Introduction: Woodcarving Using a Router

About: I am a Marine Engineer in the RNZN (45 years done in various navies) and am looking forward to retirement!!! so I can do more messing about with tools

Just a quick "ible" about using your router to make decorative pics and presentartion plaques.

The two "fish" ones are on my swimming pool fence and the other was as a leaving gift for a guy at work, I will use that to demonstrate as I took some step by step pics when I was doing it

Tool and Materials

Router and bits

solid work surface to clamp piece onto

Wood plane



Picture of what you want to rout

2 pack epoxy or paint


Step 1: Print Off Picture and Stick to Wood

OK so first off I made the design that I wanted to carve, in this case a stylised badge and inscription

I printed this (A3) and glued it with PVA adhesive to my piece of deadtree that I had planed flat(ish)

I then clamped this to my trestle and got out my trusty router

I used a small Vee bit plunged to about 5mm

You need a relatively steady hand for this

Step 2: Start Routing

It is best to have a bit of a practice on some scrap as this can be a bit delicate, if you are doing relatively fine detail then it helps to "lift off" at the end of cuts

Blow away sawdust often so you can see what you are doing

Step 3: Keep Going!!

This design took me about an hour to rout, and my back was killing me after. Try and use a bench at a comfortable height instead of being a numpty like me and doing it too low!!!

On completion sand until all the excess paper is removed

I also recessed a spanner and cabinet key plus a coin in this one

Step 4: Add Paint or Epoxy

In this case I picked out the various parts in different coloured enamel paint and set the spanner etc in clear 2 pack epoxy, others I just mix a little paint with epoxy and squeegee in then sand off when dry

Step 5: Apply Finish

The presentation plaque got 2 coats of polyurethane stain and varnish, the two fish were infilled with 2 part epoxy with a little black enamel in the mix, sanded, then oiled as they are outside, I re-oil about once a year