Router Bit for planing wood with embedded metal

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Forum topic by DouglasE posted 05-19-2015 05:45 PM 776 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1068 days

05-19-2015 05:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router planing metal

I’ve crept through these forums for awhile now as I’m new to woodworking and am enjoying it so far. I have past experience in metal working and am now picking up some woodworking skills as well. It is fun!

Anyways, my question:

Over the last weekend I cut down a 75-year old ash tree killed by a lightning strike and decided to rip a couple 4 ft long 3” slabs out of it to make a couple tables and some benches out of the rounded ends (mother-in-law’s request, her tree anyways). When I opened it up I found the lightning channel through the tree but also embedded barbed wire and nails from the 1970-80s. Would the Magnate 270x Surface Planing bits found on Amazon survive planing? They’re Carbide tipped and should survive, but I would like to get some advice from anyone who might have encountered a situation like this before.
The router I have is a Makita 3612C


4 replies so far

View AZWoody's profile


1324 posts in 1188 days

#1 posted 05-19-2015 06:06 PM

Depends on what your definition of “survive” is.

It might not break apart, but the foreign objects would still dull the cutting edges on the bit if not wear or chip them.

Also, it really could be a safety issue. Not just from flying bits of metal but imagine if the bit got twisted in the wire if a large piece sprung out. The router could twist in your hands and spin up and out.

Use a metal detector, you can get one cheap at Harbor Freight and proceed with caution if you decide to do it.

View DouglasE's profile


2 posts in 1068 days

#2 posted 05-19-2015 06:27 PM

Thanks, AZ. I’ll definitely grab a detector and mark the locations of the metal. I’ll plane around those areas and later go back with an end mill in my router and work the dangerous areas and sand it flush. I’ll be sure to hold tight.

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 3283 days

#3 posted 05-19-2015 06:50 PM

Metal in wood = destruction and possible physical harm to YOU. I would STRONGLY advice never, ever, ever sending metal through a powered instrument. Seriously.

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View dawsonbob's profile


2818 posts in 1719 days

#4 posted 05-19-2015 06:55 PM

I’ll echo what the others have said. If you know that there’s metal in the wood, either remove the metal or get another piece of wood. Do not try to mill it with a router, no matter what bit you may have. That’s a recipe for disaster on many levels.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

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