Spinout due to inappropriate bit depth? - Router Forums

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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Default Spinout due to inappropriate bit depth?

Hi all,

I'm very new to routing, so please bear with me a bit (no pun intended). I'm usually quite handy with power tools in general, but I'm having trouble getting a hang on using this router.

I have a 1.25HP (Dewalt DWP611) router, which I'm using to route a straight groove/track along a solid piece of wood. The track should be 3/4-in wide and 5/8-in deep. To do this, I bought a 3/4-in diameter straight bit, and set it to 5/8-in depth.

The problem is, I have a lot of trouble holding the router down. It keeps trying to spin out. That seemed dangerous so I stopped, and I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong.

I tried to follow all the basic beginner steps. The work piece is clamped. The fence is clamped. I was also routing right-to-left (facing the fence) (though afterwards I also tried going left-to-right to see if that helps and it didn't). The bit is new so it's sharp. I tried different speeds and didn't really find one that helped much.

So I'm thinking, is 5/8-in too deep for a 3/4-in bit and a 1.25HP router? Should I do multiple passes, increasing the depth each time? Or use a narrower bit and do multiple passes to get it wider?

I also probably need some practice using the tool, so can someone suggest an easy/safe bit type/diameter/depth combination for my router, that won't spin out, that I can use to practice on scrap wood and get comfortable with the tool?

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 07:34 PM
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Welcome Mike
Your to deep with a 3/4" bit and 5/8" deep max would be a 1/4" deep per pass less would be easier till you get a feel for routing try 1/8" think you will enjoy routing more and you will have control good luck
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 08:16 PM
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Welcome Mike, as John said 1/8" is about as deep as I run just make multiple passes and get a feel for how fast to move along, 1/4" can be done but that should be the max and then only on softer woods.... Good luck

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 09:53 PM
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Welcome to the forum Mike. You should be feeding from left to right when feeding against a straight edge or when using a bearing guided bit. In a router table is the opposite direction. The other direction is called climb cutting. You can recognize it by the fact that the router is trying to drag you along with it on edge cuts or if the entire bit is buried in the cut the bit will want to wander. Lee Valley Tools - Routing: Climb Cut vs. Conventional Cut One of the best ways to get the feel of the router is to edge profile some boards with a bearing guided bit.

I am surprised that you could not get decent results either way you tried. Even if you have the bit over extended a bit, you should be able to do the job if you slow your feed rate down and feed from the correct direction. However, John and Warren have given you good advice.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 10:13 PM
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Small routers like the 611 are very handy once you know how to use them. It is actually easier to learn with a bigger router because the weight helps somewhat with the control. Stick to the rule of removing no more than 1/4" of material in a single pass and life will be much easier.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 05:34 AM
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As others have said, the depth is too great for a single pass, but the main thing is that your right to left direction is incorrect for hand routing where the bit is facing downwards. The cutter is rotating clockwise (viewed from above) and moving the router from left to right you can view it as a 'spoon', which is trying to 'scoop' the wood from the workpiece, which will tend to pull the cutter into the workpiece.

Moving the router from right to left, the rotation is trying to kick the bit away from the workpiece, which makes it hard to control. So, normally (with occasional exceptions) you would move the router from left to right.

The opposite (right to left) is the normal method for router tables, where the bit is upside down, so the direction of rotation (viewed from above) is counter-clockwise.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 07:59 AM
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Get some scrap wood to practice with. Take VERY light cuts, as little as a 1/16". Listen to the router as the bit engages the piece. The pitch will drop. Vary the feed rate. Listen again, the faster you feed the lower the pitch. I've found the pitch will tend to let me know when I'm moving too fast or trying to take too big of a bite or getting into trouble in general.

As with most things you have to learn to crawl before you can fly. With routers it's more like you have to learn to crawl to learn that crawling is probably all you want to do anyway.

Baby steps.


"I was always afraid of dying. Always. It was my fear that made me learn everything I could about my airplane and my emergency equipment, and kept me flying respectful of my machine and always alert in the cockpit. " - Chuck Yeager
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 09:46 AM
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Get The Router Book from Amazon. It will really help a lot. Depending a little bit on how hard the wood is, I try to keep my cuts no deeper that 1/8th on the harder stuff and a little deeper on, say, Chinese ply or MDF. Routers are nifty.
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