End-grain blow out on a router table

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Forum topic by NateX posted 09-20-2010 10:34 PM 3134 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View NateX's profile


98 posts in 3230 days

09-20-2010 10:34 PM

I had a bit of a disaster in the workshop the other day. I was trying to make a picture frame from some bargain walnut, after milling and cutting the board to length I trimmed away all but about 1/8 of an inch of waste on the band saw. I firmly mounted the template onto the walnut with double stick tape and took the assembly to the flush trimming bit spinning in the router table. Everything was going well until i reached the end-grain. I rotated the piece around the corner and introduced the end-grain to the router bit. The workpiece jumped away from the bit and the end was all chewed up, I tried to take it back to the bit but it got even worse. This is the end result:

Is it a problem of speed? The bit I was using was about 1/2 inch wide and seemed to cut fine on the long grain. Is this a problem of bit quality? I have no idea where this bit came from… Thanks for any suggestions.

6 replies so far

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3217 days

#1 posted 09-21-2010 02:30 AM

I suspect that you must have taken to big of bite for the bit. Just my guess. I have seen tear out on end grain before but is easily prevented with a backer piece of scrap. A pic of what you were doing on the router table might better help explain things.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Colin 's profile


93 posts in 3044 days

#2 posted 09-21-2010 06:08 AM

Have you been successful doing this operation on other woods? The walnut looks discolored from the photo which would indicate some kind of fungus or dry rot starting to develop. That is probably just the photo though. Can you find a larger radius bit to use? I have only done this operation on a shaper which cuts much more smoothly partially because it uses cutters with a much larger diameter than you can get in a router bit. I guess I would probably try sanding the end grain close to your line next time and only leave 1/32” or less to trim off with your router. If you can find a larger radius bit, use it and then slow down your router to whatever r.p.m is suggested for the bit. also, do your ends first with a tightly fitting backer. Were you using a fence or something as a pivot point?


View Chiefk's profile


163 posts in 4005 days

#3 posted 09-21-2010 03:28 PM

I have found that it is sometimes a matter of grain direction of the wood that is the problem. When I route with a template I take a close look at the grain direction to decide which side of the wood I will place the template. Perhaps in your case if you had placed the template of the other side of the walnut you could have prevented the blow-out. When I am routing a piece of wood that the grain direction changes, I change will change the template side to finish my routing. For what it is worth, the method has really helped me. pkennedy

-- P Kennedy Crossville, TN

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3882 days

#4 posted 09-21-2010 03:32 PM

were you feeding the workpiece left-to-right over the bearing? or right-to-left (proper direction)? if you fed it the other way as in climb cutting – that would explain the blow out on the end grain if it pulled on your workpiece and made you lose control over it.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3794 days

#5 posted 09-21-2010 11:52 PM

In addition to the above considerations, I’ve found that a spiral bit cuts end grain better than straight bits.

-- Joe

View Ger21's profile


1075 posts in 3364 days

#6 posted 09-23-2010 03:29 AM

Sounds like you were climb cutting and the bit grabbed the wood. When template routing in a table, you should be moving the work so the bit is traveling clockwise around the part. I’m guessing you were going the other way.

-- Gerry,

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