Special Duty Controls

Pilot bearings, starting pins, and fences are the primary means for controlling the cut and the movement of the work. But there arc other measures you can take to further control risk—both to yourself and to your work.

The design of the typical router table, with its flat-bottomed table-top and its open construction, eases the use of extra hold-downs and hold-ins and even trap fences. All of these you can make yourself. (See the chapter "Router Table Accessories" for an assortment of these safety devices.)

The feathcrboard—often called a fingerboard—is probably most familiar, since it's used on the table saw, the jointer, and some other stationary tools as well. The feathcrboard is easy to make. A couple of clamps secure it to the table so it can exert its steady, untiring pressure on the work. Properly positioned and adjusted. featherboards keep the work erect and tight to the fence—and the bit—and free you to simply push the work along the fence. (This is a godsend when routing long stock.) Their angled fingers Ilex to allow the work to advance, but they jam against the work should you try to pull it back toward you. And the bit can't kick it back, either.

Trap fences can guide a jointing-cutting jig like a box-joint cutter or a slotter for dovetail keys, as you can discover in the appropriate chapters. The idea in a trap-fence setup is to create a channel for the workpiece's movement. There's a fence on each side, so the work can only slide forward or back. With a special-purpose sled (like a box-joint jig), the trap

Occasionally, as when raising a panel with a vertical panel-raising bit, an extra "trap"fence can help you. The trap fence is simply a straight board clam/fed to the table-top parallel to the regular fence. It keeps the bottom of the workpiece from sliding away from the fence— and the bit. It takes surprisingly little pressure to keep the work against the vertical fence.

Occasionally, as when raising a panel with a vertical panel-raising bit, an extra "trap"fence can help you. The trap fence is simply a straight board clam/fed to the table-top parallel to the regular fence. It keeps the bottom of the workpiece from sliding away from the fence— and the bit. It takes surprisingly little pressure to keep the work against the vertical fence.

fcnccs arc usually a couple of strips of material no thicker than the jig's base. This means the work can extend beyond the jig on either side and can be moved without restriction. The same principle can be applied to keep the bottom edge of a tall workpiece from skidding away from the fence, especially a canted fence.

A template guide bushing can be a woodworker's helper, too. As you can discover in the chapter "Template-Guided Work." this little metal gizmo, used in conjunction with a template, can excrcisc a lot of control over the router and bit. And it can be used in conjunction with some special jigs to direct and control some unusual joint-cutting operations, too.

The details of making and using these special jigs and fixtures are laid out in the pages that follow. As each operation is explained, all the savvy peculiar to it is presented.

Making Stopped Cuts

If you are doing through cuts, preparation is largely limited to setting the depth of cut and the fence. Stopped cuts, however, take a little more setting up. To know where to begin and end a stopped cut. you first need to mark the tangents of the bit on a piece of tape stuck either on the fence or on the mounting plate or tabletop. Where you put the marks depends upon where they'll be visible when you are making the cut.

To make the marks, set a square against the fence, with the blade just touching the bit's cutting edge. Don't clunk the metal square into the carbide; do this gingerly. Scribe along the blade on the tape. Now shift the square to the other side of the bit and mark that side. Remember that you want to capture the full cutting diameter of the bit, so you have to catch the cutting edge, not the bit body. If you are usinga singlc-ilutc bit. this means you must mark one side, then rotate the bit 180 degrees to mark the other.

Naturally, you need to mark each workpiccc. too. indicating where the cut is to begin and end.

Since the proper feed direction is right to left, line up the mark for the beginning of the cut with the mark that's to the left of the bit. Plunge the stock onto the bit, beginning the cut. (Depending on the cut, this plunging action can cither lower the work onto the top of a plunge-cutting bit or slide it across the tabletop against the edge of an edge-forming bit.) Feed the work to the left. As the end-of-cut mark on the stock comes up to the mark at the right of the bit, carefully lift or pull the end of the workpiccc off the bit.

Carbide is hard, but it's brittle too. and I get nervous about knocking the bit's cutting edges with a steel rule. A square of wood is therefore a good substitute for a rule when marking the hit tangents in preparation for making a stopped cut.

Stop blocks are time savers when you have a large number of identical pieces to work. The easiest way to set stops accurately is to use an already-cut workpiece. With the router switched off, set the cut piece on the bit, at the beginning of the cut (we've rip/red the workpiece shown here so you can see the bit in the cut). Set and clamp a stop at the back. Slide the piece to the end of the cut. Set a stop against its front end, as show« here, and clamp it to the fence. Now you can cut the remaining work and have all cuts turn out the same.

Stop blocks are time savers when you have a large number of identical pieces to work. The easiest way to set stops accurately is to use an already-cut workpiece. With the router switched off, set the cut piece on the bit, at the beginning of the cut (we've rip/red the workpiece shown here so you can see the bit in the cut). Set and clamp a stop at the back. Slide the piece to the end of the cut. Set a stop against its front end, as show« here, and clamp it to the fence. Now you can cut the remaining work and have all cuts turn out the same.

I've emphasized which mark on ihe router table is correct for starting and which is correct for ending. If you mix up the marks, you will have a cut that's two bit-diameters longer than you want.

If you have a stack of parts to rout, set a couplc of stop blocks on the fence, so you don't have to eyeball the marks so carefully. Small hand screws make good stops. You can use little scraps and any sort of clamp, but the hand screws are pretty direct. The clamp is the block.

To set the blocks, you can measure toward the right from the left side of the bit to set the starting block, and toward the left from the right of the bit to set the stop block. But it's easier to cut the first piece from mark to mark—eyeballing it, in other words—and then to use that workpicce to set the blocks. With the router switched off. set the

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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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