Talking Shop

Backrouting

One of the cardinal rules of routing is that you should always move the router (or the workpiece) so that the stock is fed into the cutting edge of the bit. There's a good reason for this.

direction. When routing in the normal direction (moving the router left to right), you're pushing the cutting edge of the bit into the wood (or vice versa on a router table). This gives you a lot more control over the cutting action. As soon as you stop pushing, the bit stops cutting.

If you rout in the opposite direction (backrouting), the feed direction is the same as the direction the bit is rotating. So the bit pulls itself forward as it digs into the workpiece.

On a router table, this can be disastrous. The router can actually pull the work-piece (and your fingers) rightinto the router bit For this reason, I avoid backrouting on a router table.

Backrouting with a handheld router is another story. Since the workpiece is clamped down to a bench, the bit tends to pull the router forward (instead of the workpiece). This makes it difficult to control the router. But you don't have to worry about your fingers coming into contact with the bit like you do on a router table.

So even though it's a little tricky, there are times when I backrout to get better results. Take the top of the coffee table shown on page 20, for example.

end grain. Because of the oval shape of the top, it's impossible to avoid routing across end grain. In this case, if you rout around the top in the normal direction, you run the risk of ripping out large splinters of wood as you push the router bit past the end grain, see Fig. 1.

But by backrouting the top, the router bit pulls itself into the grain rather than pushing against it see Fig. 2. So I was able to backrout around the entire edge of the top without any tearout

But even with a hand

Direction of bit rotation held router, backrouting can be risky. So I usually like to take a few extra safety precautions.

safety. First, i always maintain a firm grip on the router in case it kicks back. And I clamp the workpiece down to my bench so that it doesn't shift or go flying off.

Start off by practicing on some scrap pieces of wood to get a feel for how the router reacts. At first, the router will feel like a dog on aleash thafs just spotted a cat. It will have a tendency to kick back from the to ri_ removes material from back edge of cut, resulting in tearout workpiece and to skid along the edge.

But keeping your elbows tucked into your body and your arms and wrists locked in place should give you a little more control.

Finally, I take several very light cuts when backrouting instead of trying to make the cut in a single deep pass. Then, after I've removed all the material, I make a final pass with the router in the normal direction. This removes any chatter marks left behind by the backrouting. E5

Backrouting removes material from front edge of cut. Since back edge is already cut away, wood can't splinter.

Direction of bit rotation

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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