Charles Neil The Magic of Routers

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Review by mikega posted 01-19-2009 05:47 AM 6230 views 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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The Magic of Routers is Charles Neil’s latest DVD. This is a 5 DVD set that gives you over 10 hours of instructions on everything you want to know about using a router. On disk one he reviews different routers. Then he explains some of the many different types of router bits that are available and how they are used. He then talks about the different ways to guide a router and follows that up with a discussion on hand held routing and using a router table. Although he does not tell you how to build a router table he does show you some things to look for and think about when you design your own router table. He talks about using patterns and begins to show some of the many jigs that he has developed to make routing easier and safer.
On disk 2 he talks about making large panels, making a “D” handle, how to make circles and wheels, how to run narrow stock and something he talks and show a lot though out the DVD’s and the is how to make and use patterns. He then talks about how to cut veneer with a router, how to do fluting for quarter columns and reeding on a bed post.
This disks ends with a discussion on how to do inlay with a router and how to make your own router bases. He even show you how to make a jig he calls a “Thing-A-Ma” jig for routing odd shapes like a goose neck.
Disk 3 covers beading, mortise and tenons, door rails and stiles, box joints, making moldings, hinge mortise, raised panels and how to do a pedestal base.
Disk 4 begins with a discussion on the different between an oval and an ellipse and how to lay them out. There is a section on the different types of dove tail jig and how to do sliding dovetails and dovetail splines and dadoes.
Then he saves the best for last. On disk 5 he shows how to make a pie crust table top. Again he really goes into detail how to make the patterns and in some cases how to make patterns to make a pattern. With this method you can make a pie crust table with very little or no hand carving. The last thing he shows is how to do a goose neck. He explains that this is probably the must difficult thing you can do with a router but he takes you through it step by step.
Charles tells us several time that router is nothing more then a motor with a bit on the end of it. He encourages us to think outside the box. As in the rest of his DVD’s you feel like you are right there in the shop with him and when he screws up he shows you his mistake and tell you how to fix it.
This DVD is excellent for the beginner and the advanced woodworker. In 10 hours you will learn all the things that he knows about using a router from over 30 years as a professional woodworker.
You can get more information about the DVD at his new web site at:

-- Mike

View mikega's profile


81 posts in 4634 days

9 comments so far

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4566 days

#1 posted 01-19-2009 11:15 AM

good review. Sounds like a good set to watch.

-- making sawdust....

View TedM's profile


2002 posts in 4499 days

#2 posted 01-19-2009 02:38 PM

Thanks, Mike! I appreciate you taking the time to share this with us. Sounds like he has another great set of must-have DVD’s!

-- I'm a wood magician... I can turn fine lumber into firewood before your very eyes! - Please visit and sign up for my project updates!

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Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4479 days

#3 posted 01-19-2009 03:38 PM

Thanks for the review. Another one on the list….

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4535 days

#4 posted 01-19-2009 05:18 PM

nice review mike! i have this one too and i have to review it. its such a great dvd. you think you know everything about routers but turns out there’s really so much more out there!

View RWR's profile


42 posts in 4368 days

#5 posted 01-19-2009 06:29 PM


I too have this DVD seriies (plus several more published by Charles). It is indeed a excellent video series and I would reccomend it to anyone from beginner to advanced. Charles Neil is a very nice person and a great teacher, very down to earth. Nice review.

-- Wayne

View CharlesNeil's profile


2501 posts in 4637 days

#6 posted 01-20-2009 12:32 AM

Thanks guys, you made my day..

View a1Jim's profile


118065 posts in 4344 days

#7 posted 01-20-2009 07:43 AM

Good review Mike
I have many of Charles videos and every time I think I already know the subject the prospective DVD covers
Charles always has something new for me to learn. Charles and his wife are the best ,genuine, real and a top notch professionals . What a bargain Charles videos are Router magic is exactly that magic(on sale for a short time) and finishing A-Z will change your project from average to outstanding, and his many you tube videos are great. Check out has web site and blog also,you’ll be glad you did. I’m a woodworking instructor but I’m also Charles student. I’m sure thankful for all the information Charles has given me.



View Emeralds's profile


143 posts in 4329 days

#8 posted 01-21-2009 06:28 PM

Thanks for the review Mike:

I’m Charles Neil fan and I’ll make it a point to put this set on my short list. Although I’m fairly familiary with their use, routers remain as one of my least favorite shop tools. I find them awkward, messy and time consuming to set up and just wish they weren’t so indispensable. Anything that might ease my pain or spark a greater interest in their use is a welcome thing for sure.


-- JMP

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 4663 days

#9 posted 01-25-2009 09:56 PM

I have to add my two cents. I just got this same set and man, have I learned more than I bargained on. This is great instructional video set, puts many others to shame!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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