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How To Use A Plunge Router | Step By Step Guide for Woodworkers

How to use a plunge router

An electric wood router is one of the most versatile woodworking tool available to today’s artisan. The router is available in two configurations: the fixed base and the plunge base. The plunge base router is the type of router most used by woodworkers. It may appear to be more difficult to use at first, but by following the methods outlined here, you will be able to master the plunge router. Are you involved in the woodworking industry and require information on the router that is used for routing purposes? You’ve come to the right site if you want to learn more about the various types of routers available, including plunge bases and fixed bases. Before one start learning how to use a plunge router, you first need to learn how to use a wood router for beginners.  

How to use a plunge router

Plunge router is one of the greatest electric equipment often used by woodworkers,, and it is one of the two models available. But first things first, what is a plunge router used for? When designing their trim, individuals can incorporate the tool into the process by adding flute work to crown molding and producing creative designs in the middle of the cupboard door, for example. Many homeowners might also benefit from taking the plunge when it comes to creating a sink space in a countertop or clearing out the area around a door hinge. Although the device appears to be tough to use at first, it is actually rather simple and effective once you get the hang of it.

Because of its high adaptability, the plunge router uses include routing any material, regardless of its hardness or type. The primary advantage of plunge routers is the ease with which cuts may be made without the need for specific stopping and stopping positions for mortises and dadoes. Thus, the device can be beneficial for creating adjustable shelf openings in cabinets while also automatically protecting valuable parts while they are not in use, according to the manufacturer. If you are a beginner, this article will assist you in learning the proper skills for using a plunge router in a woodworking operation.

Why Plunge Routers?

A plunge router is a tool that should be in every wood shop. Plunge routers make it safer and easier to complete routing tasks such as mortising, halted dados, and inlay pattern work than other types of routers. Its one-of-a-kind base allows the cnc motor housing to ride up and down on a pair of posts that are permanently attached to the base. Because the plunge mechanism is spring-loaded, the motor housing has a natural tendency to rise to the top of the posts whenever the motor is turned on. Using a lock/release lever, you can either let the router housing move freely up and down or lock it in place at a specific depth. 

Because you may choose the depth of cut in advance, it is possible to position the router over the job and plunge the bit to a precise depth. The depth stops functions in the same way that the stop on a drill press does. Small plunge router has been on the market for quite some time. Some die-hard users of fixed base palm routers may argue that a fixed-base router can do all the functions of a plunge router, but they are unaware of what a fantastic and unique tool the plunge router is in their hands. Here are eight tasks that a plunge router can complete with ease that would be difficult for a fixed-base machine to complete.

 1. Outstanding Template Routers

Router Templates

When you use a plunge router, template routing is a simple and straightforward process. Simply position the router all over the given template. After that, turn it on and plunge the router bit to the predetermined depth, and begin routing. If a fixed base router had been used, the malleable bowtie inlay router template, would most likely have a few war scars on the surface. For a while, you can work with tipping it into the cut, but after some time, that template would be purloined as well.

2. Essential for Jigs 

When it comes to creating complicated jigs for jointing, a router plunge base is absolutely essential. There are numerous types of mortises and dovetails that these jigs can cut. However, they are unable to complete all of their functions without the assistance of a plunge router.

3. Required for Inlay 

Because the plunge mechanism allows for a smooth entrance and exit from the cut, the plunge router is particularly well suited for stringing and delicate inlay work, which is also known as captured inlay work. Tip your fixed-base model into a cut like this, and your cut will most likely be misplaced precisely where the groove begins because of the tipping. This is one operation that you absolutely want to get right the first time, and a plunge router is the most reliable tool for getting the job done correctly.

4. Burn-Free Stopped Flutes

When it comes to milling stopped grooves and flutes, there is no better method than using a plunge router. It is safer and less complicated to use this kind of milling than it is to use a fixed-base router. All you need to cut flawless flutes is a start block, a stop block, and an edge guide to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Plunge the router bit to the predetermined depth while pressing down on the lock lever as you make the cut along the length of the board with the router set on the start block. As soon as you remove the plunge lock lever, the bit retracts from the workpiece, leaving you with clean flutes that are as close to perfect as they possibly can be. Burn marks will not be left behind if you tilt the router in or wait for it to spin down before removing it at the conclusion of the cut, as you might if you did otherwise.

5. On-board Adjustments

Fine tuning a plunge router is made easier by the use of micro-adjustable depth knobs. On some fixed-based routers, making even minor adjustments to bit height might be an unpleasant experience. In the case of plunge routers, you can read and fine-tune the depth of cut right on the router’s face.

6. Bit Protection

One advantage of a plunge router over a fixed base tool is the ability to protect individual router bits. When the plunge router is not in use, it automatically surrounds and protects your precious components. Depress the lock lever using your finger, and the spring-loaded mechanism withdraws the housing, lifting the bit into the security towards the router base. In this way, you can prevent unintentional nicks to your parts, your fingers, and even your benchtop.

7. Mortises 


Cutting mortises with a plunge router is significantly easier than it is with a fixed-base type. It is possible to cut a deep mortise without overstressing the router or the bit. The cornerstone of this design is an adjustable stepped turret. Using this technique, a plunge router may make a succession of relatively shallow but gradually deeper cuts. With a spinning bit router, you don’t have to tip the bit into the job like you would with a fixed base handheld router. You can adjust the depth-of-cut setting for the following pass of the plunge router with a simple twist of its stepped turret, ensuring that the cut is not excessively deep.

8. It’s The Best Option For Some Specialized Bits

Some common bits work best when used in conjunction with a plunge router. With a fixed-base router, it would be practically hard to create a keyhole or a groove for hanging a picture, for example. To construct this keyhole groove, the bit must first plunge down into the stock, then slide laterally to cut the groove, and finally reverse-plunge to form the keyhole on the opposite end of the piece of wood. The cutters on the top, bottom, and sides of these specialist bits are quite sharp. If you’re using a fixed-base router, imagine taking the bit out of the cut with your hand. You shouldn’t even bother trying to visualize it now that I think about it.

How to Use A Plunge Router

1. Selecting and Configuring a Plunge Router

The first thing that you should do is properly inspect the learn how to use a router tool and all its various parts and components. The investigation entails taking note of the electric motor, which is located between the two posts. Therefore, the engine should be mounted on top of the spring and fastened to a flat base that will guide it throughout the operation process.

2. Set the Plunge Router Bit in the Input Plunge

The router bits are available in a variety of forms and sizes. They may be straight-cutting machines, but they can also make curved surfaces, beveled edges, and tongue and groove joinery in addition to straight cuts.  It is a top priority that the person using plunge router, to opt for the suitable bit.

In addition, the router bits you’ll need to employ on the specific type of cutting you’ll be doing. Once you’ve decided on a bit, turn the router upside down and press the spindle release button, which should be located towards the top of the device router’s housing. Use the wrench provided to loosen the spindle nut, then push the bit through the spindle and tighten it in a clockwise manner with the wrench provided. As a result, it is critical to tighten the spindle while being careful not to overtighten it.

3. Fix Your Wood to a Stable Surface Using Router Clamps

Because the spinning rate of the router bit will be quite high, it is necessary to clamp the working material to a sturdy plunge router table. Therefore, the plunge router has a larger proclivity towards turning over the material rather than burrowing its way through it. To ensure that you do not lose your footing while working, a router mat with a non-skid surface is highly recommended. If you secure the working material, the router will have no trouble digging through it without difficulty.

4. Protect Yourself From Loud Environments

The plunge router generates a great deal of noise, which can be damaging to your ears over time. As a result, it is critical that you wear hearing protection while working to avoid injury. In addition, you can wear glasses to protect your eyes from splinters or small chips that may occur during the operation itself.

5. Plunge Router Depth Should be Set

Router Bit Depth

Place the device on its side and take a measurement of the depth of the groove that has to be cut. Press the depth button to release the springs that are keeping the bottom plate in place, and then push up the plate guide until you reach the desired depth. Release the depth guide’s lever to secure the base plate in place and put the gadget in the precise cutting position you desire. When taking precise measures, it is vital to utilize a ruler.

6. Place the Device at the Desired Location

By pressing the handle button that plunges the bit into the piece, you may ensure that the device is flat with the working material. The activity improves the ease with which the router may be placed in the desired location without damaging the material. You can also use jigs and guides to join two pieces of wood together during the process, which will improve the outcome of the labor-intensive procedure.

7. Make Your Way in the Right Direction

When cutting along the outer edge of the material, you must rotate the device counter-clockwise, and when cutting along the inside edge of the material, you must rotate the device clockwise. Setting the device in the proper direction will reduce the likelihood of having to make modifications while working, hence enhancing performance and the quality of the final products. Using a collet extension is required when making deeper cuts where your bit is unable to reach them.

8. Plunge Router Should Be Started

Plugging in the material as soon as possible, positioning the device in the proper position, and gripping the router tightly with both hands are all necessary. The slot view can help you check that the bit is in the proper location. Press the power button to start the router spinning while simultaneously pressing the handle button to make it easier to plunge the bit into the working material. Apply the same amount of pressure until the bit achieves the correct depth, then release the button and run the router over the working wood to aid in the creation of the precise cutting pattern.

9. Routing in Circles

By mounting the router to the device arm and spinning it around a set position, you can create flawless circles. The plunger router can thus make fast cuts in the workpiece from a large blank without the need for a table saw to do so. Similarly, you can use various bits to cut, edge, or route the workpiece in a similar manner to this. This, however, necessitates the adjustment of the depth gauge in accordance with the amount or size of material being used.

Clearing Some Queries on Plunge Router

What can be done with a plunge router?

A Plunge router can be used for several tasks as they have a direction that moves up and down from the base. Whether you’re a trainee or a professional with a lot of experience, the plunge router is the kind of tool that you need to have to polish your woodwork skills. It comes with versatility and can be used for different wood projects in a few ways. With tons of brands promoting their products, one can easily feel overwhelmed and confused about which one to go for. So, to find the most excellent plunge router that will improve your services on a tough budget, we go in detail to make sure that you understand all regarding the best plunge router.

How do you guide a plunge router?

Guide the router along the straight lines with unpiloted bits. Straight bits, also known as unpiloted bits, do not have guiding bearings at the end. You can only get a straight cut when you direct the router against a fence, which is not always the case. When utilizing unpiloted bits, always utilize a router guide, also known as a router fence.

Final Thoughts

In the modern woodworking shop, a plunger router is a sophisticated piece of equipment. If you want to improve the functionality of your computer, you can use the following basic strategies. To guarantee safety when working with this equipment, wear protective clothing and avoid wearing loose clothing wherever possible.

Furthermore, you must thoroughly read the plunge wood router handbook before beginning the project to prevent making mistakes with the blades. Now you have clearer perception of how to use the plunger router, you can start working on your first project with it. We also urge you to go though our website for additional information if you are still having difficulties when using the gadget to avoid making mistakes and losing more clients.

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