In this very quick video, we see how to use a router to cut small parts. I included this video because the method used would be excellent for cutting things like the drink coasters.
They're very small and could be made in fair sized quantities for gifts and such. Holding them down is admittedly quite a challenge. I cut mine on my CNC router and went through the tedious process of taping each one down individually.
Though I've never used the FastCap Blind Nail System mentioned in the video, every other FastCap product I have used has proven to be excellent. The video's suggestion to use them seems promising for speeding up the hold down process. If anyone else has a chance to try them for this purpose, please let me know how it works for you.
The biggest deal when it comes to routing small parts is being able to do so safely. Holding the part in your hand and running it on a router table is inherently unsafe. There may not be enough material to get a good grip and hold the part steady, risking the part being thrown by the force of the router bit. You also could be running a small part with your fingers way too close to the spinning router bit.
The method demonstrated in the video holds the part securely. Both hands are safely on the router grips. Note that the template or jig is now on the bottom of the part. Several of the other videos on this site show the template affixed to the top of the part.
This distinction is important because both setups require a slightly different router bit. Depending on where the template is in reference to the top of the part, you will need either a top bearing or bottom bearing router bit. Check out the video on flush trim router bits to see the difference.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a very short video, but well worth taking a look at. It should give you a good idea of how to hold down small parts safely while machining them with your router.