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  • router safety

    I was making a bunch of picture frames today and had to run a pile of stuff through the router table (about twenty five 3/4" boards, 2 1/2 " wide and 4' long).

    After merrily routing out the recess with a self bearing rabbetting bit, I switched to a self bearing edge profile bit.

    As i was routing the edge of the 12th board, I hit a knot and it disentigrated, and the board went towards the bit. The board was almost cleaved in two. If my fingers had been on the stock anywhere behind the spinning bit, i would have been seriously hurt.

    When running stock through your router table with a bearing bit, do you guys still use the fence? If not, do you hold the stock directly with your hands? It would take a lot of time to create a sacrificial fence every time i wanted to change profiles.

    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Re: router safety

    I sometimes use the fence with a pattern bit, but not as a guide, more like a backstop. I get it adjusted close (1/16" or 1/8") so if something does go wrong, the fence is right there. I also use a push stick. I keep a bunch of low tech (scrap) ones at my table and use the appropriate size. I never get my fingers close to the bit (I've grown very attatched to them and want to keep it that way!). Feather boards, when possible, also help.

    Be safe,
    Jack
    Jack

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    • #3
      Re: router safety

      ditto - hmm 5 character is to short to post

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      • #4
        Re: router safety

        I always use the fence with a bearing bit when I'm routing straight material.

        Just setup your bit height, then put the fence in place, aligning the bearing with a straight edge or something laid across the fence faces. I use the aluminum bars that came with my router extension since they're about a foot long, straight and flat, and only about 1/4" tall. Then I run that bar along the infeed fence, across the bit and across the outfeed fence, to make sure everything aligns smoothly. This adds about 2 minutes to my setup process.

        I try to always use a featherboard for side pressure. Depending on the situation and width of the workpiece I sometimes hand feed, but normally use a push shoe. The bit guard can get in the way on narrow stock, in which case I leave my stock long and pull it the last few inches from the outfeed side. This inevitably results in some snipe on the last inch or two, which I trim off to finished length.

        When using a bearing bit on curved material I use a bit guard that attaches to the router table. http://www.benchdog.com/proguard.htm

        Don't let a router bit mangle your fingers! Hamburger cannot be reattached!

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        • #5
          Re: router safety

          I have 2 push blocks made of plastic w/ rubber bottoms I picked up cheap at sears hardware. Rather the block get it then ytour hands!!!
          You can never have enough drills-too many is just enough!!!!!

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          • #6
            Re: router safety

            some neat link: http://woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=6514 http://www.amazon.com/Delta-37-108-P...5817613&sr=8-3 The finger gurd is neat. The push blocks are similar (differant grips on top)what I use!!!!
            Last edited by Akita; 07-30-2007, 01:11 PM.
            You can never have enough drills-too many is just enough!!!!!

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            • #7
              Re: router safety

              Man, that was close I'm glad you weren't injured.

              I have a Ryobi table, and I use a couple of hand blocks I made which keeps my fingers away from the cutter.

              But, the table sags a bit which poses a problem with the longer trim I need to cut for the kitchen finish. So I just purchased the Rockler table and with it, the safety/accessory set which consists of a couple of fence feather boards as well as one for use with the T-slot.

              Big problem with power tools is the confidence we gain from working away with everything going just right.... then in a split second, we get reminded that the darn things are quite dangerous!

              I'm really glad that your reminder wasn't harmful,

              CWS

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              • #8
                Re: router safety

                Thanks for all the replies - i'll be making some push shoes today (or perhaps I'll buy a few grout floats).

                I noticed that no one mentioned using a starter pin. What is your opinion of a started pin?

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                • #9
                  Re: router safety

                  I only use the starter pin when that bit guard I linked above is installed. The ProPlate is made to mount that ProGuard and also have a starter pin in place.

                  On the very rare occasion I'm routing something too small to use featherboards, or even to make good use of the starter pin, I use this small workpiece holder:
                  http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=5296

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                  • #10
                    Re: router safety

                    If I'm routing an edge freehand (single curved or multiple sides), where the fence isn't applicable, the starter pin is essential. I relatively new to using a router/table; but it appears to me that pushing a piece into a spinning bit isn't exactly the healthiest thing to do. With the starting pin (also known as a pivot or fulcrum pin) you can at least pivot the piece into the bit and then run from there.

                    CWS

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