How To Notch Wood With A Router

June 30, 2022

Use router to notch the joint groove on the wood.

The technique of notching using router is an important aspect of the woodworking tradition. Every professional who adopted this method knows how beneficial it is to their craftmanship. This method helps professional carpenters or woodworkers increase their furniture durability or wood structure.

However, beginners unfamiliar with notching wood find the process too difficult to perform. But there is no need for you to be worried; in this article, we will share steps on how to notch wood using a router for beginners interested in understanding the process.

Steps on How to Notch Wood with a Router

The following are the steps involved in using a wood router to create notches.

Step 1: Prepare the Wood Piece

For starters, you will need to find a suitable wood router. It is a tool that handles all forms of wood notching. Ensure your wood piece is placed on the workbench and use clamps to hold it.

Step 2: Measure the Notch Depth

The next step is to determine your notch’s depth which is done by applying the procedures discussed in the preceding section. On the structure, make a note of the depth measurement using a marking knife. Make sure it is carefully marked, as the entire notching process is depending on the depth of the notch

Step 3: Start Routing the Notch

After you are done with step two, the next step is to simply attach your router to the markings and begin routing. When using a router, shaving the wood can be difficult; thus, you can always use a hammer to make it easier. You should proceed to cut out the superfluous pieces of wood with a hammer only after notching is finished. The residual dust can be removed, as well as the curves can all be smoothed with chisels.

Step 4: Notch Every Side of the Framework

The fourth step is to make notches on every side of its framework and complete the exact activity for each side to ensure that the structure is completely notched.

Step 5: Fitting the Notch

When you’ve finished cleaning the notch, start putting your piece of wood by placing it inside the space with which it needs to be notched. If everything is done correctly, it should fit flawlessly.

Step six: Once you’ve finished notching a wood piece, you’ll need to repeat the cycle for the next one.

The Optimal Notch Depth on the Wood

Type of joint and notch position is the two significant criteria you should consider before deciding the notching depth you will make.

The maximum notch depth you can cut is around half the wood thickness to provide sufficient support to the wood itself. Another major factor about your depth is that it depends on the notch position. The supporting wood will break if the load is too heavy.

A Perfect Notching Position

Determine your perfect notching position and start routing. However, you will need to consider where exactly your notching will be in determining your notching depth. For instance, heavy objects notched on their edges will surely crack. A mathematical calculation can help you make this decision. The wood piece will need more support if bigger than 2 by 2 notches. A deeper depth is needed depending on the wood’s cross-sectional dimensional and framework weight

Router Bits for Various Notching Applications

Routers seem to be the most efficient tool available to a woodworker. With a single router, a woodworker can shape edges, trim, carve hinges, and cut wooden joints such as rabbet and dado.

It won’t be easy for those new to routing to choose the router bit needed to help you do your work. There are a variety of router bits available to create all of the cuts on a piece of wood. Here are some of the types of bits you can choose from;

Bit for Straight Cutting

This is used to cut through wood, including grooves with square bottoms, and is available in a variety of sizes and diameters. Many router bits are made up of pilots that direct and keep them in place. However, this particular router doesn’t need any guidance.

To produce correct cuts with these router bits, make sure to place the router across a straightedge.

Rabbeting Bit

The width and depth know these types of bits of cut they produce. Having an L-shaped notch that allows you to cut along the edges of a board makes it much easier for you to cut a rabbet using a rabbeting bit.

Bit with a Round-Over

The bits are primarily used to shape the edges of tabletops, chair arms, and shelves. It comes in a variety of sizes, however the most popular are 1/4 and 3/8 inches. It’s also linked with a ball-bearing pilot, which helps adjust the notch’s breadth.

Roman Ogee Bit

Woodworkers commonly use Roman Ogee Bit. Its edge shaping unique feature helps give a more exotic and stylish cut to the edges of furniture. It is available in sizes such as 5/32, ¼, and ⅜ inches.


Adding integrity with a polished look is what notching wood those to your structure. However, even if it seems too difficult to do, it will become easier for you to notch wood once you have learned the techniques.

Many options are available to notch a wood piece, but you will need to finish all methods with a chisel and hammer. A hammer and chisel help ensure the edges of the structure are tidy and accurate. If you would like your notches to have the same dimension, rig up a template to ensure your router cuts through the entire piece.

Lastly, notching of a wood piece should be done with proper tools and a good workbench.

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