I recently had a noisy week in the workshop as I was running the five day router skills course and the router is a noisy but very useful tool.
The course started with some simple routing tasks, both hand held and using the router table to familiarise the students with the tool, to understand some of the basics such as feed direction, setting up the fence and depth stop and the essential method of plunge, cut, raise, return for hand routing. Plus of course the all important safety considerations. The remaining four days were devoted to making a circular occasional table. This introduced further techniques such as using a trammel to form arcs and circles, edge moulding with a bearing guided cutter, routing shapes using a template and bearing guided cutter, creating and using jigs and templates, cutting mortice and tenon joints with router and router table, cutting a cross lap using a jig and guided collar.
The course also had other learning points. It really emphasises the importance of a good workshop drawing, during the course we constantly referred back to the drawing to check, measurements, angles and curves. We also did some inlay work and learned how to clamp complex shapes.
At the end the three students had some elegant circular walnut tables to take home.
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