Router Forums banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello
I am discovering the art of woodwork and by no means any good at it.

But I bought myself a router and router table (just a cheap brand plunge router that I have removed the springs and permanently mounted)

Can someone please help me by telling me what I am doing wrong to get passes like this. It's mainly noticeable on the short side. But it doesn't route nicely from one end to the other.

The fence is sqare and I even made by own mini router table from timber in case the problem was caused by the plastic fence of the store bought table being out of whack.

Brown Rectangle Wood Textile Beige
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,998 Posts
Most likely cause is you are not holding the wood down firmly enough.
Second is you are trying to cut that hardwood in one pass when you should take two or even three passes to get a crisp edge.
Brute force isnt the answer on a router table.
Set the fence for the finished size you want, but lower the bit so the wood barely touches it. Pass the wood from right to left, NOT the other way!!
Raise the bit an 1/8" at a time after each pass and see the difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Amazing.
So much better.
I think you were right on both points.
I wasn't really pushing down on it and I wouldn't have thought it was lifting but looks like it was
I did 3 passes at varying heights
Not perfect but so much better
Thanks heaps.
I'm glad I found this forum, I wasn't finding much help on google

Brown Wood Rectangle Flooring Floor

Rectangle Wood Flooring Hardwood Wood stain
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,998 Posts
Glad to help. It should be perfect though.
The most common cause of poor cuts on router tables and bandsaws is speed of feed. If youve learnt watching utube then you wont realise that because the cutting is boring, so that part of the video is speeded up for the viewer.
Dont force the wood through. take it smoothly and let the bit do its work.
Practice on off cuts and try going slower. If you go TOO slowly, you will get burn marks on the wood, too quickly and you get chatter and tear out.
And, just to make it interesting.... different woods need different feed rates :oops: The harder the wood, the smaller the cut and the slower the feed, but only practice and experience will help you make perfect cuts.:cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,813 Posts
You should install feather boards on the table and the fence. Rosseau makes a good feather board but any would work. You will need a miter slot for the boards. Put the boards on both sides of the bit to hold the work down as it enters and exits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Just a couple quick comments that you may already know. Route the end grain first since that's most likely to tear out. If it does, routing the long grain will normally remove the tear out, In order to avoid or limit tear out, use a scrap piece at the end of the board to provide support for the end grain. Lastly, make sure you set the speed of your router for the size of the bit. Bigger bits need slower speeds. If that info didn't come with your router you can find charts on the Internet. Happy routing!
 
  • Like
Reactions: sometimewoodworker

·
Official Greeter
Joined
·
19,126 Posts

·
Official Greeter
Ross
Joined
·
10,058 Posts
Welcome to the forum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
You should install feather boards on the table and the fence. Rosseau makes a good feather board but any would work. You will need a miter slot for the boards. Put the boards on both sides of the bit to hold the work down as it enters and exits.
If to use feather boards or not is not at all clear cut. They can cause drag which will give an uneven cut. If you want to use them it certainly isn’t clear that you will need a miter slot for them to function and on many cuts they can only be used either on the fence or on the table, not both. I’ve just put about 100 drawer parts through, some of them benefited from a hold down others from a hold down push block. The hold down push block was effective on the first pass, the hold down not so much, many needed 2 or 3 finishing passes. The hold down is equivalent to a feather board but with better adjustments.

Bottom line;
the profile you are cutting, the material you are cutting, the size of the material you are cutting, all govern if when or where feather boards are appropriate.

in the OPs case vertical feather boards may help, horizontal ones almost certainly can’t and a hold down push block will work well
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,813 Posts
Bottom line;
the profile you are cutting, the material you are cutting, the size of the material you are cutting, all govern if when or where feather boards are appropriate.

in the OPs case vertical feather boards may help, horizontal ones almost certainly can’t and a hold down push block will work well
I have to disagree. Any piece of wood that is being routed will benefit from being held tight to the table and the fence. Whether it be drawer parts or an edge on a board, both types of feather boards can and should be used. In Ajizzle's case since the board was long the feather boards attached in the miter slot would be removed to do the end cuts but a miter gauge would be used to keep the piece straight and pressure would be put on the piece to hold it tight against the fence. The feather boards on the fence would hold the piece tight to the table. The only time that a feather board on the table couldn't be used would be if the edge being routed was at an angle so that there wouldn't be anything for the feather board to push against. With your project, you said that many needed 2 or 3 finishing passes. I'm not sure why a feather board on the fence wouldn't work unless you were somehow making the edges thinner with each pass. Even so how much time does it take to loosen a bolt and drop the feather board down in comparison to ruining the edge and having to cut a new piece and starting all over?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
670 Posts
If to use feather boards or not is not at all clear cut. They can cause drag which will give an uneven cut. If you want to use them it certainly isn’t clear that you will need a miter slot for them to function and on many cuts they can only be used either on the fence or on the table, not both. I’ve just put about 100 drawer parts through, some of them benefited from a hold down others from a hold down push block. The hold down push block was effective on the first pass, the hold down not so much, many needed 2 or 3 finishing passes. The hold down is equivalent to a feather board but with better adjustments.

Bottom line;
the profile you are cutting, the material you are cutting, the size of the material you are cutting, all govern if when or where feather boards are appropriate.

in the OPs case vertical feather boards may help, horizontal ones almost certainly can’t and a hold down push block will work well
It sounds to me like your doing something wrong. I can run drawer parts on a router table running tge drawer profile an all will look exactly the same. This is using a feature board with minimum pressure. My drawers are all a consistant thickness...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Feather boards come with one of my router tables. And I don't use them... You may want to make yourself a "coping sled" (similar to a table saw sled). This would help if your not using a sacrificial zero clearance fence. It will help to keep from riding into the router bit. Allows for a straight pass on your cuts. Plus your "coping sled" will have a fence on it that your board is clamped against, to help prevent tear out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Feather boards come with one of my router tables. And I don't use them... You may want to make yourself a "coping sled" (similar to a table saw sled). This would help if your not using a sacrificial zero clearance fence. It will help to keep from riding into the router bit. Allows for a straight pass on your cuts. Plus your "coping sled" will have a fence on it that your board is clamped against, to help prevent tear out.
Light passes help also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,813 Posts
Feather boards come with one of my router tables. And I don't use them... You may want to make yourself a "coping sled" (similar to a table saw sled). This would help if your not using a sacrificial zero clearance fence. It will help to keep from riding into the router bit. Allows for a straight pass on your cuts. Plus your "coping sled" will have a fence on it that your board is clamped against, to help prevent tear out.
I'm at a loss to understand how a coping sled replaces the function of feather boards mounted on the fence and table. Do you have a picture that you could share?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
I'm at a loss to understand how a coping sled replaces the function of feather boards mounted on the fence and table. Do you have a picture that you could share?
Looking at the pics provided. Without seeing how the wood is being feed through on the router table. And seeing the router bit set up in the router table. I'm assuming one of two things. The router bit is not tightened-up enough in the collet. Or maybe the collet is worn, allowing the bit to rise up and down on its' own (I've had this happen to me). Or feeding into the bit to take too much bite before fed to make contact with the second fence. A coping sled would hold the wood so the pass is a straight pass. Another wat to do this without a coping sled, is to use your miter gauge and miter track in the table. Clamp the wood to the miter gauge (not down to the table, but clamping to the miter gauge). Allowing for a straight feed. The pic shown is similar to using a coping sled. Hold the piece steady. With a coping sled, you have option of a couple ways to clamp to sled.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,486 Posts
Lots of interesting information and congecture here. Featherboards, commercial or hand made, are very useful in holding the workpiece to the table and/or fence. If you have a commercial fence, you can pretty easily cut a groove or dado in a wooden fence and install some T Track. That way you can mount and easily adjust the feather board to the fence.

Keep a brush handy to sweep the sawdust off the table between cuts. It can build up and raise your workpiece slightly, making a mismatch on your profile at the corners.

Something I found useful is drilling holes in the fence and table at the left edge of both, then inserting a pin so that it becomes a pivot for the fence. Clamp the other end, or install a T track with a star knob so you can easily lock that end down. When making multiple passes, this will allow you to mark the end point on the table at the right end of the fence. This makes all cuts repeatable, whether they're long grain or end cuts. A fence does not have to be parallel to the front of the table.

If your table doesn't have T Tracks, you can use a clamp to secure the featherboard.

A minor point but it surprised me when I learned about it. On some commercial featherboards, the first tooth in the comb is shorter than the rest. When setting the height of the featherboard, that first, short tooth is placed atop the workpiece. This avoids putting excessive pressure on the workpiece.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top