WoodCentral's video reviews
The Versatile Router

The Versatile Router
by Pat Warner

Taunton Press: 2004
DVD, 48 min., $19.95

    We're invited into an expert's garage shop in Escondido CA for an action packed three-quarters of an hour. Warner opens by saying some people think he is obsessed with precision in using routers. He claims to be more motivated by laziness, because "accuracy up front translates into easier assembly and less guesswork later, allowing more time in my hammock."
    Warner's introduction to routers is a bit dated now (this video originally was in VHS produced in 2000), showing the old workhorse PC 690, the Milwaukie and a vintage Bosch router. His procedures, however, translate forward to universal uses of these essential shop tools. Cutting circles and holes, table routing, making lap joints, jointing on a router table, building a variety of router table fences, template routing, cutting through and blind mortises, and cutting sliding dovetails are some of the subjects covered.One thing not covered is setting up router dovetail jigs, but watching the man clamp work comfortably to his long, high router bench is a treat. I had to back up and view that one more thoroughly.
    Warner shows how to make adjustments to assure a good fit in joinery, how to utilize various accessories and how to optimize them with shop made improvements. He is an expert and makes all of it look easy, but seeing these techniques performed should take much of the fear out of using this versatile hand held machine. He discusses router bits, showing how to judge when they are dull, and many times throughout the video, alerts the viewer to the sound of an operation, and describes what it means.
    At the end he shows a listing of resources and credits. The photography is excellent and close in for clear views of what's happening. Some of it goes by a bit fast, but rewinding will help it all sink in.

. . . Barb Siddiqui