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Sep 27, 2020 - 5:10:17 AM
2426 posts since 10/9/2011

I have a gorgeous piece of Canarywood, 7x24", that I'm planning on using as the base of a model ship I'm building (Pride of Baltimore II). I want to round the edges and don't own a router, so I borrowed one. I watched a pile of videos on how to do this,clamped a piece of hardwood of the same thickness to my bench and immediately ran into trouble. At the beginning and end of the cut I had a terrible time keeping the router from tipping, since there wasn't enough of the router base to keep it flat on the wood. The middle of the cuts were ok after a bit of practice. How can I keep the router from tipping and screwing up the cuts?
BTW-- I know about feeding the router counterclockwise, taking small cuts to start, making the endgrain cuts first, etc.
I came across reference to using a drill press as a router, which would eliminate the tipping problem. I also know that you're not supposed to side load a Morse taper, but maybe if I set the drill press to it's highest speed and made multiple very shallow cuts for minimal side loading I could get away with it?

Sep 27, 2020 - 6:57:20 AM

Owen

Canada

6516 posts since 6/5/2011
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I'm no expert, but I see a couple of possibilities: b) use a guide board of the same thickness as the workpiece alongside the workpiece to hold the outer (?) edge of the router base or  b) go to an auction sale and buy a basic router table for $5, like I did.

Edit: oops, on re-reading  I see you've already tried a) , or were you simply using the hardwood as a practice piece?  If you used it as a guide piece I guess  that leaves b), unless you want to try c) send the piece to me and I'll do it for you [on the understanding that shipping companies sometimes "lose" things].   

I expect, and you probably hope, that people with better advice than mine will chime in. Good luck.

Edited by - Owen on 09/27/2020 07:08:12

Sep 27, 2020 - 7:36:40 AM

2426 posts since 10/9/2011

Thanks for your kind offer, but shipping to and from Canada would be a big problem, cost wise if nothing else.
The wood that I practiced on is the same thickness as my base, and I don't need it's whole length so maybe I can saw some off to use as supports.
I might ought to just buy myself a router and cheap table. It's the kind of thing I'd probably find uses for.

Sep 27, 2020 - 9:29:26 AM
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Owen

Canada

6516 posts since 6/5/2011
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I gather "base" in  "The wood that I practiced on is the same thickness as my base....  "  refers to the Canarywood.   What I'm describing needs two pieces.... a) the work piece [i.e. Canarywood base in this case] AND b) a guide of the same thickness.... clamped or otherwise fastened to your work table/bench parallel to each other [I'm guessing an inch or so apart].  One edge of the router's baseplate will run on top of the workpiece and the other edge of the router baseplate will run on top of the guide piece..... thus keeping the router level.

If you have access to a planer you should be able to get a piece of any old wood to the correct thickness for a guide to keep the router level..... or maybe even combining various thicknesses of boards/plywood/paneling/etc. to get the same thickness [as your workpiece].   

..or otoh maybe I don't have your problem clearly in mind. 

It  won't affect keeping the router level, but out of curiosity, does the router bit you're using have a ball-bearing guide?

Sep 27, 2020 - 4:47:09 PM
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2078 posts since 4/22/2018

Paul, you need to build yourself a router table - it’s dead easy. Take a sheet of ply/mdf/whatever translates - 2 foot by 2 foot would do your need. Drill a hole in the middle which is big enough to slow your router bit to completely pass through (the uk terms for the correct kit are hole saw or forstener bitt. Screw the router (there are usually holes in the base) to the board, invert it, then cut a straight edge of the same board you made the table out of, doe some measuring and then screw it to the table as a ‘guide’ . Then all you’d need to do is invert the ‘table’ and then clamp it to something suitable and crack on.

I suspect I haven’t described this as well as I could - if you google DIY router table, I’m sure you wil see lots of examples..... I’ve used this method and it does work - when using your precious wood, do the short ends first and maybe do them twice, set the router at half depth first - the big problem with against the grain crust is the router ripping off the corner, if you give it less wood to go at, there is less chance Of it chewing it up.

Sep 27, 2020 - 5:57:34 PM
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5789 posts since 9/5/2006

jontys idea was what i was going to suggest.

Sep 27, 2020 - 6:40:02 PM
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Brian T

Canada

17104 posts since 6/5/2008
Online Now

Clamp the project down. Very good face protection and hearing protection so that you can
concentrate on the task. Run the router.

I have a good router table. Far more trouble to set up than it will ever be worth to me.

If I had enough to do, I'd buy a laminate router, designed for little edge cuts and be done with it.

Sep 30, 2020 - 7:29:24 AM

2426 posts since 10/9/2011

I took Jonty and Terry's idea and jerry rigged a router table. I clamped it to my work bench, tried it on some scrap wood similar to my good piece with great results. I was able to rout the base for my ship darn near perfectly taking it in two shallow cuts just to be safe.
If I bought my own router, I wouldn't use this cob job but for my one time use, it was just fine. I'm going to give it to the fellow who kindly lent me his router. Thanks for the advice!

Sep 30, 2020 - 7:32:48 AM

2078 posts since 4/22/2018

quote:
Originally posted by brewerpaul

I took Jonty and Terry's idea and jerry rigged a router table. I clamped it to my work bench, tried it on some scrap wood similar to my good piece with great results. I was able to rout the base for my ship darn near perfectly taking it in two shallow cuts just to be safe.
If I bought my own router, I wouldn't use this cob job but for my one time use, it was just fine. I'm going to give it to the fellow who kindly lent me his router. Thanks for the advice!


I'm really pleased it worked Paul - I bet your ship looks the part when you get it mounted up.

Sep 30, 2020 - 7:49:41 AM

118 posts since 9/6/2019

If this is something that you do on a regular basis, I suggest buying a decent small bench top router table. You can get a decent one for less than $100 that is small enough to handle what you need to do as well as not take up a lot of space in storage when you don't need it. It will also have the fences and such so you don't have to recreate the wheel every time.

Sep 30, 2020 - 9:12:07 AM

2426 posts since 10/9/2011

quote:
Originally posted by Banjonewguy

If this is something that you do on a regular basis, I suggest buying a decent small bench top router table. You can get a decent one for less than $100 that is small enough to handle what you need to do as well as not take up a lot of space in storage when you don't need it. It will also have the fences and such so you don't have to recreate the wheel every time.


I don't own a router and had never even used one before this. However, once I got the hang of it I really was impressed at how cool a tool it is. I may well get one, and a table mount and take up some projects that I've always dismissed.

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