Router Safety ??


What size router bits are safe to use in a hand held router. Have a Bosch 1617 2.25HP? router. Want to use a 1 1/4", 1/2 shank router bit in it. Looks a bit beefy to run hand held. Would make multiple cuts to lessen the bite the bit takes each time. Looking for any comments or suggestions.
Mike B
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1 1/4" diameter? I would say that is at or near the limits of hand held.
My rule of thumb (to ensure I will continue with two fully attached versions) is anything that makes me nervous is a good reason to find a better way.
On idea might be to create some bigger base from ply that attaches to the hand held to give it more mass so inertia is on your side.
What's the operation you are doing?
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It all comes down to how big a bite you're taking... more so than the bit size. A full plunge with a bit 1-1/2" long by 1/2" diameter into solid oak will cause you grief. A 1-1/2" diameter bit taking a 1/16" pass into poplar is no problem at all. Density of material, feed-rate and RPM all matter. Some of the larger bits, such as a 3/4" lock mitre not only makes things dangerous but also inaccurate. Any time you're spinning half a pound of crazy metal at 22,000 RPM, alarm bells should be ringing.
Our friends at SonomaProducts sum it up right: when you get nervous... find another way.
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I have to agree with SonomaProducts I unfortunatly lost a finger by not stopping when my nerves were telling me I should Now I If any thing makes me uncomfortable I look for a better way
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nevems2 wrote:

I'm relatively new to routers, but I'd be nervous about using that bit handheld. I'm using a 1 1/4" Ogee bit with a 1/2" shank that pretty much qualifies as a panel bit by the size of it. I use it in a router table with good results, but that experience is enough to tell me that I'm not nearly skilled enough to do it by hand.
Do you have a table saw with rails that extend at least 12" beyond the table" You can throw together a simple router table very cheaply and quickly that might solve your problem. What makes this so easy is that you can use the table saw fence. I have posted a description of mine before. Let me know if you can't find it.
Honestly it took me 3 hours to make, including t-slotted sacrificial material on the fence to create a "split" arrangement like on the REAL ones. I had never used a router before so the three hours also included several practice passes cutting mitre and t-slots. As a beginner, it just seemed to me that it would be easier to perform as many routing operations as possible on the table. I was essentially making moulding (repetitive operations on long stock)so I used featerboards all over the place
Let me know if you would like more details.
Tom Murphy
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