Help with Process

Not sure if what I'm trying to do is crazy or not. Trying to make some wooden cars, buses, etc, for the toddler and kids of the family/friends. I created a template out of 1/4 MDF, maybe 1/8". Prepped the blanks, in this case 1.25+" thick hard maple. Carpet taped the template to the blank and roughed it out on the band saw. Took the blank with the template to the router table with a 2" flush trim bit. Router is 2hp. Had the speed set almost as fast as the router will go. A lot of kickback, but got the hang of it or so I thought. Reached the end grain and kicked the template right off the blank. A couple screws through the template into "windows" secured the template to the blank. Managed to get one end of the bus cut out and the bottom. However when I got to the other end, going cross grain, the kick back was absolutely uncontrollable. I tried slowing the router down which may have helped but not much. Tried going the opposite direction which didn't help at all.
Am I crazy for trying to cut 1.25" thick maple in this manner? Is that why I see a lot if not all of this type of toy made out of pine or douglas fir? The other alternative is to get a sanding drum that has a guide on it, available in a catalog somewhere so I know they exist, and sand the blank down to the template, but I bought the 2" flush trim bit especially for this process.
Why we're on the topic of maple, I have 6/4 rough and tried planing it down to 5/4. I'm seeing quite a bit of chip out. Is that typical of maple?
Thomas
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Wed, Sep 24, 2003, 7:46pm snipped-for-privacy@for.it.com (ThomasMitchell) says: <snip> Trying to make some wooden cars, buses, etc, <snip> A lot of kickback, but got the hang of it or so I thought. Reached the end grain and kicked the template right off the blank.<snip> Am I crazy for trying to cut 1.25" thick maple in this manner? <snip> The other alternative is to get a sanding drum <snip>
I do a fair amount of template routing, but never maple, and I don't think anything that thick.
Smaller pieces give lots more problems than larger pieces. You have to hold the smaller pieces tighter, and make shallower passes, especially on end-grain. If you are passing the wood in the right direction, I'm suspecting you aren't taking shallow enough passes. Slow and shallow. Especially on the end-grain. Or maybe just not slow enough. You need to experiment on that a bit. I'm thinking the sander may work out better, but don't know, no experience doing that.
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I have had the same problem. Unless you maintain very firm control of the piece, maintain a lot of down pressure, maintain firm but not too hard a pressure against the bearing and keep a steady feed, you will get kickback. I would practice on some scraps until you get the hang of it. Even then, you will still get the occasional kickback. Of course, a sander would eliminate the problem.
Preston

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I have no trouble doing this with 6/4 hard Maple. Maybe you are trying to take too much off at one whack. I don't leave the pattern on when I bandsaw, but rather trace around it, take it off and then bandsaw as close to the line as I can get. This leaves 1/16" or maybe less to knock off with the router. Slow speed and a good grip on the piece makes a lot of difference, especially cross grain. Might burn a little but that can be cleaned up.
Fred

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Slow speed. Is that the speed of the router or the speed at which you feed the stock through the router? I tried slowing the router down but not sure if I slowed the router down as slow as it will go. It's good to know that the idea isn't insane at least. I'll keep giving it a try. Are you using a spiral trim bit by chance?
Fred wrote:

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I remember seeing something similar to this in one of the magazines I picked up several months ago. Someone was using a flush trim bit and a pattern bit. He was routing in one direction with one bit, then flipping the piece over and using the other bit to finish the job. Sorry this is so vague, but I'm still a newbie. I'll see if I can find this article and get the details more defined.

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wrote:

Put handles on it. Make a sled to carry the piece (toggle clamps are handy) and give it a pair of handles (like the front knob of a plane) about a foot apart. You may wish to make many of these over time, one for each job. You can recycle the handles and clamps between them.
Separating your two handles gives you much more leverage against torque. Jobs that were uncontrollable before become easy. Your fingers also move further away from that whirling cutter.
-- Smert' spamionam
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