How To Use A Wood Router To Create Beautiful Designs

All the beautiful wooden designs in your competitor stores are embellishing the jealousy inside of you. When you learn how to use a wood router correctly, those lovely patterns will no longer be hard-reached by you as well.

A wood router is a hand-held or machine-controlled tool used generally in woodworking and, in particular, in carpentry to transform the ordinary plank of wood into a magical piece.

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​A General Overview On How To Use A Wood Router

A router tool works like magic while dealing with cabinetry known for beautiful designs. You can shape, size, and trim any non-metal like wood and plastic, and soft metal. The router works with a narrow blade projected beyond the base plate in the hand-controlled type. Whereas it performs the versatile range of tasks with a power-driven spindle in the machine-handled type and this is the most popular form today. Though the power router is the craze of the time, hand-held routers are not out of the vogue.

Manufacturers of late tend to produce wood routers meant for beautiful designs. Not to mention, this article is aimed to shed light on how to make beautiful designs with wood routers. And the lion shares of the routers the stores are studded with are variable speed control routers and soft-start routers.

To answer what you can do with those routers, I can make a long list of the most desirable and urgent wooden structures to beautify or occupy your home or shop space. They include picture frames, desks, edges, kitchen cabinets, doors, and more. The best part of having a router is that you can go very creative to excel in cutting, trimming, shaping, sizing, and more.

The motivation of writing this article is to cover not merely the range of woodworks you can accomplish through the proper and informed use of a wood router. But the process of various woodworking designs will have due coverage. Here you go with the brief descriptions of how to use a wood router to getting those amazing inlay or groves. 

How To Use A Wood Router To Getting Beautiful Designs –

Cutting Dadoes

Dadoes are grooves cut into the mating ends of both the square wall and the teeth of each wall fit into the gutter or dado of the other. Dadoes are the strongest of routing works or designs to support the shelves of a cabinet. When dadoes are cut across the grain of the wood, well-placed, and adequately sized, they make the joints the strongest.

On top of the router, you need the right bit to create a dado by cutting the groove in one pass. Not to miss any turn, first mark the target locations where you intend to cut the dado. Draw the jig’s grooves in line with the layout marks and now clamp the wood piece with the jib tightly. Now you are all set to get going with the dado creation.

Cut merely along the right side of the jig as cutting on the left side will wander away from the router from the jig. Conversely, the routing on the right side of the jig will pull the base of the router in the opposite direction. Thus router and you will maintain a balanced distance to work comfortably and efficiently. 

Rabbet Cutting

Novice woodworker starts routing with the creation of rabbet joints. Creating rabbets is so easy and fun learning that new fresh carpenters tend to use rabbet cuts non-stop. Not only that, rabbets are easy to cut rather they are the most effective in most situations especially in cabinetry. Merely a rabbeting bit will enable you to cut any rabbeting size cuts.

Besides, selecting the right bit for rabbet cutting, the most crucial factor to ensure the router speed. Because router bits tend to be of bigger diameter and so you need a router with such rpm that matches the bit operate with. To see the compatibility of the router speed and the bit, you should repeatedly go through the documentation accompanying the router.

You will get a more snap on how to cut perfect rabbets with a router bit by following this article.

Different Types of Rabbet

The successful rabbet cutting depends on the speed selection while operating. A go-between speed will excel – neither the highest that may affect the quality nor the slow speed that will cause the burning of the wood. Not to forget that you use a router table while rabbeting tinier pieces of wood.


Of all the designs and cuts created through routing, the dovetail is considered to be the most sought after one. On top of eye-catching craftsmanship, you are having the most aligned and solid joinery here. Moreover, dovetail combined with dadoes will provide your woodwork with the highest mechanical strength, whereas dadoes alone can give minimal support.

A perfect wood router can create all three types of dovetail patterns. They include the half-bling, sliding, and through dovetails. But for your successful dovetail design, you must arrange the required tools and set-up. For the ideal house dovetail, the dado should be of ¾” wide to allow ¾” guide bushing. The said dovetail socket requires the identical thickness of the dadoes. 

Different Types of Dovetail

You might check out the Porter Cable Dovetail Jig 4216, which allows you to make half-blind, half-blind rabbet and sliding dovetails. Porter-Cable 4216 also comes with 4213 & 4215 templates that make it easier to do dovetails and box joints, miniature and half-blind dovetails, and miniature box joints.

Edge Routing

Now woodworking is not possible without shaping edges of the workpiece to turn into a showpiece or furniture. You have to do it both for the look and use – aesthetic and practical. Without shaping the edges, you cannot make design, let alone emphasize and enhance it. This crucial job is done away with ease when you use a wood router.

With the perfect wood router at your disposal, you can recreate and reshape edges after your mind as it will help you bring the desired dadoes and rabbets. The general rule of thumb is that you route counterclockwise except while reaching the corner. This will keeps the router closer to you that is essential to control the tool and use it safely. 

Inlaying Banding

The inlaid objects being very small and of intricate shape, the shape and depth of the inlaying banding must be correct and accurate. This is why the wood router is the most crucial tool for this job.

Just take the measurements of the width and thickness of the object where to set the inlaid materials. Then with the help of a hand-held or table-mounted router, you can create dado, rabbet, or groove as per your design. And when you have accomplished the recess, it’s time to glue the banding in the hollowed-out place. 

Some beautiful Inlay banding

Boxes And Drawers

With the power wood router as your tool, you can create wood boxes, drawers, and joints. While you are planning a drawer, ensure the grain direction of the wood leads to the bottom. It is possible when you ensure the direction of the grain run from side to side. Be careful that the drawers and their opening remain the same size.

And when you want to make a single-board wooden box, make sure the cavities routed out in several passes be of 1/8″ depth. Thus you can reach your desired depth without causing chip. Once any cavity is created, run the router forward and backward to clean the waste there. 

Enjoy This Video Below On How To Use A Wood Router To Get Different Cuts


These are the most prominent designs you can create with a wood router. Modern wood routers have brought sophistication in woodworking. To mention a few; reproducing identical and even exact replicas you desire in your furniture, innovation in cabinetry amounting to revolutionized the craft, edging, precision, cut scrollwork with ease.

There are other similar tools, namely laminate tools, spindle molders, and profile cutters that you can cut designs with. But a wood router will increase your fun and ensure the best result.

Having said that, the process of routing or how to use a router to cut a groove is as essential as the tool itself. Therefore, a brief instruction takes place after the description of every design a wood router is deemed special for.

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Tushar Mirror

Toolsmirror is a group of co-fighters led by Engr. Tushar is dedicated to gathering information, analyzing & test various items, and releasing reviews on various woodwork and outdoor tools. Our mission is to provide our readers with the most up-to-date ideas and approaches, as well as reveal the genuine features that will assist them in selecting the best items for their professions and DIY projects.

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