Routing with a paatern on a router table help

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Forum topic by dabiz7 posted 08-18-2013 11:57 AM 1099 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1770 days

08-18-2013 11:57 AM

Ok, here is my first post…I am not a experienced woodworker, but I am no newbie either.
I am making some leg supports for a vintage chair bottom. I decided to make a pattern using 1/2 ply scrap, which I would then attach to my work-piece (some really hard curly white oak) and then cut to my pattern on my router table with a pattern bit. Now usually, I would just take my Bosch router out of the table and put it in the plunge frame and do this manually on the bench. But, I had several to do and I thought it would be easy to knock these out, and safer to do on the table.

So, I removed my fence, installed and adjust my bit to the right height, and started cutting. Now, this is the first time I have ever attempted this. I know that I needed to stay on the side of the bit that was turning into the work, same as if a fence was there. So, everything is fine until I come around the end and start to cut across the end grain, the bit caught, chunked out a huge piece of my work, destroyed my jig. WTF? Destroyed two pieces (after making another pattern), same issue. I obviously am not doing something correct in my technique. I can pattern cut all day long across the end grain when I use the router handheld.

Any suggestions about a site to go to or a book to read about pattern cutting technique on the table? Where did I go wrong?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions

9 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8057 posts in 3402 days

#1 posted 08-18-2013 12:07 PM

Did you rough trim the work piece close to size with a jigsaw or bandsaw prior to routing it? If not, that could help a lot. Be sure the bit is sharp and clean, and try taking smaller bites….sneak up on it until you reach the template. A routing pin can also be useful for table routing, as it offers a little more control.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1975 days

#2 posted 08-18-2013 01:44 PM

+10 for knotscott You have to rough it out very close

View KnickKnack's profile


1090 posts in 3593 days

#3 posted 08-18-2013 05:55 PM

I’ve no idea where this sits viz a viz conventional wisdom – though I’m suspecting what I’m about to say might get me shot.

Still, my experience of doing this (and I’ve had exactly what dabiz7 described happen to me), is to climb-cut in this situation – ie, to not go against the direction of cut. I’ve found, doing this, that I can control how much is being heaved off, since the piece is actually being pushed away from the cutter rather than pulled into it, the piece sorts of “rides” on the cutter. Once it’s really close I’ll switch to normal cut.

I said it.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View REO's profile


928 posts in 2100 days

#4 posted 08-18-2013 06:26 PM

+ at least ten for knickknack’s response I even do tis on the lathe when working to a pattern

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1975 days

#5 posted 08-18-2013 09:43 PM

Thats awesome advice, you just have aware of how much of a cut you take cause it may take off. I had to profile an oak bending board and that had to be routed just as you described to keep is from shredding the material.

View kdc68's profile


2658 posts in 2303 days

#6 posted 08-18-2013 09:55 PM

+1 for knotscott and KnickKnack.......

I’d like to add my $0.02 ….
If your router table has an opening to screw in a starting pin, I’d use one. Here’s a link of what a starting pin is and how to use one

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View BilltheDiver's profile


255 posts in 2912 days

#7 posted 08-18-2013 10:47 PM

I have also found that it pays to use the largest diameter bit you have that will work with the pattern. A larger bit gives you a better angle and less tear out.

-- "Measure twice, cut once, count fingers"

View dabiz7's profile


2 posts in 1770 days

#8 posted 08-21-2013 12:59 AM

Thanks for all the advice….

I have a starting pin for the plate I installed, but have never used it. I guess I should search You Tube for some tips

I did use a jig saw to cut close to the line to reduce the amount of material to remove, maybe I should have been closer ?

My bit was a 1” dia brand new pattern bit from Rockler because the 3/4” dia bits were oversold.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20599 posts in 3132 days

#9 posted 08-23-2013 02:42 AM

I think you may have been taking off too much material when You got into the end grain. There are a couple different ways to do that with a pattern cutter. You can rough cut the pieces pretty close- like 1/64 away- to the line first on the band saw and then rout them or you can put a bigger bearing on your pattern cutter so it stays away from the final cut line and then go back with the right size bearing to finish

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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