The Wood Router
At some point during your DIY Carpentry adventure, you are going to need a router. Like all of the tools in my arsenal, my router was thoroughly investigated before I made the purchase. I wanted to make sure that I purchased a high quality router that would stand up to the test of time. My final selection was a Porter Cable router with a 2 1/4 hp motor; it is one heck of a workhorse. The kit also comes with a plunge base which is an awesome tool once you get the feel for it.
The Router Table
You may be considering a DIY router table, which I obviously considered after Googling “building a router table”, but I ended up buying a table that I can store under my DIY work table (Click Here To Read About It). I bought an XtremepowerUS router table which is perfect for the average DIY carpenter. When I purchased my table, it was branded by SKIL, but has since changed to XtremepowerUS. The new style SKIL router tables look nice, but I don’t have any personal experience with them (if I were going to purchase one, it would be the RAS9000). It has a adjustable and removable router table fence which allows you to perform some great routing projects that would be difficult to perform with the wood clamped down and the router being utilized free-hand. I prefer the router to be attached to the table unless absolutely necessary (and it occasionally happens). These two products combined together have enabled me to perform several projects (like the bench that is in the featured image). For ease of use, I attached to pieces of 2×4 lumber under the router table to allow me to clamp it to my DIY work table. It really makes the router table extra firm, which is necessary when you are doing some deep cutting. The work surface is adequately sized for all types of projects. I have performed tons of work with this table and have never wished it were any larger. I have seen the mega-expensive tables in our carpenter shop at work and although they are pretty awesome, they are totally overkill for a DIY carpenter working in his/her garage (I work for a large public utility which has all types of shops…). The table also features a shop vac connection to keep the saw dust under control when you are routing. I think my router makes more of a mess than any of my wood working tools.
This combination of tools will allow you to create some amazing carpentry projects. You’ll also need a set of router bits, such as this Hiltex set from Amazon (Click Here To See Them). If you have specific questions about these items, please post them in the comment section below.