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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2008, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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Default Danger?

I am considering to get into routing hobby and I have read the forums for two days. There are a lot of useful info here and I realized that routing is more complicated then I thought it was.

Before getting into buying router and bits, building a table etc I would like to ask my main question: is it dangerous? What harm can a router make?

After that it is interesting to know how economical is to use a router? For example: how many linear feet of molding one carbide bit can cut without been dull? Can I sharpen bits well? Do I need extra tools for that?

Thank you in advance!

Vasily

Last edited by Barmaley; 05-11-2008 at 03:02 PM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2008, 09:11 PM
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Barmaley- It can be dangerous. Just to name a few of the risks, and I'm sure I'm missing some important ones, the bit is revolving at a very great rate. It must be securely mounted or it can fly off and do great damage. Any contact between any part of your body and the spinning bit can do enormous damage, so great caution is required. You should always wear eye protection and ear muffs to protect your sight and hearing. Routing can generate dust which has been shown to cause a whole host of health problems, so you must have an effective way to collect it as it is generated to protect your lungs and the rest of your body. If you aren't sure of how to operate your router safely, you should go get some professional instruction, perhaps at your local adult ed center or local community college. Certainly do not take any risks, wait until you are sure of what you are doing and until you are sure you understand how to operate your router safely before using it for any woodworking task. That's my opinion anyway.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2008, 09:27 PM
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Hi,

As with many things in life it is dangerous if precautions aren't adhered to. As rstermer has pointed out, hearing, eye protection along with some type of dust control, ie., a dust mask, respirator and or good ventilation should be a requirement.

Now, to your other question(s), economical? Yes. A carbide bit can and will last a long time. Many bits can be sharpened yourself, but, if you feel uncomfortable doing so, then a professional would be a wise choice.

IMHO, the true key is common sense. If it doesn't feel right, don't do it, if unsure, ask. That is why this forum is here and we're all here to help each other and share idea's and projects. Welcome to the wonderful world of woodworking.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2008, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
is it dangerous? What harm can a router make?
All tools can be dangerous but router is the safest tool in my opinion.

Quote:
how many linear feet of molding one carbide bit can cut without been dull?
All depends on quality of router bit and the type of wood and how deep your passes are and if using correct speed.
I have bit's from 15 years ago I still use and they are sharp.

Quote:
Can I sharpen bits well?
You can but there's no point.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2008, 10:39 PM
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Although I am relatively inexperienced in routers, I would say that using a router is generally safe; the most important part is your head. I fully agree with Hamlin "If it doesn't feel right, don't do it, if unsure, ask." and I would add to that a paraphrase of another member who said "If YOU (emphasis mine) don't feel right, don't do it". I also fully agree with everything everyone else has said. If you search for some of my postings you will see some of the things that can go wrong. Obtain and use ear and eye protection, always use push sticks and keep far away from rotating router bits. When not in use, keep the router unplugged. Although I have sufferred no permanent injuries, I have learned the hard way that a second's inattention or taking a short cut "just this one time" can have painful consequences.

Also, be sure your equipment is in good shape. My first router was one with only 1/4 in collet, and it soon stopped holding the bit. After two bits were launched (I did have a shield that might have stopped them had they come in my direction) I abandoned that router and refuse to sell it even at a garage sale.

I am confined to a wheelchair, I do not have a permanent workshop, and I take medications that limit my exposure to sunlight, so I have to move everything outside and inside as I use them. Nonetheless, using the router is one of my most enjoyable hobbies. One saying I frequently use is that "you do not really know what you are doing until you make mistakes, then figure out how to correct them".

Best of luck with your new hobby, and welcome to this forum. It is a collection of very creative, knowledgeable people with all levels of experiences, and all are eager to share, offer ideas, generate discussion, and generally support each other.

Last edited by TWheels; 05-12-2008 at 02:48 PM. Reason: correct grammar yet again
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you guys for giving your advice!

Today I decided and bought Hitachi km12vc (following Reible's advice) router from Lowes and feel pretty happy. I reckon that I can handle the danger of handling the router (I am an electrical engineer and guess I can handle woods ).

I was about to buy a set of skill router bits but at the last moment I found that there is not a mention about carbide and I fortunately pass on those. I also found that woodcraft has some discount on their bits. I have two questions:

1) Are woodcraft bits good?
2) How many linear foot of crown moldings can I expect from one bit before re-sharpening from carbide bit?
3) What do I need to know about sharpening the bits?

Thank you in advance,

Vasily
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-13-2008, 01:23 AM
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Vasily, Woodcraft bits are a good choice for beginning woodworkers. I own many of their bits and have never needed to replace any so far. If you are looking at making a great deal of moulding then it is worth your while to invest in a higher quality bit. Whiteside bits are top rated in every test I have seen to date. Other top quality choices would be Amana, CMT and Freud. These bits will last longer, can be sharpened more times and perform better than other bits. I suggest using a professional sharpening service to insure your bits are not only sharp but balanced as well. This is money well spent.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-13-2008, 11:44 AM
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Hi Barmaley

" is it dangerous? " I would say no more than a hammer you have in your shop, you can do as much damage to your body with a hammer..

One blow with the hammer can wipe out your finger if you nail it, so it comes down how you use the tool but once you plug in the tool the control must come to the forefront and you must use safe guards... push sticks,bit guards,ear gaurds,safey glasses, etc. we all make errors and take short cuts but the router is one tool that you don't want to take short cuts with..

BITS,,, well you must remember it's a hobby and not a job,, ,,,

Always get the best bits you can but most will do a good job without getting a 2nd on your home for router bits..
If you buy bits that are in the range of 3.oo ea. they should work but that's a good rule of them to go by,,, if you think it out ,, 10 bits that cost lets say 60.oo ea. that's 600.oo dollars for 10 bits, lets say you want to make some molding and the bits are going to cost 20.oo dollars each and you wipe out one when making the molding you are still ahead of the game..
It's like a hack saw blade you know it will be used up when you put it to work same thing is true for the router bit.
When was the last time you though about getting a hacksaw blade resharpened ,,,you don't you just pop in a new one and get the job done.

I'm not a big fan of reshaping router bits , now if you paid 150.oo for a router bit well it may be worth it..but it will not be the same bit once you get it back it will be smaller in diam. I would suggest a diamond stone stick to touch up the edge but that's it...once the bit gets hot the bit will not hold the new edge... the norm.... and the heat is what kills most bits...if it turns that blue color that's it for most bits..

But this is just my 2 cents I'm not a pro. but I like and use routers all the time..


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barmaley
I am considering to get into routing hobby and I have read the forums for two days. There are a lot of useful info here and I realized that routing is more complicated then I thought it was.

Before getting into buying router and bits, building a table etc I would like to ask my main question: is it dangerous? What harm can a router make?

After that it is interesting to know how economical is to use a router? For example: how many linear feet of molding one carbide bit can cut without been dull? Can I sharpen bits well? Do I need extra tools for that?

Thank you in advance!

Vasily



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