Mark ( on December 16th, 2009

Next in the series of reviews of DVD’s from the SmartFlix Woodworking University, this time I review the DVD: Router Joinery by Gary Rogowski.  This DVD is one of many DVD’s produced by Taunton Press for Fine Woodworking.

Router JoineryThis DVD highlights the use of what is arguably the most versatile power tool in a woodworking shop, for joinery tasks. Rogowski is a well-spoken teacher and in this DVD he clearly covers most all of the basic information necessary to get started using the router for various joinery tasks used to make furniture.

Included in the DVD are discussions on the various types of routers and their uses as well as descriptions of the cutting action of the tool and how it can be safely used in both free handed and router table orientations.  Simple animations show the cutting action of the bit as material is cut using various techniques.  Rogowski covers standard cutting and climb-cutting operations and when each should be used.  This information is definitely valuable for the novice user of the router to understand in order to avoid possible accidents with the tool.

Rogowski illustrates various joinery techniques including: dados, groves, rebates, half-laps, mortise and tenon joints (with both traditional and loose tenons), and through and half-blind dovetails using simple commercial jigs.  In this age where woodworking gizmo’s are available for nearly every possible job, Rogowski’s demonstration and use of a no frills router table made from a single piece of melamine and a single board fence is particularly refreshing.  The techniques that he shows for making and adjusting joinery on this simple router table are well worth the rental fee of the DVD.  Also shown are some other simple jigs used for mortising and dadoing operations with the router.

While no router DVD would be complete without showing the cutting of dovetails using a router and jig, it is notable that Rogowski uses probably the most simple of jigs available for his demonstrations of both through and half-blind dovetails.  In doing so, he illustrates that perfect dovetails can be achieved with simple tools and a bit of attention to setups while testing in scrap wood.

For anyone new to the router and interested in exploring its potential for making furniture joints, this DVD would be a good starting point to become educated.  The router is a versatile tool and with some basic knowledge and simple setups and jigs, a great deal of furniture joinery tasks can be accomplished both safely and extremely accurately.

Don’t forget, if you are a new customer and interested in renting these DVD’s, SmartFlix has offered readers of The Craftsman’s Path a $2 discount coupon for your use. Simply use the coupon code: CRAFTPATH when you check out!

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