Routing Course


Make a jointed tool tray in two days, plus day three, advanced routing and jig making

Learn essential skills you’ll need to use hand-held and table-mounted routers; understand the importance of router and cutter selection as well as accurate and safe setting up, whilst making a jointed tool tray. After learning the fundamentals, the third day teaches more advanced routing skills and techniques including jig design and making, tool care and curved work.

Course suitability

Beginners √
Intermediate √
Advanced √

Thanks for an excellent course, I really did learn a lot and once I get myself sorted I will be putting all I learned to good use. I have attended a number of courses in my previous jobs but you really excelled, excellent facilities, Peter has a very good style and a logical course.

Andrew Ashton, Routing Course

Book now

You can book and pay for our short courses via our secure online booking system.

Course overview

Why choose this course?

An introduction to safe and productive routing; this short course has been designed to give the essential skills that you need to understand the workings of routers, cutters, jigs and basic templates as well as progressing to more advanced techniques.  Peter Sefton is an expert on routing and jig design and small groups ensure everyone benefits from practical demonstrations and hands-on tuition.

Peter Sefton has been teaching routing for many years and is highly experienced in teaching students with all levels of experience. After learning the fundamentals, the third day of the course is dedicated to advanced routing and jig-making techniques.

The course is aimed at those with limited experience of using a router or maybe students who wish to buy a router and open up a new world of woodworking techniques, as well as those who are familiar with the router but wish to improve their skills learning advanced techniques.  Students will learn how to select routers, tooling and tables, and how to set up hand-held and table-mounted routers for accurate and safe operation. You will be given practical demonstrations and using your improved skills, you will make your own tool tray over the first two days of the course as well as a useful general-purpose jig on day three.

The tool tray will be made of Birch plywood and MDF with routed joints and grooves for the tray bottom and a curved and profiled top edge with a routed handle. The third day of the course is dedicated solely to advancing your routing skills and techniques and become confident in the design, construction and use of a range of jigs; you will also make your own useful, general-purpose jig to take away. There’s no need to buy any tools to come on the course; we have all the routers and tooling required for your project, but you may wish to bring your own router with you so that we can provide assistance on its use.  Any router you wish to bring with you must be less than 12 months old and in good electrical condition or alternatively be ‘PAT tested’.

During the course, we will assist and guide students and endeavour to help with any particular problems you have been encountering in your own workshop. Impartial advice will be given on the various products on the market which offer the best quality and value for money. Small groups ensure plenty of hands-on tuition for every student.

What will I achieve?

At the end of this course you will have gained the knowledge, experience and confidence to attempt fundamental routing techniques and understand router terms and technology, learnt how to get the most from your routers and how to use them in a safe manner.

Do you offer a student discount?

Whilst on the course students will receive a 5% discount code for use at Peter’s tool shop students are able to try out, test and buy woodworking tools and equipment – try before you buy.

Course content

Induction and welcome to the school

Health and safety in the workshop

  • Storage and safe use of the router and cutting tools

Equipment selection

  • Routers: 240V or 110V, motor size and plunge action, fine adjustment and dust extraction
  • Router tables: home-made, purchased Phenolic, MDF, cast iron, router insert plates and router lifts
  • Appreciation of different types of router/routing freehand, plunge, fixed base and trimmers
  • Cutters: HSS, TCT, disposable tips
  • Profile, diameter, length, bearing, arbour slotters, when to use 1/4”or 1/2” shank
  • Bearing or template guide bushes
  • Fences, baseplates and trammel bars

Freehand routing

  • How and when to do free-hand routing
  • Holding work securely when routing
  • Direction of cut

Using jigs and fences

  • Understanding router add-ons: special bases, fences and sleds
  • Shop-made jigs, special purpose jigs and general-purpose jigs
  • Awareness of the need for a fence, pin, bearing, ring, guide bush, when routing
  • Understanding and demystifying jigs: safety, accuracy, repeatability, and efficiency
  • Choosing materials and fixings for long-lasting jigs
  • Practical design and making of a useful, general-purpose jig
  • Guarding your workpiece, safety, guiding and work holding
  • Machining strategy, the best order of machining tasks and why

Router care and sharpening

  • Cutter and router maintenance, diamond slips, resin cleaner, anti-rust VCI, PTFE spray (not silicone)

Cutting circles and ellipses

  • Using home-made trammels and ellipse jigs

Health and safety equipment

Students need to bring their own PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to the course, as follows:

  • Ear defenders
  • Safety glasses

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to bring any tools?

You don’t have to bring any tools with you as we have all the routers and tooling required for your project – you may wish to bring along your own router so that we can provide you with assistance on its use (only tools that are under one year old/with a current PAT test are able to be used in the workshop please).

What facilities are available?

Students will need to provide their own lunch each day. Tea and coffee are provided by the school. It is only a 3-minute drive to the town centre, where you will be able to buy lunch from the bakery or supermarkets on the High Street – there’s also a great fish and chip shop.

Where can I stay during the course?

To find out more about accommodation click here

Are you under 18?

The school regrets that we are unable to accept applications from anyone under the age of 18 at the start of their course.

Average Rating: 5.0 out of 5 (5 votes)
5 stars
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1 star
Robert Goodsell

I enjoyed and appreciated the three days hugely

I would like to thank Peter for the three day routing course last week. At the time I enjoyed and appreciated the three days hugely. What has been unexpected is the noticeable change in my insight and approach since being back in my small workshop for the last four days – greater care in in creating accuracy setting up even the smallest jobs – and associated insights on how to sequence build processes. I don’t think ‘workshop practice’ is a particularly strong selling point for a course but the three days has certainly improved mine!

6 months ago
Richard Loncraine

Learnt a lot as always...

Just wanted to thank you for all the hard work you did to make the router course so enjoyable. Learnt a lot as always and look forward to the next time.

7 months ago
Andrew Ashton

Excellent course

Thanks for an excellent course, I really did learn a lot and once I get myself sorted I will be putting all I learned to good use. I have attended a number of courses in my previous jobs but you really excelled, excellent facilities, Peter has a very good style and a logical course.

2 years ago
Mark Young

Very informative and enjoyable

Peter can I say that I found the router course very informative and enjoyable. Besides the sharpening of the router bits the course provided not only the methods which could be used for a particular task but also the most appropriate method was discussed to giving better stability and accuracy for a particular task. I still have lots to learn but you have given me the skills to confidently have a go with future projects… Thank you.

2 years ago
Neil Golledge

Superb course

Please thank Peter for running a superb course over the last 3 days. It was thoroughly enjoyable and incredibly worthwhile. He is quite simply a very clever man and excellent teacher.

2 years ago

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