Router Tricks for Trim
Armed with two routers and three bits, an experienced carpenter shares five problem-solving tips for trim, cabinets, doors, and stairs.
Synopsis: Veteran builder Gary Striegler is fond of his assortment of tools, including his collection of routers. For Striegler, a router is a key way to expedite tasks that would take much more time and effort when done with other tools. In this article, Striegler offers advice on using a router to patch a blowout on trim after it has been installed; making dentil molding on site; trimming a cabinet face frame in place; mortising door hardware with simple jigs; and housing treads in skirtboards for tight joints. Striegler also includes information on the three router bits that he uses the most: pattern, flush trim, and dado.
Magazine extra: Read Job-Site Router Techniques to get additional tricks, and to learn which routers and bits Gary Striegler uses to make site-built cabinetry, casing, brackets, and tongue-and-groove flooring.
My editor recently called me a tool junkie. My wife has called me the same thing, but with a few expletives. In my defense, when you’ve been building as long as I have, you can appreciate how important it is to have a good collection of tools close at hand wherever you are.
I won’t tell you how many routers I actually own, partly because I stopped counting 10 years ago. But despite the grief routers might cause me on occasion, they have gotten me out of a lot of jams on the job. Of the many I own, the trim and midsize D-handle models are the two I reach for most.
Different routers for different jobs
The first trim routers were called laminate trimmers because they made quick, clean work of flush-cutting laminate for countertops. Today, more powerful motors and a variety of accessories make trim routers a staple for most finish carpenters. One of my favorite features is that I can…