Cross for my Father In Law #3: Failure

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Hrolfr posted 07-16-2008 02:57 AM 1475 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Mahogany Cross cut out Part 3 of Cross for my Father In Law series Part 4: Attempted save but ultimately a learning step »

Ok so I attempted to route the Mahogany cross and the router and myself really chewed up the wood…. this is my first time working in mahogany but I did all the same steps at I took with the pine cross.. the router burned the wood and chewed up the cut pretty bad… not sure why…. was I working too fast it the router and bit that sub-par?? Its a ryobe cordless trim router and a ryobe bit (I said I was a noob :D) So now I have a couple choices… 1. give up on getting this done for the weekend and bring it to him in september when my wife and I are going to visit him in Vermont…. 2. finish the Pine prototype and give it to him I don’t think I can start a new cross (tomorrow I am too annoyed to do it tonight) and finish it before Saturday night when he leaves… I really don’t want to spend the time he is here in the workshop…. owell what do you guys think??

-- Hrolfr

9 comments so far

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 4980 days

#1 posted 07-16-2008 03:25 AM

Probably a mix of things. Probably was going too slow and the bit probably is a part. Mahogany is also sometimes hard to work – grain can run wild.

I’d finish the pine version and give that to him as a “marker” for the real one you want to do. He’ll probably cherish the pine one as much as any because of the time and effort you took to make it.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 4812 days

#2 posted 07-16-2008 04:12 AM

I feel your pain, but may have a suggestion. I was trying to cut an edge with my router a while back and tried to do it in one pass. It burned the cherry pretty badly in some spots. I’m going to guess that the edging bit you are using is a bearing guided bit? I’m not sure how deep you set it the first time, but if you’ve got enough room to lower it just 1/2 mm, you might be able to make a real fast/light pass to remove the burn marks. If this is possible, it should only take you a few minutes to try and if it doesn’t work, nothing lost…

Good luck with whatever you try!

View Alan Young's profile

Alan Young

150 posts in 4804 days

#3 posted 07-16-2008 03:40 PM


You aren’t without some options. First-The burning may removable. With a small round file and some patience,
you can file slowly and carefully along the profile’s burned surface. Or get a dowel with a radius close to the shape of the profile, wrap some sand paper around the dowel and sand away the burn marks.
If you have any carving tools-you can also choose a gouge with a matching pitch and sweep and lightly carve away the burn marks. This may in fact leave an interesting texture…

Another option is to turn the burn marks a deliberate design feature- Paint or stain the burned sections-Black.
That will give it another type of look….

View Festool4's profile


78 posts in 4862 days

#4 posted 07-16-2008 06:08 PM

I agree with Alan, I think this is recoverable. Being a router guy, I would first attempt to resolve the problem with the router. I have no experience with cordless routers, but I find it hard to believe they can offer the power and speed that a router needs, but if it is only router you have, you will have to make it work.

I do have a little experience with cheap router bits and would suggest you throw that Ryobi router bit as far as you can. I take that back, at your size, you might hit someone in a neighboring town. :o) Anyway, purchase replacement bit of quality (CMT, Freud, Whiteside, Woodcraft, Rockler, take your pick) and try again. Keep the bit clean – if you have to clean the bit a few times before you are done – that is what you have to do. You already have the main profile, you are just cleaning up the cut – only drop it down a hair. Don’t let the bit sit there either, keep it moving – I would say moving at rate of a foot every couple seconds.

Please let us know how it works out…


-- Festool4

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4073 posts in 5148 days

#5 posted 07-16-2008 06:28 PM

Failure is unacceptable. You just hit a dip in the road to your finale design. Remember that the individual characteristics of the lumber you choose for your project will have a say in the way things ultimately end up. It’s just part of the glory of woodworking, cajoling this formerly living material; with it’s expansion/contraction cycles, and proclivity to cup, bow and warp and twist, accept stain and finish differently, etc.

HokieMojo has a good idea. Where the edges are torn you might benefit from that light pass run the opposite direction on the areas that tore out before. If the grain runs out at the edge you can have some chewing as the bit lifts the grain and snaps it off. If you run the opposite way in those spots, with light cuts and a faster speed you might be able to smooth the cut. Follow up with sandpaper or a little custom made scraper. I use lengths of recycled bandsaw blades, which I grind to a radiused profile on the bench grinder. Hacksaw blade pieces or even wide saber saw blades could be used. You can use the wire edge hook from the grind for a while and renew the hook with a mill bastard file when needed or if you are an adept at cabinet scraper preparation, follow your own protocol. You get a lot of material from a recycled bandsaw blade, so I have a number of ground profiles for the edge forming router bits I own.

And Alan’s suggestion of ”turn the burn marks a deliberate design feature- Paint or stain the burned sections – Black.” is another excellent suggestion if you still encounter difficulties. I have gotten a lot of “design features” in my work over the years. It’s the essence of Bordnerization.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View Festool4's profile


78 posts in 4862 days

#6 posted 07-16-2008 08:14 PM

Actually, you might consider purposely burning the edges with a torch. You would use an inexpensive torch with a flame spreader. I have used this technique before – it leaves a nice effect. Do it outside of the shop and keep a fire extinguisher near by. A wet rag might be a good idea as well…

-- Festool4

View Hrolfr's profile


174 posts in 4750 days

#7 posted 07-17-2008 01:10 AM

Thanks everyone… I think I am going to try some of these sugestions

festool4, well yeah last night I was pretty hot over the mess up and might have just hit the next town LOL

Douglas… you are right failure was pretty much how I was feeling last night right after this happened.. I am not giving up just a delay… there is no way I can get the project finished for this weekend too much going on a work and I am thinking a trip to the store for a decent bit is in order so I am failing at getting the project done on time but then again this is a hobby and is for fun so really I shouldn’t stress over not making the deadline I wanted to make.

I am not giving up on the project just have to regroup and try some of the stuff you all sugested and well eh maybe start overeither way its not going to happen tonight… I am a PC trainer by trade and this week has been a class week so its been in to work early by 2hrs or so and home late by about an hr so I am far too tired to get much done.

Thanks everyone for your help and sugestions :D:D

-- Hrolfr

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 4812 days

#8 posted 07-17-2008 01:19 AM

just update the blog when you get back to it. I’d like to see what you try and how it turns out.

View SawDustnSplinters's profile


321 posts in 4865 days

#9 posted 08-04-2008 04:30 AM

I like it like that with the burn marks, kind of makes a statement, it is the cross or else :)

-- Frank, Dallas,TX , , “I have a REALLY BIG chainsaw”

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics