Routing intricate shapes on the router table - Router Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Default Routing intricate shapes on the router table

Hi, this is my first post in Router Forums, though I have been lurking for a while and have been truly impressed by the quality of the posts I've read. I'm hoping someone can help with a problem I've been experiencing with routing intricate shapes in oak on the router table. The shape is so curved that that the router bit contact point is constantly changing from long grain to end grain, and back again.

I am using a template of the shape required, and a router bit with a top mounted bearing to follow the template which is, of course, attached to the oak with double sided tape. Twice now the wood has broken off when the bit encounters a transition from long grain to end grain. I should mention that the wood is 3/4" thick, but only 1/2' across at the break point.

I know I am doing something wrong for this to be happening, and yes I'm concerned about the safety aspect for sure as I'm really sentimentally attached to all my digits. I'm putting this project aside until I feel comfortable trying again, and won't do so unless some kind person in this forum can advise a better, safer method.

FYI, I have a Veritas router table, and a Bosch 2-1/4 H.P router setup. The bit is sharp and correctly adjusted for height and speed etc.

I'm looking forward to your assistance in this, and thanks in advance for any advise you can offer.

Best Regards

Roger Adams
Edmonton, Alberta
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 05:05 PM
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Hi Roger and welcome to the forum!

Can I take it from your handle that you were originally from my side of the pond?

Anyway might I make a suggestion about your problem. Borrowing from CNC practice; when machining delicate components with CNC routers it is common practice to run at low feed speeds and make the cut to depth in several passes. The penultimate cut (the onion skin cut because the thickness of web left is under 1mm) leaves the item(s) attached by a thin web which can be removed by a final, ultra slow pass, ideally one which does not pierce the adhesive layer. I know that this would be difficult to achieve in a hand router situation, but I know that it is possible to get to the onion skin stage with a hand router (I've used it for nested components a number of times) then to do 90% of the trimming before the parts start to move just leaving a small amount of hand cleaning to do.

BTW it helps if you have some form of dust extraction in use. Also spiral upflute cutters are less aggresive to the wood fibres so suffer less from break-out on delicate work


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 05:47 PM
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Phil has some good points.
I'd add that, especially for a novice, that table routing requires a lot more control than the hand router. And that contributes to the failure. Moreover, adhesive is near uesless to hold the work in a stress templet routing. The work has to be pinned or screwed to the templet lest it will fly away.
Clamps will only do if the work can be fenced in & immobilized x stops or cams (thinner than the stock). Expect success with a plunger (hand), collar and any new carbide straight faced cutter. Take the cut in stages; test on scrap to find the max bite/pass tolerance.
A new bigger templet may be required for hand routing. In that event, toggles can be employed.
Working on a publication now dealing with nothing but my experience with templets.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 04:14 AM
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 05:50 AM
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Just one more way you can also use your brass guide on your router table without the need to buy the higher price bits..

MLCS Katana Flush Trim / Pattern Routing - YouTube

Flush Trim Routing - YouTube

Router Workshop: rabbet bit pattern

Router Workshop: Router Tip Archive


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Last edited by bobj3; 01-29-2012 at 06:11 AM.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 07:12 AM
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couldn't you back cut very carfully in the back grain?? When the wood changes ? taking off most of it than go forward . That may help. Also take small cut's.

del schisler
port st. lucie, florida
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