Greetings from Southern Ontario - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-03-2020, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Greetings from Southern Ontario

Hello, I've been doing small woodworking projects for about 20 years with hand tools and only a compound mitre saw. Also replaced a rotten deck and old fences where 1/8" tolerance is "good enough". Probably the most precise work I've done was installing oak railings and a newel post in our basement.

I'd like to finally expand my woodworking skills beyond butt joints and pocket joints... really excited about dados, half-laps, box joints, maybe dovetails down the line.

Since COVID I've acquired an older craftsman table saw and after a few hours of tweaking the fence now stays square and travels nicely!
It also came with a built-in router table with an older craftsman 1/4" router. But of course no router bits.... so haven't yet used the router.

Which brings me to my question for the forum.... any advice for my first couple of router bits? I'd rather buy a couple good ones rather than a set of crappy ones.
My first project would be a bench for the end of the bed with drawers. Any suggestions on what router bits? I was looking at spiral bits but it is scary buying a bit that costs the same as the second-hand router! Any advice is greatly appreciated, just want to make sure I'm on the right track.
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-03-2020, 04:44 PM
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welcome to the forum,
it is hard to recommend router bits without knowing what you will be
making. not just the style; but the size also.
start building a project, then half way through the build, come back here
and we can talk about edge profiles. (router bits).

this is an open forum with all levels of skills and talents.
please feel free to join in the conversations that you find interesting
and ask questions to expand your skill levels and share what you know.
if you would like to know more about something, you can start a new thread.
we like to see photos of projects to share with others.
when addressing specific issues or concerns, sketches, drawings and photos
will get you the most accurate responses. (and we can all be on the same page).
looking forward to seeing some of your projects.

we would much rather see posts of: "How do I do this"
~ vs ~ "How can I FIX this" . . . .

hope you enjoy your stay.


there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks.
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-03-2020, 06:15 PM
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I agree with John as we really need to understand the cuts for which you need the router bits. Are you planning on using them for a mortise, pattern / templates, edge forming, etc? You really need to have your project design / plan done which will determine the number of bits needed, their size and profiles.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-03-2020, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the kind words and welcome. Ok I've found my first project... children's desk made of 3/4" plywood. The plans say to make pocket joints... is this a good joint for it?
If there is another joint that is a bit more work but lets me get practice using the router I'm all for it. Some research showed me rabbet joints and also box joints.... hmmm
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-04-2020, 09:21 PM
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My old shop teacher used to say "Bill, plan your work, work your plan". Being that he said that about 100 times, it is stuck in me. I would suggest studying your plans, drawing your own, or modifying the plans you bought. Tools can cost a lot of money over time. Even so, I don't think I have ever purchased a tool until I had a specific need for it. If your plan calls for cutting 1/4" mortises, and you decide the best way is with a router, then I would buy a 1/4" up spiral bit for that purpose. It would be a waste to purchase bits or tools only to have them sit on a shelf or have to search for a use.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-05-2020, 09:58 AM
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Welcome Mikitz from the west.
Like others have said I believe in buying router bits when you have a specific application. I've found Lee Valley has good quality bits at a reasonable price


THE GOOD NEWS: You create your own destiny...THE BAD NEWS: You create your own destiny
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-06-2020, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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That is great advice, Lee Valley is close by so I can pick a bit up midway through a project. I've decided to make a simple finger box jig for the table saw for the first project - a child's desk - and use paint grade 3/4" plywood. Our little girl is excited to help paint the final product.
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