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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There isn't allot I can do until I reach the 10 posts so here goes.

If you want the SUPER SHORT version, go to last sentence please.

Hello everyone, this is going to be like more other noobs type post so I hope y'all are ready for a question you know in your sleep. Grin...

I'm somewhat new to woodworking. I have been making sawdust for a few years but have never really gotten into using a router.

I've been told I'm missing out and that a router is one of the best tools other than a table saw, so I'm now I'm working on a project that seems I might be tested.

This is LONG but it is as DETAILED as I can so you will know exactly what's going on, and maybe even help some other newbie from making my mistakes.

I have a 1/8 template made of aluminum. Not sure what kind it was given to me to use but I was told it was kinda expensive. I DO NOT want to mess it up.

The template is a circle with a Star like design inside the circle and 5 or 6 smaller stars on the outside of the larger one, but all are still within the circle.

The overall circumference is about 22".

I need to REMOVE the fields of all the stars. None of the stars are connected so when I cut out a star, it falls to the ground and that's that.

As I said above the template is aluminum and somewhat costly so messing it up isn't something I want to do , so my first thought was to make a hardboard template of the aluminum template, and use it.

I bought a 4x8 sheet of hardboard, took it tot he table saw and cut it into 8 - 2x2 squares.

Got some double stick tape, mounted to aluminum template on one of the hardboard squares and went to my router table. ( It's not a REAL router table just a box I made and mounted the router in upside down. )

I was thinking that sense I have a template all I needed to do was run a router along the edge of the template and the new hardboard template would be good.

I KNOW if I took a regular straight cut router bit, I would stand the HIGH POSSIBILITY of cutting into the aluminum template. So I thought that a flush cut bit with a bearing was the answer. Went to the local home store picked up a top bearing mounter flush cut bit, AND a bottom mounted flush cut bit ( just in case )

I don't have a height adjustment on my " router table " so I eyeballed it, and was on the money. The first bit I tried was the top bearing one. I didn't have a way to introduce it INTO the big stars or the little ones, so I to a drill with a paddle bit and made a hole in each of the stars.

So now I have a 1/8 inch square hard board, mounted with double sided tape to a 1/8 inch aluminum circle with one big star and several smaller stars, all the stars have a hole in them.

Because I was using a table and really new to this, I needed to see the patter I was cutting out so I placed the work down on my table with the HARDBOARD on the table, aluminum on top, turned on the vacuum , then the router and away I went.


I WAS able to get the larger star cut out. I was able to get a couple of the smaller stars cut out.
My vacuum turned off by itself, so I stopped. I opened it up and saw the filter was clogged , pulled it out and somewhat cleaned it up, put back in in, tested it and I was ready again.

Started where I left off and as I was routing I saw a spark. Stopped of course and saw that the bearing had dropped. I couldn't find the set screw so I was done.

I was going to use the other bit but didn't want to re-do the setup.

Went to the home store exchanged the bit for the top bearing flush cut went back and finished up.

I now had the original template and a hardboard one.

I wanted more area for the bearing to ride along so I started making another one.

Did the same set up using the ALUMINUM template so I could have two hardboard templates that I could glue together.
I got through the second one and was somewhat OK, but even with the two hardboard pieces together that was still only 1/4 area, SO, I got a piece of 3/4 plywood, mounted the ALUMINUM template on it, and was off again drilling holes.

I started this plywood template, and the vacuum stopped. I pulled off the filter, emptied out the shop vac, and went to test it.

Click , , , Click , , , Click...

Yep, that was that I think for the shop vac. I just get a clicking noise.

I figured I could just push through the sawdust with a dust mask and be ok.

As I was routing , I heard something odd, stopped and saw that the bearing on this one ( the second flush cut top bearing mounted bit, had slipped down and I cut into the PLYWOOD along the edge about 1/16 or maybe even an 1/8 of an inch.

So I know this plywood template can't be used and that's OK, because the aluminum , template is still OK.

So all of that has led up to this : Am I using the flushcut top bearing bit correctly
Is there a better way to remove the center of a template ( cut a pre designed hole using a template ) If so PLEASE direct me.



The very short version, How do I use a template , with a homemade router table. What bit do I use ?


Thank You for getting this far !

Danny
 

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Welcome to the forum Danny. I would suggest that you quickly reach the ten posts so that we can see exactly what your problems are. This is easy to achieve by just posting greetings etc to other members. It sounds very complicated but I'm sure that we will be able to solve your problems once we have SEEN what it's all about. When we talk about stars we think of pointed corners which of course can't be done with a round bit. Pictures are what we like here, it's so true that a picture is worth a thousand words.
Meanwhile here are a couple of examples showing haw templates can be made.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank You for your response. I wasn't expecting anything THAT quick. The router bit I was using if a Diablo top bearing flush cut bit. Kinda kinda the links, just different brand I think. It surprised me when the spark happened and the guide dropped. I will post images asap...

Thank You Again,


Danny
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Welcome to the forum Danny. I would suggest that you quickly reach the ten posts so that we can see exactly what your problems are. This is easy to achieve by just posting greetings etc to other members. It sounds very complicated but I'm sure that we will be able to solve your problems once we have SEEN what it's all about. When we talk about stars we think of pointed corners which of course can't be done with a round bit. Pictures are what we like here, it's so true that a picture is worth a thousand words.
Meanwhile here are a couple of examples showing haw templates can be made.
Thank You for your response, and sense I can't post images right now ( or links ) if you were to Google " large imperial cog " then click on images, that is what I am talking about.

I couldn't think of anything to reference it to so it because stars.

The smaller stars are in reference to the longer slits that kinda look like upside down cowboy hats.


Danny
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As for making a template, there are to many hole and are far to close. I was thinking of that at first.

I don't mind the work, I WANT it to be right, just wouldn't work. I even went as far as to thinking of making a jig for the large hole, and then a separate for the smaller ones.

Danny
 

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The set screw may be loosening because of heat. As the bit gets hot metal stretches and things can loosen. It would pay to check it after a minute or two and retighten it. It may also pay to put something on the set screw threads that resists loosening. It will almost certainly be a metric size since the bits are made in Italy.

As for needing 10 posts, it’s not necessary to post pictures as long as they originate from your hard drive and not from a photo sharing service. Use the advanced posting option and if if you have problems let us know and one of us can walk you through the steps. You can probably find them using the community search function too.
 

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Hi Danny,
First thing, you can post pictures as long as you add them from your own computer. You just can't add them from Picassa or other services. That limit drops off after 10 posts.

I'm having a little trouble following the description. A picture would really help.

I prefer using a mortising bit similar to the one in the picture for tasks like that. A mortising bit has a top mounted bearing with cutters exactly the width of the bearing. Using a plunge router, this kind of bit can do a decent job of cutting and clearing out an area of your workpiece. A plunge router will allow you to work safely hand held with a template.

For something like what you're doing (as I understand it), I would have made a template out of 3/4 inch MDF. You can cut or drill out an opening for the stars, or any size area for that matter. But having the 3/4 thick pattern will allow you to preset the maximum depth you want, and also to step the depth down so each pass is maybe 1/16th or 1/8th inch per pass. If you are routing on soft aluminum you'll want to make no deeper cuts than that. If it is hardened aluminum, the shallower each pass is, the better.

I suspect that the problems you had with bearings and your shop vac are heat related, possibly from trying to take off too much in one pass. Very unusual for bearings to fail one after another, which is why I mentioned harder aluminum. The Dust Deputy captures nearly all the particles, such as the aluminum shavings, so it never reaches your vac filter. The setup in the picture is the $99 kit, but the Dust Deputy itself is about half that and can be mounted on a bucket with a top or a metal trash can. It uses 2.5 inch hoses, so you'll want to have a shop vac of that size. MDF allows making really smooth templates (cut and sand smooth), but it produces the nastiest of dust storms you will never get out of your lungs.

When cutting circular templates with the router (a good way to do it), you can use a trammel or circle cutting jig to make a perfect circle with very smooth edges. I added a picture of a simple one. Bosch makes a wonderful edge guide for the 1617 that makes cutting a straight line parallel to the board's edge easy, and that also doubles as a circle cutting jig.

I added a second picture of the mortising bit, so there's the half inch and 3/4 inch bits shown.

If you don't have a plunge base for your router, you can still use a fixed base, but will need to adjust the bit height a several times until you hit your final depth.

When you read the 17 things, you notice that this bunch in US, really like the Bosch 1617 EVSPK kit, which includes a fixed base you can leave in your table/box, and a plunge base. You can order a key for the fixed base that will allow you to adjust bit height while the router is in the table.

Regarding your Dust Collection (DC) problem, you need to install a chip collector between the tool and the vacuum. There are several types out there, but the type I'd use (depending on the hose size) would be a Dust Deputy mounted on a canister. I'd consider this as a must have item. You can order one on Amazon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank You for your response, I'm glad to say that I do have a plunge router. It's an older Craftsman that I got a LONG time ago and has less than maybe 10 hours on it.

As I am somewhat new to using it and knowing / FEELING COMFORTABLE with it, I went went it being attached to the table so I could move the work around the router instead the router around the work.

I'm not as smart as I'd like to tell others and in a bit of a hurry which I know now IS a problem. I did think about taking off a bit at a time when I got to the plywood, but was really thinking the hardboard at only 1/8" would have been like butter to a new bit.

When I get set up again, I do think that I will need to figure on putting a sacrificial piece under the actual work, and then go at it in MUCH smaller depths. Thinking 1/8" at a time will work. But honestly still feel a bit uncomfortable with the router going around all those edges and curves.

I posted the image most likely when you were writing your reply. I LIKE how detailed you made it. I know I can carry on myself, but it's because sometimes when I explain things, I don't even understand my own explanation ! Hahaha

I've still been reading and I think everyone is right about the heat and bearings... And I REALLY like the Dust Deputy idea. ( Now I'm going to try to think of a way to make my own, because like everyone else, I have more time than money. )

With cutting the outside of the circle, how I have the router mounted in the table, I just pushed it up against the router and moved the work around.

I will say right now, that " ONE DAY " I will have a better setup with a height adjustment and so on. I think that me THINKING this would be simple and QUICK did have something to do with how things turned out so far.

Now I will also have to look into finding out how to fix my Shop Vac, or wait and save for another one...

I know things take time, but I can only get a little bit of time each day in the garage and I want stuff done yesterday ! Hahahaha

Danny
 

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Thank You for letting me in on that. It makes it much easier.

This is the image of what I'm doing. ALL of the white areas are cutout. Including everything outside the circle.

Danny
w/ that much to remove.. use a jigsaw to hog out the waste and finish/clean w/ up your router...
 

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OK, took a couple of reads to get what you were talking about.

I would call the aluminum a pattern. I use mainly 1/2" plywood for almost everything. So I would trace the aluminum pattern onto a piece of plywood. Then like the others said, cut out what you don't want, leaving preferably a bit less than 1/8". With straight lines like that I would normally tack down a straight strip, route one are, move the straight strip. I use nails because they are easy to use, no cleanup, and can reuse. And they work. Can cut the corners or sand square. Once I get that piece done exactly the way I want it, I trace it onto another piece of plywood, rough cut that piece, then glue the finished piece to it. Then I rout that, which gives me a master 1" thick. I normally make masters because there are few things I do not make more than one of. I drill pilot holes thru, trace around it onto my finish piece. Be sure to tack the master to the back of your finish piece, so no holes will be visible. Then you can square the corners. If you want more copies, repeat.

I do it a bit different that the other guys, do use a flush trim bit, but I also tend to make different things than the others. Works for me. Oh yes, I also put a drop or three of Marvel Mystery Oil on my bearing before I start, don't try to hog with my bit, and don't tray to rout too fast. Works for me.
 
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Having been burned by photo hosting services before I can tell you that uploading photos to this site will ensure they're always available. I switched a while back, maybe two years ago, and it's so easy to just upload the photos here and be done with it.

David
 

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It’s been said that the router is a great finishing tool but a poor one for for removing large amounts of waste so one more vote for the jigsaw. For cutting the outside of the ring I might agree with doing it on the table. For the inside parts I think I would be more inclined to go handheld and plunge or make sure the holes are large enough to make sure I’m not going to touch a side on entering. There’s no reason you can’t use 2 methods when routing that.
 
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