Reply by Dan Lyke

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Posted on Router Table Feed Direction

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Dan Lyke

1523 posts in 5096 days

#1 posted 04-27-2009 10:57 PM

A place where, despite knowing all the safety precautions, I did a climb cut which trapped the work piece between the blade and the fence and spat the wood at high speed into my garage door: I was cutting a groove in the center of a strip of wood. I think I had a 2” strip of wood, and I was cutting an inch groove in the middle with a 3/4” bit.

Leave 1/2” of stock on either side. How hard is that?

So I measured a half inch gap from the fence to the bit. Made the first cut, had half an inch on the far side, 3/4” groove, 3/4” of stock on the near side. Flipped the piece around so that that 3/4” stock was on the far side where the next pass would take off the 1/4”.

The rest, as they say, is history. Except for that dent in my garage door, that’s still there.

I do think it’d be cool to film the operation again as a warning to those who’d come after. I was using push sticks, it’d be totally safe to recreate, but… It just freaked me out soooo much that I can’t bring myself to recreate the situation.

Anyway, that’s how I managed to do what I thought was the obvious thing, leave 1/2” of stock so measure 1/2” from the fence to the bit, and put the fear off the router table into me somewhere deep into my lizard brain reflexes. And how I inadvertently trapped stock between the bit and the fence.

As others have said: It’s okay to climb cut, as long as you do it very carefully with push sticks and take off only a teeny tiny little bit of stock at a time, but don’t ever get your stock in between your fence and your bit.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

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