WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Router Joinery Workshop

Router Joinery Workshop
by Carol Reed

Lark Books: 2003
pb, 175 pp., $19.95
ISBN 1-57990-522-6

     This is an easy review to write, but I admit it won't be unbiased. The author contacted me early in the manuscript phase and asked that I build her many jigs and router aids, to test the clarity of her written directions. I have been using Carol Reed's router jigs for some time now, and wouldn't want to be without them in my small shop.
     The book is aimed at beginner and intermediate woodworkers. It begins with router choices, the wide variety of bits available and basic router techniques to assure safety. An early chapter is called 'Jiggery,' and that's where the fun begins. The jigs are not limited to any one router model, but are adaptable to any baseplate using the author's well illustrated instructions. She offers guidance on building them completely from scratch, or ordering kits of the components or full jigs from her website (www.routerlady.com).
     There is a cradle to contain a router motor for easy bit changes, a base marker fitted to your own router model for making an endless supply of jigs and baseplates, a router table with one acrylic top and pivoting fence, which flips over to a woooden top used as a clamping bench for hand held router work. A box-joint jig is prepared to ride in a guide slot on the wood top side, and on the back of the acrylic tabletop side, the author has designed a thick aluminum baseplate to hold the router as a horizontal unit, allowing slotting and panel-raising options not easily handled on a standard router table.
     There are offset baseplates, a track system for straight line cutting, a moveable jaw clamping system for accurately routing mortises and flutes, and an additional base and jig setup to add to a standard half-blind dovetail jig.
     Section two goes into detail on router joinery: rabbets, dadoes, grooves and slots, box joints, mortise and tenons, dovetails, lock miters, cope and stick, drawer lock joints and raised panel work.
     Also covered are sections on template routing and inlay work. Each chapter finishes off with directions to practice the joinery on various projects outlined at the back of the book. Complementary template routing produces an attractive breadboard, the box joint jig is used for a tote box, and molding practice is used in a small bookcase. There is a table with router cut mortise and tenon construction, and a very classy router bit cabinet using all the skills described in the book.
     A glossary of woodworking terms is included, with an extensive list of sources and a full index. Without accompanying jigs, the router is a pretty limited machine. I've done more than read this book; I've built its plans and setups, and I highly recommend it.

. . . Barb Siddiqui