The Ultimate Router Book

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Review by Paul D posted 04-15-2008 08:10 PM 12149 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
The Ultimate Router Book No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Hardcover: 344 pages
Publisher: Readers Digest; Rev Upd edition (June 1, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0762108002
ISBN-13: 978-0762108008
Product Dimensions: 11.2×8.8×1.4 inches

I just completed reading through this book and it is by far the best router book I have read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone whether a total router newbie (like me) or a seasoned veteran. There are plenty of tips, jigs, table plans, etc. in this book and Bill Hylton’s writing style is very clear and concise and easy to follow. I purchased my copy from one of the local bookstore chains at full price ($29.95) but it can be found for under $20 on Amazon.



  • The Motor
  • The Collet
  • The Router Base
  • The Assembled Package


  • What Do You Need To Know?
  • Just Starting?
  • Using Bits
  • Bit Care


  • Safety
  • Stock
  • Using A Guide Setting Up
  • Feed Direction
  • Workloads
  • Your First Cuts


  • Design
  • Materials
  • Construction

Router Table Design

  • Router Table Architecture
  • What Router?
  • The Tabletop
  • Router-Mounting Options
  • What Router, Revisited
  • Fences
  • The Underpinnings: Stand Or Cabinet
  • Dust Collection
  • Engineering The Tabletop

Cabinet Router Table

  • Construction

Horizontal Router Table

  • Construction

Router Table Accessories

  • Starting Pin
  • Bit Guards
  • Fence
  • Sliding Fence
  • Workpiece Controllers

Router Table Savvy

  • Changing Bits
  • Setting The Bit Extension
  • Controlling The Workpiece
  • Making The Cut
  • Profile Bits
  • Edge-Routing Techniques
  • Routing Trim For Furniture
  • Architectural Moldings

Template-Guided Work

  • Three Guidance Setups
  • Making Templates
  • Template-Guided Routing
  • Inlay
  • Template-Guided Joinery Cuts

Routing Curves And Circles

  • Basic Trammels
  • Adjustable Trammel
  • Using A Trammel
  • Cutting Arcs And Circles On The Router Table
  • Oval Cutting
  • Template-Guided Cuts

Surfacing With The Router

  • Flush-Trimming
  • Jointing With A Router
  • Thicknessing
  • Shaping Surfaces

Frame-And-Panel Construction

  • Making Frames
  • Making Panels Curved-Edge Assemblies
  • Making Architectural Doors And Windows

Working Laminates

  • The Material
  • Cutting Laminate
  • Trimming Laminates

Dadoing And Grooving

  • Hand-Guided Through Cuts
  • Grooving With An Edge Guide
  • Router Table Through Cuts Stopped Cuts
  • Bit Choices


  • Rabbeting With A Piloted Bit
  • Rabbeting With A Straight Bit Stopped Rabbets
  • Wide Rabbets
  • Deep Rabbets

Edge Joints

  • Routing An Edge Joint
  • Splined Edge Joinery
  • Biscuit Joinery With A Router
  • Tongue-And-Groove Joints

Mortise-And-Tenon Joints

  • Mortising Setup
  • Mortising Fixtures
  • Template Systems
  • Mortising On The Horizontal Router Table
  • Routing Tenons

Lap Joints

  • End Laps
  • Cross Laps
  • Mitered Half-Laps
  • Edge Laps

Dovetail Joints

  • Half-Blind Dovetail Jigs
  • Routing Through Dovetails

Sliding Dovetail Joint

  • Cutting The Joint
  • Routing Dovetail Grooves Routing Tails

Splined Miter Joint

  • Flat Miters
  • Edge Miters

Box Joints

  • The Box-Joint Jig

Spline And Dovetail Keys

  • Making The Jig
  • Slotting On The Table
  • Fitting The Keys

Routed Joints

  • Routed Glue Joint
  • Lock-Miter Joint
  • Drawer-Lock Joint


-- Paul D - Lawrenceville, Georgia

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Paul D

2134 posts in 4595 days

12 comments so far

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4868 days

#1 posted 04-15-2008 08:18 PM

Paul,I couldn’t agree with you more.
This is his best work to date.
I lost my original copy on a plane at x-mas and had to march right out and get another.
When you read his explanations an review the pictures it makes some of the home made jigs and techniques seem awfully awkward and impractical.



-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4835 days

#2 posted 04-15-2008 10:18 PM

Great review, thanks.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View grovemadman's profile


659 posts in 4618 days

#3 posted 04-16-2008 02:11 AM

Great review, I’‘ll have to pick up a copy of this when I can!

-- "It is the job of the woodworker to hide his mistakes and keep a tight set of lips about them!"--Chuck

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4668 days

#4 posted 04-16-2008 02:53 AM


This is a nice review. Thanks for the post. I will have to see if my library can get it for me.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 4727 days

#5 posted 04-16-2008 03:01 AM

oh yes this is a really great book ! i have a router jig book of his and it is exellent as well

View SPHinTampa's profile


567 posts in 4532 days

#6 posted 04-24-2008 03:21 AM

This is one of the best woodworking books I own.

I have made the following items from it:
- Enclosed router table and fence (photo posted in workshop section)
- Horizontal router table (modified to use with radial arm saw)
- tenoning sled
- circle jig
- 3 of the specialized push blocks
- feather boards

The techniques are extremely valuable and the instructions for the jigs are easy to follow.

I would guess that the hardback version would last longer in your shop than the soft copy.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View Ad Marketing Guy - Bill's profile

Ad Marketing Guy - Bill

314 posts in 4645 days

#7 posted 04-29-2008 02:45 AM

I picked this book up on Amazon -THANKS to your review!

-- Bill - - Ad-Marketing Guy, Ramsey NJ

View Billp's profile


804 posts in 5046 days

#8 posted 05-02-2008 05:35 AM

One of the best woodworking author’s out there.

-- Billp

View glennl's profile


24 posts in 4474 days

#9 posted 06-25-2008 02:26 PM

It is a great book…Easy to read, technical enough for those who don’t want too basic info; but not overly technical.

-- GlennL, New Jersey

View AbenakiMan's profile


11 posts in 4355 days

#10 posted 10-20-2008 06:25 PM

I too have read this book from cover to cover. I’m a great advocate of book knowledge to prevent ‘reinventing the wheeel’. This book is very much like a Router Bible and can be referred to whenever necessary. Keep it close, you’ll be using this one a lot.

-- AbenakiMan

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4868 days

#11 posted 10-20-2008 06:28 PM

I agree with you completely.
When I lost mine on a plane trip last year I went out and bought it again.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4868 days

#12 posted 10-20-2008 06:32 PM

  • Yet another unexplained duplication of posting?????*

Now it even bulleted the remark when the attributewas selected for Bold!

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

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