Problem Solver

Tip and wobble arc the bugbears of edge routing. When you are muting an edge with a piloted cutter, the machine is more off the work than on. It's all too easy to put just a little too much force on the outboard handle and tip the router ofT the work. Often, you recover and no harm is really done. But snipes and ripples and outright gouges frequently result.

Here are a couple of tricks to help you avoid this problem.

Make and use an oflsci baseplate. A plan for one is in the chapter "Custom Baseplates." This simple teardrop-shaped jig changes the fulcnim point, so that much more ol the overall baseplate area ls resting on the work. It has an extra knob so you can exert more downward force on the work. too. This jig is especially useful on plunge routers, which tend to be even more unsteady in edge-routing situations than fixed-based machines. which generally have lower centers of gravity.

A second trick is to use double-sided carpet tape to attach a scrap of the working stock to the baseplate, as shown in the photo. When the router is resting on the work, with its bit hogging away at the work's edge, the temporary support block will keep the router Hit and square. It can't tumble off the work, even if you let go of it.

sweep back out anytime you want— to change your grip, to move the cord, or just to relax.

The starting pin is an alternative available when using a table-mounted router. It is a pin or post attached to the table close to the cutter. You press your work against the pin, then swivel it against the cutter and pilot bearing. (See "Using a Starting Pin" on page 99 for more information.)

How fast do we go? Feed rate is a real trade-off issue. A high feed rate works the machine harder and can produce wide ripples in the cut surface. Moving more slowly yields a smoother finish, but the bit may bum the wood if you move too slowly.

There's no foot-per-second formula that will always work, because some woods burn more quickly and some cut more easily. Push the router fast enough that the motor has to labor, but not so fast that it obviously starts to stall. If that rate produces a rippled cut. then slow down a little to get a smoother cut. If you slow down too much, you'll notice that the wood will start to burn. If you can't get a reasonably smooth cut without burning, try working in short, sweeping strokes. That will keep the bit cooler. If that doesn't do the trick, your cuttcr is probably dull. Sharpen or replace it.

Special Techniques for Peculiar Problems

On all too many projects, you have areas that you can't get the router into after assembly. You've got to spot these areas during a test assembly. before glue is applied, so you can do your routing then. Oft-times you rout inside edges before assembly and outside edges after.

Sometimes you can choose an embellishment that you can stop at convenient places, thus avoiding these problems altogether.

A piloted cutter can't always be used wherever an edge treatment is required (or just desired). Consider a beveled edge.

Piloted cutters are generally made to work on 90-degree edges. Beveled edges, where the bevel angle is acute, can be handled either by using an edge guide to control the cut instead of the pilot or by attaching an angled shim to the router's baseplate (some laminate trimmers have tiltable bases). But with obtuse-angled bevels, the pilot can get in the way. In these cases, you'll probably have to ignore the fact that the edge is an edge. Use an unpiloted cutter and guide the router along a fence clamped to the work surfaec.

Then there's the paneled door. Let's say you really can't rout the inside edges of the stiles and rails before they're assembled, because you want a continuous, rounded look at the joints. But you can't assemble the frames without sliding the panel in first, either. With the panel in place you have only 'A inch of edge to work with—not enough room for any kind of a pilot.

You could do the job with an unpiloted cutter, guiding the router along a clampcd-on fence. That's okay for a door or two. but if you've got six doors with two panels in each, think again. That's 48 setups to complete the job!

Put a fence directly on the router instead. Try this: Use doublcd-sidcd carpet tape to stick a 'A-inch-thick fence to the baseplate. The router then is supported both on the rail and on the panel. Now you can follow the edges of the stiles and rails

Several years ago, Fred and our colleague Phil Gehret built an oak table for our book. Outdoor Furniture. All the exposed edges were radiused with a router and a round-over bit. During a test fitting of the table's base, they determined which edges—or sections of edges—could be rounded over before assembly, and which had to wait until after assembly. They made a practice run around the assembly with the router—yeah, it was turned off—marking starting and stopping points (top) and determining on which surfaces they'd have to rest the router to get all the spots. While it's easiest to machine individual pieces, they wanted to blend one part into another where they joined, so some edges had to be machined in an assembled state.

The legs, for example, could he radiused before assembly. The base stringer and crosspieces, however, were best worked in an assembled1 state, with the router riding on their top surfaces (centcr). Where their edges were faired into the legs, they had to be worked with the router bearing on their side surfaces (bottom).

The most important thing these photos show are the ways you have to finagle to rout the edges of a piece offurniture and to get all the edges blended together. In this project, the base stringer's shape and the router base's diameter dictated that Fred had to do part of the stringer with the leg removed, and part with the leg in place. Fred even had to block up the assembly to gain clearance when working from the side.

by adjusting an unpiloted cutter in relation to the fence. By positioning the fence on the baseplate so the cutler is at its comer, you automatically have a stop as you cut into each comer.

This type of baseplate-mounted stop/fence also works extremely well when you want to stop a pattern uniformly short of an inside comer. Cut a fence twice as long as the distance you want to leave uncut As you attach the fence, center it on the cutter. You can then use both ends of the fence as stops.

From there, the next leap is to realize that even though you're following the edge, you don't have to cut the edge. This fence system will allow you to cut grooves parallel to t he edge and up to a couple of inches away from it.

Most routers come with slots or holes to accept commercial edge guides. The edge guides come in a

The only time you really need a piloted bit for edge treatment is when you're working a contoured edge—a round tabletop,for example. For most edge work,you can use a groove-forming bit and guide the cut with an edge guide. Thus, a bit without a pilot serves well for edge work, and it can plow decorative grooves as well.

Magic on the Edge

How often do you do this? Every exposed edge on a project gets routed with a 14-inch round-over, your most-used bit. Is this your trademark?

liit is,give it a rest! It's old and tired. Take another look in the bit drawer. You've got a lot of bits, but you need a kick in the scat of wircreativity. Here it comes. A few less-than-ordinary edge treatments.

The appearance of a chest or bookcase or table can be altered by merely switching the orientation of the decorative edge. You can cut the main pattern into the top edgeor into the bottom edge. Though these samples certainly look different, both have the same edge contour.

He subtly beveled shelf edge (top) was treated using a 1-inch dovetail bit and a >*-inch round-over bit. On the router table, bevel the edge using the doveiail bit. Then round-over the acute angle along the top edge using the round-over bit. If you don't want a distinct crease between the profiles, a little sanding is all that's needed to blend them.

A nose with a crease is shown next. For a tabletop, it's just a little different. Use a %-inch round-over to radius the upper edge, and a Vg-inch beading bit to profile the bottom edge and introduce a fillet between the two radii.

Doing the cove-and-bead edge shown next takes three steps on the router table. Use a Mi-inch round-over bit first. Make several passes, raising the bit slightly for each, until you have a ^inch-wide fille: below the quarter-round profile. Switch to a Winch core-box and make a pass to create the cove profile. Leave a '/a-inch fillet between the two forms. Finish the

The appearance of a chest or bookcase or table can be altered by merely switching the orientation of the decorative edge. You can cut the main pattern into the top edgeor into the bottom edge. Though these samples certainly look different, both have the same edge contour.

edge by taking a pass along tie top edge with a '/»-inch round-over. Using this approach, you can change the edge's appcarance by making one foun markedly bigger than the other.

The edge on the bottom is produced by one pass with a 16-inch round-over and one with a yi-inch round-over. It's softer than the usual 'A-inch/A-inch rounded-over edge.

variety of shapes and sizes, and most of them will substitute for cne or more of the jigs mentioned above. But the big drawback to most of them is that they're too long and too thick to get into tight spots.

routing trim for furniture

Whether you are making molding to trim the interior of a house or molding to trim the exterior of a piece of furniture, die techniques are thesamc.

As a general rule, the moldings used on furniture tend to be smaller

The stopped coves in this doorframe were routed with a core-box hit after assembly, using the baseplate-mounted stop/fence shown. The jig is planed so its thickness matches the distance from the panel surface to the frame's face. The square block is attached with a couple of drywall screws, and it's centered on the bit. Regardless of the feed direction, the block will stop the cut the same distance from the intersecting frame member.

in section than those used to trim a room. The upshot is that with a router, it's easier to make furniture moldings. You can either use a molding cut in one or two passes or you can build up a larger pattern using two or three such moldings. Once you sec how these slender furniture moldings are routed, you'll be able to apply the same cutters and techniques to producing custom architectural moldings.

Bear in mind that you may not be able to produce the moldings you want using the router exclusively. A large-radius cove, for example, is

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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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