.
  • Alternatives to the feather board.

The student number is limited to four. I find this to be the optimum – small enough for each student to get the level of tuition they need but large enough for a good spirit of camaraderie to develop. On some tasks I use a buddy system where students assist each other; not only does this help friendships to develop, but students often bring new skills to the group so you learn from each other.

My workshop is less than five minutes walk from Ilkley railway station and from the main shopping centre, where you can get refreshments at lunchtime and meals in the evening.  Students come to my courses from all over the country and usually find somewhere to stay in the town.  Find out more about Ilkley accommodation here.

As this is an improver’s course you do need some experience! If you have been on one of my beginner’s courses or attended a similar course with another provider you should find that you have the necessary skill set for this course.

If you are self-taught, then provided you understand the importance of accuracy, correct setting out and sharp tools then you should also fit in.

If you are aren’t sure about your level of competence then please feel free to contact me or phone 01943 602836 or 07817 456241.

You can also find out a bit about the development of the course from my blog.

Watch free instructional videos featuring topics covered on this router course

online woodwork course video
Watch online video woodwork instruction. Click for full list of videos in this series.

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Thankyou, Chris.