Our Favorite Router Accessories
AW Editors Separate the Best From the Rest
The right stuff. Staff members put their heads and routers together to come up with a selection of favorite accessories for this special Tool Box. From left: Dave Sellers, Andy Rae, Ellis Walentine, Tim Snyder, Paul Anthony.
What's the best Tool Box treatment for an issue chat features a new take on the ultimate router table? Router accessories, of course. On these pages, you'll find the personal favorites of AW staff members—aftermarket items that we're particularly fond of. Some enhance precision, while others increase your router's capabilities or make it easier to perform certain operations. We decided to leave out router bits and router-table fences, since both of these categories deserve to be treated on their own. So what's left? Have a look—you're bound to find some gems among these editors' picks.
In each write-up, we've listed the source where we obtained the item. See the "Sources" box on page 76 for a list of other mail-order suppliers that sell a broad selection of router accessories.
Two Handy Router Controls
Router accessories don't have to be complex to improve the way you work. l ake these two control switches, for example.
The Air Foot Switch from Eagle America puts your foot in charge of turning your router on and off, thus freeing both hands (and your attention) to focus on the work.
It only takes a few seconds to install the
foot switch. Plug the switch module into an electrical outlet, plug your router into the module, and connect the 8-ft. rubber tube between the switch module and a bulblike foot pedal. When you step on the foot pedal, air pressure switches the circuit on. The switch is available in two forms: alternate action (press once for "on," press again for "ofF) or momentary action (press for "on/' release for "off").
I thought the foot pedal might feel mushy, but it's reassuringly responsive, requiring only a light tap to trip the switch. To protect against accidental switching from dancing feet, I recommend buying the optional plastic shroud to cover the pedal.
Needless to say, the air-powered switch will work with other tools besides your router. If you do any kind of production work, or if you like to have both hands free when working solo, here's an effective, low-tech way to increase efficiency and convenience. (Price: S29.99; optional foot shroud» SI 2.99) Eagle America, Dept. AWT. Box ¡099. Char don. OH 44024. (800) 872-2511. Circle #619
Many routers now have variable speed control, a feature much appreciated by woodworkers for the added control and safety it affords. But there are still plenty of perfectly good single-speed routers out there that would benefit from a variable-speed retrofit.
With this add-on speed control plugged in between your router and an electrical outlet, you can dial in any speed from near-zero to the router's lull rated rpm. Special circuitry feeds more power to the router as the load increases, just like on the latest models. This gives you constant torque at any selected speed. Lowering the speed on a router
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