Things Are Getting Scary!!

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Blog entry by Woodshopfreak posted 12-08-2008 05:14 AM 1749 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I haven’t really posted on here for a while so, sorry but heres what I have to say today. I was working on a new project for my uncle. It’s a shoe shine box, just for looks at his house, and I was simply routing a dato on the bottom of the box to accept the bottom panel. Well heres where things get kind of scary. I was using a 1/4 inch straight cutting bit to cut the datos and all the sudden I realized that nothing was being cut. I turned off the router and examined the problem… The 1/4 inch bit had just sheered off!!! I have no clue as to how either. Granted it was a very cheep one but it still seems like it shouldn’t break while routing due to legal issues that could arise. Luckily I wasn’t hurt. I wasn’t even pushing to hard or anything, in fact I was making sure that I go at a good rate so that I don’t burn/mess up the dato. Well thats all I have to say so just remember to wear your safety glasses all the time and get good router bits :)

-- Tyler, Illinois

15 comments so far

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4447 days

#1 posted 12-08-2008 05:27 AM

I have had a similar experience. I had a spiral cutting bit come loose and come up through the piece I was cutting. It scared the daylights out of me. I now am very diligent in checking the bit twice before I start cutting. I also always wear safety glasses and use push pads.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View Karson's profile


35186 posts in 4762 days

#2 posted 12-08-2008 05:29 AM

I had a/4: spiral router bit break when cutting some mortises. In my case the bit was captured in the wood.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4236 days

#3 posted 12-08-2008 05:47 AM

Yeah, straight bits can break off. I’ve had a Porter Cable dovetail bit break on me, too. That’s pretty scary because it’s not trapped and goes flying. Ditto on the safety glasses!

-- -- --

View Woodshopfreak's profile


389 posts in 4103 days

#4 posted 12-08-2008 06:04 AM

Greg3G I also agree with the push pads, I always use them at the router table. Makes it alot easier to control the wood to I think. It’s like giving the piece of wood a handle to push from. It was just weird that it did that. Could it be that the router’s speed was to high? I was running it at full speed.

-- Tyler, Illinois

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4461 days

#5 posted 12-08-2008 06:09 AM

Flying router bits are always scary!

Good to hear from you. Don’t be such a stranger – just be strange!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4247 days

#6 posted 12-08-2008 07:06 AM

Were you cutting full depth with the 1st cut?

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View DRdeveloper's profile


23 posts in 3827 days

#7 posted 12-08-2008 01:59 PM

Although we all feel like it should not, this is a somewhat common occurrence. When something is turning at 20,000 RPM, things can get dangerous. About 20 years ago, I had a router bit shear off and go flying into my knee – that was a (not so) fun trip to the emergency room.

Since then, I always double check the bit and collett. Make sure your bits are clean and don’t buy poor-quality bits. Also… don’t abuse the bits – pushing too hard or overheating a cheap bit might not break it this time, but it can create metal fatigue that weakens the bit and it might break at sometime in the future.

Of all the implements of destruction that I have in my shop, the router is the only one that really scares me. I use it daily, but with a healthy respect for what it can do to me if I am not careful.

-- Mark, Dominican Republic

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 4089 days

#8 posted 12-08-2008 04:01 PM

I had the saqme thing happen. Happenned no more than 2 inches into the cut. I took it back to sears thinking they’d replace it (considering I had owned it less than 30 minutes) but no luck. I’m quite sure I was doing everything right, but i guess it happens. I think a 1/2 inch shank might have helped in my case, but oh well. Also, you were probably already doing this but remember to make several shallow passes instead of one deep one. Glad everything turned out safely.

View dustygirl's profile


862 posts in 4090 days

#9 posted 12-08-2008 05:06 PM

Good to know for when I get good enough knowledge to try out my router.Thanks for the post.

-- Dustygirl..Hastings,Ontario.. How much wood can 1 gal chuck if 1 gal can't cut wood?

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4486 days

#10 posted 12-08-2008 06:04 PM

I’ll second the “how much were you taking off in a single cut?” questions. I’m not sure what all goes into making a bit break, although I’ve broken one on my Domino, but making bits hard so that they stay sharp means that they’re also brittle, and spinning ‘em at 20k RPM means there’s a lot of energy flying around, and the heating and cooling means that there’s lots of room for altering and destroying the temper in the mettle.

So, yeah, glad you weren’t hurt, and it’s a good reminder to me to try to avoid the stupid stuff.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Rogue's profile


260 posts in 3831 days

#11 posted 12-08-2008 07:38 PM

Happened to me a few times bro. Enough that I don’t even have to ask how much you were taking off, I can say for sure you were taking to much off in one pass. However, I have had a Fued bit snap on me when I tried to strain it. Bits are just never 100% perfect and if their flaw is in their shank it’s syonara router bit. You also may consider moving to a spiral bit instead of a straight cut.

-- Rogue

View HallTree's profile


5665 posts in 4129 days

#12 posted 12-08-2008 08:03 PM

Tyler, Don’t know what to say, sounds like you were doing everything right. The following are just some comments for the future:
- They are costly, but I buy the best bits (I think 1/2” shank are the best).
- I cut about a 1/4” lenght of 1/4” ID or 1/2” ID plastic tuping and slip it on the bit shank up to the shank neck to prevent the collet from griping the curved neck of the bit.
- And of course, make at least two depth settings of cuts before the final pass (especially on hard wood).
- And safety at all times.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View Woodshopfreak's profile


389 posts in 4103 days

#13 posted 12-08-2008 10:57 PM

Heres the deal. I usually do make several passes but this dato was for a 1/4 inch bottom panel for this box and it was only going to be just shy of 1/4 inch so I made the full depth cut all at once, but I don’t think this should be to much strain on a bit for it to break.

-- Tyler, Illinois

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4661 days

#14 posted 12-09-2008 07:24 PM

As far as I can remember, the only bits that have ever snapped off for me were 1/4” straight bits, with 1/4” shanks.

I have never broken a bit with a 1/2” shank yet.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Woodshopfreak's profile


389 posts in 4103 days

#15 posted 12-28-2008 12:37 AM

yeah the 1/2 inch shank bits I have are absolutely great. They seem so much more stable and have less vibrations.

-- Tyler, Illinois

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