my new toy

I did it. I broke down and bought myself a router.

A mini router. What they call a ‘trimmer’.

I’ve wanted a router for ages. Firstly I wanted one so I could make my own frames. Then I wanted one so I could do fancy edges on things.

Mainly I wanted one just cause I wanted one.

You know. To round out my tool collection.

“And here is my workshop, there’s the drill, the circular saw, the contra saw, the jigsaw, the drop saw, the scroll saw (a build-up of saws), the belt sander, the orbital sander, the corner sander, the hand tools … and the router!”

One thing I have to share though, is that I’ve always been more than a bit afraid of routers. Probably cause someone once told me that they’re very dangerous cause they spin faster than any other tool.

Like, just cause a circular saw doesn’t spin as fast it can’t do as much damage. Like cutting off your foot is way less intense than edging your hand…

I have no idea why I was so scared of routers. But I was.

So, when I got this baby (pun intended), I took it home, read about how to put the bit in and got set up to try it out. Safety goggles, a piece of scrap MDF (soft stuff to experiement on) and clamps.

I tried the bit it came with first and did a few freehand curly bits on the MDF. Ok. A bit wobbly. The thing kinda tried to get away from me.

That was boring though, so I tried an edge with a curved bit. That was easier and more fun!

So I took out my jigsaw, drew a wavy line and cut it out slowly and carefully*, then did that edge.

I’m so proud of my edge. I could never quite get how you could edge something freehand without guides, but I did it. Its not perfect but I did it!

*The jigsaw and I have never been good friends. I’ve never been able to get it to work as well as most of the DIY-bloggers I follow seem to. Maybe its a crappy jigsaw (its over 10 years old and was a cheapie)… Most likely its the crappy user.

I think I figured out what I do wrong. For some reason I’ve been a bit scared of my jigsaw and never seem to press the button to full throttle.

Funny as I play free and easy with my circular saw all the time, waving it in one hand, not a care in the world. I use that tool so much its almost like an extension of my own body.

I think I never used the jigsaw properly. It was something Kristi (at Addicted 2 Decorating) said that made me realise I was doing it wrong. She said that I drive the jigsaw, it doesn’t drive me.

Up till now I’ve never been able to cut along my lines. I’d put the jigsaw to my wood and just let it lead the way. My jigsaw has always had a mind of its own, veering off here and there till I give up in disgust. But last night I kept Kristi’s advice and took it really slow, going full throttle on the blade so it cut smoother, and cut carefully and followed my lines almost perfectly.

With that and the edge I managed to do first time, I feel very proud of myself!

Though, I brought myself back down to earth with a crash when I made the worst box known to mankind. I’ll share that with you when I share the workshop tidy up at some later date.

I’ll leave this post on a positive note of achievement.

z

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