Router table safety

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I pinged Pat Warner earlier today to ask about a safe way to present a shor t box side to a hot cutter on the router table for the purpose of routing a stopped dado for the box bottom. Pat's advice is never drop a workpiece o nto a hot cutter on the router table. This is something I have done often with longer box and drawer sides.
As one who is fond of all of my fingers, I am going to take his advice. I see two options:
-- Create a jig/fixture to hold the work and guide my plunge router through the cut.
-- Use an upcut bit on the table and raise the cutter into the work, which it turn would be held by a fixture of some sort. Once the cutter is at the proper depth, then advance the piece to the stop.
So, I'm curious as to WREC denizens' practices and thoughts about the secon d option.
Larry
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"Gramps' shop" wrote:

So what did Pat suggest?
Lew
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Here's Pat's reply:
On 9/4/2013 9:06 PM, snipped-for-privacy@patwarner.com wrote: You won't like this, if dropping the work on a hot router-table cutter was acceptable. With a work piece that small it has to be fixtured.
In this fixture, the work has to be clamped and isolated; it cannot move. Once in place, the work can be routed via an edge guide or templet & collar. Not terribly straight forward, but I'd use my morticer in a second. Maybe have a look at it; it might inspire some thought.
Agree, this not a router table process. http://www.patwarner.com/mortiser.html
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"Gramps' shop" wrote:

There are several plans available for download the follow the concept, but are not as flexible nor have the cost.
I built one for M/T joints in 3/4" stock using a 3/8" up cut bit and was built from scraps.
Worked well for that job but definitely would NOT do pockets in a piece of stock.
Pat's package is a little stiff, but the good stuff usually is.
Lew
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On 9/4/2013 10:54 PM, Gramps' shop wrote:

Several years ago I was cutting a pair of 2" long, through, and stopped 3/8" wide slots through a 1/4" thick piece of Ipe. The Ipe was 2" wide and about 3.5" long. FWIW Ipe is about 2.5 times harder than Oak.
I successfully made this plunge through cut on a router table about 3~4 thousand times.
YOU DO NEED TO BE AWARE OF EVERY TING THAT CAN HAPPEN!!!!!
I used the fence to determine the location of the slot relative to the edge of the wood, naturally.
I used 2 stops, one at the beginning and one at the end of travel to establish the length of the stopped through cuts.
With a rubber soled push block to set on top and to cover the exposed cutter as it pierced the top of the work I would place one end of the work at the stop on the right side of the fence and the work edge against the fence I would slowly and with both hands lower the left end of the work down on to the spinning 4 flute end mill bit to make the through plunge piercing. After the work was laying flat on the table I would push the work towards the left side stop to create the slot. I would flip the work and do the same on the other side to create the other parallel slot.
Mind you I had complete concentration and after making a couple hundred of these slots in a couple of hours of production routing I was worn out.
As Pat has warned It is not a very safe operation if you are not aware of what will happen if you don't do every thing correctly.
I can give you a hint that might help.
Make you pieces double length, cut the slot on the first half of the work, flip the piece end for end and make the other slot. After both slots are milled, cut the pieces apart into two halves.
This will work if your pieces are not already unique.
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On 9/5/13 9:05 AM, Leon wrote:

Good advice. This technique isn't inherently more dangerous than most other things we do.
I would add, however, that it gets more dangerous, the more you do it, the more repetitions you do. By that I mean you get more comfortable and you try to do things more quickly after a dozen or so and that's when you can lose concentration and let your guard down.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On 9/4/2013 10:54 PM, Gramps' shop wrote:

Well, w/o any dimensions or materials to go on...that's what they make overhead pin routers for (amongst other things).
But, like Leon, I've done similar operations enough that I'm not that concerned(+) _IF_ the sizes are at least "large enough" and it's setup to do so.
(+) That is, of course I'm "concerned"; I'm not completely rejecting the operation given a set of parameters that are reasonable. What's "reasonable" for one may not be for another owing to experience level, physical condition, etc., etc., etc., ...
--


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OK, Pat is the god of routers. However, if I understand your requirement, I would use the table and just build a quick parallel fence setup and drop the box in (inverse plunge) onto the spinning bit and slide it to a preset stop.
Alternatively you could drill a starting hole, set the box over that hole then spin up the router, still using a parallel fence setup.
One trick is to set the box between the fences with one sheet of copy paper between the box and one fence to set the width and lock it down. Then remove the paper and you have just enough clearance to slide without slop.
I might shut off the router and let it spin down at the end to avoid any possible unintentional hog out while lifting it back out.
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On Thu, 5 Sep 2013 13:56:43 -0400, "Mike Marlow"

Here's one he might consider. http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p0049&cat=1,240,41065
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Or if you prefer to go slumming, they have these over at HF http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result?q=foot+switch
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On 9/5/13 3:26 PM, SonomaProducts.com wrote:

Either way, make sure you get the momentary switch, otherwise any safety aspect is negated. I use one of those foot switches with my router and like knowing that it will shut off if my foot moves.
--

-MIKE-

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On Thu, 5 Sep 2013 20:38:00 -0400, "Mike Marlow"

I agree. A fast spinning, smooth cutting router bit would turn into a wood grabbing toothed monster if it suddenly slowed RPM.
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On 9/6/13 12:25 AM, snipped-for-privacy@none.com wrote:

That's just wrong, period. Have you ever used a router? Have you ever done exactly what you said-- stop the router while engaged in wood? It doesn't do that.
--

-MIKE-

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Yes, actually I have done it. Electrical failure while I was cutting the ends of door rails to match the stiles. The bit *did* slow down quickly, but it was a wood shuddering, bucking action that left two inches of jagged, splintered end wood in my hands.
Maybe you're talking about straight bits slowing down. I was using a stile cutting bit where a significant amount of wood profile is riding against the bit. I was lucky that I had a good grasp on the wood or it would have spun the wood around somewhere, maybe even at me.
Don't believe me? Go try it yourself.
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On 9/6/13 12:50 AM, snipped-for-privacy@none.com wrote:

I have done it. It doesn't result in a "wood grabbing... monster." Don't use such exaggerated hyperbole if you don't want to be called on it.
Your description above it much more accurate, but I still see nothing dangerous about that. Presumably, you still have a firm grasp of the wood. However, from your description, I suspect two things. 1. your bit is not very sharp. 2 your feed rate is two fast.
--

-MIKE-

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You've done the exact same thing with a rail bit while cutting end grain? You're FULL OF SHIT.

I don't care what you see. And, that's the thing, you can only suspect, but you don't really know because you weren't there. If I hadn't been holding onto the rail tightly, it would have shot off the table, not too differently from a kick back.
Call it hyperbole, call it whatever you want, but since you weren't there, the fact is you JUST DON'T KNOW! So STFU!
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On 9/6/13 6:49 PM, snipped-for-privacy@none.com wrote:

How is that different from a running bit?
--

-MIKE-

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On 9/5/13 7:38 PM, Mike Marlow wrote:

If you're in an awkward position *with* a foot switch, you're in an awkward position *without* it. I'm not in the habit of moving around when using my router table. If anything, it encourages you to find safer methods to move the work piece across the table.

Not in my experience. If something sudden were to happen, your instinct would be to step away, stopping the router.
--

-MIKE-

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-MIKE- wrote:

"Mike Marlow" wrote:

You are entitled to your misguided opinion but you would be WRONG.
A foot switch provides the same function as an "Emergency Stop" momentary contact push button.
If you move your foot, you remove power, the router comes to a stop.
All is well IF you remain in fixed position until router comes to a stop.
If you want to use a maintained contact foot switch as a matter of convenience, so be it, but it is no longer providing a safety function.
Personally, I prefer a maintained contact switch mounted on the front of the router table, functioning the same way a table saw switch functions.
I used a momentary contact foot switch in the boat yard to pump resin and another to control the resin mixer.
Any attempt to use your hands in those operations would have created a sticky mess that would have been impossible to clean.
Lew
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-MIKE- wrote:

Lew Hodgett wrote:

"Mike Marlow" wrote:

Lew Hodgett wrote:
Yes as previously described below. -------------------------------------------------------- Lew Hodgett wrote:

---------------------------------------------------- Lew Hodgett wrote:

"Mike Marlow" wrote:

Not at all.
A momentary contact switch in a foot operated switch provides the "Dead Man" switch function required for a safety device.
In addition, it provides under voltage proction if the necessary additional devices have been included.
A "Push on, push off" switch whether it is mounted in a foot switch or a wall switch, provides a convenience function, but definitely a SAFETY function.
Lew
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