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Since I'm always in here whining about something I thought it was time to offer something positive. Now, I suspect all you old guys have seen this before, but I happened accross an old routing book and discovered that the author was making some pointed sticks, perhaps 18", then clamping them to his router table, with the point right next to the cutter. Instead of the nice little high class brass pins, his simple wooden device certainly appeared as though it would work very well to allow you to "get on" and off a piece. The stick looked like it was 1.5 X 1.5 or something similar and could obviously be whatever length you needed.
Just thought I'd toss it out there.
 

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I never used wooden saftey pins. I got my base plate from oak park and they sent me the brass pin. But if I'm ever in a pinch such as loosing it wood would make a good alternative.
 

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It certainly will work. When making the panels for cathedral doors I use a piece of 1x4 to get on the bit, I borrowed this idea from a wood show several years ago,but can't remember which one. While many ideas will work most are not as handy as the brass safety pin.

Regards

Jerry
 

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This is a OLD post but just my 2 cents on the safety/starter pin...

Doing the job with a Half Fence..:)

When doing cathedral doors you can use a half fence because the panels are square and strait on 3 sides and one side is not,,,,the half fence can be just about anything you have around the shop, some 3/4" plywood/MDF works well, it needs to be clamped to the router table at two points and right next to the bit ( 1/4" away from it) a quick made plastic guard , that lets you see the bit at all times is a neat add on and because the bit is wide open all the time it's best to have bit guard.

The plywood/MDF must be on the right side of the bit and back just a little bit from the front of the bit..the plywood will let you get on the bit and give you a place to keep the panel from taking off across the table.

Do the hard part 1st. the top of the panel the norm then the bottom part of the panel across the grain then the sides, with the grain of the wood this will take care of any rip out from the 1st. and 2nd pass...

Many panel bits only come with one bearing on the bit BUT you can buy oversize bearings that you can put on most panel cutters to take only 1/2 the stock in the 1st. pass by the cutter then put the standard bearing back on the bit and finish the job.
This can be done with the panel bit in the router and it's UNPLUGED ...

The two part panel cutters work the best, some of the panel cutters want to lift the stock up without the bottom cutter in place..some will say it traps the stock, that's true in a way but because both cutter are turning and removing the stock at the same time and at the same speed so to speak it's hard to trap the stock...


Just a note...the panel bit set(s) from sommerfeldtools.com (CMT) come with two bearings to make it safe to make the cathedral type doors and just about any other panels doors..

http://www.sommerfeldtools.com/
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Over size bearings
http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/katana_bits7.htm

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Replacement bearing for the big panel bit
http://www.sommerfeldtools.com/prodinfo.asp?number=HC318DZZ
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