Noise management: Router
This educational article has been developed to assist in the management of noise from routers.
- Ensure blades are sharpened at regular intervals and as required.
- Ensure bearings and brushes are in good operational order. Replace if necessary.
- Where the router is fitted to a table top, ensure that the router is firmly fastened and the table top is adequately dampened to prevent vibration, eg use timber in preference to light gauge steel and ensure it is firmly clamped to bench or bolted to floor.
- Where the router is mounted in a box, line the inside of the box with 50 mm fibreglass faced with perforated foil sisalation. Take care not to obstruct airflow to motor.
- Use gentle pressure and allow more time to cut timber. Don't force the tool through the timber.
- Noise tests conducted with a sharp router bit indicated that the noise level could increase by approximately 3 dB(A) when the tool is forced. This can affect the noise exposure time limit. For example, the noise level of normal cutting may be 100 dB(A) and can be performed for 15 minutes without exceeding the exposure standard, but when the tool is forced this level is raised to 103 dB(A) which means that the tool can only be used for 7.5 minutes without exceeding the exposure standard.
- Purchase a quieter router when replacement is necessary. For example, some brands of router produce less noise than others. Test run several different brands and models and choose the quietest router suitable for your needs.
- Consider using a larger router operating at lower RPM instead of smaller low power units, which tend to 'scream'.
- Consider the method of 'Drill Press Routing'. By fitting a fence and using a few simple jigs plus an assortment of router bits, an unused drill press can be utilised as a router. Most multi speed drill presses can achieve speeds necessary (>5000 RPM) for routing softwoods.
Adapted from the Noise Control Manual for Schools with the permission of the Education Department of Western Australia.
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