Router maintenance and care

         
         
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  Router, plunge router. Routing machine. Trend routers  

Your router should come with a set of instructions which detail how to maintain and care for your particular router. This should include cleaning and storage information, as well as details of which care products you should use. You should also follow manufacturer's guidelines, but here are a few basics for extending the life of your router.

 
         
 

How to clean a router 

 
  Basket of cleaning supplies, cleaning solution, cleaning brush, sponge, spray  

Routers should be cleaned frequently to prolong their life. Fine dust, which is often created when routing materials such as MDF, can find its way everywhere, and can easily get inside the router via the vents in the casing. Chippings or shavings are less likely to find their way inside the router, but they can become lodged in external parts. Resin is an organic sticky substance that originates from trees and some plants. It can harden over time and become difficult to remove. 

 
         
      WD says "Please note: you should  always switch off and unplug  the router before performing any  maintenance or cleaning. "  
         
  Dust created when routing MDF, sawdust, using table router, dusty router table  

A build-up of dust or debris on the router's motor can cause it to overheat. To prevent this, place the hose of your workshop vacuum up to the vents in the router's housing to suck out the dust and debris. Don't try to remove dust with your own breath as this contains moisture which could expose the internal parts to rust. Stubborn clumps of dust can be removed with a semi-stiff paint brush.

 
         
  Depth scale of plunge router, router bit height adjustment  

Dust and other small fragments can become lodged in the gaps behind or between the router's switches, buttons and levers and can sometimes prevent the controls from being operated properly, so any clumps of dust should be removed. Pieces of waste material, even small ones, can cause inaccuracies to your height adjustment system. A clean, damp cloth can be used to wipe the scale, and a soft bristled brush can be used on the turret system. Make sure you dry all parts before you store the router.

 
         
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Storing a router 

 
  internal parts of router, spring-loaded columns. Oil parts of your router to keep it working correctly  

You should use a lubricant or rust prevention spray on moving parts of your router before storing it. On some models of plunge router, you can take apart the columns and remove the springs within. If you are able to do this, you can clean the springs and lubricate them with a dry lubricant spray to prevent rust and corrosion while keeping the springs moving freely. Make sure the lubricant you use is appropriate for your particular router.

 
         
  Router storage case, protective case for router. Trend router machines for precision router cutting  

When you have finished using your router, you should always unplug it from the mains before storing your tool. You should keep your router in an area that is dry, clean and free from potentially harmful dust. Some routers, usually higher-end models, are supplied with a protective storage case in which they should be kept when not in use. Having a case is also useful if you need to transport your router. 

 
         
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If you frequently use your router with a table, you may find leaving your tool installed in the table more convenient than taking it out to store it. However, as mentioned above, you should always unplug your router from the electricity supply when you have finished routing and make sure the table is in a safe, and suitable position.

 
         
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