|Forum topic by athomas5009||posted 05-18-2016 07:07 PM||1437 views||1 time favorited||27 replies|
05-18-2016 07:07 PM
Today I was surfacing a batch of five end grain cutting boards with my router sled. This is something I’ve done about 20 times. So I’m not a rookie to the procedure but I wouldn’t call myself a leading expert.
My usual results with the router sled is a pretty damn flat surface, smooth but with some minor tearout and and bit ridges. None of this is even an issue on face or edge grain. But with end grain those imperfections mean a minimum of an hour of rough orbital sanding followed by another hour of fine sanding through the grits. When doing 5 boards that 10hrs of vibrating your arm off and one would be lucky if they could tolerate it enough to finish it in 16hrs with breaks.
So I said to myself there has to be a better way without a drum/belt sander. Well I played around with my router sled and hit the jackpot!!!
First I tightened up the slop in the router carriage. It was only about 1/16” to start but making it a friction fit eliminated irregularities in the surface caused by vibration/movement and the occasional climb cut.
The rest had to do with technique. Keep the speed moderately slow going back and forth in the same spot before moving on. Also it helps to take 2 final passes after everything is flat. First pass take off 1/32” then the 2nd do 1/64”. If there is still a decent amount of tearout after the 1/32” pass do another a 32nd lower before moving on.
This process took about 10mins longer but it cut out hours of annoying sanding.
The pics are are of the boards. In one of the pics you can see a close up of some minor tearout I left. The surfaces look polished almost.
-- Sometimes you're flush and sometimes you're bust, and when you're up, it's never as good as it seems, and when you're down, you never think you'll be up again, but life goes on.