Bread Board (s) #3: Routing Foes

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Blog entry by PurpLev posted 11-22-2010 05:49 AM 1784 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Milling Woes Part 3 of Bread Board (s) series no next part

Time to dress up that middle section and hollow it out for a drawer. the idea is to hollow out ~3/4” thickness from the bottom, leave ~2-3” shoulder on the sides and back, and trim that opening edge with a dovetail form that the drawer will slide and lock into.

I started by boring most of the material off with a drill press and a forstner bit – fairly simple and fast, and went real well.

Next I took an extra 1/8” bite off of the height using a 3/4” straight router bit. I set 2 stops on my fence for infeed and outfeed, and step by step took off 1/2” width off of the opening pushing my fence backwards 1/2” after each pass.

that went great. smooth bottom, with just the sides showing the 1/2 round shape of the router bit (on the infeed and outfeed sides).

Next, I set the fence to clean out the 2 sides showing the half rounds for a clean straight cut. since the cut was internal, that means that the piece would be between the cutter, and fence. for safery sake, I fed the piece from left to right to avoid a climb cut. again, I set a stop to limit how deep into the hollow I’d go (until I reach the end of the hollow) and using the fence, took 1/8” thick cuts until I reached my scribed lines. 1 side went great.

I started the 2nd side, same operation,

Hmm… as I’m writing this now, and about to disclose the big band theory that until now was a mystery to me it finally hit me what happened.

SO. as I mentioned before – since the piece was being cut between cutter and fence, it was crucial to feed from left to right to avoid a climb cut, and have the piece yanked away by the cutter. the first side indeed I fed it that way, but the 2nd side (which is what now occurred to me) since I was using the same fence stop for reach of cut, I placed the opposing part of the piece against the fence, and since the hollow opening is only on one side, and although I missed to comprehend that – the feed was now right-to-left (normal feed operation when the cutter is halfway burried in the fence, but not a good idea for the cut I’m making Now!!!).

First pass went ok, I advanced the fence 1/8” backwards to take another pass, and thats when it happened – the piece was yanked from my hand in a matter of 1/1000sec. you know how you sometimes see a cup about to fall and you try to reach it and save it – only to be too late? that usually is a 1sec action. now that that and divide it by 1000 – like a speeding bullet.

The piece was yanked away from me jamming between the fence and bit which put stress on the bit. the bit broke, and jammed in the collet, it also took a bite of the zero clearance insert (metal). the piece was thrown away and as it hit my lumber storage it shattered into lego parts:

disappointing to say the least. there goes a good freud bit, and there goes 3 days of work. At this point I kept all the pieces undecided whether it’s worth glueing it all together, or not. we’ll see. for now this is 1 board less to have.

At least this blog made me go back one step at a time and realize what has happened. now that I know it makes more sense, and at least can stop me from guessing.

As for safety – my hands were (and are) always far away from the cutters/blades. my grip on the work pieces is always firm, but Never in the direction of the cutter/blade so that if anything happens, my hands would end up heading for it, nor being pulled to it. at least my technique proves to be useful as I personally did not get jointed away by this.

oh well. can’t win them all.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

12 comments so far

View Rustic's profile


3255 posts in 3893 days

#1 posted 11-22-2010 06:15 AM

glad you are ok next time try going at it from the top and use an acrylic base that may help. this ay you can see what you are doing. Just a suggestion

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 3678 days

#2 posted 11-22-2010 10:21 AM

I hate those moments! They scare the crap out of me, and make me lose confidence later. The next time I do the operation I’m all sweaty with worry. Glad you’re okay.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View Cato's profile


701 posts in 3609 days

#3 posted 11-22-2010 02:05 PM

Bummer Sharon, had to have been an adrenaline moment.

Obviously good that you did not get injured, but bad losing the progress on this project, so will be interesting now to see what solution you craft to fix the damage.

I cut some mortises yesterday on the router table, which I am new to, and was very conscious that a portion of my work piece was between the bit and the fence. After your mishap, I may go back to using the plunge router to cut them.

View Lenny's profile


1618 posts in 3824 days

#4 posted 11-22-2010 02:20 PM

Hi Sharon. Sorry this happened to you…glad you’re okay. With the exception of the metal insert, the LS positioner is intact right? Can’t have that fine piece of machinery suffering “injuries”.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View AaronK's profile


1508 posts in 3761 days

#5 posted 11-22-2010 03:30 PM

yikes! that’s frightening! I did nearly the same thing once – my mishap on the router happened MUCH faster than mishaps on any other woodworking tool so far. scary as hell.

I wonder: you need to use the fence to register the cut. but this accident might be avoided by keeping the majority of the “work” on the side of the bit closest to you and farthest from the fence. does that make sense? instead of trapping the heavy work in between the bit and the fence, use the bit to mill out work on the far side. Obviously the first “plunge” will have to be in the middle, but then from there you can work outward.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16282 posts in 4515 days

#6 posted 11-22-2010 03:32 PM

The only thing you have failed to disclose here is the condition of your underwear at the conclusion of this escapade. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View sras's profile


5013 posts in 3426 days

#7 posted 11-22-2010 04:14 PM

You might want to pay close attention to your router for a while. I had a blow up that did not damage the bit, but I bent the shaft on my router. $110 to fix it – cheaper than a new router, but way more expensive than a new bit. The way I noticed was a little more noise and even my best bits would not make shavings – just powdery dust.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4276 days

#8 posted 11-22-2010 04:34 PM

Hi Sharon,

Well at least YOU remain intact, and ready to try again.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View PurpLev's profile


8550 posts in 3945 days

#9 posted 11-22-2010 04:51 PM

I am and was quite alright. not really a scare, just a “what just happened?” moment.

AaronK – that should have been the proper way of doing it – I agree!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View moonls's profile


412 posts in 3283 days

#10 posted 11-22-2010 05:10 PM

I’m thankful that you weren’t injured in that mishap! It’s good to know that following the basic safety measures helped keep you from injury. I’m confident that you’ll salvage this project and create beauty out of chaos.

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 4025 days

#11 posted 11-22-2010 08:43 PM

Sorry to hear about this incident. You always hope a problem like this happens early on in the process. Once you are this far in, it becomes really painful. I’m sure you will carry on though and we’ll be here watching as you overcome this bit of adversity.

View mafe's profile


11780 posts in 3386 days

#12 posted 12-11-2010 12:40 AM

Shit happens, just happy that you are not hurt.
Once in a while we get reminded how fast things can go wrong.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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