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Does cold temperature affect routing?

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Forum topic by nicole72 posted 970 days ago 1310 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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nicole72

21 posts in 1043 days


970 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question router

I am new to LJ and new to routing as well! I am using a 1/4” roman edge as decorative finishing on some Christmas gifts that will have knobs on them as like towel hangers. I thought it was just the type of wood I had on the edge that was not real smart to use because as I routed, it would splinter large chunks off and just really messed up several times. It was ash, and I thought no more ash on the edges. I am routing counterclockwise too as what I read….anyway, another epic failure tonite with the ash, which I only tried because I already had some glued up, but when I tried another board with mahogany and maple it splintered off and cracked the wood too! I don’t know what I am doing wrong? Don’t think bit should be that dull, not going wrong way, or trying to go too fast, so I was curious if the temperature affects the wood’s “fracture-bility” for lack of knowing a better word to describe this…large splinters come off and the wood breaks…..any comments, constructive criticism or suggestions appreciated! Thank y’all and Merry Christmas!

-- Nicole


15 replies so far

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Sawdust4Blood

346 posts in 1646 days


#1 posted 970 days ago

I doubt it’s the cold. Are you talking about end grain, long grain, or both? Have you tried exposing less of the bit and cutting it in several incremental passes? Is the splintering only at the ends of an edge or throughout? If it’s only at the ends, try using a sacrificial piece of scrap at the end to help prevent tear out and remember to always route the end grain before the long grain.

-- Greg, Severn MD

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HamS

1168 posts in 1013 days


#2 posted 970 days ago

When wood splits on me it is either a real splintery wood, or I am going too fast or taking too big a bite. The problem might be that things are too dry. I like to split wood when it is cold, but that is REAL cold, and I doubt you are working in freezing temperatures. My suspicion is that your area is very dry and so is the wood.

-- My mother named me Hamilton, I have been trying to earn my nickname ever since.

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cutmantom

273 posts in 1659 days


#3 posted 970 days ago

i would say bit sharpness is the biggest factor followed by depth of cut, try making the cut in 2 passes or carefully back rout

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nicole72

21 posts in 1043 days


#4 posted 970 days ago

Thanks everyone for such quick replies! It happened on edge grain wood, and I now admit it may be from trying to cut too much at once…I really am new and wasn’t sure if you take off in increments would it all end up the same or not? I just knew the first few passes on my scrap were too shallow to give me the profile I wanted….but it has worked for menbefore that way, today has just been a real bad day for about four boards that will now just be made into something else!! And thanks Greg I didn’t know to route the end grain before the long grain either! The beech board I routed today did fine, so it wasn’t a total loss! I live in Louisiana and for us having 100 plus summers up into September, this 40 and low 50’s with rain feels cold, but it really isn’t that cold! Appreciate the feedback! Hope for better luck tomorrow…

-- Nicole

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Sawdust4Blood

346 posts in 1646 days


#5 posted 970 days ago

No problem Nicole. I almost always do edge profiles in multiple passes even if it is small enough to do in a single pass. Especially with woods that are prone to burning, doing one light, fast final pass helps me keep the burning from happening as well as preventing tear out.

Always route the end grain first so if it splinters at the end, hopefully it will be small enough that it will get removed when you go back and route the long grain.

In the end, just keep making sawdust and you’ll get the hang of it. I would just about bet that most of us have messed up more pieces than we can count on the road to getting to where we are today.

-- Greg, Severn MD

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ScottN

259 posts in 1304 days


#6 posted 970 days ago

I was doing a trim job many years ago. I bought a thousand bd ft of black ash to trim a house out. It to splintered really bad and ended calling my supplier to come pick up the wood because the tear out was so bad. Come to find out the logger that sold the sawmill the logs was logging in a tornado damaged forest.

-- New Auburn,WI

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TCCcabinetmaker

925 posts in 979 days


#7 posted 970 days ago

When cutting endgrain, always run any edgegrain running into the right side of your run first, when you reach the end of the run it will tend to blow out.
Poor quality bits will tend to cause tear out as well.

But run in it in shallower passes this should reduce any tear out you might have.

Ash is a bold choice to start doing things with, while pretty when finished, it is difficult even for alot of “old timers” to work. Scraping tends to work better than sanding, and that’s all I can think of at the moment on the subject of ash, cept it tends to mold naturally lol

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1593 days


#8 posted 970 days ago

Sounds to me like you are working against the grain direction. All you can do is take shallow cuts and finish by taking a whisker off with the final pass. Look up ‘Grain Direction’ on here and you’ll see how to orientate boards so you’re working with the grain next time. Ash is unforgiving in that way.

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1698 days


#9 posted 969 days ago

First of all – a sharp bit is essential.

I assume you are using a bit with a guide bearing. If you can, replace the guide bearing with a slightly larger bearing and make an initial pass. Then, put the original bearing back on and make a second pass. This will allow to to take smaller bites with each pass.

Also, while going counter clockwise is the norm. Sometimes things work better going in the opposite direction. It’s called a “climb cut” You need to go slower and you need to work harder to keep the bearing in touch with the wood. Definitely practice this on some scrap before trying on the real thing.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

925 posts in 979 days


#10 posted 969 days ago

Rich, not a technique to recomend to people new to a tool, while that technique works, it can be potentially dangerous. Especially if the router kicks back, or grabs and throws the board, which I have seen happen.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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NiteWalker

2709 posts in 1201 days


#11 posted 969 days ago

A router table is what I use for profiles like that. I take a light first pass to avoid chipout, then 1/8” at a time until I’m at the desired cut.

A router table need not be expensive or complicated. For a long while I used a smnall sheet of MDF with a porter cable 690 screwed directly to the bottom. For a fence, I just used a piece of wood with a flat edge and a notch cut out for the bit clamped in place.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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richgreer

4522 posts in 1698 days


#12 posted 969 days ago

TCC – You are right. A climb cut can be a dangerous technique and I was wrong to not more clearly pointing that our.

Thank you for your comment.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View CodyJames's profile

CodyJames

78 posts in 1030 days


#13 posted 969 days ago

I don’t know if this will work or not, I just remember my old shop teacher showing me a trick of using masking tape on the end of a piece of pine to prevent splintering with a radial saw, don’t know if this would also work with your router.

View nicole72's profile

nicole72

21 posts in 1043 days


#14 posted 969 days ago

Thanks so much everyone for your insight and replies….I definitely have learned a few things and must admit, I think i am more lucky than good with what I have been able to accomplish so far. I am using a router table…I didn’t know about changing the bearings so it would be able to make shallow cuts, I assumed you just lowered or raised the bit, and was worried I would end up with a totally messed up board doing that. I admit too, that I have routed the wrong way and was successful at times, wondering why it was the wrong way when I read you are supposed to go counter-clockwise. I really think my failures are a combination of lack of knowledge and experience….like I didn’t even consider grain direction when gluing up….I choose what looks good, and then once planed down, see what side is best for the top…..I should be more aware now of gluing up and grain direction and what is gonna be the top side ahead of time. Also, these bits are for sure not the best quality, and I have run enough through them that they probably are dull….......It was just so frustrating yesterday when I have done this without any real problems for the past month and then to have four boards splinter and two do fine. I definitely am looking forward to paying more attention to grain direction, slowly experimenting with routing the wrong way (climbing), and making smaller passes to take off less wood. A question, when you say route the end grain first “running into the right side of your run first” ...I am not real sure if this means route it clockwise to the right or exactly what I am supposed to do there…....Unfortunately I learn best by first seeing someone else do it, rather than them tell me, if I can see it, I can usually do one, then teach one, but just reading I have issues with visualizing what it is exactly I am supposed to do! Again, thanks everyone for all the support! I will post some pictures of the final project when i can! And let you know what else I mess up on, and need help! Merry Christmas!

-- Nicole

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Dusty56

11643 posts in 2312 days


#15 posted 969 days ago

In addition to all of the good advice above , I also use a router speed control on some difficult woods because I don’t have a variable speed router in my router table.
I’ve never changed bearings , but just use depth of cut to reach my final profile…quick and easy : )
Regarding counter clockwise direction , depends on whether you’re doing the inside or the outside edge of a project, ie: circle , assembled picture frame , etc..
Merry Christmas to you as well !!

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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