Installing non-cylindrical lock hardware requires varying configurations for the door face and edge openings, as well as the jamb openings. For many years, locksmiths would use drills, jig saws, files (metal/aluminum) and chisels (wood) to prepare the openings for lock hardware. With the...
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Installing non-cylindrical lock hardware requires varying configurations for the door face and edge openings, as well as the jamb openings. For many years, locksmiths would use drills, jig saws, files (metal/aluminum) and chisels (wood) to prepare the openings for lock hardware.
With the introduction of the router and router templates, preparing the door and jamb for lock hardware has been simplified, becoming a definite time saver. Another important advantage is the router and template will cut a consistent-sized opening.
Suggestion: Before purchasing a router, contact the manufacturer of the templates and ask their recommendations for a brand and model.
There are two types of routers: the plunge router and the fixed-base router. The plunge router is designed to cut to a varying degree of depth in wood without having to stop and re-adjust the depth of cut. The plunge router is mainly used for wood applications where the opening is routed through solid material. Some plunge-type routers have an auto-zero that makes it easier to adjust the depth of plunge.
The fixed-base router is designed to be set to a particular depth of cut. If the material requires several passes, then the depth of cut has to be reset after each pass.
In basic terms, the more power a router has, the better for cutting harder materials, larger diameter cutters and cleaner cuts. Power also usually dictates the size and weight of the router. Remember, the more horsepower, the heavier the router and the more difficult it can be to operate.
Many routers offer variable speed motors. The speed required will depend upon the size of cutter and the material being cut. Some routers have a fixed speed. Routers can operate at a range from about 8,000 to 28,000 rpm. Fixed-speed routers operate at a speed usually in excess of 20,000 rpm. All speeds are determined at no-load. The smaller the motor's horsepower, the greater speed is required because much of the speed will be lost when the cutter contacts the working surface.
Important: For adjustable or variable speed routers, the appropriate speed setting for the cutter and the material being cut will usually be determined by trial and error.
The collet holds the cutting tool. The size of the collet determines the size of cutter shank. Routers are available with a collet size of 1/4 and 1/2 inch diameter. Collet size is usually determined by the power of the machine. Light-duty routers will usually have a 1/4-inch diameter collet, where heavy-duty routers will usually have a 1/2-inch diameter collet. Smaller diameter collets will only be able to use smaller diameter cutters. However, there is an advantage for the larger routers. Quarter-inch collet reducers are available for routers equipped with 1/2-inch diameter collets.
A template guide fits under the router's base plate and projects a sleeve downwards. The sleeve is slightly larger than the diameter of the cutter. The outside of the sleeve is used to guide the router around a template.
When purchasing template guides, make sure they are manufactured of machine steel or brass. This way, they will not rust or harm your cutter if hit. Machine steel and brass are softer than tool steel. Each router manufacturer uses its own style of template guide. Template guides are sold individually or in multi-piece kits.
Note: Use a 3/8" O.D. template guide for a 1/4" diameter router cutter. Use a 5/8" O.D. template guide for a 1/2" diameter router cutter.
When purchasing a plunge router, it is recommended that the "On/Off" switch, speed control and the plunge adjustment be located adjacent to the handles. This way, the router functions can be changed without removing your hands from the handles. You do not want the controls located where they could be changed accidentally. Test each model for control and comfort.