October 11, 2023

Not even a few years ago, if you would’ve asked me to buy a router, I would’ve come back with something to transmit the internet. It’d have multiple antennae and lights that flash green when everything is working the way it should. To set it up, I’d use a computer.

Today, I bought a router…for woodworking. Boy, howdy, does that thing churn. It’s loud as a banshee on crack. Let me tell you, it worked its way, round and round, 25 000 times a minute, right through that wood. I’d been losing my shit working with that Dremel and the plunge router attachment when I finally gave up on it, walked over to the Home Depot, and picked up a router – the woodworking kind.

I’m trying to build a bookshelf. My initial idea was to build it with plywood but there was no way I was going to get a 4’ x 8’ sheet of half-inch plywood from the Home Depot to my workshop. The two are walking distance apart. I think it clocked in at 700 metres. The board looked heavy just laying there on the rack. Instead, I ended up buying four boards of laminated whitewood. It actually worked out a bit better because I didn’t have to cut up a sheet of plywood to get the panels I needed.

In any case, I started thinking about how my romantic vision of working wood with hand tools has quickly given way to the efficiency and efficacy of power tools. I spent near three hours cutting six dados with that Dremel the other day. I got through five in less than 45 minutes with the router I bought this evening. The cuts are cleaner, too. Power tools make the work easier. The cost, I must admit, is the charm embedded in a piece that is made by hand.

I’d like to start making more furniture pieces so I was able to justify the cost of the router. Of course, I’m never sure that what I envision for myself is what I’ll actually end up doing. If nothing else, I suppose, I’ve now got more options, more ways to approach a project. Using the right tool, the one designed to do the job at hand, helps.

I used my jigsaw to cut the shelves. That didn’t go smoothly. I’m thinking about getting a table saw. Tomorrow, I had better get myself a shop vac, too. I’m making quite the mess o’er there, I am. It’s wonderful.


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