I have never used a router table before this week and it's been decades since I've used a router at all. My goal is to create a small production shop. If things work out, I'll improve the quality of equipment, but for now, everything I have is pretty much entry level. (I posted some of my equipment in my intro.)
I've begun a project and have routed several piece from a template/pattern I've created. I've learned a few tips from here that will be helpful, but I'm still concerned about safety...and the occasional kickback, pull-in. I upgraded bits from a $2 bit to a bosch flush trim 3/8" x 1" (bearing on bottom (opposite shank), but am still nervous...I want to keep all my fingers. . I found a pattern routing jig on the Fine Woodworking website I think will be helpful, but the shape of my piece is such that it may still be difficult to hold down....and I may have to create multiple jigs for this one piece. The fewer the better. It is an 11" x 6" (overall) h shape with a brace between the legs of the h - an oval cut-out creates the brace - this is the profile of a chair). I currently drill 3-4 holes with a spade bit before placing the piece over the router-this can be a bit tricky...and I've had some troubles on a couple pieces. The width of this piece averages about 5/8".
I'm using 1/2" Baltic Birch for both my template and the finished product. I have some 5/8" as well, but nearly everything on the router will be done with 1/2". If I make a form of the jig mentioned above, I'll need to switch to a top bearing router bit...but due to the odd shape, I'm interested in ideas to keep my fingers safe and the piece secure....there may be days that I need to duplicate 10-20 or more of these at a time. I have another small item that has a curve on 3-4 sides of a rectangle approximately 4-1/2" x 5-1/2". I think a single toggle clamp would hold this one...so I'm not as concerned.
Before I write a book, I guess my questions are as follows:[LIST][*]1. Do you think the above mentioned pattern jig would work for these items?[*]2. Do you think I need a separate jig for each side?[*]3. Are there any other safety or production concerns that I should be concerned about?
- 4. I've been trimming the waste with the scroll saw to within 1/8-3/8" of the finished piece. Should I use a larger (wider bit than the 3/8"?
Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. I've thrown a lot out here...it's difficult for me to explain without offering a lot of details...I jumped in and got started...but if I'm going to be duplicating a significant number of pieces, I want to be both safe and efficient.