Advice to prevent chipping on cherry table - Router Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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Default Advice to prevent chipping on cherry table

I made a cherry table for a kitchen remodel, out of 5/4 cherry. I had earlier used a plywood template to route a sink opening in a cherry butcher block counter. I cut the opening with a jig saw to within an 1/8 or 1/4 inch, then routed the final opening with a few passes using an Amana two flute trim bit and a PorterCable router (maybe 18000 rpm) With the sink opening (and thicker material, 1.5") I had perfect success. With this table, not so much. When I got to the long part of the ellipse, the router caught the grain and tore about 1/2" off the table edge. I've made the table inch narrower now and I'm probably going to belt sand to get the desired profile. I'm a relatively casual woodworker, only a few projects that weren't made out of pine or plywood...

Any advice? With the sink I was either completely across the grain, or completely with the grain. Because of the ellipse profile, the router comes across the grain at an acute angle, which is where I had my trouble... (I don't have any pictures of the damage. I routed with the template on the bottom, with table top supported on a workmate)
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 10:34 AM
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I would still do it with a router but take very very light cuts. If you have a router table hide your bit in the fence to get the light cuts. Then on the last cut let your template ride the bearing. You might also get some help to hold the table top level.

Don in Murfreesboro,Tn.

Measure once cut twice and it's still to short.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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I have a router extension on my table saw, but a claustrophobic shop area - I don't have clearance to maneuver the table in my shop. I could just step the plywood template carefully in small increments back from the edge.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 10:49 AM
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Another option is to climb cut the problem areas. With a handheld router and pattern or flush trim bit that is not a big deal. You may have to make several passes to cut it clean because the bit wants to push the router away from the cut as it climbs.

In the spot where you had trouble if you follow the grain from one end wher it is exposed to the other end where it is exposed it forms a long thin strip which is what makes it so fragile.
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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 10 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 03:42 PM
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You need to route half way in one direction and then cut from the other direction on the other half. It is chipping out because you essentially routing parts that are against the grain. Also it may help to make smaller cuts and do several passes.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 11:27 PM
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Can you do those areas from the other side with a bottom bearing bit?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions - I ended up just taking the template and some clamps and doing verrry thin runs to remove from 0-1/16" then moving the template a little again. I see by @whimsofchaz , @bridger suggestions that I could also have switched the template to the other side or switched bits to route in the other direction from the other side. I've attached a pic after a couple coats of waterlox...
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 10:37 AM
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Looks good Marvin. Another thing that helps some is to use a large diameter trim bit. If you are using a 1/2" bit and taking a 1/4" cut then the angle where the cutter leaves the wood is 90* to your workpiece. That's why it wants to rip a chunk off. A larger bit or smaller cut reduces the angle so that it is more in line with the grain which reduces the force trying to rip the chunk off.

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 #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 12:55 PM
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If confronted again, use a plunger.
There is always an increment (in the z-axis) that will not tear out, chip, or otherwise spoil the work. It's not for folks without patience, however.
A collar and straight bit will do it.
Surely there must be a piece of scrap you can test before committing your project stock. If the depth increment is modest, say .050 - .100"/pass, you can climb or anti-climb cut and you will not get untoward cuttings.
Moreover, at that increment, there is no danger of a loss of control or a self-feed.
1.5" will take ~15' to rout; but what else have you got to do.
And fixing tearout x hand will take you all day!
************************************************** *************
One caveat. Indeed, this is a lot of cutting and the risk of tipping the router increases as you rout more & more. So pay attention, tipping the router, cutting into new work at full depth = adversity of the third kind.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 11:09 PM
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Marvin
Looks like you did a nice job finishing it up. Looks good. Just pack all these suggestions away for the next time.

Chuck
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