Note: I wrote more than I intended to. If you have lots of important
things to do, you should probably skip this post.
I like to try to amuse those who have tried to teach me so much. I am
in the process of building the DP Baseboard that Mike M. termed the
"Baseboard of my dreams". That's an exaggeration of course, but it has a
ring to it that I like. The kind poster who posts as morgans should get
most of the credit for putting the idea for this DP baseboard in my head
in the first place.
If you cut 2by8s into five 30" pieces, and line them side-to-side with 2
or 3 pipe clamps you may get 30" by 36 1/8" or 30" by 36 3/16" surface,
depending on which sides you measure. I use 30" above only in a nominal
way. I measured and cut a 30" piece from a 2by8, then cut four more
that were about the same size (it was a matter of pride at the time, a
few months ago when I cut the stuff with my CS, that I didn't use a
ruler). I bought some 2by4's (2)to at the same time I bought the 2by8s.
Originally, I was going to put these all the way around, under the
edge of the "surface", but in the end I decided to just put them under
the sides. It's a good thing too, as one of these 2by4's virtually
turned itself into an "S". It happened to contain the "pith" of the
tree. I'll try to avoid such lumber in the future.
Lacking a real workbench, today I clamped my surface together on saw
horses as described at the top of the paragraph above. Then I clamped a
36+" piece of 2by4 underneath one side using four 6" F-clamps--2 on each
end. Enter router (DeWalt 2 1/4hp). I made a few practice passes with
it using a round-over bit yesterday to get a feel for it--it cut easier
than I expected. Relatively quiet too compared to my Delta 12.5" bench
planer which I used to smooth one side of my 2by4 pieces, where the
bearing would rest. Now I was using a 2" long straight bit with a
bearing. The amount of wood I was trying to chomp off the end grain of
the 2by8 pieces varied from board to board, but wasn't greater than
about 1/4" by 1 7/16" height (I realize now this is a little too much).
It wasn't too long that my bit froze (stopped turning), and it wasn't
too many seconds later that I thought I saw the bit fly! If it freezes
again I'll stop and do an inspection. I expected to find the bit against
the wall, but it was only a foot or two away from where I was standing.
It got thrown, or dropped, into the piece of carpet I was standing on.
Enter an opportunity for some soul-searching. I regrouped, and was even
more attentive/vigilant, and had a new decidedly-favorite side of the
router to stand on (behind it). I moved the F clamps around and
finished "straightening" the side. Then I used the (3/8") roundover bit.
There were a several places where it didn't look so good--remnants
from my use of the straight bit: where the router bumped into a clamp,
in between boards, and in particular where I was trying to take off too
much wood (I think) with --I was left with some deep gouges. I knew the
roundover bit wouldn't cover-up each problem I created with the
straight-bit, but it helped.
My wife thought it looked good. I thought it looked acceptable. I ate
dinner, and went back and completed the other side (straightened and
rounded over). Also rounded over the front. Then it occurred to me
(duh..), I went back to the first side, re-clamped the 2by4 1/8" further
in, straightened the side to erase my previous errors (I know Larry
would have given me hell about them) and redid the first side, leaving
far less evidence of my router-newbyness.
Some other things I learned:
- I like the "soft-start" feature of the router
- Try to make use of the variable speed feature
- Start close to the the edge, so the amount of "climbing" you might do
- Be damn careful about "climbing cuts", like the books say!
- I can see why people like having more than 1 router:
Every time I needed to switch to a round-over bit, I need to un-attach
the power to the router, remove eye and ear protection (dust mask was
constant), extract the router motor from the base, find and put on a
leather glove :), loosen the collet, remove the straight bit, insert the
roundover bit in the collet, pull it out 1/16", tighten the collet,
remove glove, put motor back in base, adjust height of bit, look for eye
and ear protection, verify power switch is off, attach power to the
router, and proceed. I left out a few steps, but you get the idea.
Similar for switching back to the straight bit! It seemed a bit
tiresome to me that there was so much process to this..
So, as you can see, it was a decent learning experience. Sorry to post
so many words; I hope my post helps somebody learn how to change router
bits! ;) I'll post a pic when I'm finished. Regards,