Inserting and Adjusting Your Cutting Tools
One of the most important cutting tools in any manufacturing shop, whether it is a home woodworking shop or an industrial acrylic sign maker’s shop, is the router. Choosing the right router bits, inserting them and adjusting the cutting depth can be tougher than it looks, though. Having a good router bits set can be a good start, but most people find that they need some custom bits that are not included in the average set, and they can be very hard to install. Whether you’re working with carbon graphite router bits or plastic routers bits, learning how to change them, adjusting the cutting depth, and using a router guide are equally important as choosing the right bit.
In order to insert your plastic or carbon graphite router bits, it’s important to start by disconnecting the router from the power supply. Then, hold the lower nut in place (use two wrenches if necessary) and turn the collet until the router bits are easy to remove. Insert the new plastic routers bits or whatever type of bit you are using, and hold the lower nut in place while tightening the collet nut. It’s extremely important to make sure your cutting tools are secured closely, because if the bit were to come out while it’s turning at a high rate of speed it could be VERY dangerous.
Adjusting the cutting depth of the plastic or carbon graphite router bits should only be done when the router is on a flat surface. Loosen the locking nut on the cutting tools, and turn the collar until the bits just touch the surface of the work. Slide the router bits to the edge until they are just past it, turn the collar until the bit is at the desired depth and then lock the collar and tighten the locking nut.
A final piece of advice for anyone trying to figure out their router bits sets and how to use all the bits is to use the router guide, which keeps the bits at the exact desired distance from the edge of the work. The guide adjusts to and from the router base and is held in place by locking screws. These guides are available for most models of plastic routers bits, carbon graphite router bits and pretty much any other type of bit that you can imagine.