I have been asked to create some simple blanks for award plaques. They'll be
stained and assembled by kids so they don't have to be perfect. All I need
to do is to route all four edges with something decorative, perhaps a Roman
I'm planning to do this on my RAS. I know, I know, but this is a very simple
project and I can't afford to go out and buy a router right now and I don't
have time to make a table. Besides, I don't have enough experience with
routing to make good choices for either. The RAS is a 60's Craftsman, which
is a decent machine, but the shaft spins at the same speed as the arbor,
which is way slow compared to a router.
I know it will work well enough, because long ago I made some windowsills
using two passes with a roundover bit to create the bullnose for the sill.
It worked quite well, which makes me think that I lucked out and chose a
wood species (can't remember what it was) that was tolerant of the low RPMs.
Might have been Poplar.
Would a harder or softer wood work best for the slow bit speed?
Suggestions?This is charity work so I also need to keep the cost down.
When I made the windowsills long ago, I had the stock between the fence and
the bit, and from lurking here, I've learned that this is BAD, right?
So here's what I think I need to do:
I'll make a router style fence for the RAS that will allow the bit to be
fixed in place in the gap. For the plaques, I'll work from 1x8x8 or 1x6x8
stock, which will be crosscut to a slightly longer dimension to produce a
rectangle with the grain going left to right.
I'll route the long edges of the stock before crosscutting with the bit
fixed in place in the fence. I can use a featherboard to hold the stock
against the fence.
Now, here's the part where I'm uncertain:
To route the remaiming edges after the crosscut, is there any reason not to
hold the longer edge of the stock against the RAS fence and use the RAS to
move the bit along the short edge similar to a 90 degree crosscut? This
seems safer to me than moving the stock shortways across the bit. Plus, if I
feel the operation has my left hand too close to the bit, it would be easy
to devise a clamp or jig to hold the piece in place. Whether I push or pull
the carriage would depend on the rotation of the bit, whatever is necessary
to have the correct relationship.
Am I on the right track here?