Routing Oak and preventing chipout

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Forum topic by Seeharlez posted 03-23-2010 06:14 AM 5169 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Seeharlez's profile


83 posts in 2415 days

03-23-2010 06:14 AM

I’m putting an ogee profile on some 4/4 oak for some moulding. I have been using three passes to complete the profile travelling left to right (with router facing down so not a climbing cut) but I am getting quite a bit of chipout. Any helpful tips?

I’m new to “fine” woodworking and I’m sure I will learn a lot of this over time, but I’d rather wrech as little oak as possible in the mean time.

Thanks in advance for your help!


-- Greg - Vancouver, BC

9 replies so far

View TomHintz's profile


207 posts in 2820 days

#1 posted 03-23-2010 09:22 AM

Oak is always tough for chipping. You are doing essentially what I do with the three passes so unless your feed rate is way too fast, you should have that part of it covered.
Another point is using good quality, sharp bits. I have gotten way more chipping with a bit that was at the end of its useful life.
Another thing is to be sure you are routing the end grain sides first and then the long grain sides. The end grain very often chips as the router cuts through at the end. When yo come back and route the long grain side yo should clear up most of that chipping.
Finally, hold your mouth just right, live a clean life and pray. Oak can be a pain in the hinder sometimes.

-- Tom Hintz,

View EEngineer's profile


1054 posts in 3035 days

#2 posted 03-23-2010 11:53 AM

And back it up with a scrap piece of wood.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Chase's profile


448 posts in 2448 days

#3 posted 03-23-2010 12:43 PM

Seeharlez I am with you on this one, one of my first real projects involved oak to begin with. After a trip through the router it involved pine.


-- Every neighborhood has an eccentric neighbor. I wondered for years "who was ours?" Then I realized it was me.

View pvwoodcrafts's profile


234 posts in 3343 days

#4 posted 03-23-2010 02:38 PM

I always climbcut. If it fuzzes I just go around it backwards to cut it off. No more nasty surprises. I don’t even have a router in a table because I never got along with one.

-- mike & judy western md. www.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51452 posts in 2902 days

#5 posted 03-23-2010 03:42 PM

I agree with what has been said. The most important IMO is the feed rate, having a sharp bit, using a router with plenty of power, and making several passes. Sometimes even those things dont always work. Backing the piece up with a scrap piece of wood like EEngineer said helps too.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Seeharlez's profile


83 posts in 2415 days

#6 posted 03-23-2010 08:42 PM

Thanks for all the responses!
I’m using a new Dewalt 2-1/4HP so lost of power. I can definitely see how feed rate affects chipout.
The bits is from LV router bit basic 8-piece set (the green bodies, 1/2”shank). I assumed they are good, and it is basically brand new. Are their router bits generally good quality?

-- Greg - Vancouver, BC

View bobkberg's profile


420 posts in 2495 days

#7 posted 03-24-2010 10:00 PM

Also look out for pitch buildup. I like Oxi-Solv blade and bit cleaner.

-- Bob - A sideline, not how I earn a living

View danr's profile


154 posts in 2607 days

#8 posted 03-24-2010 11:30 PM

Hey there,

I work with oak all of the time and have not had a lot of problems with chip-out in “normal” grain. I would bet that if you were using a very good quality bit (Whiteside or Freud are the two brands that I use) that is new/sharp you would not see the problem. Good luck.

View BTKS's profile


1984 posts in 2886 days

#9 posted 03-26-2010 01:39 AM

The best solution I’ve run across has been mentioned. Cut the endgrain first, light passes if need be, and clean up on the long grain. Sometimes on a stubborn board, I’ll climb cut the corner of the end grain so it has more support at the beginning of the cut. Hope that made sense, BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

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