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uneven cuts

4995 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  gimpy
Just last week, I finished my router table by adding an insert. I used a 1/2 inch roundover bit and it seemed to work pretty well (3/4 mdf). After gluing some pieces together, I noticed that the roundover cut does not appear to be even all the way through the piece (about a foot long). Because of weather and work, I have not had a chance to check it closer, but hope to tomorrow morning.

What may have caused it to not cut evenly? Anyone have any suggestions to check for? Table/insert not flat? Fence not straight? The router moving the insert some? (insert is not screwed down, only held down by the router's weight (Ryobi) and also the fence on top of it).

Appreciate any help/advice.
Thx, Frank
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need a little more info del schisler
Because you are using a round over bit it will try a lift the MDF up when the cut is made.
You can make a hold down device to hold it down to the base plate when you push it over the bit.
You can check the base plate with a flat ruler but I don't think that's it.
Most round over bits have a bearning on top, make sure it's true to the fence or to say best shy than proud.

Have a good weekend

Bj :)
del, this router table was actually made several months ago (a first project), but I did not buy the router insert and install it in the table until just last week. I did have a problem with the table top. It was originally 3/4 inch ply from H.D., but after sitting around for 3 or 4 months, it did warp. I then glued it to 3/4 inch mdf in the hope of flattening it a little and then screwed the top to the base. I have not checked it for flat, but it appeared to be OK. Thus, my asking if an uneven top might cause the uneveness of the cut. I also had some problems making the cutout for the insert to sit in, but, after adjustments, I finally got it where the router sits in it pretty good. I will recheck everything this morning as soon as it warms up.

I was doing roundovers on 11, 12 and 13 inch square pieces of 3/4 mdf and did not notice this uneveness until I stacked them on top of each other (much like a pyramid).

bob, the bit does have a bearing at the top. I do recall that after the piece finished going by the bit, that there seemed to be a "lessening" of pressure. Not sure if I said that right. So, maybe I did not have an "even" downward force all the way thru? The uneveness appeared to be "even" throughout the cut. I mean that it gradually got wider or narrower from one end to the other and did not fluctuate. Does that make sense? I did get the insert from Woodpecker.

thx, Frank
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Is the cut not even in depth (in axis parallel to router) or with (perpendicular to router)? If it is in width, then I would suspect that you do not have your bearing isolated properly, and you are sometimes guided by the fence and sometimes by the bearing. Or, your fence could be bowed or have flex.

If it is in depth, I'd check your insert fllush with the table and shim as necessary. Then like others have suggested, check your entire table with a straight edge to make sure it is flat. I doubt your insert plate is flexing as you are cutting.

Next, I'd recommend taking your cuts in multiple passes. After you isolate the bearing, drop your router bit down for the the first pass, and then take a finish pass. This should help you deal with the bit lifting up the stock trying to take one big cut.

Since you said you were routing MDF, I doubt it is your stock, but I've had problems with my workpieces twisting or cupping after initial milling, and then they don't cut evenly even on a properly tuned table.
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By the way, was just out there in your neck of the woods. You guys sure have some pretty scenery out there!
kp, I did go out and try the multiple passes. That did seem to do the trick. When I did one pass, the first part of the cut seemed to be a little deeper than the back part. I did run a scrap piece through it multiple time (3 & 4) and that evened the cut up so that it looked pretty good.

I guess I don't understand why it lifts it up like that, but I think that was it. The bit is new, so should not be that. The router is not real heavy duty, but is the ryobi 2 hp. Would that have anything to do with it? Thx.

Did you drive down to Flagstaff or just to the area? Been real dry winter, although this past month, we finally got a little snow, probably about 35 inches total (mostly one storm). Year before last, it was so dry, that the bark beetle killed thousands of trees in the area. But for someone that was raised and lived in the dry desert all my younger life, this country is beautiful.

thx, for the help, Frank
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If I may, although it sounds like you're getting to the bottom of it - depending on the type of bit you're using, it may be more repeatable to adjust the amount of material being cut by moving the FENCE rather than adjusting the height - It's easy to return to fence placement by clamping stop blocks behind the fence once you've got it "balls on" - not always so easy to return to EXACTLY the same bit height - for what it's worth ...

Flew into Phoenix, took a nice drive up to Williams, took the Grand Canyon Railroad up to the canyon for a couple of days, had a nice drive down to Sedona. Good trip, was nice to see snow and not have to shovel any of it. Scenery A LOT different than the hardwood forests in my area, but a different kind of pretty.
Gilbear, I will remember that. This is the first time I've routed on a table. Good learning experience for me. Just wish I had seen the cut "before" I glued parts together. Once it's all painted up, maybe it won't look too bad.

kp, glad you had a nice trip. Even though I live about 40 miles from Williams (I live just to the north of Flagstaff on the way to Utah), I have never ridden the train to the Canyon. Hope you enjoyed it.

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