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PinoyPiper

Routers and bits

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Hi all!

A friend volunteered to lend me his router to help build a Spindrift dinghy. Quite honestly, i've never used one before. and I was wondering if any of you can give advice on how usefull it would be for the task at hand.

What type of bits should I use? and for doing what?

I know this might sound like a dumb question to most of you but... :oops: i'm really in the dark here guys. help!

cheers/roy

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I'm not sure you'll need a router for building the Spindrift ... I have the plans down in the shop, and as I remember it, there isn't much opportunity for router use.

Of course, someone who has actually built his might be of more use in this discussion! :roll:

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on the last couple boats I've built the only real uses I've had for a router were to round over pieces, such as rub rails, etc. And with a straight pattern bit, to cut the slot for the centerboard. But on the last, unless you are really up on using a router I'd do it another way.

So based on that, get a 3/8 and a 1/4 round over bit to start with. Then purchase any other bits you find you can use, as you need them.

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I have a router and it's been pretty helpful in "easing" or rounding the corners of all the little pieces of plywood you use...things like the doublers on the transom, the center bulkhead, CB trunk, seat tanks, etc.

BUT....not by itself. Most of this is 1/4" plywood and the larger roundover bits don't have anything to ride on, so they will gouge the edges. For this to work, you need a router table (router is hung upside down and the bit protrudes up ) and the stock rides along the fence, touching the roundover bit as it goes by. If you don't have the router table, I wouldn't use it on the plywood, except maybe with a 1/8" roundover, but that is really fine.

It does work really well on the solid wood pieces...cleats, tiller, etc. But it's not essential. You could do the same thing with a plane and sandpaper.

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I've not seen the plans for your boat but I used a router for quite a number of things when building my Weekender. When I made the keel, I shaped one of the three layers, rough cut the other two and used a router with pattern trimming and flush trim bits to bring those two layers down to the first one.

Because I cut the side panels flush with the deck, a router worked great for that. I had to make a little guide to attach to the base plate because of the angle but it worked fine.

I made a pattern for the windows and used the router to cut those. I cleaned up the hole in the deck for the mast with the router.

Easing edges has already been mentioned.

I used the router in a table for a number of operations. I even turned my bowsprit with the router.

There are a bunch of little trim pieces that saw the router, I used it to cut flats on the sides of the boom for the goose neck. There must be things I'm forgetting.

Alot of things could have been done without the router but it sure made life easy for many of them.

So to add to your collection, I'd say a flush trim bit and a pattern trimming bit. These bits have a bearing at opposite ends. They come in hand for a number of things.

I'd also consider adding a rabbeting bit but the size will be dependent on your needs.

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These pictures are an extreme example, but show what happens if you try to "freehand" a roundover bit, when you don't have something for the guide to ride on. You could get a pretty good edge if you are careful, but any little wobbles are going to show.

A router table gives you a fence and a nice even rounded edge.

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