Originally Posted by WurliTzerwilly View Post
It's not dangerous to lower the work piece onto the bit, as long as you are aware of what you're doing and keep a firm grip on the piece. It's a perfectly normal way of making blind dadoes. Google for videos or take a look at Somerfeld Tools. His videos show most things being carried out on a router table. You will need some form of fence and stop block/s or marks on the fence to guide you to the lowering point and the stopping point.
+1 to a point...
I can't say it's right for others... But I do it. For instance- creating a slot while using a router table. I've done the same with Table saws. But with certain technique and precaution. I also use a foot switch so I can kill it at any time without needing to use my hands.
If it will be a small workpiece I usually start out in a bigger piece that I am going to cut down to size later. Or I put it in a jig to hold it. Sometimes I'l clamp it in a router sled or coping sled.
Then I set my fence to where it needs to be in reference to the edge. (If not using a sled) After that, I mark my fence for the starting point and stopping point references. I then set fence stops.
I set the depth to 1/16 inch to start. Lower the work and start the cut (hands nowhere near the bit.) The hardest it that first cut. I don't take big bites.
The DC on my router table will clear chips from down below. I sued to have problem with even standard dado's on the router table until I fixed the DC on that table.
On my panel saw I can clamp the work to my slider, turn on the saw with the blade down. Raise the blade slightly. Move the slider. (marks on magnetic backed PVC tape on my table.Adjust the depth. Hit one of the kill switches to when done to stop.
Once down, I kill the machine before lifting it up. (RT or saw)
I've also done by raising and lowering the bit from the workpiece...
But as you've said, easier and safer when you can see what you are doing (overhead router or freehand router). BJ
I guess I don't see that as abnormal (right or wrong) as that's how I was taught by my mentors years ago.
Would like to hear more "reasoning" on the why not. Maybe I've been doing that wrong all these years. I never claimed to know everything, just what I've been exposed to. I could be wrong. I just need to hear the logic in that. Please educate me.
Added after: http://www.woodsmithtips.com/2010/10/14/rout-a-slot/