feeding between fence and bit - Router Forums
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-09-2009, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
gav
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Default feeding between fence and bit

Is it ever recommended to feed wood between the fence and the bit ?
I did it a few times once when I quickly mounted my router up side down through my workbench, but it ended badly due to me feeding in the wrong direction and my hand ( I know) being quickly pulled toward the bit.
So I learnt that I should feed in the other direction if I was ever going to do that again.
Should I be doing that at all ? When it worked, it worked well at making a smooth straight edge.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-09-2009, 12:42 PM
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Gavin, feeding between the fence and the bit is never a safe, recommended practice. You NEVER want the wood to be trapped between the bit and fence. On the router table, feeding from right to left is always the correct, safe direction. Some may say that back routing (left to right on a table) is ok on some occasions, but I don't recommend it. Ever!

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Last edited by curiousgeorge; 11-09-2009 at 12:45 PM.
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-09-2009, 06:54 PM
 
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Please do Not feed any wood between the router bit and the fence. Most router fences have a gap where the bit should be and it's to easy for the wood to get trapped in the gap. Let the forum know what kind of cut your trying to make. I'm sure someone here can show you a better and safer way of making the cut without placing the wood between the fence and bit.
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-09-2009, 07:20 PM
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Under NO circumstance should your workpiece be between the bit and the fence. There has been way too many incidents this entire yr, (and the yr ain't over yet).

Back routing or climb cuts are sometimes necessary but, even these aren't recommended without taking certain precautions.

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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 12:20 AM
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Gav, what you describe is known is a climb cut. My first router, that I abandoned because it ceased to hold router bits (two were launched into what I presume is low earth orbit) came with a manual that extolled the virtues of climb cutting. The cut edge may be smoother and have a distinct finish. What the manual failed to mention was the danger associated with climb cutting. My second router, the Makita 3612C, came with a manual that warned against climb cutting. Part of the terminal segment of my left forefinger was turned into some resembling unprocessed hamburger in far, far less time than it took to type even one word when in one unthinking moment I did a climb cut. The workpiece shot away and my finger made contact with the spinning router bit. I am very fortunate that there was no damage to the joint or tendons, but weeks of rinsing with hydrogen peroxide and bandaging in such a way as to eliminate joint flexibility have left me now, weeks past two years, with a forefinger with limited flexibility. Based on what I have seen in the shop safety forum, I consider myself very fortunate. Thus please for you own safety, and the safety of anyone or anything that might be in line of fire of the workpiece, please heed the words of curiousgeorge, steelbreeze, and Hamlin. There is also an extensive discussion in the thread Direction of Feed. Far too many injuries far worse than mine have been described, sometimes with graphic photos, are described in Shop Safety, and few of these are attributable to climb cuts. Bottom line: climb cuts are very dangerous without proper precautions including deliberate planning and very tightly holding down the workpiece and using push blocks or push pads that keep fingers and all other body parts far, far away from the spinning router bit.

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 01:28 AM
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+1 on Tom's post.. remember:

"Just because you've done it for years without injury doesn't protect you the next time you do it!"

Please be safe...

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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 04:05 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I haven't done it again since mildly injuring my finger the first time ( I got of easy). At the time is was my only choice for trying to put a nice straight clean edge on a piece of wood as I didn't have a router table and was simply using a straight edge clamped to my work bench with the router mounted underneath.
I only ask now because there is a video on youtube called 'Mr.jeffreys 3rd world machine shop' This guy looks to be running a great program to help people in Africa(forgot which country exactly) avoid having there bodies worn out by the age of 10 through traditional workworking practice.
You need to watch the video to see what he's up to. One thing I noticed is that he's got them running wood between the bit and the fence going against the rotation of the bit. Presumably using the set up as a jointer.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 11:21 AM
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Guys, does this include using the router table to dado a groove in a piece where part of the piece is behind the bit against the fence and part in front of the bit?

I had created a dado in a piece and made the mistake of doing a cleanup pass on the side closest to the fence and had it throw my piece of MDF and dent the drywall.
It just had not occurred to me that I would only be catching material on the back side of the bit and it would yank away from me.
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gav View Post
Well, I haven't done it again since mildly injuring my finger the first time ( I got of easy). At the time is was my only choice for trying to put a nice straight clean edge on a piece of wood as I didn't have a router table and was simply using a straight edge clamped to my work bench with the router mounted underneath.
I only ask now because there is a video on youtube called 'Mr.jeffreys 3rd world machine shop' This guy looks to be running a great program to help people in Africa(forgot which country exactly) avoid having there bodies worn out by the age of 10 through traditional workworking practice.
You need to watch the video to see what he's up to. One thing I noticed is that he's got them running wood between the bit and the fence going against the rotation of the bit. Presumably using the set up as a jointer.
OK, I think I'm beginning to understand. He is running it between the bit and the fence and running it left to right. The way I see it is that is only marginally, if at all, better than going the other way. One tough spot, knot, hiccup, whatever will shoot that board right back at the operator. Board is goin someplace and it only has one direction available doing it that way.
My table introduced me to kickback awhile ago. I plowed a 1/4" slot in some 5.2 mm plywood about 8" long and 3" wide. Decided I really wanted a 5/16" so instead of moving the fence a bit, I just put a 5/16" bit in. This was a stopped slot so I was plunging it. Soon as that ply hit the bit the router shot it against a wall and bounced it off so far took 20 min to find it. How's that go? "We all just one decision away from stupid". About the only reason I didn't get personally involved with the bit is I have developed a work habit over the years that I seldom have a very tight grip on a workpiece when feeding it.
Sounds like Mr Jeffries is replacing worn out bodies with mangled ones

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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 12:27 PM
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Gav,
I have seen the video where Bob Rosendahl does feed the stock between the fence and the bit. It was to cut a dado and his reasoning was that the spriral bit he was using was cutting on both sides of the bit. Of course he was feeding it from right to left. He is the pro and I guess he knows how to do it. I personally would only do a climb cut using the router hand held with the work piece securely fastened to the bench.
Joe Z.

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