Need advice for pattern holding & safety - Router Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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Default Need advice for pattern holding & safety

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.

Blessings,
Eldon
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 02:18 AM Thread Starter
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If there is an area of the site I've missed that has info on these questions, please point me to it...I'll continue to peruse...perhaps I've missed something. Thank you!
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 05:27 AM
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Elrod,
So you've got a pattern and pattern bit and a router, you now need to temporarily fix the pattern to the piece you need shaped, how you do this is up to you, I have used hot melt glue for many years for this just a few blobs, cutting patterns is far easier with a bottom bearing bit mounted in a router table, much safer and no chance of kickback, but if you are without one them you must do it freehand, use bench dog to hold down one end and rout to as far as you can, then turn around, always remember to rout in the proper direction, that is with the bit biting into the timber as you pull backwards.



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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 08:10 AM
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Have you ever considered a collet system like on porter cable routers for duplicating pieces? You can get base plates for all routers now, I've found them simple and useful with templates for cutting out shapes.

I'm making some business card holders using 1/2" thick red oak and since every piece is the same width and thickness I have made a jig that all I have to do is slide the wood into the jig clamp it make 2 passes since oak is fairly hard and also since there are tight inside corners I have to get into, but anyway I can do quite a few in no time and perfectly the same.

Safe, simple, easy. Let me know if it might help or interest you and I'll try to upload some pics.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by derek willis View Post
Elrod,
So you've got a pattern and pattern bit and a router, you now need to temporarily fix the pattern to the piece you need shaped, how you do this is up to you, I have used hot melt glue for many years for this just a few blobs, cutting patterns is far easier with a bottom bearing bit mounted in a router table, much safer and no chance of kickback, but if you are without one them you must do it freehand, use bench dog to hold down one end and rout to as far as you can, then turn around, always remember to rout in the proper direction, that is with the bit biting into the timber as you pull backwards.
So far I'm affixing the workpiece to the template with 4 screws. This works good on the "h" shaped item because I use the screw holes to attach it to another part. However, on other pieces, I'm thinking a jig and toggle clamp should work...maybe 2 jigs for an oblong/rectangular piece...or one jig with "keys" to alllow for easy adjustment between sizes.

I'm afraid the glue would peel the veneer on the plywood if near the edges and not sure how well/tight it would hold. Perhaps I could sand it off, but I'm not sure it would work in a production application. It's worked for you, so maybe I'm misunderstanding...or haven't clearly explained my application. Thank you for sharing you tips...always appreciated whether I can use them on this particular project or not!
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by woodjoiner View Post
Have you ever considered a collet system like on porter cable routers for duplicating pieces? You can get base plates for all routers now, I've found them simple and useful with templates for cutting out shapes.

I'm making some business card holders using 1/2" thick red oak and since every piece is the same width and thickness I have made a jig that all I have to do is slide the wood into the jig clamp it make 2 passes since oak is fairly hard and also since there are tight inside corners I have to get into, but anyway I can do quite a few in no time and perfectly the same.

Safe, simple, easy. Let me know if it might help or interest you and I'll try to upload some pics.
Thanks...it sounds interesting. I may have a use for it...it may be similar to what I'm looking to make. I'll have to look up the collet system. I'm not sure how it would work. Does it require a smaller template to create a larger finished piece? I may have forgot to mention, I'm doing this work on a router table. Again, I apologize for any ignorance...I'm new to the game.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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http://www.finewoodworking.com/Skill....aspx?id=31278

Many have probably seen this (can't post a link, but here's the address)...it looked like a good jig for some of what I need...just not sure about the shaped piece. I will research some of the other threads some more...I'm thinking there is a decent chance someone has addressed this or a similar issue here before....

Last edited by Mark; 03-24-2011 at 06:06 PM. Reason: fixed link
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 11:55 AM
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Is it something you feel you have to do on a table?

Not quite sure what exactly your trying to accomplish but would like to know, please explain, that is if it's not a trade secret, I'd like to help for sure.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2011, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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No trade secret...I just need two more posts and I'll post a picture of the item I'm most concerned about right now.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2011, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by woodjoiner View Post
Is it something you feel you have to do on a table?

Not quite sure what exactly your trying to accomplish but would like to know, please explain, that is if it's not a trade secret, I'd like to help for sure.
I think it would be more difficult to do with the router overhead. I need to cut 360 degrees around the piece...and completely relieve it from it's original spot. I'm using a flush trim bit to do so. I've looked at some people's "skis" on here and though they look like their good for engraving, I'm not sure how efficient they would be for what I'm doing. Again, I"m new to this...and not aware of all the techniques. I want to do many of the same piece...so I'd like to be able to duplicate them fairly quickly...maybe 5 minutes each if that's reasonable. I'll take a pic and post it soon.
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