Woodworker's Central
Woodworker's Gazette
Gazette Archive 4/28/02

A Book Review by Bob Newman

Title: Router Bench Guide

Zachary Taylor

Published by: Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.

387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016-8810
ISBN 0806989335
Price Softcover: $14.95
160 color pages

When I first read the cover and then quickly leafed through the book, I was very discouraged. The name of the book "Router Bench Guide" lead me to believe that the contents of the book related to a router table with jigs, table designs, operational techniques, all with related projects. For myself, the book should be named "The Router Reference Guide", " The Router Encyclopedia", " The Router Handbook", or a similar name to denote the book as being a "text" book (my teaching background coming out).

Chapter 1 has excellent information, particularly if you are going into the field of repair and maintenance of your router. Under motor operation, I would have liked to see a reference made to motor speed versus motor electrical current. This type of motor (Universal) operates with: 1/ High speed, low current to 2/ A low speed with high current. The later being the prime cause of burnout. If you are buying a router, features and router nomenclature are well covered, particularly if you are a first time buyer; e.g., a collet.

Chapters 2, Cutters - types and care, has excellent reference material, especially if you were a teacher in a technical school or industrial arts environment. Also, the first time buyer would benefit from the information.

Chapter 3, Workpiece Clamping Techniques, and Chapter 4, Wood, Metal, and Plastic Guidelines, is simply reference data in these areas. In the "clamping" section, there are some very interesting suggestions using cams, wedges and toggle clamps.

Chapters 5, 6, 7, & 10, Routing Applications, Routing Principles and Techniques, Templates, and Router Safety, has information duplicated in many router books that I have seen, but, for the first time user, it would be important to have this information before first turning on one's router.

Chapter 8 on Special Purpose Machines, talks about a "router turning system", a "routerack router system", a "woodrat routing system", and a "unicut radial arm machine. For myself, as the chapter name implies, these are special tools for the very "advanced" woodworker who has chosen to specialize in router projects.

Chapter 9 talks about commercially available jigs

In summary, I found the book to be very broad in content and primarily a reference text; or in other words, there is a little bit of information for a lot of router users.

Bob Newman

Editor's Note: Sterling Publishing has graciously donated several books for review which are passed on to our members free of charge in exchange for thoughtful, honest reviews. Thank You! And you can usually find their titles at a discount from Barnes And Noble

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