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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Default Another newbie introduction and question

My name is Eric and I have been recently introducing myself to amazing world of routing. It started with my purchase of the Dewalt DW618 3-base router kit a month ago and then just last week, I picked up a used but in great condition Veritas table top and stand, with fence and sled. With the 3-base kit, I'm planning on just leaving the fixed-base in the table top most of the time - it's very easy to just pop the router motor in and out of the base - because I have the plunge-base and D-handle base if I need to use the router without the stand. I used the table top for the first time last night and found it all pretty easy to use.

My learning from using the table top last night is that using the router for jointing on the shortside of a board is tricky. And the next time I do it, I should use the sled. I was trying to shave off 1/16" all around a board roughly 6x20" to get a nice smooth edge. So I thought I try to do this with the router on the table top. The long 20" sides were easy to do, but the short 6" sides were tricky to do - they were just too short to easily keep pressure from one side of the fence to the other side. It was only after that I realized, hmm, maybe I should have used the sled.

Anyway, I'm still learning. I've done some reading and looking on the internet to try to learn how to use the router and table. Any pointers for how I could have done what I was trying to do more easily?

Thanks!
Eric
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 06:27 PM
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I have had one of those tables for 10 years or more and it is a very good table. I don't have the fence or sled, I just use homemade although one of my uncles has the table and fence and it is very nice. As far as a sled, I just use a good square piece of ply or mdf scrap that is big enough to hold my work stable and slide both along the fence. Using this method also gives some protection against bolwout when the bit starts to emerge from your piece. Sometimes the router bit will try to push the piece away from the fence. If you have that problem clamp the sled and workpiece together with an F clamp. The clamp also works as a handle while you push.

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 #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 06:38 PM
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Greetings Eric,

Welcome to The Router Forums.

When you talk about 'jointing the short side of a board', I think you are talking about working with the 'end grain'. I have had good results working all 6 sides of a board when using a table mounted router.

Working with the edges (i assume this is what you referred to as the long side) is very similar to working with the face and back.

Smoothing out end grain is a much more challenging task.

Different people have different opinions on how they think it is best to do this. I don't have any interest in trying it free hand, but know people who do it that way. In my case, I think the router would be all over the place. I will probably give it a try on Skis when I get my first set built up.

Thank you for taking the time to join up and introduce yourself. This is a great place to exchange ideas and information on how to get the most out of your router!

wbh1963 is flowing with the grain in Arlington, Washington, USA

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Chuck. Thanks for the suggestion. I've already decided I need to get more and better clamps as I get more into woodworking. I'm assuming you can never have enough clamps :-).

Hi Bill. I was working with a piece of MDF so there really wasn't a "grain" per se. My problem was that with only a 6" surface, I wasn't able to smoothly keep pressure against the fence as the wood passed from the right side of the bit to the left side. But I have the Veritas right angle sled and I think I should have used it to push the board along the fence. I don't have any experience with any other router table so I don't know how you would do this on another table.

Eric
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 07:30 PM
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I see! I don't know if feather boarding from the top down would have made any difference at all, given the drift in question was away from the fence and not up from the tabletop.

Some sort of 'uber push stick' could be of help in handling smaller pieces like this. Perhaps 4" or so wide and 16" or so long, out of 1/2" or 3/4" flat stock. Cutting a rectangle out of that along the lines of 12" long by 1/2" to 1" deep would allow a 'loose, but firm enough' grip with increased leverage to maintain pressure against the fence. A moving jaw could be added that closed gap and allowed a secure grip of the work piece.

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Hi Bill. I was working with a piece of MDF so there really wasn't a "grain" per se. My problem was that with only a 6" surface, I wasn't able to smoothly keep pressure against the fence as the wood passed from the right side of the bit to the left side. But I have the Veritas right angle sled and I think I should have used it to push the board along the fence. I don't have any experience with any other router table so I don't know how you would do this on another table.
Eric

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auricle View Post
Hi Chuck. Thanks for the suggestion. I've already decided I need to get more and better clamps as I get more into woodworking. I'm assuming you can never have enough clamps :-).


Eric
As some members here say you can't have too many routers or too many bits, I also say you can't have too many clamps. I have about a hundred I am guessing and I use them all depending on the job. The ones I use the most are 4" and 6" F clamps. I have about 20 of them and occasionally that is barely enough. I read some years ago that the most common reason for joint failure is overclamping causing glue starvation from excessive squeeze-out. So you do not need a a lot of clamps that will exert 1000lbs of pressure. Light duty aluminum beam clamps, quick grip types, and lighter duty F clamps will work fine most of the time. Pipe clamps are good when you occasionally need a little more pressure and by adding pipe couplings to extra pipe you can extend the reach as long as needed. I had 12' on mine once. If you do like I have, every time you see some on sale buy a few.

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 #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 02:06 PM
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Default Jointing with a Table Mount Router

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auricle View Post
My name is Eric and I have been recently introducing myself to amazing world of routing. It started with my purchase of the Dewalt DW618 3-base router kit a month ago and then just last week, I picked up a used but in great condition Veritas table top and stand, with fence and sled. With the 3-base kit, I'm planning on just leaving the fixed-base in the table top most of the time - it's very easy to just pop the router motor in and out of the base - because I have the plunge-base and D-handle base if I need to use the router without the stand. I used the table top for the first time last night and found it all pretty easy to use.

My learning from using the table top last night is that using the router for jointing on the shortside of a board is tricky. And the next time I do it, I should use the sled. I was trying to shave off 1/16" all around a board roughly 6x20" to get a nice smooth edge. So I thought I try to do this with the router on the table top. The long 20" sides were easy to do, but the short 6" sides were tricky to do - they were just too short to easily keep pressure from one side of the fence to the other side. It was only after that I realized, hmm, maybe I should have used the sled.

Anyway, I'm still learning. I've done some reading and looking on the internet to try to learn how to use the router and table. Any pointers for how I could have done what I was trying to do more easily?

Thanks!
Eric

Welcome to the Forum Eric. I too have a Varitas Router table system. I have found it to be the easiest system to use. I am wondering what bit you are using to do your jointing?? I have found that an upcut or downcut spiral bit is the only answer to a very smooth and defined edge. I think you have a big advantage with the factory fence and sled. The micrometer fence adjustment is perfect for any job. I also wondered about using the fixed base under the table top; do you have enough up-down distance for bit adjustment height?? I have always used a plunge router, table mounted. It's so much easier to adjust in any situation, especially in your Varitas Table system. A Variable speed router with soft start is SO much better. Wishing you all the best and a lot of fun too.

"Even bad decisions make good stories"

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Default Jointing with a Table Mount Router

I was just using a 1/2" straight bit - nothing fancy. It worked well enough for what I was doing. I don't have any spiral bits (yet ) - something to look into. I gather you get a better clean edge with a spiral bit rather than just a straight bit?

Regarding the fixed base - the fixed based for my Dewalt DW618 has plenty of up/down distance and is very easy to adjust, even upside under the table. I disengage the locking lever and then just turn the depth adjustment ring to get to the desired depth and re-engage the locking lever. That said, I've not tried using the plunge base with the table - it seems like it would be more work to quickly adjust the depth but I'll try it one of these days.

One other thing I've found is that it's a lot easier to change bits by just dropping the motor out of the base and then changing bits, rather than trying to change bits with the motor in the base in the table. Dewalt did a good job of making it easy to pop the motor out of the base.

Eric

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcfunburst View Post
Welcome to the Forum Eric. I too have a Varitas Router table system. I have found it to be the easiest system to use. I am wondering what bit you are using to do your jointing?? I have found that an upcut or downcut spiral bit is the only answer to a very smooth and defined edge. I think you have a big advantage with the factory fence and sled. The micrometer fence adjustment is perfect for any job. I also wondered about using the fixed base under the table top; do you have enough up-down distance for bit adjustment height?? I have always used a plunge router, table mounted. It's so much easier to adjust in any situation, especially in your Varitas Table system. A Variable speed router with soft start is SO much better. Wishing you all the best and a lot of fun too.
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