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Have you ever???

1478 Views 10 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  kp91
Been so frustrated you wanna throw your project out??? I’m working on a walnut cutting board and I wanted to put a groove on the one side for the juices to run into, so I put a cove bit in. Practiced by running scraps through my router table and everything was fine till I went to put the groove in the cutting board. The bit jumped or caught something the wrong way and now my groove looks horrible and I just wanna throw it out except it’s a wedding present for my future in laws oldest daughter. These days make me feel like I don’t have the skill for this.
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could you increase the size of the grove...
can you post a picture of the incident???
Been so frustrated you wanna throw your project out???
What Stick said.

Actually, no I don't think I have. Been ticked off at times, but then set down and think, and either come up with a way to fix it, change it into something else, or cut it up, and use the pieces for something.
Was this an end grain cutting board? Some times the bit cuts differently depending on the grain orientation. End grain is harder to cut and smaller depths of cut seem to work better,and creep up to the depth you want. How did you set up? Were you using a plunge router freehand, did you use a template,an edge guide? a jig of some sort to keep the router under control.

To answer your question, Yes I have done that. To correct the boo-boo, I routed an enlarged "pocket where I messed up to make it look like it was intended and hooked to the juice groove.

It seems like anymore I always have to go into "Save Mode" in my projects to keep them from ending up in the scrap bin.

I hope you can save it,
Agree with @Stick486 - perhaps you can increase the width of the groove. Other alternative, if the board is wide enough, can you take a slice off, then try the groove again. A picture would help analyse better.
Yes, I have. Many years ago when I started wood working I made a pair of sconces from plans from Popular Mechanics. I was routing the internal edges of the decorative top. The bit caught the grain and fractured the wood. I tossed it aside and made another one. As a wood worker, I later looked at the damage with fresh eyes and was able to glue the fracture and with a little sanding was able to repair it. My daughter has them a probably does not know they were “seconds”.

It sounds like the board jumped and not the bit. Are you using feather boards? If not use one in front of the bit and one behind the bit as well as two to hold it tight to the fence.
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What everyone else said. I've routed juice grooves in cutting boards along with groves in the edges so you have something to hold onto when moving the board. For the juice groove, I use a template double sided taped to the board and use a bit with a bearing to ride along the edge of the template. For the edge cuts I use the router table. I set up stop blocks for the beginning and end of the cut. I also clamp a board parallel to the fence offset by the thickness of the cutting board. This way I can lower the board onto the bit against the "start" stop block and slide it until I hit the ending stop block. All the time the clamped board keeps the cutting board flat against the fence. I do this in either two or three passes depending on whether I'm cutting into edge grain or end grain.

Since you didn't post a picture it's tough to suggest a solution but like Herb suggested, if you've only cut one groove, enlarge it and turn the defect into a feature.

If you haven't solved the problem yet, post a picture so we can suggest other solutions.

Don't get frustrated. Even master woodworkers make mistakes. They just know how to cover them up. I'm no master but I've made my share of mistakes, like, in most of my projects but i have learned a lot of tricks to fix it enough that it works in the end.
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Are you sure that you moved the router in the correct direction?

Did you use a straight edge clamp as a guide or did you make a template to follow?

I like the template way for this and have made several. Since they require using a router bushing and following on the inside of the template (which is opposite from routing around the outside), I always mark an arrow on the template to remind me that it's an inside cut and needs to be routed in the opposite direction.

End grain routing is full of surprises. Even when doing it all correct, you can still make firewood very quickly. As the others suggested, see if you can make a wider groove or thin the board enough to save it. Figure out why it failed, and then do it a better way on the second try. In most cases, there are ways to save the piece. You just need to rethink your methods and what went wrong, then find a way out of the problem.

That is part of woodworking. Complaining about knots, difficult grain, cracks and shakes is like a sailor complaining about waves. I don't like to get too attached to a project. When something like that happens I look at it as a learning experience. It gives me the knowledge to do it better the next time. But sometimes things have been known to go flying out my shop door followed by a string of cursing and expletives. I call them "whippers".(as in whip it into the trash). Don't give up though, adversity builds character.(or so I've been told).
Yup. Just like my golf game, I often times have to recover from my first attempt. Fixing a terrible mistake can sometimes be the highlight of a project, however!

Sometimes you just need to step back, catch your breath, and relax. If I try to push things further when I am frustrated it rarely works out. Fortunately I have a fire pit in the back yard to hide the evidence of my more spectacular failures.

<<To paraphrase Romans 7:19, I keep making the same stupid mistakes even though I know better!>>
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