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Greetings,

How would you set-up a router table and straight bit to make the cut-out of this part from a solid block of maple while minimizing tear-out? The grain runs length-wise. What size bit do you recommend? How deep should each pass be and how much of the bit's diameter should I apply to each cut?



Thanks in advance
 

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A hand held router might be easier and safer…
With a hand held router:
1) Place wider wood on both sides of the maple for router support and to help with any tear out, cut into support wood slightly when routing
2) position stops for your router so to stay witin your cutting area
3) Use a 1/2" to 1" router bit that is 1 1/4" long or slightly longer
4) Make several shallow passes, should give cleaner cuts
5) Be safe
 

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If I were making this I'd use the router table. Position the piece with the 2 1/64 side down and use a 1/2" or 5/8" straight bit. Set up a stop block so that when feeding the piece, the same distance is traveled for all of the cuts. Raise the bit to remove about 1/16" to 1/8" and set the router fence for about a the full width of the bit. After the first cut, raise the bit but leave the fence in the same position. Don't move the stop block. Continue these steps until you have reached the full 1" "depth". Then lower the bit to the staring point, slide the fence towards the bit to remove additional material- raising the bit with each additional pass. Continue the operations until you have removed the desired 1 1/4" of material. Use a sharp chisel to clean up the rounded corner left by the bit.
 

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I would set my bit at 1" height (1/2" downcut spiral) set my fence and to take 1/3 of the 1 1/4" with a stop block set to stop the cut at 3". Do that two more times to take the other 2/3 out….also use a feather board to keep the block tight to the fence and a push sick to keep the block flat on the route table top.

A longer piece would make things safer. If say you were making two…two stop blocks a plunge cut….cut in half when done. Just take it easy and slow….either way…
 

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I think sIKE's idea is better than mine. Starting with the bit at 1" will reduce the number of adjustments and accomplish the same thing.
 

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+1 for working with a longer piece, if possible, then cut to length. In fact, I'd make it possible. I can tell you from personal experience that you can get hurt working such a short piece and removing that amount of material on a router table. It's doable, but needs to be done with safety devices in position.

One other issue that comes to mind: The stop block on the fence. If your fence is the type of fence that moves from side to side as well as toward and away from the bit, you might consider this: Once you have the fence and stop block set for the first pass, mark a pencil line on your RT top at the stop block. When you reposition the fence for subsequent passes, you have that line as reference point.
 

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I agree about the best way to do this solid block of maple is the way Lew said. then lay the block of wood on the 1 63/64 side and reset the stops and do the same steps to remove part of the 1/2 to 5//8 radius Then
use a sharp chisel to clean up the rounded corner left by the bit.
 

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With some more thought, 1/3 of the material is a bit much for a 1/2" bit, maybe break it in to 5 or 6 passes with the the final pass a small amount so it is very clean and free from tear out.

Cut you a 2×4 to the dimensions and run it though the process, if it gets messed up you will know what not to do on the maple….
 

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The trouble with using a router table is that you are "working blind". I would use my overarm pin router set up in mortising mode. I would depress the router bit about 1/8" to 1/4" each series of cuts, and then square off the corners with a "scrary sharp" hand chisel.
 

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My first question is just being a smart #%s…... are you in a perfectly climate controlled envirorment? 63/64? Heck, in my shop, by the time I got it cut it would change to either 1" or 15/16". Great Ideas from all the above though, Safety first, best choice of tools available to you and what you feel the most comfortable with. I would make it oversized to start with, two rips on the table saw, one chop, keep grain orientation, glue back together and trim outside dimensions to exact size. Should never see the seams if done right. May not be the best way, but just another way to look at it.
 

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Do you have a mortiser? Stand is up on end and make the inside corner drill first( Down from the top three inches). Then work your way out from there. No need to clean up anything really. You might have to flatten the bottom when done. Don't know if that would work or not cause I don't have a mortiser but seems really safe compared to the alternatives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wow! What a great community.

I'm going to digest all of these comments and let you all know what I decide. I had already tried a few cuts on my router table using a straight 1/2" bit), which was giving very annoying tear-out at the stop (maybe a spiral bit would be better, but I don't have one. Also, because the two parts are mirror images and my fence fits on only one side of the table, I can't quite figure out how to cut the opposite piece given the clockwise bit rotation. I may go for Huff's and Don's approach - less aesthetic, but certainly easier!!

For those of you wondering about the 64ths measurements. this was my first attempt with sketch-up and like a novice wood worker, the dimensions don't always come out exactly as intended ;-)

Thanks again to all for a most gratifying post.

Geoff
 

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This does not answer your router table setup question, but have you considered making it a glue-up of 3 pieces?

safety and cut depth would not be a problem ;)

if it needs to look like one piece you can cut it from a single piece then glue it back together.
 

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as stated - use a longer piece, run it against the router table fence till it hits a stop that you should set - then trim the ends to size the piece as needed. and clean the inside cut with a chisel to square it up.

I too am curious about the 1/64'' sizings… 1/16" is as precise as I try to get -when I reallly want to. -oops never min - I guess I missed your latest comment explaining this ^
 
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