"Climbing cuts" (going the wrong way with your macrouter) are pretty
safe if you are careful, don't take too much off at one time, and are
experienced in doing it.
I don't mind doing it, but as Leon cautioned, it can be very
dangerous. A 2 1/4 horse router doesn't seem to powerful until it had
a handful of your project.
If I were going to suggest something to the less experienced, I would
suggest this one, or its relatives:
They have the family on this page, at the bottom, about the last 6 - 7
bits. They are called "flush trim plunge" bits.
Look carefully at the bit. You can take off tiny amounts at a time by
adjusting the depth of your cut, making sure the bearing rides on your
This differs from the normal flush cut bits that don't let you choose
how deep you cut, which in turn makes the bit take a big bite. But
note as well that for a 1/2" collet router head, you can get a 1 1/4"
depth plunge at a very reasonable price of about $20. That should
easily cover a 1" thick piece of stock.
Or you could index your template, flip it over, and cut from the other
side and get about 2+ inches form the bit.
I use the bottom bearing flush cut bits for laminate work, but for
pattern work/woodwork I always pick the top ride bearing style. You
have a lot more control and you can adjust your cut/bite on the fly by
eye if you want. It is safer and easier for me.
Of course, YMMV....