Start on the end grain first and use a backer (sacrificial) board. You rout
the end grain and continue right in to the backer board. Of course the
backer board has to be flush with your good piece.
Hope that helps a bit.
> I am rounding the corners of some 3/4" hard maple and at times the wood
> will split out a small piece where I am turning the corners. Can
> someone tell me how to avoid this?
Use a piece of scrap to support the piece you're cutting.
Make your first cut across the grain allowing the cutter to carry out
onto the scrap.
Sometimes masking tape can provide a little extra strength to hold the
bits together (i.e. apply tape before routing, where splintering is
expected). Otherwise, a climb cut (carefully!) may help avoid the
Could you be more specific about which part is being rounded?
Changing the technique so that the bit cuts the fibers from a
different direction may help, if possible.
I am routering fishing lures that are 7-8 inches in length, 1.5 inches
tall from back to belly and made from 3/4" hard maple. I generally
start along the back of the lure then move the lure to the left against
the blade, then around the tail and stop. Then rotate the lure so the
tail is now on the left and proceed again until the side is done. Once
done I flip the lure over and do the other side. I use no fences or
push guards or anything like that because I could never figure out just
how to make them work.
Please excuse my lack of knowledge when it comes to using a router,
everything I know I have learned by trial and error in my shop with no
guidance. I have done thousands in this way without a mishap but the
router scares me every single time!
DJ Delorie wrote:
Sounds like a tough call. The idea of routing in multiple passes
sounds good. Another idea is to find a router bit with a larger
diameter (bit diameter, not the radius of the cut profile). For
example, a shaper bit has less tear-out because the cutting edge isn't
pulling away from the wood as much due to the "flatter" path it
follows (much larger radius of travel).
If you do a lot of these, you might want to set up a second router in
a table or hung under a piece of wood, with a bit the next size
smaller, to pre-cut the edges. For example, for a 1/4" radius, the
pre-cut could be 3/16".
Also, if the bit isn't sharp, replace it. Buy carbide, not HSS. Bits
don't last forever.
I don't blame you! With items as small as these, you need a good
method to keep your fingers 12+ inches away from the spinning bit.
Perhaps your method of holding the wood could be improved? In some
factories, they have foot-activated compressed air holddown jigs to
hold small parts in place. I don't know of a source for that, but
I've seen cam-action jig clamps that could be used:
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Can be done safely with little or no tearout or explosions.
Problem: High cutter traction on poorly fixtured workpiece.
Work has to fixtured and traction reduced.
The fixturing: Might require screws or vacuum chuck. To be sure, if the
work squirms you will break the piece or it will run amok.
Now then, to reduce the traction: Use a plunger with a new cutter. Let
the plunger take no more than a 1/16/pass. At that level there is no
remarkable energy transfer from router to work. Expect perfection. If
the router bobbles or the work squirms it's curtains. Test this
thoroughly on scrap.
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