Time to dress up that middle section and hollow it out for a drawer. the idea is to hollow out ~3/4” thickness from the bottom, leave ~2-3” shoulder on the sides and back, and trim that opening edge with a dovetail form that the drawer will slide and lock into.
I started by boring most of the material off with a drill press and a forstner bit – fairly simple and fast, and went real well.
Next I took an extra 1/8” bite off of the height using a 3/4” straight router bit. I set 2 stops on my fence for infeed and outfeed, and step by step took off 1/2” width off of the opening pushing my fence backwards 1/2” after each pass.
that went great. smooth bottom, with just the sides showing the 1/2 round shape of the router bit (on the infeed and outfeed sides).
Next, I set the fence to clean out the 2 sides showing the half rounds for a clean straight cut. since the cut was internal, that means that the piece would be between the cutter, and fence. for safery sake, I fed the piece from left to right to avoid a climb cut. again, I set a stop to limit how deep into the hollow I’d go (until I reach the end of the hollow) and using the fence, took 1/8” thick cuts until I reached my scribed lines. 1 side went great.
I started the 2nd side, same operation,
Hmm… as I’m writing this now, and about to disclose the big band theory that until now was a mystery to me it finally hit me what happened.
SO. as I mentioned before – since the piece was being cut between cutter and fence, it was crucial to feed from left to right to avoid a climb cut, and have the piece yanked away by the cutter. the first side indeed I fed it that way, but the 2nd side (which is what now occurred to me) since I was using the same fence stop for reach of cut, I placed the opposing part of the piece against the fence, and since the hollow opening is only on one side, and although I missed to comprehend that – the feed was now right-to-left (normal feed operation when the cutter is halfway burried in the fence, but not a good idea for the cut I’m making Now!!!).
First pass went ok, I advanced the fence 1/8” backwards to take another pass, and thats when it happened – the piece was yanked from my hand in a matter of 1/1000sec. you know how you sometimes see a cup about to fall and you try to reach it and save it – only to be too late? that usually is a 1sec action. now that that and divide it by 1000 – like a speeding bullet.
The piece was yanked away from me jamming between the fence and bit which put stress on the bit. the bit broke, and jammed in the collet, it also took a bite of the zero clearance insert (metal). the piece was thrown away and as it hit my lumber storage it shattered into lego parts:
disappointing to say the least. there goes a good freud bit, and there goes 3 days of work. At this point I kept all the pieces undecided whether it’s worth glueing it all together, or not. we’ll see. for now this is 1 board less to have.
At least this blog made me go back one step at a time and realize what has happened. now that I know it makes more sense, and at least can stop me from guessing.
As for safety – my hands were (and are) always far away from the cutters/blades. my grip on the work pieces is always firm, but Never in the direction of the cutter/blade so that if anything happens, my hands would end up heading for it, nor being pulled to it. at least my technique proves to be useful as I personally did not get jointed away by this.
oh well. can’t win them all.
-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.