Avoiding tear out with maple on a router

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Forum topic by WoodenSoldier posted 11-21-2011 08:20 AM 2897 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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161 posts in 3144 days

11-21-2011 08:20 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tearout tear-out router tearout maple pattern cut bit

I’m building a sofa table with curved legs out of maple and having some issues with tearout. I am using a sled jig to cut the curves on my router table with a pattern cut bit. I cut away as much waste ahead of time on the band saw and usually only leave 1/16” to .25” overhang. 3 of the legs I made today had a least one bad spot of tearout each.
Do I just need to remove every bit of waste ahead of time before putting it on the router? Maybe after I bandsaw it I should follow up with a belt sander? Are there any other tricks or tips to avoid tearout?

-- Create something everyday.

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980 posts in 3250 days

#1 posted 11-21-2011 09:44 AM

No, but leaving as little as possible is good. 1/16” is fine. I think you’re running into grain reersal. All woods do it at one time or another. Try climb cutting; routing in the opposite direction. This way, the router bit compresses the wood fibers before cutting instead of lifting them. The lifting is what causes the tear out. Do it in light passes and you should have no problem. The router wanrs to pull into the cut and a heavy cut with a big router can cause it to jump unexpectedly. That’s why you use light passes.

Grain reversal is a problem in long cuts sometimes, but is a fact of life in circles. Then you have to approach half of the circle from one direction, then finish from the other. Depending on how your material is, you may consider this methos.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

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