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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello and thanks for all the great info around here! I haven't done too much table routing but was working on a piece with my Metabo router and my DIY table. I was trying to make a dado in two matching pieces of cherry that were each 1.5" x about 30" long, in order to create a channel when they are attached. The dado would be 3/8" deep by 1" wide. I've included a little diagram of the pieces. I was using a bit that's 3/4" wide and had it raised 3/8" above the table and had the fence 1/4" from the blade.

The first pass worked mostly well getting about 3/4" of the total 1" I needed to remove. When I flipped the piece around, the second pass didn't go very well. It kept grabbing the piece and trying to pull it out of my hands. I think this is because having removed a lot of the material, most of what I was cutting was on the right side of the blade and so it kept snagging, a lot like when I use my handheld router and go the wrong way.

What did I do wrong and what should I do differently next time? Should I have switched and run the board in from the opposite side of the table? Was 3/4" too much to take off the first time since it only left 1/4" of material to remove? For the second piece I finished it with my table saw taking lots of passes (don't have a dado stack).

Thanks!

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Sounds like you were cutting into the grain, with the grain running inward, toward the bit. If I read your post right, you simply flipped the piece so the first pass was correct, but the second was not . That is never a safe practice.

It didn't grab like that on the first pass, correct? My solution would be to make the first pass on both pieces. Then reset the fence back a bit so it lines up with the second cut, then pass both pieces through in the same direction as the first pass.

Sounds like a splice joint is in the works, so you can make any adjustment to fit on the spline, rather than in the two main pieces. This should avoid any problem with exact dimensions.

Here's a quick explanation in an illustration.
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You ended up climb cutting in the second pass (see at 0:40 in video link below) This easily happens when you widen a cut on the router table and can be quite dangerous since the workpiece wants to pull out of your hands which then can end up in the router bit. Three different solutions, depending on experience.

1. If you feed normal right to left, aim for the layoutline closest to the fence in the first run, move the fence away from the workpiece to widen the cut in the second run. Don't flip the workpiece.

2. If you want to flip a piece to get the cut perfectly symetric, start with a fence setting so you cut your layout line furthest away from the fence in the first run. Flip the piece and run the second pass without moving the fence.

3. If cutting your closest to the fence layout line in the first run and want to flip the piece for symetry, feed left to right in the second pass. 2 is overall a better way since most people are used to feed right to left, but sometimes you just forget and aim for the wrong layout line in the first pass, then 3 is the solution.

 

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On that table, I'm not sure how you would do this, but getting multiple passes to wind up with exactly the same thickness is worth figuring out. I drilled a quarter inch hole on the left end of the tabble. Then a 1/4 inch hole under that end of the fence. With a 1/4 inch rod, connect the two holes. This gives you a pivoting point with a free swinging other end. You can use a pencil to mark the fence position for every cut, including the last one, so you can repeat the fence position for each piece.

On the table, I ALWAYS try to work with the good face down. Makes it easier to get any grooves in the right place so that the top glues up nice and flat all the way across with a minimum of sanding.
 

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On that table, I'm not sure how you would do this, but getting multiple passes to wind up with exactly the same thickness is worth figuring out. I drilled a quarter inch hole on the left end of the tabble. Then a 1/4 inch hole under that end of the fence. With a 1/4 inch rod, connect the two holes. This gives you a pivoting point with a free swinging other end. You can use a pencil to mark the fence position for every cut, including the last one, so you can repeat the fence position for each piece.

On the table, I ALWAYS try to work with the good face down. Makes it easier to get any grooves in the right place so that the top glues up nice and flat all the way across with a minimum of sanding.
I have a digital micro adjust with 25mm travel on my fence. Enough for most operations where I need to widen a cut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sounds like you were cutting into the grain...
Here's a quick explanation in an illustration.
Thanks, Tom, I hadn't thought about the grain, was so focused on setting up the cuts. I'll make sure to pay attention to that! Also did some template routing and had some problems that I eventually figured out was due to grain direction. Good idea to do the cuts in opposite order. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You ended up climb cutting in the second pass (see at 0:40 in video link below) This easily happens when you widen a cut on the router table and can be quite dangerous since the workpiece wants to pull out of your hands which then can end up in the router bit. Three different solutions, depending on experience.

1. If you feed normal right to left, aim for the layoutline closest to the fence in the first run, move the fence away from the workpiece to widen the cut in the second run. Don't flip the workpiece.

2. If you want to flip a piece to get the cut perfectly symetric, start with a fence setting so you cut your layout line furthest away from the fence in the first run. Flip the piece and run the second pass without moving the fence.

3. If cutting your closest to the fence layout line in the first run and want to flip the piece for symetry, feed left to right in the second pass. 2 is overall a better way since most people are used to feed right to left, but sometimes you just forget and aim for the wrong layout line in the first pass, then 3 is the solution.
Yep, that's exactly what I did! Those sound like good solutions. I was trying not to move anything in order to make sure everything stayed symmetrical but ended up causing myself more problems anyway. Was curious about #3 but hadn't seen anyone feed that direction so it felt weird, but #1 and #2 I'll use next time. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
On that table, I'm not sure how you would do this, but getting multiple passes to wind up with exactly the same thickness is worth figuring out. I drilled a quarter inch hole on the left end of the tabble. Then a 1/4 inch hole under that end of the fence. With a 1/4 inch rod, connect the two holes. This gives you a pivoting point with a free swinging other end. You can use a pencil to mark the fence position for every cut, including the last one, so you can repeat the fence position for each piece.

On the table, I ALWAYS try to work with the good face down. Makes it easier to get any grooves in the right place so that the top glues up nice and flat all the way across with a minimum of sanding.
I'll try with the pivoting fence. I built it with 2 T-tracks to make the fence slide, but now I realize that it doesn't need to be kept parallel like my table saw fence.

When pivoting the fence, where should I measure to determine how far in I'm going? Would that be from the center of the bit to the fence, or cutting edge closest to the in-feed side? I was trying to picture how this would work and if the out-feed needed to be the same distance or not (almost how a jointer works). But I couldn't quite picture it in my head. Thanks!
 
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