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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Usually only use my router for bigger projects, dados, shelves, etc., but trying to rout a pattern. My wife asked for some book page holders for her and the kids, like this: pic
I sketched out a design, and made a template out of 1/4" hardboard. I recently made a router table, so decided to use that with my flush trim router bit. If it matters, it's a top bearing bit, so in the table it was on the bottom. I have some 3/4" maple and I taped the template to it. I tried to make sure to move the piece into the router bit, moving the piece from left to right.
When I was doing some of the cuts, it worked really well. But on some of the cuts, the bit kept grabbing the piece. I think it may have something to do with going into the edge where the grain is, but I'm not good enough at reading the grain to figure it out. It just kept biting chunks out so I stopped. What was I doing wrong? Is there a way to go all the way around the pattern and not have this happen?
My other idea was to take the router out of the table and use a guide bushing or the flush trim bit. The problem with the flush trim bit is that since it's small, I'm not sure I can clamp everything down and still get close enough. With the guide bushing, I'm not sure how to secure the piece to go all the way around. Do people usually have scrap under the piece so they can plunge into that as well? And maybe some scrap pieces on the sides to hold it in place?
Thanks for any guidance, I don't have a ton of experience so never done anything like this before. I don't have a scroll or bandsaw, so I can't cut it out that way. Is the router a good way to do this project? Since I want to make several, I thought a pattern would make sense.
Have some bruised knuckles and ego, but hopefully I can work this out before Christmas. No pressure!! Thanks!
 

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The page holder is a cool idea, first I've seen it.

I'd say stay with the router table, easier to make a safe template etc for it. The holder has one big convex arc, 2 smaller concave arcs, and 3 rounded points. Do you have a bench belt or disc sander? It could handle all of the shapes except the concave parts.

About grain, say you have a template for the concave arcs, you are standing at the router table, the concave side is away from you, the bit is spinning counter clockwise. For the wing of the holder on the left the bit will dig into the end grain, think of the fur on a short haired dog's back, which way do you pet it? On the right wing it won't grab as much. So route the right wing, and since the holder is symmetrical you can flip it over on your pattern and route the 2nd side that is now on the right.
 

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Look at this lin
Usually only use my router for bigger projects, dados, shelves, etc., but trying to rout a pattern. My wife asked for some book page holders for her and the kids, like this: pic
I sketched out a design, and made a template out of 1/4" hardboard. I recently made a router table, so decided to use that with my flush trim router bit. If it matters, it's a top bearing bit, so in the table it was on the bottom. I have some 3/4" maple and I taped the template to it. I tried to make sure to move the piece into the router bit, moving the piece from left to right.
When I was doing some of the cuts, it worked really well. But on some of the cuts, the bit kept grabbing the piece. I think it may have something to do with going into the edge where the grain is, but I'm not good enough at reading the grain to figure it out. It just kept biting chunks out so I stopped. What was I doing wrong? Is there a way to go all the way around the pattern and not have this happen?
My other idea was to take the router out of the table and use a guide bushing or the flush trim bit. The problem with the flush trim bit is that since it's small, I'm not sure I can clamp everything down and still get close enough. With the guide bushing, I'm not sure how to secure the piece to go all the way around. Do people usually have scrap under the piece so they can plunge into that as well? And maybe some scrap pieces on the sides to hold it in place?
Thanks for any guidance, I don't have a ton of experience so never done anything like this before. I don't have a scroll or bandsaw, so I can't cut it out that way. Is the router a good way to do this project? Since I want to make several, I thought a pattern would make sense.
Have some bruised knuckles and ego, but hopefully I can work this out before Christmas. No pressure!! Thanks!
Hey BC,Bob made some great points. Definitely stay with the router table what I found confusing is the bearing on the top or bottom of the bit when in the router table? I always have the bearing on top. I haven't seen anyone use the bearing on the bottom in a router table, not saying it's wrong just seems that there would be less control. With something that small having a good grip and in complete control is a must. I haven't done that in the past and have had projects flying across the shop. Rockler has their small parts holder Iink it may be a little over kill but it may give you an idea to grip it better. I like the project, hope you get it figured out and no blood is shed.
 

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Doug
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One of the biggest mistakes people can make when using a template is trying to take too much wood off. Hopefully your project blank is only about 1/4 inch bigger than your template. If it is too much bigger the bit can get a really good bite on it and yank chunks out.

Also, make sure that you try to do the 'end grain' portions of the piece first, so if there is any chip out, it will hopefully be in a spot that is going to be trimmed on the flat grain side.

Another thing to check is that you are feeding into the bit. You want the face of cutter to be rotating into the piece, not away from it. If it is rotating away it can pull the workpiece out
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of your hand, or pull a big chunk of wood away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the help! The reason I'm using the bearing on the bottom is that's the only flush trim bit I have. I have seen videos using the other way, but was hoping to use what I have. I was going to use my orbital sander, but thought I might have to hog too much off.
I hadn't though about flipping the pattern around! Makes sense since it's symmetrical. Definitely felt like I was trying to pet the dog the wrong way.
Sounds like the table is the right way to do this. I tried following the direction of the bit to have it cutting into the piece, but I think the end grain is what caused me trouble.
Thanks again!
 

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Theo
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Way I do something like that (and do often - not a page holder, but other things), I put my pattern on a 1/2" thick piece of plywood, normally putting a finished design on paper glued down. Then use my scroll saw to close cut to the line, then sand down to the line, so I wind up with a perfect piece, the one is all I need to be perfect. Then tracde around that on another piece of 1/2" plywood, rough cut around the second piece, then glue the pieces together, then using the top piece as a template, rout around the bottom piece, which gives me a perfect master 1" thick. Then I drill pilot holes all around the edge, 1/4" to an inch or so apart, depending on the size. Then trace around that on a piece 1/2 the size you want the finished piece to be, rough cut, tack the master to it, then rout around it. If I run into grain, no biggie, I just slow way down and take very shallow cuts, no problem. Then glue that piece to another 1/2 the thickness you want, nail marks on the inside, trace and rough cut first, then route, and done. Or, you can drill your pilot holes in a design, so you can rout a full thickness and the nail holes area decorative design. My 1" thick master is a huge help in a good hold when you rout, whether the product is not too small (those look like probably OK), to large things. I tried 1/4" plywood for a template/master once, never more, never more. I do all my stuff with 1" thick masters, and always tack them together. Tried double stick tape, and rubber cement, both were large PITA to me.

Here you can see how I used to make canes, long, long, ago, in a galaxy, far far away. 1" master, tacked to the piece that will be a cane, when routed. Hmm, thought I had a better example, but likely on my dead computer.
 

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John
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If I read what you are trying to do correctly, you need to get a scroll saw band saw or saber saw you need to trim your project board to with in a 1//8 to 1/4 of the size of the template you can not control a flush trim bit cutting a solid piece of 3/4 lumber
watch utube
 
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If you're a member of Fine Woodworking this will help. If not a member try the link as they had this as a free webinar. It shows both jigs to make for safer operation and proper direction of cut. When doing certain cuts the normal left to right can end up becoming a "climb" cut halfway through the operation which puts you in the wrong direction. Knowing this and where allows you to flip the piece and continue, still left to right. The climb cut is usually where you feel the wood being pulled into the cutter.

A small piece holder is definitely the way to go on these smaller parts. A Goggle search will yield many plans to build these. The advice on how much to try taking off is also important. You want to be close to the actual size and 1/8 to 1/4 is very reasonable for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks again for the help! I think I was trying to take too much off with the router. I will try to use the jig saw to get as close to the lines as I can. Then I may be able to sand down to the line or use my pattern on the router. Might be easier with this to just do with sanding. I would like to try that chisel method, but might need to work on my chisel skills first. I will take some time to watch those videos and that webinar also. Thanks!
 

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As suggested you might keep a look out for a cheap bandsaw or scroll saw. Portable jigsaws have a tendency to be aggressive if not careful.
 

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Sometimes I'll place the work piece on the template to leave a 16th or so more than the finish cut, rout that, then position the work piece for the final cut.
 

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Theo
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If I read what you are trying to do correctly, you need to get a scroll saw band saw or saber saw you need to trim your project board to with in a 1//8 to 1/4 of the size of the template you can not control a flush trim bit cutting a solid piece of 3/4 lumber
Didn't see, or hear, of him wearing a dust mask of some type. Very important. Also, he cut his templates right on the line with the scrollsaw. Not as accurate as sawing close to the line, then sanding down to the line.
 

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He needs eye protection more than wearing dust collection. I know of only 1 woodworker in 37 years that ever had a problem from wood dust, but I know of many that went to the ER for wood chips in their eye...
You need eye and nose protection but always have eye protection...
 

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Personal protection equipment is very important. Good breathing, hearing, seeing, why would you not want any of those included in your life?
 

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Didnt...I would be more concerned about ones eyes and hearing than the saw dust one breathes. ..

#1 concern in woodworking shops is eye protection....
 

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Theo
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Yeah, forgot about hearing and eye protection, it is just automatic with me. Breathing too tho, you can breath in a lot of dust, without even knowing it - been there, done that, breathing protection is now automatic with me also.
A partial list of why I have little faith in most youtube how to videos, and none at all for a lot of them.
 

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Didnt...I would be more concerned about ones eyes and hearing than the saw dust one breathes. ..

#1 concern in woodworking shops is eye protection....
Plus 1 on the eyes. If I had $100 every time sawdust (not Chunks of wood) got in my eyes while wearing safety glasses I could have retired 5 years ago.
 

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Try the chisel method... you will be surprised at how easy it is, You do need a sharp chisel (no dust mask required).
 
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