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Forum topic by JeffP posted 02-25-2016 12:14 PM 852 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JeffP

573 posts in 860 days


02-25-2016 12:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip router

Have any of you come up with some sort of a mnemonic device or trick to help you remember which way to push stock through a procedure on your router table?

Here’s the setup: Making a minor piece of “shop furniture”, I needed to make a loose 1/4” slot in a piece of 1/4” melamine for a bolt to slide in. I knew my bit was slightly smaller than the width of the slot I needed to route. Knew going in it would mean making the plunge and sliding it, then adjusting the fence a few thou and making a second pass.

Since the slot was to go not all the way to either end of the board, I had stops in place on both ends.

Plunge cut goes fine, and the initial pass to make a router-bit-width slot goes fine. Now I turn off the router, adjust the fence, router back on, and start to make my second pass to widen it…board takes off and (happily), comes to rest at the far stop with the bit in slot made on first pass.

Long story short, I went and changed my underwear, then finished the job, but couldn’t come up with a good way of remembering how to always get the direction right on the first try with a new setup.

Clearly, the right answer to “which way do I slide the board for the second pass” in this situation depends upon which direction I moved the fence for the second pass. That determines which side of the existing slot the bit will bite into.

I know the theory, and why the bit grabs the wood and flings it when you go the wrong way…I’m just looking for an easier way to go through the mental process of being certain which way before I start a cut. Some way to make it “obvious” which way to go for any new setup of board and fence and procedure.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.


20 replies so far

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Tennessee

2410 posts in 1982 days


#1 posted 02-25-2016 01:05 PM

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2599 days


#2 posted 02-25-2016 01:08 PM

If you always start with the fence closest to the bit, then you always push the same way. Push away from you, with the fence to your right.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

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HokieKen

1812 posts in 606 days


#3 posted 02-25-2016 01:13 PM

On the table, outside cuts are clockwise and inside cuts are counterclockwise. That’s how I remember it.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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hotbyte

844 posts in 2443 days


#4 posted 02-25-2016 01:21 PM

I’ve not done this, but could you paint arrows on the top of your fence board(s)?

Is a router fence ever used for an inside cut?

From article linked above, is this narrative correct? Their picture is correct but this narrative sounds backwards…

Feed Direction For Router Tables
Working on a router table means flipping the router upside down- and this reverses the bit’s spin direction. So, feed direction reverses also. On a router table, bits spin counterclockwise. For routing the outside edges of a work- piece then, you’ll feed the wood from the left side of the table to the right side.

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JeffP

573 posts in 860 days


#5 posted 02-25-2016 01:36 PM

Thanks all.

Again…I’m familiar with all of the theory and physics of the situation…it is purely a problem of visualizing it while working and having some rules of thumb to make it more or less automatic. For me, it seems to be way too easy to think it through and still get it backwards. I’m not usually very dyslexic, but for this I seem to be.

@hotbyte, yes, sometimes a fence can still result in what you called an “inside cut”. In my case it was the “inside” side of a slot I had just routed into the board.

Please keep the ideas and pictures coming. Eventually I will find something that works for my messed up brain.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

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hotbyte

844 posts in 2443 days


#6 posted 02-25-2016 01:42 PM

Guess I’m not understanding your cut then. Are you saying you ran the piece between the router bit and fence? Or, did you run it position like picture I posted but opposite direction of arrow?

View geekwoodworker's profile

geekwoodworker

355 posts in 928 days


#7 posted 02-25-2016 01:43 PM

Making slots on the router table using the plunge approach is not the best way to do this. Make a jig to do it on the bench with a hand held router would be better.

Or even better is this. http://lumberjocks.com/projects/101724

I have had the same thing happen in the past and that is why I made the slot mortiser. Glad you didn’t get hurt.

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JeffP

573 posts in 860 days


#8 posted 02-25-2016 01:46 PM

@hotbyte…neither of those. It is a slot. So the router bit is in the middle of the piece, not on either edge.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

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JeffP

573 posts in 860 days


#9 posted 02-25-2016 01:50 PM

@geekww interesting idea. I have wanted to build a slot mortiser for it’s more common purpose of making…well, you know…mortises. Did not occur to me it could have other uses.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

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hotbyte

844 posts in 2443 days


#10 posted 02-25-2016 01:51 PM

Oh, duh! When I read slot, my mind went to a slot cutting bit, my bad!

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JeffP

573 posts in 860 days


#11 posted 02-25-2016 01:55 PM

Back to the meat of the original topic…after reading the replies and the referenced links so far I think part of my problem is that I’ve used a hand-held router a bit more than the router table so far.

I think my uncertainty may spring from an internal debate in my head about which way the bit spins in the table. Knowledge vs. experience (where most of the experience is with the non-inverted router)

I’m gonna draw a “round arrow” on the table with a sharpie so that I always have that firmly in my head while I’m trying to visualize what the bit will want to do to the board.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

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hotbyte

844 posts in 2443 days


#12 posted 02-25-2016 02:16 PM

For bit rotation, I use the “right handed threads thumb” trick. Hold your right hand with fingers curled and thumb sticking out like you’re hitch-hiking. Imagine your thumb is the router bit and your hand/fingers the router. So, point your thumb down for hand held operation and thumb up for table mounted operation. Your fingers will curl/point in the direction of rotation.

PS – this trick works great for figuring out which way to turn a screw/bolt/nut when laying on the ground under a car reaching up over your head and under a cross brace :)

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JeffP

573 posts in 860 days


#13 posted 02-25-2016 02:54 PM

Thanks Hotbyte. I’m a sparkie (electrical engineer by training), and they made us learn the “right hand rule” for electro-magnetic field stuff. Great to see it has a more useful purpose in the bag of tricks.

I think this will help, as I can envision the fingers as “teeth” on the bit and more visually see how they would want to push the board around depending on how it is fed against the “teeth”. Just need to “work against the fingers”.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View jbay's profile

jbay

820 posts in 367 days


#14 posted 02-25-2016 03:06 PM

I think after you cut the first slot you would want to move the fence in closer so that your cutting your second cut off of the front/inside side of the first cut. Thus your bit will be turning and cutting into the wood forcing it against the fence. If you take off the outside of the cut the bit would force the material away from the fence.

Does that sound right to the router guru’s?

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1667 posts in 2092 days


#15 posted 02-25-2016 03:49 PM

You moved the fence ‘IN’ so you were widening the slot by cutting material on the slot closest to the fence. Yep that is a climb cut. It also occurs the you were talking a pretty deep cut as moving the fence a few thou should not have produced that much lateral force.
I hope your material survived and am glad you came away unscathed.
Sorry about the underwear.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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