Mary, one of Eagle America’s customer service representatives writes:
I have collected Wade figurines for 25 years.
It started innocently enough with the Rose Tea giveaways and now it has blossomed into a full blown obsession.
My collection had out grown its original antique medicine showcase so my darling, Mike, built a wall cupboard for me.
We designed it together and it turned out great.
I wanted a beaded board back for interest but we kept the stains light to highlight the figurines.
We added a cap at the top and bottom to soften the edges.
The clasp to hold the door tight are rare earth magnets embedded in the top of the door and the inside corner of the frame.
As you can see the new cupboard is full so I think he should get started on another one, don’t you?
A great deal of time here at Eagle America is spent discussing router bits as you can imagine, since we are “The World’s Router Bit and Woodworking Source”. Many of the technical woodworking calls and emails that we receive are about uses with larger routers mounted in a router table system. It is easy to overlook a little workhorse like the trim router, which is perfect for all forms of easy routing tasks.
The newsletter at Woodworking-News.com does a great job of highlighting some of the benefits of a trim router:
- Ease of Use
- Comfort & Control thanks to the smaller size
- Cost savings compared to larger models
We have also heard of customers having multiple trim routers that stay setup for specific, high frequency operations at all times. For example, if you make a lot of tables and you are always putting a 1/4″ round on the edge then you can keep a trim router “locked and loaded” and ready to go. We would like to hear your thoughts on Trim Routers, specifically:
- Do you use one? If so, how many Trim Routers do you own?
- What is your favorite Trim Router?
- What applications do you use a Trim Router for the most?
We have options for you from DeWalt, Porter Cable and Festool, click over today and take a look. My guess is if you don’t own one you will be adding one to your woodworking tool collection really soon.
*** This post is courtesy of Tom Iovino of Tom’s Workbench ***
The mortise and tenon joint is timeless. Classic. Functional. And, not as difficult to cut as you might imagine.
Oh, sure, if you have never cut one before, you might be scared senseless to start. I mean, don’t you need a shop full of fancy, expensive jigs and unitasking machines? Think about Norm Abram of the New Yankee Workshop. He cut mortises with special fixtures for his drill press or his dedicated hollow chisel mortiser. And, he had his special table saw jig that cut tenons on boards standing on their ends. If you build a lot of projects with numerous mortises and tenons, this is a good way to go. These tools offer a great deal of flexibility and convenience when cranking out these joints all day. But, I would contest that you have one of the best mortise AND tenon cutting systems in your plunge router. Equipped with the right kind of bit, these babies can crank out tight-fitting joinery with little effort.
For mortising, I like to equip my router with an up-spiral bit. Those bits resemble drill bits, with flutes that can eject sawdust from the joint you are excavating, giving you smooth walled mortises of a consistent width and depth. There are many ways you can go about guiding your router to give you the desired results. Here are just a few:
With a template. If you rout a slot in a piece of MDF or plywood at a width that can accept a router bushing, it will guide your router as you cut away. I usually cut a 3/4″ slot to accept a like-sized bushing, then use a 1/2″, 3/8” or 1/4″ bit to cut the appropriately sized mortise.
With a center-finding guide. Special base plates with carefully aligned bearings automatically center your bit on the work piece, locating the mortise in the ideal location for maximum strength.
With your edge guide. By using your edge guide, you can carefully place the bit anywhere along the piece, giving maximum adjustability.
With a table mounted router. Flip your router into a router table, adjust the fence to place the mortise where you want it and lower the work onto the bit and using stop blocks to control the final length of the mortise.
The tenon can be made just as easily with your router. You could cut it on a router table by pushing your work past a straight cutting bit, which is certainly a viable option. However, once I tried a four-faced tenon cutting jig – WOW. That has become my favorite way to cut tenons. Fast, accurate and repeatable.
The jig is very simple to build – it has a flat top piece with a window cut into the top for the router to plunge through. There is also a vertical fin that gets dadoed into the bottom of this top piece. And, finally, there’s a fence that the board you are routing sits against.
Set the depth on a rabbeting bit, and start the router. The length of the tenon is set by the plunge depth of the router, and the depth of cut is set by the guide bearing at the bottom of the bit. Jim McCleary of Proven Woodworking has an outstanding page featuring plans for the jig and videos of how it works.
Yes, the mortise and tenon is a great joint. And, now that you know how to cut both parts with your plunge router, what are you waiting for? Get out there and build!
*** Specials thanks to Tom Iovino, a true Shop Monkey, for this post. He will be providing posts on a monthly basis for Eagle America, check back again soon. ***
We have given you the freedom to create your own Router Bit Build-A-Sets online for over a year now. Today we are proud to announce you can now do the same thing with our Shaper Cutters! So what is a Build-A-Set you ask? Good question, here is how it works:
- They currently are available for Door Construction projects only
- Let’s say you are making a raised panel door with your router
- Due to the number of router bit designs available, it would be almost impossible for us to guess what would look best on your kitchen cabinets
- Now all you have to do is click over to our site and it simply walks you through assembling your own custom router bit set on the fly!
- Not only do you get EXACTLY the bits that you want, but you also save money in the process. What a deal!
Our router bit loving fans have been using this functionality for the last year and our shaper cutter fans were jealous…not anymore! Click over today and give either of them a try.
*** This post is courtesy of Tom Iovino of Tom’s Workbench ***
So, you have a router. Great. It’s a very useful tool, allowing you to cut joinery, shape moldings, thickness boards and a host of other uses. Maybe yours has an ultra-smooth plunge action. Perhaps a soft electronic start. A massively useful edge guide. Go ahead. Open the case on your router and breathe in the multitasking goodness. Take your time. I’ll give you a minute…
Oh, wait, there may be one little detail you have overlooked, isn’t there? That’s right – the router itself has to be paired with router bits to do its woodworking goodness. Without router bits, your router is really a high-tech, tricked out paperweight.
So, what can you do to remedy this situation? There are two different routes you can take. First, you can buy bits one at a time as the need arises. But, if you do that, there’s a chance you’ll be mid-project without the bit you need. The other option is to buy a set of bits to have the basics on hand. In this scenario, you’ll discover that you use some bits until their carbide is about to fall off while others sit idle in the case. I’ve approached the router bit buying routine from both sides as my woodworking skills have developed and have arrived at a third avenue of choice. That would be to ask your woodworking friends what bits they use the most and pick those most useful up first.
What are my most used bits? I’m glad you asked. They include:
A 1/2” straight cutting bit. If you are going to route dadoes or rabbets, you could do a whole lot worse than this workhorse. If you are working with material thicker than ½”, you can cut your dado and then use the bit to rabbet the material being inserted into the groove so it fits the channel. This bit can also be used to set your router table up as a jointer using an offset fence.
A 3/8” up-spiral bit. Your plunge router makes a very handy and effective mortising machine. Since I frequently use 3/8” mortises when joining ¾” material, this bit gives me the dimension to shoot for. The up-spiral bit helps eject the router shavings effectively while you are plunging the router.
A 1/2” top bearing pattern following bit. If you want to ensure that identical project pieces are truly identical, cut a template from an inexpensive sheet material such as MDF and pattern-route the pieces to shape. A very cool technique that will improve your woodworking. A bonus use – you can run this bit against a straight edge and cut dadoes in sheet goods.
A 1/2” round over bit. Cut pieces of wood have very sharp edges on them. Easing these edges makes your projects more comfortable to handle and the rounded over edge is less likely to splinter if handled roughly. You can adjust how much is cut by changing the amount of bit that’s exposed for cutting.
A 1/2” cove bit. This bit cuts the mirror image of the round over bit, scooping out an area of wood. Combining the round over and cove bits creatively can allow you to cut some very cool looking moldings with basic bits.
A 3/4” chamfer bit. In addition to knocking a 45 degree edge off of projects and moldings, you can also use this bit to ensure mitered project parts are accurately milled to 45 degrees, ready to be joined into perfect, airtight miters.
A 3/4”, 14 degree dovetail bit. When you buy a router jig to cut dovetails, you probably won’t be using this bit to do your cutting. Most jigs require different sizes or diameters of bits to work properly. However, this bit can allow you to master another awesome joint – the sliding dovetail. Once you learn how to cut one, you’ll be hooked.
You can imagine how excited we were when we stumbled across this blog post at KimbertonWoodWorks.com. He did an amazing job creating hardwood bowls & trays with his router and our Bells bowl & tray template. Take a look at his results:
Making bowls & trays with your router is fun, easy and rewarding. We have a large selection of templates for you to choose from, as well as all of the router bits and router accessories you will ever need to get the job done right the first time. Click over to www.EagleAmerica.com today and start making bowls tomorrow.
Act fast, this deal won’t last long! Each week we post a new batch of Woodworking Deals of the Week on Wednesday mornings. This week’s batch of money-saving deals features an HVLP Sprayer, NFL-themed Levels, a Marking Knife, Edge Banding Router Bit Sets and the specials featured above.
Our PriceCutter brand, 24-Piece Router Bit Set is a real keeper…especially at this price. We have packed this set full of bits you will use and use often, there’s not a dog in the bunch. Click here to see complete details or to save $60 and get your own for only $99.99. Tell your woodworking friends, we are sure they will want to add one to their collection as well but you all have to act fast…this offer ends 1-1-11. Enjoy!
Simply put, woodworkers are busy people. If woodworking is your profession (you lucky dog!) then you practice the craft from 8am to 5pm all week-long and often on weekends. If woodworking is your hobby, you probably work all week and try to carve time out for your projects at night and on the weekends. Long story short, you probably don’t want to slow down to sharpen all of your tools…especially your router bits. This recent post on LumberJocks.com caught my attention…and since we are “The World’s Router Bit & Woodworking Source” it really caught my eye.
As the article illustrates, you should really own a set of Pocket Diamond Honing Stones as pictured above. Our 4-Piece set is available for only $29.99 and they are well worth the investment since they can be used to quickly and easily sharpen your router bits, shaper cutters, hand chisels and other woodworking tools. We take pride in our router bits, both our domestic Eagle America brand as well as our imported PriceCutter line, and think you would benefit greatly by keeping them in tip-top shape. All cutting tools, be they table saw blades, router bits or shaper cutters, are designed to give you optimal performance when they are nice and sharp. Will you make a Woodworking New Year’s Resolution to sharpen your tools every time you are done using them? It could be just a quick pass or two with the honing stones, it doesn’t have to be hours of work. That way your tools are ready to go the next time you need them. Is that practical or just wishful thinking? Let us know what you think.
I was reading some posts at FamilyWoodworking.org recently and stumbled across this one titled “Router vs. Shaper Question“. Well, since we are “The World’s Router Bit & Woodworking Source” we have a vested interest in people loving woodworking routers and router bits…but we also carry a very nice line of Shaper Cutters. As you can imagine this post really caught my attention.
So we would love to hear from you, where do you stand on the “Router vs. Shaper” discussion? Some questions to consider:
- Do you just have a plain old preference for one over the other?
- Do you only have a router due to space limitations in your shop?
- Do you have a shaper because you can use both router bits and shaper cutters in it?
- Do you have a router because there are many more sizes and shapes of router bits compared to shaper cutters?
- Do you side with the router because you can own multiples of them and keep them setup in your shop for specific uses?
- Etc., etc., etc…
- Are we not offering enough profiles?
- If not, what are we missing that you want?
- Are we not offering enough sizes of certain profiles?
Our offering of router bits and shaper cutters exceeds 2,000 different options, especially when you factor in the sets we have available. That’s a lot for you to choose from…but we want to make sure we aren’t missing something. What you say matters!
Our friend Tom Iovino over at Tom’s Workbench is once again featured in the December/January issue of Wood Magazine. This month’s article is titled “Living in the Present – Keep your sanity during the holidays”. What a great article on making woodworking gifts! Keep reading below…
The article can only be read by purchasing the current issue of Wood Magazine, they don’t offer it online for free for some time. However, here are the three key tips Tom covers in the article:
- Start Early
- Build it Small
- Stick to the Known
You need to buy the magazine to see what else Tom has to say but I couldn’t agree with him more! However, with only 2 weeks to go until Christmas you might be in a pinch to start early this year. At this point you should build something small and stick to techniques and tools that you are familiar with. At Eagle America we have some great project suggestions for you:
- Make Holiday Bowls and Trays – they are very quick and easy to make, the perfect mass-production weekend project. We have the router bits and router templates you need to get the job done right the first time.
- Make Hardwood Signs – Help your loved ones personalize their woodshops, homes or offices. Again, we have the router bits and router jig you need to get it done now.
- Make Beautiful Keepsake Boxes – A project that lets your loved ones keep their jewelry or other keepsakes protected. We have the router bits and box making accessories that you need to make that box beautiful…and even to help it sing.
Time is short, stop reading this blog post and click over to Eagle America today. Pick a project, get your supplies…and get to work!