A trim router is a very versatile tool. If you have one lying around, or you’re interested in getting one, you’re in for a treat.
Originally designed for laminate, it also works well with some woodwork, too. You can make some creations with the router that will make all your friends jealous. We have seven uses for a trim router in this post. While there are way more than seven things you can do with one, with this list here as a way to get you started. Let’s look at some of them.
Thing #1: Make a Sign
Having your own customizable sign is such a blast. You can make whatever message you want with it, be it a friendly welcome or a snarky comment. A trim router can cut letters into a sign, which is a simple enough project for a beginner. You can buy letter templates easily, or if you’re skilled enough, make a sign with your own handwriting.
If you have a fixed based, your sign stock should come from softwood that is first positioned over the widest section of the letter, which is where you should soon begin. In no time, you’ll be making your own signs.
Thing #2: You Can Route Flutes
A flute is a beautiful instrument that you can make through wood. Even if you have no musical talent, they can be fun to make. Your trim router would benefit from a round-nose bit to make it easier to route. If your sub base is square, it should cut it without a problem. Cut away, and get to playing your favorite flute.
Thing #3: Create Spare Parts
One of the best features of any trim router is the fact that you can make duplicate parts with it. Having spare parts can make it easier to repair it if you need to, or if you’re making something cool like a flute, it’s much easier to make another one and give it to your friend. But we digress. In order to to do this, have a top-bearing pattern on your trim router to do this. Alternatively, having the original above the workpiece, then using a long flush can work as well.
This especially works well for smaller spare parts, but you could do it with any part of any size, theoretically.
Thing #4: Profiling Edges
When you profile an edge, you make it more defined, which can make or break your project. Most trimmers are good for this, such as the laminate trimmer, which is small but powerful. You can profile edges that are small or big. With that said, there are some rules you should follow. For one thing, always make sure the bit you’re using is sharp and clean. When you cut at first, begin with a shallow cut, then go deeper with time. This can make the edges as well-defined as possible. A trim router can make the magic happen.
Thing #5: Create Giant Letters
This one is a bit similar to the sign, but instead it involves big letters independent form each other. You could create each letter of the alphabet and spell certain words with them, make your name, and so on. Another feature that makes this cool is that you can create letters that are as big as possible. For example, you can create block-sized letters, or bigger ones you can hang on your wall. This video can help you with that.
Thing #6: You Can Clean Veneer
Veneer covers your floors or other pieces of furniture, and sometimes it needs a little bit of cleaning or edging in order to have the best fit or look possible. Some people will even craft veneer, but that’s another story for another day. One thing you can do is get a big piece of veneer and make a short pass with it, which will help align those edges. For veneer that’s a little on the thin side, a climb cut works. The best trimmer for this is a flush or laminate trimmer.
Thing #7: Make a Butterfly Patch
Okay, these butterfly patches look more like bowties, but we digress. A butterfly patch works well for splits or a knot in a bigger piece, which you can use to cover anything unsightly. A trim router can help you cut it in that shape. With butterfly patches, a bit that’s top-bearing works well for it. One tip is to cut out the butterfly shape, trace the shape over any flaw you’re trying to correct, then correct it so that it’s the right size. Fly away, butterfly patch.
Why Get a Trim Router?
If you’re still not convinced, a trim router is a great tool to have because it’s cheap. Prices can vary, but you can find a trim router for under $50 at times. Another reason you should get a trim router is because it’s so small. If you have a tiny workspace, a big router can ruin things. Meanwhile, a smaller router can fit in your home. Despite the size, they are powerful, able to take on even the tiniest jobs. It fits well in one hand, and when you end up using it, you may end up preferring it.
This guide is here to help get you started with making stuff using trim routing. There’s a lot more you can do, and we encourage you to do a little bit of experimentation. Don’t take our word for it; try some things out and see what you can make. You may end up spending your entire day using the trim router and improving your skills.