Stiring the Pot-Running a Router With One Hand - Router Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Default Stiring the Pot-Running a Router With One Hand

Elsewhere, my use of my D handled router with one hand (for the past forty years) started a long discussion. A few insisted it should never be done.

A visit to construction sites reveals the practice of using worm-drive saws this way is a common practice. In fact, except in certain instances, such as when a precision cut is made, or a long cut, it is usually the novice seen two handing a circular saw.

My use of a router this way, for the past forty years, allows me to control long boards and things, or, in the case of using my router dado guide, hold a board, while running the router up and back on the board. The amount of kickback I've felt from my router is a fraction of what my two worm drives have offered up. Of course, I am only using my little 1-3/4 hp PC this way, but would use my Dewalt this way too, if it had a D handle.

What thinks ye others of the practice? An example of it can be seen at this we site:

Project House: A Simple Approach to Paneled Wainscot, Episode 1 - Fine Homebuilding Video

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 02:28 PM
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Rules can be broken as long as you don't break the principles on which they are based. For me personally, I can't think of a job I have done holding a router, as opposed to the router under a table, where I didn't want 2 hands just to get enough finesse. Possibly if I was using a bearing or a bushing and had something to guide the cut I might use 1 hand. When I taught our kids how to drive, I told them they had to use 2 hands on the wheel for the first 12 months. By that time they should know when it was safe to use one hand and when it wasn't.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 03:49 PM
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Kelly, Certainly many with experience will use Dremels & RotoZips "one-handed" and also a few of the low-powered routers may be done this way. But that is something only an experienced person should even consider to attempt. I've been working with Reptiles since 1961 and quite a few of my "current practices" are definitely not what I would recommend to a novice or a beginner. There are tons of environmental factors that make something different for one than for another...an example would be the noise you are hearing - without even consciously thinking about it, I'll bet you're listening to your router's sounds for signs of strain - or you're probably able to notice the smell of burning wood that some persons new-in-the-field may not be in-tune with.

Experience, in my opinion can sometimes lead to complacency and a wandering mind!

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 04:24 PM
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Are you able to control it? Does it ever feel it is about to get away on you?
If the answers are yes and no then go ahead.

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 12 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 05:57 PM
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I'm thinking gravity is on your side, Kelly, with the worm drive. For a novice like me I suspect it's as difficult to one hand my 2 1/2 hp router as it would be for you to one hand your worm drive upside down.

...you got me going :-)

...and yes, I have one handed worm drives, K-12's, big drills, sawz-alls, chain saws and other manly items...it took a while before I realized engineers smarter than me put a second handle on all those things for a reason. A friend of mine sliced through his thigh as it was helping his left hand hold a 2x12 he was ripping...another took two fingers one handing his chain saw...I've got plenty of scary one hand stories just in case novices like myself might be thinking you might be setting a goal...just saying...

You did say "stirring the pot" right...? As far as I'm concerned the only job a person should do with one hand is electrical work.

This forum has made me more safety conscious than I have ever been...your post surprised me a bit. I guess that's why it's called a forum...

Respectfully submitted...Nick

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-04-2014, 07:11 AM
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I would think that people who know how something should be done and ignore it are playing a very dangerous lottery. Here is a fact, if you have both hands where they should be on a worm drive circular saw (On the handles) you will never cut your finger off with that saw. I met a gentleman one day that had a 4 inch scar on his forehead, he had been sawing a log that had a ceramic insulator inside when the blade hit the insulator it exploded. The item struck him on the forehead just above the eye. He said because of that he will never wear safety glasses. So I guess by that logic I understand why you don't use two hands. Stir Stir

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-04-2014, 07:25 AM
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Kelly, my opinion is that with the d-handle, as long as you are not over extending to reach the end of a long board, it's ok in some situations. Using any power tool with out good balance is asking for trouble. May get by with it a thousand times, but that one time is all it takes to do serious injury.

I think the older we get, the more difficult and dangerous some of these things get.
1. We get to comfortable doing them. Familiarity can breed carelessness.
2. Many(most?) of us are not as strong as we once were. It's tough to admit that, but I know in my case, it is true. Doesn't apply to you younger guys, perhaps!
3. Pushing for that last inch or so can get you in trouble.

All that said, as with any procedure, if you are not comfortable with it, don't do it!

I have found that hand tools are the best choice when I want to make mistakes at a slower rate of speed.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmeadows View Post
3. Pushing for that last inch or so can get you in trouble.
This is usually what gets me in trouble using ladders as well...

TedP
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 09:28 PM
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Kelly you don't exactly look like a pencil neck lol so using a router with one hand may come easy to you , but may be a dangerouse practice for some of us wimpier guys

I donít always insulate , but when I do .
Ok ,I never insulate

Last edited by RainMan 2.0; 11-10-2014 at 09:30 PM.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 10:29 PM
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That's very true Rick. I got into quite an argument with someone about two years ago who recommended a procedure to a novice that wasn't that safe to do. He had done it lots of times successfully but he was experienced and to recommend it to someone who didn't have experience was a bad idea in my opinion.

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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