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Router Table Feed Direction

by ghazard
posted 04-27-2009 06:39 PM


29 replies so far

View woodworm's profile

woodworm

14477 posts in 4566 days


#1 posted 04-27-2009 06:58 PM

You stand facing the fence’s face. Do not trap the workpiece in between the bit and the fence. Not only climb cutting is dangerous (esp when the workpiece is trapped between the fence and the bit), you may spoil the workpiece and also the bit. Sometime I need to do climb cutting, I do it only when the workpiece is wide and long enough for me to securely hold it and fully in control.

As seen in this pic, the bit rotates from left to right (anti clockwise) you feed the stock from right to the left.
The fence acts as guide and limit the depth/thickness of each cut. Gradually move the fence to the back until the stock is guided by the bit bearing (if any).

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View LifesGood1's profile

LifesGood1

33 posts in 4306 days


#2 posted 04-27-2009 07:02 PM

With any router table, I’ve always heard that you are not suppose to place the material between the fence and bit like woodworm had said. I’m sure if you put the material on the outside, it would run properly.

-- Jerod, Austin

View Rustic's profile

Rustic

3256 posts in 4571 days


#3 posted 04-27-2009 07:25 PM

I would not run the piece between the bit and fence. It will feed through at bullet speed. Thus causing an extremely dangerous situation. SAFTEY FIRST

-- www.carvingandturningsbyrick.com, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View woodworm's profile

woodworm

14477 posts in 4566 days


#4 posted 04-27-2009 07:39 PM

I do make climb cutting (feeding the workpiece from left to right) to avoid/reduce tear out. The first time I tried it was after 2 years I have been playing with routing operation on RT.

Good luck.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8642 posts in 4624 days


#5 posted 04-27-2009 07:46 PM

using a table for routing purposes, and edge routing – the bit should ALWAYS be INSIDE the fence, never feed the board where it’s caught between the fence and the bit (for edge routing ! routing dadoes is different)!

yes, this is climb cutting, but this is the most dangerous way to climb cut as you have 0% control over the cut, and the board… this is tragedy waiting to happen…. juts a matter of time. period.

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

View ghazard's profile

ghazard

382 posts in 4485 days


#6 posted 04-27-2009 07:52 PM

Ah…of course! I was looking at it last night with the fence pushed back away from the bit and it didn’t seem right. I wasn’t thinking about when the fence is flanking the bit…then it the feed direction is correct…duh (I say to myself.)

I understand the climb milling danger and I DO NOT do that. What about the oppsite…passing between the fence and bit against the direction of the cut? I have to admit, that i have jointed in this way…taking very small passes and being sure the stock stays flush to the table and fence…and NOT climb milling. To me, this actually seems less dangerous than ripping on the table saw with a fence…but the same risks pertain, for sure.

Thanks!

-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

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Chris

340 posts in 4333 days


#7 posted 04-27-2009 07:57 PM

I guess you’ve gotten this answer pretty clear, so I won’t hit it again. But I’m very glad that you noticed the inconsistency of what was written on the table and your concept of how it was supposed to work, and then asked a question rather than shrug it off. Always listen to the little guy in your ear when he says something doesn’t feel right. Thanks for asking, keep asking, and know that these responses are from people trying to help. Best of luck.

-- Chris

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Chris

340 posts in 4333 days


#8 posted 04-27-2009 08:01 PM

I missed your last response G. No matter how shallow the cut, you really don’t want to run the piece between the fence and the router. To do a jointing cut you pad the outfeed side of the fence to the depth of the jointing cut (an extra piece of laminate say). Then the piece is supported before and after the cut.

-- Chris

View Frankie Talarico Jr.'s profile

Frankie Talarico Jr.

353 posts in 4332 days


#9 posted 04-27-2009 08:40 PM

You can climb cut as long as you’re safe. Here’s a how-to that explains saftey and procedure

Climb routing

remember, a safe shop is a happy shop

-- Live by what you believe, not what they want you to believe.

View ghazard's profile

ghazard

382 posts in 4485 days


#10 posted 04-27-2009 09:04 PM

Chris, Understood. Now I’m going to play devils advocate…”Passing between the fence and the bit is an easy way to joint 2 opposite sides parallel.”

Is there another way to “parallel” 2 sides with a router table. The traditional way is to joint one side then rip the other parallel on the table saw, correct? My table saw kind of sucks so I was looking for a way to do it on my router table…

-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8642 posts in 4624 days


#11 posted 04-27-2009 09:18 PM

the reason the table saw is the preferred method is cause the table saw’s cutting action is perpendicular to the board passing direction, where as a router cutting direction is INTO the board passing direction – in the case of the board between the bit and the fence, this force is applied into the board causing it to pinch against the fence, creating even more pressure than usual, and it only takes 1 time for that board to snap, or run away from you – and your hand and fingers will soon find out what a router bit spinning at 23000rpm can do to human flesh, AKA – why experience and time tests have chosen to use the Table saw for that operation and NOT a router table…

please , please , please – do not have a board between the router bit and the fence… its just really is THAT bad of an idea.

climb cutting poses some danger, but can be done, if you take light passes, but climb cutting a handheld router is one thing – pinching the board on a table between the bit and the fence is another…

the suggestions have been clearly stated here…. you will not get any other opinion in this case on this forum. it’s up to you to use it wisely, or try out your luck.

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

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PurpLev

8642 posts in 4624 days


#12 posted 04-27-2009 10:07 PM

experience level, and featherboards have nothing to do with it. you’ve got a bit spinning at 23K rpm, completely uncovered, and unprotected as opposed to using a table saw with blade cover, and less likelihood of running wild at you… I don’t get why people like to try their luck when there’s a safer, easier alternative?

it’s like crossing a 5 lane road 10 feet away from a light, and waiting for the signal light to turn red before crossing ?!? why? why not cross at the light while it’s green?

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

View ghazard's profile

ghazard

382 posts in 4485 days


#13 posted 04-27-2009 10:44 PM

Shop, my last post.

“Is there another way to “parallel” 2 sides with a router table. The traditional way is to joint one side then rip the other parallel on the table saw, correct? My table saw kind of sucks so I was looking for a way to do it on my router table…”

-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8642 posts in 4624 days


#14 posted 04-27-2009 10:49 PM

what kind of router bit do I run on the table saw? flush trim bits… and roundover… doesn’t everyone? lol

how did you get to the conclusion I’m running router bits on the table saw? read my post again – bit spinning = router bit, blade cover = table saw BLADE

I’m quoting the OP (from his replied posts):

To me, this actually seems less dangerous than ripping on the table saw with a fence…

The traditional way is to joint one side then rip the other parallel on the table saw, correct? My table saw kind of sucks so I was looking for a way to do it on my router table…

This is where the Table saw came into the question.

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

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1523 posts in 5100 days


#15 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, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

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PurpLev

8642 posts in 4624 days


#16 posted 04-27-2009 11:08 PM

Dan – your story (I think I read it here already – or a similar one to that) is what I refer to. I’m glad you weren’t in the board’s path (BAD), AND that you’re hands didn’t get sucked into the bit (WORST!)

shopguryl – I’m here to help fellow LJ’s keep their fingers and stay as safe as possible, not to be politically correct – my bad ;o) I don’t think Dan’s router really cared whether he was politically correct, or if he posted anything on LJ that morning.. it spins! and it spins fast, and when it grabs grain it’s just a question of who is stronger… the x.xx HP motor ? or the wood …

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

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PurpLev

8642 posts in 4624 days


#17 posted 04-27-2009 11:14 PM

I’ll quote again…

Dan: I did a climb cut which trapped the work piece between the blade and the fence

But you should follow your own safety perception. I simply suggested to please use a safer route. what you end up choosing to do – is indeed your choice.

good luck, and happy woodworking for as long as possible.

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

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1523 posts in 5100 days


#18 posted 04-27-2009 11:36 PM

shopguryl, yeah, I was doing an unintentional (or at least stupidly thought out) climb-cut. I’ve done intentional climb cuts before (and will again) and successfully pulled ‘em off, but that one totally snuck up on me, all the worse because the trapping against the fence meant there was no way for me to stop the cut. In a normal climb cut, say a final smoothing pass on doing a roundover where I’m taking off less than 1/16”, I can always pull the stock slightly away from the bit if it gets out of control.

I think that’s the thing I was getting at: I’ve got no problems with climb cuts, but the vibe towards the beginning of this thread was “just always cut on the outside of the bit”, I just wanted to illustrate the way in which the other cut snuck up on me.

The good news is that me and the push-paddles are now really well acquainted and, despite some of our earlier disagreements, get along nicely.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View woodworm's profile

woodworm

14477 posts in 4566 days


#19 posted 04-28-2009 02:31 AM

I personally have to agree with PurpLuve. The two main issues brought up by the author of this thread are
1) feeding the workpiece between the fence and the router bit (I prefer to call it pinching/trapping) and at the same time..
2) making climb cut on the router table.

Given the option, if there is a safer way of doing thing, and I get the same result, why must I choose to do it the hard way that exposing my self to higher possibility of danger.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

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woodworm

14477 posts in 4566 days


#20 posted 04-28-2009 04:07 AM

IMHO… based on the sketch, we are to feed the workpiece from left to right. Once the bit make the first bite, it pulls the stock to the right. How do we hold and control that small thin pice? Aren’t we exposing our fingers to spinning bit at tremendous speed? The push stick is meant to push and hold. I do not think this push stick will hold fast the stock, unless it is a pull stick (a push stick with brad spikes loaded).

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8642 posts in 4624 days


#21 posted 04-28-2009 04:19 AM

woodworm, thats what I meant – if there is a safer way, why insist of using the more dangerous one?

One thing to note though, based on the sketch (nicely done by the way – and it shows the exact scenario). the bit will be “pushing” the board towards the push stick – in that aspect, this setup is correct, and that is the reason for the LEFT->RIGHT feeding direction. I have no beef with that.

BUT

what I AM concerned about is:

1. the board will be PINCHED between the bit and the fence, this is NEVER a good thing, in a perfect situation , all is well, and it’ll pass to the end (another problem … but I’ll get to that in a moment) but we know wood, and it moves, and it’s never a perfect scenario, and it only takes 1 chip/grain/whatever to catch on the bit, or create extra pressure, and all hell breaks loose… again – you only need this scenario to happen ONCE in your woodworking career to end it… just one.

2. consider the face that you pushed the board all the way through the bit, take a closer look -where is your body positioned? where is your hand (on the push block , right next to an exposed spinning bit)? where is your arm (above the spinning bit – yeah, not where I want MY arm to be) and you still have to push through the featherboards.

it worries me that people don’t care to see the potential for a disaster in this scenario… but like I said – I can only point out pitfalls, I can’t make you chose your work methods. I’m glad some people DO see it though.

cheers, and be safe.

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

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woodworm

14477 posts in 4566 days


#22 posted 04-28-2009 04:32 AM

Thank you PurpLev, I realized now that I figured out the sketchup the wrong way. There is no climb cut operation here…!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

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woodworm

14477 posts in 4566 days


#23 posted 04-28-2009 04:51 AM

In the Sketchup presented by Bentlyj, I presumed that if the workpiece is (in ideal situation) already/more or less paralled. Lets say it is 2-1/2” at one and 3” at the other end. Eventhough we are taking only 1/16” depth of cut, when the router bit reaches the widest part of the board, I guess it willbe pinched in between more tighly and will be pushed back much harder. If we are not prepared to face that situation, we may loose control and undesired thing may happen.

I will stick to safer operation.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View ghazard's profile

ghazard

382 posts in 4485 days


#24 posted 04-28-2009 03:12 PM

Thank you all for the spirited discussion.

Bentlyj, It is not so much that I don’t want to use the table saw, it is that I cannot get dead parrallel sides on my basic table saw. I can get to about 1/32” to 1/16” between the sides but not parrallel, plus the edge left by the router is much cleaner than by the table saw.

The jointing that I did on the router table in the manor we’ve been talking about was not a climb cut and was removing about 1/16” at the thickest part.

The real solution here is probably to build a sled for the table saw and get a smoother cutting blade, which is on the list to do…just haven’t built it yet.

Thanks again for all the input.

Greg

-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

View patron's profile

patron

13716 posts in 4316 days


#25 posted 04-28-2009 05:11 PM

myself , i overcut my stock , and then run both edges through the planer this always gives me a parallel
piece , then route the edge with bit inside the fence , so fence stops the possibility of over routing the piece
and trapping it .
if you want tapered , do router edge then taper stock .
keep your hands safe !
wood is replaceable as are tools ,but hands are hard to come by !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Dzhaughn's profile

Dzhaughn

9 posts in 2170 days


#26 posted 04-10-2017 10:59 PM

I am a beginner. Here is a crazy idea that occurred to me to do this parallell “rip” in 2 passes. I think it uses only standard, usual operations. Any objections?

(1) Ensure one side of the board is straight, joint if necessary.
(2) Set router table fence to desired width
(3) With straight bit, rout a dado 1/4” deep, parallell to the jointed edge. This is not a through cut, just a dado 4” from and paralell to the jointed edge.
(4) use a jig saw or hand saw to crudely cut through the middle of the dado
(5) use a flush trim bit to trim off excess, referencing the remaining wall of the dado. (No fence on this step.)

Any safety concerns about this procedure?

Next, with the hope of smaller off-cuts, reverse steps 3 and 4? That is, trim the board to roughly parallel + and extra 1/8”, then rout a rabbet referencing the jointed edge against the fence. (Still not a through cut.) Then flush trim. Is that different? Why?

Apart from safety: Downsides: a bit tedious, maybe uses a lot of router bits as opposed to saw blades. Upsides: Clean cuts, repeatable operation, no extra tools required, easy enough to build your own router table. If it works, it would reduce the investment and shop space to do good quality repeatable parallel rips.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1523 posts in 5100 days


#27 posted 04-10-2017 11:02 PM

I have done essentially that: Used the CNC to cut a groove (happened to be a set of curves with wider radius than my follow bit bearing size), cut roughly down the middle of the groove with the jigsaw, used the follow-bit on the router table to clean up the edge to the edges of the groove. Had no problems with it.

The one thing I did do was I used a bottom bearing follow bit (which was a top bearing bit in the router table), thus the exposed top of the bit was a bearing and not the nasty cutter blades…

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View Dzhaughn's profile

Dzhaughn

9 posts in 2170 days


#28 posted 04-11-2017 08:04 PM

@Dan thanks, that’s a good point. I guess a CNC machine clamps the board down pretty well somehow? Where as my procedure depends on pushing through with a push block.. I don’t know if that is a crucial difference.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1523 posts in 5100 days


#29 posted 04-11-2017 08:44 PM

Yeah, my CNC bed has grooves in it, I either drill holes through the material I’m milling and run bolts down through, or put a scrap block under a washer on the edge of my material, and run the bolt through that.

So I guess you’re asking about risk in each of your steps above. #3 is generally where I have to be careful about the stock pulling away from the router table fence. Featherboards on the table would help, and feeding right-to-left (because you’re cutting on the whole bit, and you want the bit pulling the stock towards the fence) might help.

Feeding right to left with a trapped cut (ie: just taking some stock off the fence side) is where I’ve gotten into problems.

#4 the risks are pretty known.

#5, as I said, I like a bottom bearing bit for this because you don’t have as much of a big exposed bit sticking up through the table.

But all of those are the sorts of cuts that I (a duffer hobbyist) do fairly regularly and without problems.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

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