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?
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.
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 .
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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