From rLab

Triton Compact Precision Plunge Router 1010W / 1-1⁄2hp Induction

Router Parts

Some of the tools at the Hackspace are potentially hazardous to use, for these tools members are required to have an induction before they can use them. Inductions provide the most basic information on how to safely and effectively use the simpler functions of the tools, we appreciate that some members may have professional experience on some of these tools and in this case please tell your induction provider and the induction may be very reduced and just cover any risks or procedures specific to rLab. Some tools have multiple levels of induction in order to cover more advanced uses of that tool without making the basic induction take too long, higher induction levels will introduce some of the more advanced features of the tools but as with all inductions are only intended to provide basic information on the capabilities of the tools and how to use them safely. Some members of rLab may be willing to offer more detailed tuition beyond basic induction level or offer guided practice sessions in exchange for beer money or assistance on their own projects.

For all tools you are only required to take level-1 induction before use, after that you may perform any task that you feel confident you can do safely, higher levels of induction may be useful to you in performing more advanced operations but are not required before doing tasks covered in them so long as you're confident of your ability to handle those tasks without risk to yourself, others, or the tool.

PLEASE NOTE : All induction providers are volunteers who are providing inductions to the best of their ability but are NOT qualified instructors. Inductions are provided on a best-effort basis but you and you alone are responsible for your safety while using the tools and for satisfying yourself that you can operate the tools safely. There are professional training courses available from various providers in Reading and the surrounding area if you feel they are appropriate for the level of work you intend to undertake. Reading these notes is NOT a substitute for an in-person induction.

Note for wiki editors : Please do not edit induction pages unless you are one of of the people that gives that induction

Topic Detailed contents Rationale
  • The router table is used to shape edges, create grooves and cutouts, it can be used with most woods and some plastics but not with metals.
  • It has a variety of accessories to aid you in positioning work and making more complex features
  • It is not intended to remove large amounts of material but with care it can be used to cut material to complex shapes
  • It can be used with templates/jigs to produce complex cut-outs including ones where a central entry point is needed so other tools are not suitable
  • For large cuts in heavy materials then consider the Bandsaw or Table Saw instead

What's this tool intended to do so people know when to choose this tool and when to pick something else.

Machine overview
  • The router is basically just a motor mounted under the table
  • It spins a cutting bit at 8,000-20,000rpm
  • It can accept a variety of bits with a wide range of functions
  • The work is moved slowly against the bit, cutting a linear shape into the edge of the work.
  • The depth of cut can be accurately set and using the fence a straight line can be accurately followed
  • Using "follower" bits (ones with bearings) a template/jig can be followed to make complex shapes

Basics of how the router works

  • Eye protection is always required as the bit is moving very fast and can fling material
  • Hearing protection is needed, the router is VERY loud in use
  • Turn on the room air filter if doing more than the smallest of jobs.
  • Always attach and turn on Dust extractor
  • No loose clothing and long hair must be tied back
Clothing and equipment to avoid injury
  • Most softwoods and hardwoods, beware of plywood as it cuts inconsistently and can get snagged
  • Plywood and MDF will dull cutters faster regular timber, they can be used, but check cutters afterwards
  • Some plastics, but do tests, and be prepared to chip a melted mess off of the cutter if it goes wrong.
  • No Metals at all, not even thin aluminium or diebond, they can become lethal projectiles.
What stuff can be used on this machine
General Safety
  • Unplug before making any adjustments
  • Handle router bits with care, they can be extremely sharp
  • Examine your work piece before routing it, defects and knots in the wood are likely to result in more difficult cutting and increased risk of material breakage when they meet the cutter. It will be necessary to either avoid them or cut much more slowly and carefully when going through them.
  • Move the work piece in the direction against the rotation of the cutter only; move it so it's pushed into the cutting edge of the bit. Moving the work against the cutter in the other direction (sometimes known as "Climb" cutting) is likely to get your work piece thrown across the room and you falling into the cutter!
  • Keep hands away from the rotating bit! Pay attention to where your hands are in relation to the bit when feeding material, use push-sticks and the combs if needed. Remember that the router has been known to fling work away from the cutter or cause it to break so consider how you're pushing on the work and where your hands will wind up if the work suddenly moves or breaks.
  • Never start the router while the cutter is touching the work piece
  • The cutter must always approach from the side of the work piece, never the center as it's likely to catch and get flung around. If you need to start in the center then consider if you can drill a hole for the bit to start in. If not then it may be possible to approach the job by using the hand-held router in plunge mode instead.
  • Do not handle cutters immediately after use - they become very hot
  • Only use router cutters designed for woodwork, suitable for use between 8,000 and 20,000rpm
  • Extreme care must be taken when using cutters with a diameter greater than 2" (50mm). Use very slow feed rates and/or multiple shallow cuts to avoid overloading the motor

General safety precautions to avoid the more obvious hazards

Setting Up the machine

Powering On

  • There are 3 places that the electrical supply to the router can be switched from
  1. The wall socket - This is your main safety method, unplug when adjusting!
  2. The push switch on the front of the table - This is the main way to control the router in normal use
  3. The red switch on the router it's self - This is only for changing bits
Types of cutting bit
  • Edge Cutters - are for creating decorative profiles or join rebates, they often have ball bearings at the end so there may not be a need for a fence guide.
  • Groove Cutters - create channels starting at edges and don't generally use guide bearings so the fence will be needed
  • for images and explanation of each bit a good website

Fitting a collet and router bit

  1. Ensure the power switch is OFF and the router is disconnected from the mains
  2. Ensure the retracting shutter is fully closed (3), it will cause the router to jam during this procedure if it isn't and it quite difficult to release once jammed. The cover can only be closed when the switch is in the off position.
  3. Check the depth stop lock knob (11) is fully retracted and release the Plunge Lock Lever (7)
  4. Plunge the router to its maximum depth (raise the spindle all the way) using the micro winder (8) and engage the plunge lock lever (7)
  5. Rotate the spindle (careful not to cut yourself on the bit) to engage the spindle lock
  6. Remove the green circle
  7. Use the spanner to loosen and remove the router head and collet (5) you have to untighten twice to undo
  8. Check that the collet in the router head is suitably sized for the new bit and change if needed. Be especially careful not to confuse 1/4"(6.35mm) with 6mm collets, or 1/2"(12.7mm) with 12mm collets.
  9. Insert the new router bit into the collet (5) with a small gap from the painted section make sure it's not too far out as this will make it unstable, then use the spanner to tighten the collet (5) so that it holds the bit firmly
  10. Disengage the plunge lock lever (7). and lower the spindle a bit, this will release the collet lock and the retracting switch cover (3)
  11. Check once again that power is off and turn on switch(3) which is on the router

Choosing a speed

  1. Use the highest speed which does not result in burn marks
  2. Generally, higher speeds are used for timber and MDF, lower speeds for synthetic materials
  3. Operating at reduced speed increases the risk of damage to the router as a result of overload. At low speeds use very slow feed rates and/or multiple shallow cuts
Setting RPM Cutter Diameter
5 20,000 Up to 25mm (1")
4 18,000 25 – 50mm (1" – 2")
3 14,500 50 – 65mm (2" – 2-1⁄2")
2 11,00 Over 65mm (2-1⁄2")
1 8,000 Use only if burning
Setting up for your cut
  • Use the micro-winder to set up the depth of cut you're after
    • If you can't get to the proper depth within the adjustment range of the winder, then you may have to re-position the bit in the collet
    • Tighten the locking lever once you have your desired height
  • If you're going to be using the fence
    • Set it to the correct distance, remember it doesn't have to be parallel to the table, only at the correct perpendicular distance
    • Lock it in place
    • Consider if you want to use the combs to hold work against the fence for your cut, they can be especially helpful for small or thin work, or if you're expecting to have to perform the same operation on a lot of work pieces. If you do decide they'll be useful then then now is the time to fit them.
  • If you're using a template to guide the cut
    • Ensure the template is securely fixed to the work
    • Check that the guide bearing of the bit will engage with the template
    • Plan out how you're going to move the work against the cutter to ensure it's always moving in the proper direction.
  • Check the area around you. You're going to have to move the work into and out of the cutting zone, plan how you're going to do this. Make sure the areas to both sides of the router table and clear and nothing is going to get in the way of your work.
  • Plan how you're going to handle your workpiece. Think about how you'll position your self and what moves you're going to have to make. If the work is large consider if asking another person to help you handle it will make things safer.
How to get the results you want
Making your cut
  1. Plug in, switch on at Plug Socket
  2. Open router retractable switch cover and turn on if it isn't already
  3. Check your PPE is properly fitted
  4. Turn on the dust extraction
  5. Workpiece should not be near the cutter when starting
  6. Turn on Table Switch and the router will start
  7. Bring your work up to the cutter
  8. Move your work against the cutter smoothly
    1. Very little force will be needed if you're doing this properly
    2. Listen to the sound of the machine, you'll be able to tell if you're overloading it as you'll hear it slow down
    3. Be especially careful with plywood, or wood with knots or defects
  9. Move your work away from the cutter
  10. Turn off the table switch
  11. Turn off the dust extraction
  12. Wait for the spindle to come to a complete stop before moving your work near it or removing your PPE

Executing a cut safely and getting a good finish

Cleaning Up Afterwards
  1. Remove all material from the table area and router
  2. Check the extractor to make sure it's not full and empty it if it is
  3. Examine the router bit and check if it's still sharp, if it's blunt then buy a new one and submit the receipt or let the maintainers know so it can be re-sharpened
  4. Use a portable vacuum to clean the router table and the area around the cutting bit
  5. Sweep up the area around the router table. The dust extractor should have caught most of it but some will escape
Leave the saw cleaner than you found it, cleanliness is a safety issue when working around others.
Manual Link

Trouble Shooting

If the retracting Switch cover (3) will not close:

  1. Release Plunge Lock lever (7)
  2. Lower the spindle with the micro winder (8)

If you're getting a rough surface finish

  1. Don't push so hard
  2. Adjust speed
  3. Bad timber, some timber just can't be cut nicely, plywood especially
  4. Blunt cutter bits will give a poor finish