Finishing (routing the last 2-3 inches) of longer pieces - Router Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Default Finishing (routing the last 2-3 inches) of longer pieces

About a year ago my brother shows up with a router table and sticks it in my garage where it has sat relatively untouched (minus moving it around a few times to make room for the table saw) for about a year now. I recently finished up work on a custom built book case and shelving unit and when all was said and done I realized that my next project would be a set of end tables. With that in mind I decided this would be a good time to put the router table to use and attempt to get a little more ornate than I have with previous projects.

That being the case, tonight I fired up the router and began playing with it. I have used a router before but never a table mounted one which leads me to my question (yeah I know it takes me a while to get there but context is important).

Working with 3/4 inch stock (basically some old 1 x 4 scraps, I determined that everything goes well until the point that I get right to the end of my board, at which point the stock raises up slightly and moves away from the fence, resulting in a very ugly ending to an otherwise decent attempt. After some research I determined that what I need are a couple of feather boards that would allow me to keep the stock both down on the bit, and up against the fence without running the risk of losing a finger or two in the process. I am also under the assumption that the feather boards would allow for a more precise cut along the length of the stock as you aren't relying on the consistency of your own hand pressure through the entire board.

As with anything I expect that there are tricks of the trade that I am not aware of, to solve not only my current issue with the final several inches of the board, but many other headaches which might be encountered, so I figured I would ask those who have likely already been through this.

So what tips of tricks might you offer for this issue so keep the entire length of the stock as uniform as possible? Any and all suggestions are certainly welcome.

Thank you,
Daniel Buffington
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 01:17 AM
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Welcome to the RouterForums Daniel.




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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 01:50 AM
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Greetings Danial and welcome to the router forum. Thank you for joining us.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 08:21 AM
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Daniel, is the board being supported as it leaves the table, this is essential with a long board so that the weight of the overhang doesn't raise the board near the cutter. Many members do use feather boards but I seldom do, a little practice and it becomes easy to keep downward pressure at the same time as pressure against the fence. If you intend to use long narrow "boards", then forget what I just said, feather boards or similar are essential in order to keep fingers well away from the cutter. Happy and safe routing.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 09:48 AM
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Harry, it is very good to have you back full time. I have noticed your very active contributing to this forum over past several days.

Daniel, Welcome to the forum. With people like Harry you have found a treasure trove of experience and wisdom. You did not mention push sticks or push blocks, so I hope I am not insulting you in suggesting that a push stick or block might solve your problem and keep your fingers away from the router bit. Your profile does not include where you are located so I am not sure it is helpful to you to tell you where I got what I use, except for the brief moments of inattention. I use the MLCS collection Item #9167. I know there are other suppliers who offer similar products.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 02:55 PM
 
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I have three words for you - fingerboard, fingerboard, fingerboard. Buy a couple, make a couple, whatever you need to do. That will solve your problem.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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I did make an attempt at using push sticks and blocks last night (while butchering the last 4 inches of a fair number of 1x4's. The results were better but when it comes to these things I can be a bit of a perfectionist. So about 3 AM this morning in occured to me that in some cases you could simply cut the mistake off the end, especially if you were going to have to put a miter in it anyway, but I am still somewhat disturbed at how much more difficult I am finding it in the table as opposed to when using the router by hand.

I updated my profile and there isn't much in the way of wood working specialty stores around here, in fact outside of the standard box stores, there are only a handful of true lumber yards left. So instead of getting fancy on the end tables I plan to build I may dress them up with some more simple items, and stick to the standard rounding of the edges and maybe cut some channels which I can then lay some decorative trim pieces in.

I determined last night after playing with the table and setup some more that the router which is under the table is quite possibly older than myself, and the table itself (in fact the entire brand for the most part) gets some very unfavorable reviews from the internet masses, as well as myself once I got to actually looking it over and determined there are things that really need to be changed.

So that got me to thinking about the sheets of 3/4 inch plywood I have sitting over by the wall of which at least a half sheet is "scrap" after the next project is done. With some MDF being purchased I think I could build the top without to much trouble, and perhaps employ the assistance of someone more well versed than myself to lend a hand in getting the plate mounted and the required openings cut. After looking at some of the tables that have been built on here as well as those offered by rockler/woodpecker etc, I will have to price out materials and see if it is cheaper to build or buy.

For the moment I am going to stick with the hand held version until such a time as I can get a table/fence that is stable and do some more practicing on the scrap wood pile I have in the garage. Thanks for the replies fellas, and I am sure I will back with more questions soon.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sooner View Post
I did make an attempt at using push sticks and blocks last night (while butchering the last 4 inches of a fair number of 1x4's. The results were better but when it comes to these things I can be a bit of a perfectionist. So about 3 AM this morning in occured to me that in some cases you could simply cut the mistake off the end, especially if you were going to have to put a miter in it anyway, but I am still somewhat disturbed at how much more difficult I am finding it in the table as opposed to when using the router by hand.

I updated my profile and there isn't much in the way of wood working specialty stores around here, in fact outside of the standard box stores, there are only a handful of true lumber yards left. So instead of getting fancy on the end tables I plan to build I may dress them up with some more simple items, and stick to the standard rounding of the edges and maybe cut some channels which I can then lay some decorative trim pieces in.

I determined last night after playing with the table and setup some more that the router which is under the table is quite possibly older than myself, and the table itself (in fact the entire brand for the most part) gets some very unfavorable reviews from the internet masses, as well as myself once I got to actually looking it over and determined there are things that really need to be changed.

So that got me to thinking about the sheets of 3/4 inch plywood I have sitting over by the wall of which at least a half sheet is "scrap" after the next project is done. With some MDF being purchased I think I could build the top without to much trouble, and perhaps employ the assistance of someone more well versed than myself to lend a hand in getting the plate mounted and the required openings cut. After looking at some of the tables that have been built on here as well as those offered by rockler/woodpecker etc, I will have to price out materials and see if it is cheaper to build or buy.

For the moment I am going to stick with the hand held version until such a time as I can get a table/fence that is stable and do some more practicing on the scrap wood pile I have in the garage. Thanks for the replies fellas, and I am sure I will back with more questions soon.
Daniel, have you considered using skis? One thing of which I am not sure is how long your pieces are.

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The RouterForums member formerly known as mftha or th-alton
"Teach your children what we have taught ours, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children."
-attributed to Chief Seattle of the Native American Suquamish Tribe
  • Wood working, especially router work is too much fun to let "disabilities" get in the way.
  • see MEBCWD's signature line; be certain brain is properly powered up and engaged
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-04-2009, 12:20 AM
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Hi Daniel, welcome to the forums.

I think Harry hit on your problem right off. I have a small, 20", benchtop table and I get that on longer pieces, even with feather/finger boards on both the table and the fence. I use the feather boards on almost everything anyway but once I get 4 or 5 ft of 1x hanging out there it is gonna snipe some. Can you jerry rig a feed out table? Doesn't have to be fancy to test the theory, just some boxes stacked up to the table height or slightly below?

I don't think it is going to take an awful lot of research to conclude that it will be more cost effective to build a table. You have got a Woodcraft Supply outlet in Tulsa as well as innumerable sources on the internet. You also have a leg up on building a table in that you are already somewhat familiar with using a table and what you want to do with it.
Good Luck and keep us posted

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-04-2009, 12:30 AM
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HI Daniel

A simple 2" x 4" clamped to the fence will do the job..

The 2 x 4 must clean and true..it will act like a feather but it will keep it down at the start and at the end of the pass..
You can also clamp one to the top of the table to keep it up to the fence
========



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sooner View Post
About a year ago my brother shows up with a router table and sticks it in my garage where it has sat relatively untouched (minus moving it around a few times to make room for the table saw) for about a year now. I recently finished up work on a custom built book case and shelving unit and when all was said and done I realized that my next project would be a set of end tables. With that in mind I decided this would be a good time to put the router table to use and attempt to get a little more ornate than I have with previous projects.

That being the case, tonight I fired up the router and began playing with it. I have used a router before but never a table mounted one which leads me to my question (yeah I know it takes me a while to get there but context is important).

Working with 3/4 inch stock (basically some old 1 x 4 scraps, I determined that everything goes well until the point that I get right to the end of my board, at which point the stock raises up slightly and moves away from the fence, resulting in a very ugly ending to an otherwise decent attempt. After some research I determined that what I need are a couple of feather boards that would allow me to keep the stock both down on the bit, and up against the fence without running the risk of losing a finger or two in the process. I am also under the assumption that the feather boards would allow for a more precise cut along the length of the stock as you aren't relying on the consistency of your own hand pressure through the entire board.

As with anything I expect that there are tricks of the trade that I am not aware of, to solve not only my current issue with the final several inches of the board, but many other headaches which might be encountered, so I figured I would ask those who have likely already been through this.

So what tips of tricks might you offer for this issue so keep the entire length of the stock as uniform as possible? Any and all suggestions are certainly welcome.

Thank you,
Daniel Buffington



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Last edited by bobj3; 11-04-2009 at 12:33 AM.
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