Can't get the hang of template routing - Router Forums
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Default Can't get the hang of template routing

New user here, looking for tips from someone more experienced about how to use a template and guide bushing without damaging the workpiece.

I am trying to make the Ron Paulk Total Station workbench. It requires routing several large rectangular holes, about 18" by 6", with round ends, using a template and guide bushings.

So far, I have ruined three templates and three workpieces. It seems that while rounding the six inch diameter half circles, the router leaves the template and gouges the template or the workpieces. I can't seem to get the hang of how to keep the router down against the template while also pressing it toward the template as it goes around the curve. The harder I try to push down and toward the template, the more likely the router is to jump. But, if I don't push down and toward the template, the router walks inward away from the template.

Is the guide bushing depth of about (3/16") is too short for the template depth of 1/2"?

Would making the template thinner (1/4") help? Or thicker (3/4") and switching the guide bushing to the longer one (9/16")? I think if I go thicker then my bit won't reach all the way through the workpiece and I'll have to rout from both sides. Not sure I can do this and keep everything aligned.

Do I need to keep the same side of the router facing the template as I go around the curve?

I am also wondering if putting some template wood in the center of the oval template would help, to keep the router from tipping toward the center?

I am to the point where I am trying to figure out how to make the workbench without using a router, since I am so bad at it.

I would consider buying a better router like the Bosch 1617 but only have the budget right now for the workbench, not for the router.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions. I am new to woodworking and want to get past this frustrating learning curve.

BTW, I tried to include URL's for the project and the guide bushings but the forum won't let me until I make 10 posts(?)

Project: Ron Paul Total workstation

Router: Skil 1835 (inherited from Dad)

Template router base and bushings: Milescraft 1201

Router bit: 1/2" straight cut
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 11:39 AM
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Welcome to the forum. When you get a chance you could edit your profile so we have a name to refer to you with instead of Hey You. I first though t you might be using an down cut spiral because of the lifting but you are using a straight bit. Does it have a down shear cutting action? The 3/16" guide isn't a lot but it should be enough but it sounds like you may be pushing hard to get the router to cut. Personally I would probably rough cut out the holes with a jigsaw and only leave 1/16 to 1/4" for the router to trim off. Routers are harder to control when you are cutting with the full diameter of the bit. Routers are best at trimming and profiling, they aren't the best tool for removing waste.

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 43 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 01:24 PM
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Feed direction is part of the problem. If you are feeding the router in the correct direction it actually pulls the router tight to the template.

http://www.routerforums.com/portable...m-routing.html

Making sure you have a plunge bit is important. Not all straight cutters can plunge, there is usually a tiny cutter on the bottom.

You are on the right track with a scrap in the center to keep the router from tipping.

Practice on cheap stock, you'll get the bugs worked out fast
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 02:12 PM
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From your description, it appears you are not rough cutting the holes with a jig saw. Personally, I would cut out the holes to within 1/8 to 1/16" of the line and then use the router and template to clean up the edge. The router is a great tool for many things but it makes a terrible saw.

I know that removes the center part that you are using for support to prevent tipping but there are other ways to do that. I would make sure the work piece is always between the bit and you. This makes it easier to place weight on the supported side of the router base as you can pull the router tight against the template while pressing down. For doing a hole, that means stopping the router and moving several times. Or, you could do it on a router table with a lot more control but I assume you don't have one.

You can still plunge a "non-plunging" bit by working it back and forth a little as you push down.

As doug said, you should avoid climb cutting - the easiest way to remember this is the router should be resisting the direction you move in. If it's pulling you along, you're going the wrong way. Going the correct direction will cause the router to pull tight against the template. If you are climb cutting it will try to pull away from the template.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 02:33 PM
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@kglade

I will assume that your template is not in the center of the hole but on the perimeter, so that you are cutting out the inner portion of the "circle".
If that is the case, I would suggest that you cut most of the waste (the inside portion of the cutout) with a jigsaw - then using the template, route the rest of it.

What's most important is the feed direction - are you routing clockwise around the circle - that's the proper direction that will tend to pull the router towards the template.

Some folks call me Vince - other folks call me...........
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 06:08 PM
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If you rough cut the center out, you don't need a plunge bit. The most important advice here is the direction you are cutting. always cut against the rotation of the bit. Don't back up and try to clean up the cut, always go the right direction. the bit will pull you tight to the template. Like everyone says, the router has a mind of its own if you go the wrong direction. And cut out the hole with a saber saw then clean it up with a template and router.

Herb
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 06:22 PM
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you may be climb cutting...

.
Attached Thumbnails
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Attached Files
File Type: pdf R1 ROUTER SAFETY 1.pdf (73.3 KB, 133 views)
File Type: pdf R1 ROUTER FEED DIRECTION 5.pdf (54.6 KB, 130 views)
File Type: pdf R1 ROUTER FEED DIRECTION 2.pdf (90.0 KB, 154 views)
File Type: pdf R1 ROUTER SAFETY 2.pdf (34.4 KB, 125 views)

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 06:24 PM
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have some more..
Attached Files
File Type: pdf R2 Routing for beginners - Lesson - 5.pdf (4.36 MB, 129 views)
File Type: pdf R2 Routing for Beginners - Lesson - 4.pdf (1.14 MB, 152 views)
File Type: pdf R2 Routing for Beginners - Lesson - 3.pdf (856.1 KB, 106 views)
File Type: pdf R2 Routing for Beginners - Lesson - 2.pdf (1.36 MB, 110 views)
File Type: pdf R2 Routing for Beginners - Lesson - 1.pdf (1.50 MB, 141 views)
kp91 likes this.

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the tips. I will experiment some more over the weekend.

I am routing with the proper feed direction, so that isn't it, but as a couple of you correctly guessed I am NOT pre-cutting with the saber saw.
I was (foolishly?) following the video of Ron Paulk making the parts and he just uses his router and template. I guess he is a professional so makes it look easy.
@Doug , I didn't know that some bits can't plunge, but the bit I have plunges well so I guess I got lucky when I bought it.
@vince , yes, I am cutting out the center, and will try your jigsaw suggestion.
@Phil , I do have a router table but don't know how to use it or how it might help.
@stick , thanks for the router pdf's. I will study them.

I will try to pre-cut with the saber saw and then rout.

Thanks, again, to all for the tips and ideas. It is nice to have found a forum with people who are willing to answer my novice questions!

Ken
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 07:52 PM
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@kglade ...

FWIW....
if you use @ deal to address who you want to speak to you need to use their correct full screen name for the notice to work correctly...
if you you don't your notification will be redirected to someone else...
on the left is the name you used and on the right is the one you need to use...
@Doug , @kp91 .. @vince , @vchiarelli ... @Phil , @PhilBa ... @stick , @Stick486 ..

now since you liked those PDF's so well here are few more...

.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf R3 Guide to Router Collets.pdf (163.0 KB, 117 views)
File Type: pdf R3 Collet_Maintenance.pdf (86.2 KB, 108 views)
File Type: pdf R3 Care and Sharpening of Router Bits.pdf (123.5 KB, 110 views)
File Type: pdf R3 STUCK ROUTER BITS.pdf (117.1 KB, 115 views)
File Type: pdf R3 Router Maintenance.pdf (501.1 KB, 109 views)
File Type: pdf R3 How a Collet Works.pdf (183.7 KB, 121 views)
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This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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