router saw

Using a Router Saw to Create Decorative Edges and Patterns in Wood

router saw

A router saw is a power tool that can be used to shape, cut, and trim wood. It can also be used to create decorative edges and patterns.

Routers are popular tools for woodworkers and carpenters. They allow you to make all sorts of neat, precise cuts and shapes in wood, without damaging it.


One of the most useful variations for a router saw is a circle or ellipse trammel, which allows it to be swung around a fixed point on the workpiece in an arc. This can be used for cutting the initial shape or to apply a decorative edge profile.

Another variation is a router carver, which creates variable depth mouldings on the work. These are achieved by moving a cone-shaped bearing guide over templates that have accurately shaped slots cut to different widths.

The bearing guide runs against the template, and the varying reaction of the workpiece to the torque of the cutter means that the pattern can be repeated with great accuracy each time it is used. This means it is perfect for creating panel doors, chair backs and other flat work.


Safety is a big concern in woodworking and router saws are no exception. The main hazards are obvious like the cutters and workpiece but there are a number of less obvious risks that can be mitigated by following simple measures.

For example, a good dust respirator is essential when working with materials that produce copious amounts of fine dust. It is also a good idea to collect any chips or shavings at the point where they are generated and store them away from the power tool.

Routers are also very noisy so ear protection and goggles are a must. Cut-resistant work gloves are a great option as they protect your hands from the sharp bits of the router.


Whether you’re creating furniture, signs or decorative wood pieces, router bits help you create smooth, precise, and clean cuts. Choosing the right bits for your job will make all the difference between getting an adequate cut and a truly professional looking finish.

Straight router bits can be used to make a variety of grooves including dadoes, L-shaped shoulders or “rabbets,” and mortise and tenon joints. You can also use them to hollow out an area for a dovetail joint or inlay.

V-groove bits can make a shallow v-shaped profile in the face of a piece of material for a decorative effect such as making signs or fluted columns, and they may also be used to create ridges on panels for a beadboard look.

Molding bits integrate multiple edge-forming profiles to produce beautiful moldings for furniture, cabinets and trim work. Decorative ogees, coves, beads and chamfers are just a few of the many profiles available in this collection.


A router can cut a variety of shapes in wood. These include grooves, dadoes (a grooved cut along the edge of a piece of wood), rabbets (a step-shaped cut that’s used to fit the edge of another piece), and chamfers or radiuses (a smoother surface on the top edge).

Router bases rest against straightedges for these cuts, but you can also attach a fence or template and guide bushing. These guides guide the bit’s bearing, which helps it stay on the wood as you rout.

You can also screw a support board onto the workbench that’s the same thickness as the material you’re routing. This eliminates the need for clamps and keeps the base from rocking on the narrow surface.


There are a variety of attachments that can be used with your router saw. Some are designed to help you cut a straighter line, while others are used to help you rout grooves and shapes.

Regardless of the attachment you choose, the most important thing is to be sure you are using it properly. If you use the wrong attachment, it will negatively impact your ability to cut.

A template or guide bushing, which is secured inside the base of your router cutter, can be used to help you get a straight cut. Other means of guiding cuts include a fence attached to your router table or a straight edge clamped across your work.