Safety First

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Ted's Woodworking Plans

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Whether you arc routing a circle using a trammel or on the router tabic, feed the work or the tool in a counterclockwise direction. This willkeep you out of trouble. With other setup, a clockwise feed yields a climb cut.

When you arc using a trammel (or.on a router table, a fixed pivot) 10 nut a circle as a groo\c-fonning cpcalion. feed direction doesn't make a whole lot of difference. Ihi rotation of the bit probably won't help you or hurt you, so long as your pivot is secure. Wirh aclockwisc feed—the climb cut— the rotation is pulling on the pivot. With a counterclockwise iced, the rotation is pushing against the pivot.

But if the bit ever emerges from the groove to form an edge, or when the entire cut is an edge-forming operation, feed direction becomes a real issue. I'm talking about cutting a circle from a square, when the circle's diameter and the square's width are the same. In this situation, the bit is cutting a groove as it rounds off the cor-neR of the square, but it's form-ingthc edge elsewhere around the circumference. I'm also talking about routing an edge on a disk you've roughed out on the band saw

This is a safety issue primarily, because climb cuts are such grabby, galloping cuts. The bit can dig in and jerk the router or the disk out of your control. But when routing a disk from a square, the grab that comes when the bit comes out of the groove can give you a start. If the pivot isn't set securely, it can be jerked out of position.

Feed direction becomes a quality issue because of chip-out. Chip-

out occurs as the cutting edge of the bit sweeps off the wood, taking chips out of the edge. There's often a temptation to make a climb cut to avoid chip-out. In a climb cut, the cutting edge is sweeping into the wood, forcing the wood fibers in, so there are no chips lifting out. A safer approach is to make a light finish cut in the proper (counterclockwise) feed direction, to clean up the edge.

REDUCING CUIP-0UT

DANGER OF A

CLIMB CUT

Router Template Round
Though each template hole is labeled with the size of hole itll produce if used with a pattern bit, its range is expanded through the use of guide bushings, as shown here. The bushing's offset reduces the diameter of the hole produced.

The 3-inch template hole would then yield a 2'M<rinch routed hole.

But wait! There's still more!

Remember those rounded corners on the templates? Clamp the template at a corner, and you can round the comer using your router and pattern bit. No saw marks to sand away, no ripples or flat spots. Use the same template at each corner of the tabletop, for example, and you can round the comcrs smoothly and consistently.

The templates give you comer-round guides starting at a Winch radius and jumping in Winch increments to 3 inches.

Making the templates is a simple matter. You can use a fly cuttcr chucked in a drill press to cut the holes, but Phil Gchret. who made the templates shown, used a small trammel. He laid out the comcrs using drafting templates, then rounded them off on a stationary sandcr. Template layouts are shown in the drawing. You can make individual templates—one for each size of hole—but ganging them gives you space-efficient clamping area.

Woodworking Drill Bushing
CIRCLE TEMPLATES GIVE YOU PERFECT CIRCLES WITHOUT A TRAMMEL

Template

Guide

Bit

Hole

Diameter

Bushing

Diameter

Diameter

3" hole

W O.D.

Y"

2/2"

O.D.

Ya"

lYs"

Ys" O.D.

Ys"

2Yt"

Ys" O.D.

Yx"

V/s

none

pattern bit

3"

3Yj" hole

Y" O.D.

V"

3"

Ys" O.D.

W

V/s

Ys" O.D.

y«M

3 Y"

Ys" O.D.

Y2"

lYs"

none

pattern bit

Wi"

4" hole

V," O.D.

W

3/2"

Ys" O.D.

W

3 Ys"

Ys" O.D.

Ys"

3 vr

Ys" O.D.

Yi"

y/s"

none

pattern bit

4"

m" hole

W O.D.

W

4"

Ys" O.D.

Y^"

Ws"

Ys" O.D.

Ys"

4 Ya"

Ys" O.D.

Yi"

4Ys"

none

pattern bit

4V2"

5" hole

Y" O.D.

4V"2M

Ys" O.D.

W

4 Ys"

Ys" O.D.

Ys"

Wa"

Ys" O.D.

Yi"

4%"

none

pattern bit

5"

5/2" hole

Ya" O.D.

W

5"

Ys" O.D.

K"

5Ys"

Ys" O.D.

5V

Ys" O.D.

VkM

5Ys"

none

pattern bit

5Yi"

6" hole

Y" O.D.

'/V

5Yi"

Ys" O.D.

w*

5Ye"

Ys" O.D.

Ys"

5Ya"

V*" O.D.

Y2"

5Vs"

none

pattern bit

6"

SURFACING WITH THE ROUTER

The tools of choice for preparing rough-sawn lumber ire the jointer, thickness planer, and table saw. Nevertheless, there are occasions when the router can do a lumber surfacing job that the three massive, expensive shop took can't.

• Maybe you're on a remote job site, suck without the shop tools.

• Or you need to joint a batch of plywood panels, too big to balance on edge on the jointer, and with glues too hard on the jointer knives.

• Or you have a butcher-block slab to trim. It's too heavy to maneuver on the table saw. and it's too wide for the radial arm. And your circular saw will leave an unsuitably ragged cut.

• Perhaps you have a board to be planed that has an impossibly difficult grain, which neither the jointer nor the planer can satisfactorily machine.

• How about hollowing out a thick board? Or planing and smoothing a convex surface? The router can do these jobs. Can the jointer or planer?

If you have die time, die router— set up with the appropriate jig or fixture—can do all of these jobs. Some better than others, but all adequately.

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