Please help - routing with templates

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Forum topic by HokieMojo posted 10-05-2009 06:41 PM 1486 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2104 posts in 3934 days

10-05-2009 06:41 PM

I desperately need your help people. I’m so close to running out of time on the gift I’m trying to make for my family, and every set back I have puts my deadline in jeapardy. I’m trying to make a guitar stand out of walnut and cherry. It will look a little similar to thins in both functionality and the amount of curves that it will have.

Here is what I’ve done so far. I made a template out of tempered hardboard. The lumber is 3/4” inch thick after planing. When I attach my template with double stick tape and try to trace it, the piece keeps kicking back in my router table and causing TERRIBLE tear-out. I rough cut the cut-lines on my bandsaw leaving 1/4” of material to remove and then tried to use a 1/2” flush cutting bit (bearing on the tip).

My suspicion is that my problem is caused by having too much cutter engaged with the material at once, but I don’t know how one could possibly make shallower repeat cuts. Should I put spacer material between my template and the wood? I worry this will cause other problems. I don’t have a scroll saw which would be the ideal solution to get a much better cut. Please help me! (-: I appreciate anything you guys can do for me.

16 replies so far

View PatP's profile


43 posts in 3447 days

#1 posted 10-05-2009 06:45 PM

Why not just hand, machine sand down to your final mark? It may take longer buy with a project that nice the end result may be better. Just a thought, I’ve not had much luck working with trimming on my router table yet.

-- Pat>>> A Man Don't Learn a Lesson Unless It Costs Him Blood or Money!!!!!

View Critterman's profile


600 posts in 4016 days

#2 posted 10-05-2009 06:49 PM

Hummmm, shouildn ‘t be getting kick back, are you sure your routing in the correct direction? counter cw oustide, clockwise inside?? How old is your bit? Is it dull or dirty? Are you routing freehand or on a table? If your on a table are you using a starting pin before you engage the bit? Questions, questions, questions…LOL Another possiblity I ran into recently with kickback was a bent shaft on the bit, guess that’s why 1/2” bits are better.

-- Jim Hallada, Chesterfield, VA

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4424 days

#3 posted 10-05-2009 06:54 PM

It would probably help if you were able to make your bandsaw cut a little closer so you didn’t have so much material to remove.

Another possible problem/solution: As you feed the workpiece into the bit, there is a tendency to move the piece right to left even when you get to sharp angles. That means the angle at which the cutter meets the workpiece keeps changing. This is bad, and will cause kickback when you reach a certain angle.. The solution is to try to maintain the same angle of attack at all times. That requires a lot of movement of the piece. You almost have to be able to move 360 degrees around the bit to pull ot off.

I hope I’m making it clear… it’s sort of hard to put into words.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3934 days

#4 posted 10-05-2009 06:57 PM

I need to make a few of these and I’d REALLY like the parts to stay consistent and symetrical. Also, I don’t have a spindle sander and I’ve used up my 2009 woodworking hobby budget. no new toys until 2010 at least.

I’m definitely feeding the piece into the cutters in the correct direction. It is on a table (albeit a pathetic little craftsman one). The bit is brand new (the last purchase of 2009) and is a good quality carbide bit. I’ve never heard of a starting pin. I think that addresses all your questions.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3934 days

#5 posted 10-05-2009 06:59 PM

so no one thinks its because I’m trying to route the full 3/4” of material at once? maybe my problem is turnign out to be something I hadn’t even thought of.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4424 days

#6 posted 10-05-2009 07:13 PM

No, that is done all the time. I still think the problem is with controlling the workpiece to keep it at the correct angle. If you can find a way to clamp it, I think you might have better success off the table. With the workpiece secured, you would just have to move the router around it in a counterclockwise direction.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Karson's profile


35149 posts in 4607 days

#7 posted 10-05-2009 07:23 PM

I would say about 1/16 of an inch also and make sure that the tape is making good contact. I’ve found some different quality on double faced tapes. get the one that looks like woven cloth and not the one with clear plastic. The cloth one is about twice the price.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View Betsy's profile


3392 posts in 4102 days

#8 posted 10-05-2009 07:34 PM

Hokie – I think you are trying to take off to much material at one time. Since you have already cut these out on the band saw, I’d take a good rasp to the material – get it a bit closer to your line then take it back to the router table.

I do like Dave suggested – flip my work piece when I know the grain is going to switch directions and use a different bit.

It also looks like you have lots of straight lines and the curves are gentle and large. So with that in mind – I think I would rescue your current piece with a rasp and a scraper.

Hope that helps – good luck.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3365 days

#9 posted 10-05-2009 07:39 PM

I would likely work the legs in pairs or more, clamping them together and pushing them through the bandsaw in one pass. From there, I would sand them down at the same time to the final dimension. This way, you maintain symmetry even if you miss your final mark.

BTW, Taylor guitars rock! :)

-- jay,

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3934 days

#10 posted 10-05-2009 07:39 PM

I’m going to cut a new blank and try this experiment outside of the router table. I’ll also try to cut closer, but my small craftsman bandsaw has 2 options.

1) I have the 3/8” stock blade which is about as large as the saw was really meant to handle
2) I have a 1/2 timberwolf resaw blade

The latter works great but is too large to cut these curves. The former is obviously junk.

The tape I’ve been using seems to hold really well. It is good quality 3M.

I wish I had a dual bearing bit. That sounds like a convenience and a half!

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 3939 days

#11 posted 10-05-2009 09:37 PM

Another solution that hasn’t been mentioned – if you feel more comfortable on the bandsaw leaving 1/4” or so outside the line, replace your flush trim bit’s bearing with one slightly larger. If you are using a 1/2” bit, it should have a 1/2” bearing (might want to check that); replace with a 5/8” bearing which, after routing the perimeter, should leave you with 1/8” left to be removed. Replace the original bearing and route around the perimeter again. Voila! you now have flush trimmed to your template.

If you have a small amount to remove, you can usually (sometimes) get away with routing against the grain. But in your case, with 1/4” to remove, every time the grain changes direction against your feed direction, you will get chipout.

Good luck.


-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View Critterman's profile


600 posts in 4016 days

#12 posted 10-05-2009 09:40 PM

Hey Jo, OK let me explain first a starter pin screws into the surface of the router table and allows you something to ride the workpiece against as you move it into the router bit. I don’t think angle is a problem since your using a table. I do agree trying to take too much off will cause problems, but kickback? If your bit is new then you are probably trying to bite off more than your bit and router can handle. Do you have a jig saw? I know it sounds like a lot of work, but if you take it slow you can get it down to what you need, slow and steady will get that last little bit off, and should make the router thing easier.

-- Jim Hallada, Chesterfield, VA

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3934 days

#13 posted 10-19-2009 04:41 AM

Hey guys,
I’m not sure if any of you are still following this post, but if so, I owe a lot of thanks to all of you. I just wanted to post about my fixes and their results. I switched router bits to a much larger diameter freud that I forgot I had. It could fit in the tight radii of some of the curves I planned, so I just made larger curves for those 4 curves. another advantage is that the edge on the bit is slightly angles. Definitely not a spiral, but i not 100% straight either. That little bit seems to make difference.

I also hand routed instead of using the table. The only real problem here is that I because this is such thin material and hard to support and clamp, I had to stop often to reposition. So far I’ve cut about 5 of the 18 pieces and the only problem was a chip-out in one section, but it is a spot that I can just modify on one of the stands.

I really hope you guys came back to read this. I really appreciate the help. IF I weren’t so far behind, I’d blog the progress, but I promise pictures when I’m done. Take care and I’ll be posting a new question soon.

View a1Jim's profile


117343 posts in 3783 days

#14 posted 10-19-2009 04:52 AM

For others that have this problem changing bearings so the cuts more shallow, climb cut were you can catch the grain and or sand the real tight areas with a spindle sander. and like many people have said reduce the amount your trying to pattern route to about 1/8”maximum buy cutting closer to the line of your work with the band saw.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Andrew Betschman's profile

Andrew Betschman

309 posts in 3429 days

#15 posted 10-19-2009 05:01 AM

On pattern routing there should be than no more than 1/16-1/8” of an over hang.

-- Andrew, Ohio

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