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im having some issues with this.
what im trying to make is chair legs. i have availible two different flush bits for my table, one with a bearing on the top, the other with the bearing on the bottom. the stock is 1 1/8 thick, thicker than my bits are tall. my template is made out of 1/8 paneling. i had it, and it was simple to use.

the parts are rough cut to 1/16-1/4 outside the lines.

material is white oak.

what is happening is this:
if i put the template on the top and use the top mounted bearing, i cant get to the template before my collet bottoms out on the wood. if i use the bottom, i get almost a casting ridge where the bearing and cutter meet.

i am also getting a very wavy edge, and my template is not moving.

router bits are 1/4 shank bosch from lowes.

any ideas?
 

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I think the problem is bit related. First of all, I wouldn't recommend a 1/4" shank bit to do a job that heavy. Second, I'm not sure how you are doing this at all if your bit is not as tall as the thickness of the stock.

From what you describe, I'd say the bit you need is the one pictured below. It has a 1/2" shank and a cutting height of 1 1/2". It is available from Amazon for $34.00.

 

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one thing you need is a 1/2" shank bit, if your stock is thicker than your bit will cut, first you set the bearing to ride on the template,( template down) make your first cut, then raise the bit so the bearing will ride on the stock that has already been shaped. this is one way to shape thicker stock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
well, ive tried both ways now. im just trying to use what i have, as money is tight. ill look for a 1/2 shank bit, but im not holding my breath at finding one locally in my price range.

any idea on the "casting ridge"
Michael
 

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I would not use 1/8" material for a template. It would be too easy for the bearing to dig in to it and get dips in your workpiece. I realize you are trying to make do with what you have, but I think you're asking for trouble.

Ditto on the 1/2" longer bit. Everyone has given you good advice.
 

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I missed the 1/8" thick template part, you should have a minimum of 1/4", the 1/8" is most likely why you have wavy edges. also be very careful when routing end grain, the bit will grab and ruin a piece, watch grain direction, and ease into it, sometimes you have to reverse feed direction, but usually for short distance at a time.
 

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That's a great idea, Brian.
Similar to the way I did the interior of the drum shell in my profile pic.
I turned just an inch or so on the inside of the cylinder. Then I took it off the lathe and used a long top bearing pattern bit on the router table to finish half the inside of the shell. They I turned it upside-down, and used a long bottom bearing pattern bit to finish the other half.
 

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I agree that it's probably the thin template causing the problems-you need something a lot thicker. I use 1/2 or 3/4 mdf, or you could tack several thicknesses of your paneling together. IMHO, you should be fine with 1/4" shanks, as long as you take shallow passes. I've done the same thing using a handheld router with 1/4" bits, and it goes fine as long as you don't let the bit grab the wood and run away. Alternatively to using a thicker template, you could possibly shim the template so it's raised about 1/8 from the workpiece. That'll give you the clearance you need to eliminate the casting ridge problem. Just be sure it's level, or the bearing could leave the template and gouge the workpiece.
 

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I don't know if it's been mentioned, but one thing that really helps with getting a smooth line is to use the largest diameter bit you can. The cutter diameter isn't the important part, the bearing diameter is (obviously, they are the same).

Think of it like caster wheels on a mobile tool or bench. With those little wheels, you feel every little bump, divot and pebble, because the little wheels have to go up and down over every little thing. But when you have large diameter wheels, you don't even feel those things because the wheels ride over the top of them.

Same thing with a bit bearing. The large diameter bearings will ride over smaller pits and imperfections in the pattern material.
 

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Why not change your method of producing the chair leg.

The chair legs were produced with the router in the plunge mode all that was required was to produce a template (Female Template) and you will solve all your problems)
Tom
 

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Watch the video presented here showing the method I have been using for a number of years


This method was used to produce the first set of chairs some 15 Years ago. I get concerned that others are not using the template guides to their full capacity.

http://routingwithtomodonnell.yolasite.com/

I have recently posted a web site with some more information on the use of the guides
Tom
 

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Another thing to consider: are you cutting too much in one pass? You don't have to use a bigger bit, just cut in lesser increments. You can not adjust the depth of cut (guide will slide off the template). What you could do is move the template closer to the edge of the board, make a pass, then move the template to its final position (possibly in several steps). Alternatively, you could try to rough cut the piece more precisely before routing.
 
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