Boy scouts and carpenters have something very much in common. When they are out in the field, they aim to “always be prepared”. As a child I was in the boy scouts and learned that sometimes you just can’t predict when you will need something. So the next lesson learned is to improvise.
As a carpenter, we are often in the field when we realize that we either forgot something back in the shop, or, as we all do sometimes, an error was made and it needs fixing ASAP or to be completely re-built.
A friend of mine told me a story how he was at someone’s home installing crown molding which he machined out the previous day using a shaper. Of course he measured out the proper length needed to cover the perimeter of the room he was working on and brought what was needed.
As he was unloading and stacking the molding outside the house someone came by and stole one of the pieces. Going to a client with that is almost like telling a teacher that your dog ate your homework!
He was on the job and needed to move forward.
So he improvised. He had some extra stock in the truck and his portable router and table. Although the end result wasn’t exactly the same profile that he made with a shaper cutter, he was able to create a very close copy using a few layers of stock routed on site. He could tell the difference but when he showed the client, they could not see a difference.
This just goes to show that the portability of a router combined with the wide variety of router bits and profiles available makes it ideal for field work.
Read more about the differences between Router Bits and Shaper Cutters.