One of the common tools that carpenters and finish carpenters use is a router. A router is a device that spins a cutting bit at a very high speed. By using different bits a router can make different types of cuts. They are commonly use to put decorative profiles on railing caps, mortising doors for hinges, putting an eased edge on window extension boxes, and much more.

A router is able to cut along a curved line, but you usually need to use a template to do this. A jigsaw can also cut along a curve, but a router will not only give you a cleaner edge, but it can also create a profile on that edge that gives you a much more finished look.

There are hundreds of different bits, and their abilities range from putting a channel in a substrate (like wood), to profiling a beautiful edge.

A friend of mine bought a steering wheel desk for his travel van. These desks mount on a car’s steering wheel providing a work space when the car is parked. Unfortunately, his steering wheel was too large for his purchased gadget. I was able to use that table as a template and cut out a custom-made one for him using several different bits on my de-handled Porter-Cable router.

Routers can be dangerous as they spin sharp bits at high speed. However, they are also amazing in their versatile capabilities.

Using his purchased steering wheel desk as a template.
First pass cuts.
Making sure the new desk fits.
My friend’s mobile computer set-up.