Assignment 1: Router

I worked on the assignment over the weekend, and it was fun to operate the router. I am comfortable with the workshop tools by now, still I was really excited about the router as I had never used it before.

The tools I used were a ruler, set squares, pencils and pens, tape, the router (with router bit, default round jig, circle cutting jig, jig pin), drill machine (with drill and screw driver bit), sander belt, and of course the vacuum cleaner. I started with fixing the wooden plank on the table and drawing on it.

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Next I put on the circle cutting jig on the router, and figured out the settings that allow manipulating the depth of drill bit. Using drill machine with a screw driver bit was a quick way to remove the default round jig and replace it with the circle cutting jig.

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Initially I had only a couple of millimeters of router bit popping out of the jig level, and I realized after the first run that the router is indeed much powerful. I then changed the depth of router bit to around a centimeter.

The jig pin didn’t fit in snugly in the center of the piece, so I applied some blue tape to make it thicker.

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After carefully doing around four passes, the job looked like this:

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The next part was a bit tricky. I removed the jig pin, mounted on the smaller jig, and used the edge of circle cutting jig as a guide to cut the straight line in the piece.

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Lesson learned: After affixing the guide on the wooden plank, I should double check if it is still parallel to the line that I want to cut. The guide was not exactly parallel after taking in all the errors that arose when I drilled the screws to affix it to the plank below. The result was a slightly deviated (and disappointing) cut:

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After fixing the error, I was able to get the line cut along exact course. Next I sanded it on the machine, and it improved appearance of the piece a lot.

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Here’s the final piece:

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Lessons learned:

1. The corners were tricky. To generalize it better, the ends are tricky while using a machine- the start and stop points need to be carefully thought of. I started cutting the arc from exact intersection of lines in the line drawing, but I stopped where the router bit touched the drawing line on the other end. So the error introduced is equal to the radius of the router bit.

2. Spending more time and efforts on the initial setup doesn’t cost, it indeed pays off.

3. Think of the number of hours it will take and multiply it by 3! The error handling, rectification, and most importantly post-completion cleanup takes considerable time. In summary it was a great experience to start the new semester with learning new tools.

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