Router technique to avoid sniping?


I must be doing something wrong or my router and table are just wrong. I have a very old router and a very cheap benchtop table. Anyway, it has served it's purpose so far but as I attempt to build nicer things it, or my technique, are becoming problematic. As I can't afford to upgrade for awhile I thought I would seek pointers here.
I have a nice set of bits and suppose I want to do a roundover edge on a piece of hardwoord (padauk). Should I feed fast or slow? Where should I place the featherboard on the table, if I use one? Most of all, what is the best way to avoid sniping the tail end as I feed it?
Thanks, Jim
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I always gauge feed speed by the material I'm using. Not to say that pine is fast and cherry is slow, but to say that I go by how well the tool is doing the job. You can hear and feel if you're pushing too fast. The machine - whether it's your table saw or your router or your drill motor, will bog. You don't want to go there. How slow is too slow? By my simple technique, too slow is any slower than the machine is comfortable doing its job. Throw in an allowance for such things as observing burn marks, etc. and you have quite a scientific technique for determining how to feed.
Snipe with your router can only come from one thing - the trailing end of the board is moving toward the router. Which direction are you feeding the stock from? You should feed so that your bit (as it spins) is pushing the stock into the fence - not the feather board. If you are feeding properly you should be able to feed without a feather board at all. The fence will guide the stock properly. If you are guiding the stock along the fence with an even, steady hand it will ride the fence and the board will route evenly along its entire length. Keep the board well guided completely through the cut - beyond the bit.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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Exactly right. And another piece of advice: practice with scrap. If you don't practice with scrap you're practicing with your project.Ý Nearly every time I change a router bit I check the cut with scrap first. Often I find that I need to make a small change to the setting.

Make sure you transfer most of the pressure to the outfeed part of the work once half of the work is past the bit. at that point your right hand should do little more than guide the work. I have had worse luck with featherboards than without. Provided you can do it safely, your hands are much more sensitive to the feed than pushing the work with a featherboard. For small parts I use a Grrripper.
You didn't mention it, but tearout will likely be a problem on the tail end as well. Solution: push the work through with a piece of scrap behind the tail end. Voila, the scrap gets the tearout.
ÝNot original with me, of course. First reference to a variant on this adage that I could find was by the late, great Paul Radovanic in 1998 at http://tinyurl.com/dt6ns .
--
Vince Heuring To email, remove the Vince.

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Mike Marlow wrote:

This only works if your stock is perfectly square and straight. I was cutting a slot in some purpleheart that twisted on me slightly when I ripped it. Not enough to wreck it, but enough that I used horizontal and vertical featherboards on the router table.
Chris
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As you reach the end of the board, shift the pressure that you use to hold the board against the fence from the infeed fence to the outfeed fence. This will work for a roundover or other profile that leaves some of the original edge.
If the profile will remove all of the edge (e.g. bullnose) you need to make sure that the outfeed fence is out a bit more than the infeed fence.
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I climb cut about 1" on end grain then use conventional direction and don't have tearout problems any longer.

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If you are sniping the end of a board you should check your fence alignment. During the cut the board may be supported on both sides of the cutter. Any misalignment of the two fence sections can result in either snipe or a shallower cut.
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Issue to vague to be sure what the remedy is. Notwithstanding, your sample and your fence have to straight, damn straight to prevent a snipe. If you have a 2 piece fence, see the link for some ideas on how ro calibrate:
http://www.patwarner.com/routertable_jointing.html
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Shim the outfeed fence out to a point that eliminates the sniping. In other words, the outfeed fence should perfectly meet the work as it slides across, which will naturally prevent sniping.
Practice with scrap.
Barry
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