Instructions Of a Sabre Saw And Router


Unique among power tools is the sabre saw, a hand-held motor which sends a slender blade in and out of its guard at high speed. It is fairly quiet in operation, not much noisier than the average electric drill.

If the price of the tool isn’t justified by the amount of work you plan to do, you can buy a sabre-saw attachment for a 1/4″ electric drill. It works out fine – not as well as a sabre saw itself, but well enough if the price is an important factor.

The sabre saw lets the handyman add that extra fillip to his work. Scrolls, valances and cutouts involve cutting curves. If the project is small, the portable sabre saw does it quickly and easily. If the work piece is large, the portable sabre saw is probably the only tool that can do it, for the sabre operates outside the range of the jig saw and the band saw in the size of the work it can handle.

It’s fine for on-the-job work. Since it’s lightweight (most models weigh less than five pounds), it can actually cut a valance from a straight board which has been nailed in place. If your shop is small, this may be the only way you can do the job on a long board. Large-scale scallops just aren’t possible if you have to maneuver a long board over a fixed saw blade on a table.

This versatile tool is in a class by itself; it can do stunts which no other type of saw can duplicate. For instance, suppose you built accurately a right-angled unit such as a cabinet or a set of shelves and, upon installation, you discover that the walls are crooked and your built-ins don’t fit. With your sabre saw you can trim the units to match the crooked wall or corner. Or suppose you want to cut a hole in the middle of a sheet of plywood, hard- board or a Formica-covered counter top. You don’t have to scout around for a suitable drill and make corner holes through which the standard coping or keyhole saw can work. The sabre saw makes its own entry hole right on the marked line.

Again, imagine handling a large cutout made from a single 4-by-8 sheet of stock in a scrolled pattern. How are you going to turn a 4-by-8 around and around to meet your jig- or hand-saw blade? It can’t be done, but the sabre saw will travel around the pattern in all possible directions easily and quickly. Then too, if you want a jig saw on a table in a hurry, just turn the saw upside down, anchor it and let the blade work through a table top. You can build this top for yourself or buy it. Take the saw off its mountings and its back on duty as a portable again.

When you use a sabre saw, first make sure the switch is off, then plug it in. Hold the tool firmly and turn on the switch. Place the guide on the piece to be cut and line up the blade with the marked line. Gently push the saw forward along the line – otherwise the tool may vibrate and wander. Until you have had a bit of practice with it, clamp the wood down tightly (unless its weight holds it in place) and use both hands to hold the saw. Push down on the forward knob if your model has one; otherwise use both hands on the case. Later, you’ll become familiar with one-hand operation.


Reproduction of the finest details of noted furniture craftsmen is possible with a router. Beautifully carved and curved moldings, inlay work, mortises for hinges and all sorts of exacting work become almost routine. The router works not only on wood but on other materials as well – plastics, hardboards and Formica. Inlays and molded edges can be made from most of these with a router.

Nearly everything a router does can be broken down into a series of simple operations which can be learned quickly. The motor driving the router is small but quite efficient. Its great work ability comes from its very high speed, 20,000 rpm or even more.

All routers have the same general type of chuck to hold shaped cutters. In fact, nearly all brands of cutters will fit into all routers.

At first, all you will need is the router itself, a set of basic bits and a guide. Later on, you might want to add a complete dovetailing outfit. All routers are essentially the same, and there are only good ones and better ones. There are no bad ones. They require practically no maintenance. There is not even much variation in design. The motor is vertically mounted, with no belts or gears or complex machinery. It fits into a base which permits adjustment in the distance between the cutter and the work. When attachments are added, you can suspend the router as an overarm cutter for carving, drilling and other fixed-tool attachment work. You can also convert it to a powered plane with a multiple assortment of blades, and it can become a grinder and a dovetailing machine. When the wide assortment of blades is added, the shapes that can be cut are almost limitless. Cutters, in many cases, have as one part of them a noncutting pilot which acts as a “follower” and as a cutting limit. This not only allows cutting the fancy edge of a valance or table top, but it also permits the constant repetition of that pattern without variation.

In as simple an operation as putting up shelves, a router can be of great help. It will speedily cut a dado groove on opposite side supports. The shelf can then be slipped into the grooves and nailed or screwed and glued. Such shelves will be far stronger than those put together with nails or screws alone. And, since the router can make a curved as well as a straight groove, you can insert corrugated plastic sheeting just as easily as a flat shelf. For another example, you can make a groove along the edge of a board and also make a tongue on another board edge and join the two.

Among the many types of joints that a router will make are: mortise and tenon; cross laps; rabbets and dados, plus combinations of both; and the dovetail joint. Dovetail jointing with a router is one of the most satisfactory jobs you can do. You will need a special set of accessories, but with it you can easily make sturdy drawers.

In addition to joints of all kinds, the router has one special trick of its own – recessing. This allows you to make recessed platters and trays of all kinds and shapes. Or, by a similar process, you can make inlays of wood or tile for table tops and chess, checker and assorted game boards.