WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Woodworking With The Router

Woodworking With The Router
  Professional Router Techniques and Jigs Any Woodworker Can Use
by Bill Hylton and Fred Matlack

Reader's Digest Books, 1993
Paperback, 344 pp., $17.95
ISBN: 0-7621-0227-6

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    For nearly ten years, this volume has been 'the bible' of router woodworking. Hylton and Matlack have done a wonderful job of presenting clear explanations of ways to use a most versatile tool. What I like best about this book is that their writing anticipates ignorance, thoroughly building the reader's knowledge base about the tool and the many ways it can be used. They warn you when to expect tear-out and the ways to prevent it; they anticipate problems with burning of light woods and illustrate how to avoid it. When you study this book, you feel 'forewarned and forearmed' before you even turn on the tool.
    All you would expect is in this volume: collets, bits, baseplates, tables, maintenance, router joinery, template work, accessories and jigs. The fun comes with all their little 'asides' in featured columns of 'Try This!' For instance: "Making cabinets? Try dadoing both sides of a cabinet at one time by lining them up side by side." "If you want to raise a panel with a vertical bit on a regular router table, try using a trap fence in conjunction with the standard fence…" "If a circle you want to cut is smaller than your router base, don't bother with a trammel. Drill a pivot hole in the factory baseplate, then fit the router over the pin in the work and turn it. Not flashy, but it works."
    I think you could open this book on almost any page, read a new idea with your eyes widening significantly, and slam the book closed to jump out of your chair and head to the shop to try it. The authors illustrate literally dozens of useful jigs to build for the router, all out of common shop materials.
    The book is illustrated and photographed in black and white, with a source list and a complete index. A very valuable guide to efficient woodworking.

...Barb Siddiqui