Problem surfacing with router

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by ADKAmateur posted 12-12-2009 04:59 AM 1439 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ADKAmateur's profile


9 posts in 3365 days

12-12-2009 04:59 AM

I am trying to flatten a 17” x 84” 2” thick slab of red birch with a router surfacing jig I made (my planer is only a 15” and I don’t want to split the slab). Problem I am having is nasty tearout. I am using a 1 1/4” freud mortising bit – brand new. Have tried various bit speeds, moving router sled in various directions, etc. I am taking very light passes (1mm or so). Any thoughts?

8 replies so far

View hardbroke's profile


9 posts in 3339 days

#1 posted 12-12-2009 05:52 AM

I’ve done this several times. In my experience try a smaller bit @ 3/4’ straight bit. I also build a rail frame on the 2 long sides that my sled rides on. If you ride the sled on the rough timber it will rock and gouge. Good luck.

-- Louis Young,TSgt, USAF, Ret.

View Ger21's profile


1075 posts in 3369 days

#2 posted 12-12-2009 05:55 AM

Start at the lower right corner, and work right to left, taking no more than half the bit diameter. Go slowly, and hold the router firmly, as it might want to grab. When you get to the left edge, start back at the right, again, taking less than 1/2 the bit diameter. You might want to make one pass at the top, left to right, before you get there, to minimize the chance of tearout on the last pass.

-- Gerry,

View ADKAmateur's profile


9 posts in 3365 days

#3 posted 12-12-2009 05:58 AM

Thanks, guys. I will give it another crack tomorrow and let you know how it goes – sounds like I am using too big of a bit, and based on your feedback I am going way too fast and taking off too much in my passes. Louis – I do have rails; I will try to post a photo of the jig – kind of proud of it!

View hardbroke's profile


9 posts in 3339 days

#4 posted 12-12-2009 06:16 AM

There I go again a day late and a dollar short. Good think on the rails. I’ve had to do this for several friends that were not savy on how to clamp a butcherblock style table top together. Some just bowed in the middle and one guy started stair stepping them down lower than the last looked like 3 ft long x 7 ft wide hand saw. The tops turned out beautiful but I made them attach a piece of luan to the underneath. And yes there was some modification needed to the bottom to attach the legs. Will look forward to pics.

-- Louis Young,TSgt, USAF, Ret.

View Rogue's profile


260 posts in 3708 days

#5 posted 12-12-2009 07:28 AM

I’d skip the router my freind and take it down to your local cab shop and have them run it through an over head sander. It’l cost you @ $20 and save you alota heart break

-- Rogue

View NoSlivers's profile


210 posts in 3328 days

#6 posted 12-12-2009 07:31 AM

Sounds like you have it figured out, but light passes will net you a smoother finish than trying to remove alot of stock at once, regardless of the bit being used. It may take more time at the outset, but think of the time saved by not having to sand so much! :D I have a small collection of large handplanes for just such instances. Planing actually goes pretty fast and gives a pretty nice surface, unless the grain is highly figured. Regardless, I’d rather push a plane for an hour than sand for 30 minutes.

-- If you don't have time to do it right, do you have time to do it twice?

View Brian Havens's profile

Brian Havens

196 posts in 3344 days

#7 posted 12-15-2009 12:42 AM

Also check that you are not routing against the grain. Check the grain on the side of the slab an make sure the grain looks like it is going “uphill” in the direction you are routing.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

View PG_Zac's profile


368 posts in 3626 days

#8 posted 12-15-2009 01:25 AM

I generally use a bowl router bit for this type of work. Firstly, it doesn’t have sharp corners to bite into the wood, Secondly, there are less tool marks to sand out.

-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics