Router fence and feed question

I'm hoping someone here can answer my question. I'm new to routing, especially w/ a router table. I'm trying to make shutter louvers with woodline's plantation shutter bit set. The louver bit has the bearing on top. My router is the DeWalt 625 plunge router with a Rousseau adapter for the base.
My problem is when I set the router up and feed thru a test board, I can't get a consistent cut the full length of the board (the bit pushes the board away from the fence no matter how hard I try to keep it snug to the fence & table). Then on second pass the consistency gets worse as I believe the 'deeper' cuts get further deeper. I've tried to set up a featherboard and it doesn't seem to help. Is this something that takes lots of practice or am I wasting test boards going nowhere?
Is there any reason the wood to be cut can't be put in between the router fence and bit? I tried this and got a better consistent cut, but I can't find any references that demonstrate this config so I'm wondering if there are safety issues or potential problems in damaging my router, etc. ???
Thanks for any help the experts can provide!! --Brian
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I assume the bit you're referring to is the one at the far right in this photo? http://www.woodline.com/scripts/prodView.asp?idproductb7

Are you feeding the board left to right, or right to left? Wood should always be fed against the direction of rotation of the bit. In a table-mounted router, the bit spins counterclockwise when viewed from above -- which means you should feed the wood right to left. This will force the wood against the fence.

Things don't add up here... if the board is being pushed away from the fence, the cut would be getting shallower, not deeper.

Shouldn't take a lot of practice, no. I suspect something amiss either with your setup or your technique. If the bit's rotation is pushing the wood away from the fence, either you're feeding the wood in the wrong direction, or you're trying to remove too much wood at once.

Yes, several reasons. First and foremost, doing so leaves half of the bit completely exposed, where it can catch stray shirtsleeves or fingers. This is a Bad Thing. Second, it requires you to reach across the spinning bit as you feed the wood. This is also a Bad Thing. Third, it dramatically increases the risk of a kickback: if, for example, the workpiece is not an absolutely consistent width along its entire length, it may become wedged between the bit and fence, and probably ejected backwards at high speed, likewise a Bad Thing -- and when it does so, it may pull your hands into that exposed bit that you're reaching across, which is an Even Worse Thing.

Which direction were you feeding the wood? Left to right, I'll bet.

Definite safety issues, absolutely. NOT a good idea. I'd imagine there's also some possibility of damaging the bit or the collet if there's a kickback, too, but the safety issues are paramount. DON'T do it.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Just a wild guess, but does the bit take material off the stock on the whole edge? If so, then I'm guessing the bit isn't pushing the board away from the fence so much as there is no support on the outfeed fence for the stock after material is removed from it. Much like a jointer. In fact, an offset fence setup for (necessary for router bits that do that) is often called a jointer fence.

There are two rules on running stock between the fence and the bit on a router table:
    1: Never, EVER, run the stock between the fence and the bit on a router table.
    2: Whenever questions arise about running stock between the fence and the bit on a router table, see Rule #1.
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On Sun, 19 Nov 2006 17:45:59 -0800, Brian wrote:

Sounds like you're feeding the board from left to right--try feeding it the other way and I think you'll find it easier to control.
Also, don't try to take too big a cut at once--if you do then the router is in control and not you. Make two or three passes if you need to.

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Hi, yes that is the router bit set I have. Right to left is the direction I'm going alright. Maybe this isn't a good bit to start with considering my inexperience. I'll try slowing down my router and take less of a cut at once.
If it makes any difference I was practicing on particle board (the glued sawdust material). Granted it's " and my louvers will be " width wood.
Thanks for fast answers and I'll not be doing any 'wood between bit & fence' episodes. I just wasn't sure about that but I'm glad I asked while I still got my fingers!
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<...snipped...>

Hope you didn't practice too much, PB is one of the worst materials for wear on blades and cutters.
*The more you know.
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No. The bit diameter is small enough that you should be running the router at full speed.

Yes -- taking too much off at once is probably the entire problem.

Oooohhhh, bad idea. Particle board is very abrasive. Practice on pine or poplar instead.

Good!
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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as was just said, never feed wood between the fence and the bit. You can try the following:
1, make sure you are feeding right to left (on the table) 2. take thin cuts... thats a pretty tall bit and it takes a lot of wood even in a thin pass. 3. try lowering the router speed, for the same reason. 4. I'm not sure of the louver style, but I assume you are routing the actual louver. Have you tried cutting the louver on a bigger piece of wood, and then using a table saw to cut the louver off? (be careful there too!)
good luck
shelly
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It's generally considered unsafe to cut stock between the bit and the fence, there is a possibility of the bit grabbing the stock and propelling it towards the left. With the router table fence set up in the conventional, safer way, are you routing from the right side of the table (as you face it) to the left? In this direction the cutting action will tend to push the stock closer to the fence.
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I had the same problem my first time working with tall bits till I figured out that I was pushing against the lower part of the stock(closest to the table surface) which was making the cut inconsistent and too deep in places. In other words, the bearing holds the top of the stock in the correct position, but there is nothing to guide the bottom if you push too hard.
As others have said:
!) make sure outfeed fence is adjusted correctly 2) don't cut too deep one one pass.
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I just thought of something else....
are you using the bearing on the first pass? If so, you might be taking off too much wood. Also, as someone else suggested, there is nothing supporting the bottom of the wood.
Try using a split fence as a guide. (look at pictures of router tables to see what I mean.
shelly
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Yea, I've left the bearing on. The bearing lines up flush with the upper part of the bits blade. So I agree there's nothing supporting the bottom of the wood but still not sure how to maintain the bottom in place. What's a split fence? I don't think I have that on my router table.
I'm about to try again taking less wood off per run and see what I get.
Thanks! --Brian
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A regular fence is a straight piece of aluminum or MDF that the wood runs along. It should also have a gap in the middle for working close to the edge of a bit. A split fence is where you mount a piece of MDF (or wood surfaced w/UHMW) to each side of the fence (left and right of the bit), creating a gap big enough to accomodate a tall bit. This way, you can take the bearing off the bit, and run the wood up against the fence, with support on both sides.
now, you can take skinny passes by starting the fence forward, with just a little (bottom) part of the bit sticking through, and move it backwards for deeper cuts. Don't move the fence too far back - the bearing on the bit should be flush with the fence for the final pass (just pop it on for measuring)
Also, make sure both sides of the fence are even!
good luck.
shelly
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