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post #1 of 17 Old 10-09-2007, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Using a router on plywood

Hello there. Glad to have found this place. Naturally I was on the hunt for help on something and that is how got here.

I have a simple design that I am going to be producing over and over. I'd like to make a template and run the router around it using a template bushing or similar. I've heard that the plywood will splinter. Will it and usually how much? With what I'm making a bit of splinter is acceptable versus my non-steady hand on a jig saw but of course chunks flying isn't cool.

I'm hoping that with the template laying on top of the wood that little bit of pressure may help.

Any experience with this? Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 17 Old 10-09-2007, 06:32 AM
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First of all wellcome to the forum Wonder monkey

Now to your question;
With a sharp routerbit you should'nt have any problems.If there is any, then it is burning, when you go to slow or stop moving.

Have Fun
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post #3 of 17 Old 10-09-2007, 07:15 AM
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fOR BEST RESULTS

cut close to the line with a jig saw or band saw first. Never attempt to remove more than half the patern bits diameter. It creates an unacceptable side load on your router's bearings that shorten it's life and really works you and the cutter harder than is necessary.

Ed
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post #4 of 17 Old 10-09-2007, 08:57 AM
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I agree with Ed. Trim only, do not cut with TRIM BIT.

Did you say tool sale?
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post #5 of 17 Old 10-09-2007, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobelspan View Post
First of all wellcome to the forum Wonder monkey

Now to your question;
With a sharp routerbit you should'nt have any problems.If there is any, then it is burning, when you go to slow or stop moving.

Have Fun
Excellent, thanks. I'm going to be painting over the wood so if I do burn a bit here and there it won't show.
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post #6 of 17 Old 10-09-2007, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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cut close to the line with a jig saw or band saw first. Never attempt to remove more than half the patern bits diameter. It creates an unacceptable side load on your router's bearings that shorten it's life and really works you and the cutter harder than is necessary.

Ed
Glad you mentioned that! I was planning on laying out my sheet of plywood then having at it! I'll certainly do what you suggested.
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post #7 of 17 Old 10-09-2007, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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I agree with Ed. Trim only, do not cut with TRIM BIT.
Got it! Thanks.
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post #8 of 17 Old 10-09-2007, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post

I'm hoping that with the template laying on top of the wood that little bit of pressure may help.

If you are using either a hand router or one mounted in a table, you could use a 3 flute, carbide tipped, flush trim bit with the bearing at the top. That way your template would be on top (for hand routing), or underneath, for table routing.

If you have to see what's happening during hand routing, use a bottom bearing, in that case, the template would be underneath.
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post #9 of 17 Old 10-09-2007, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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I'll probably use the bearing on top so that I can put the good side of the plywood against the template so I can minimize the chipping all I can.
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post #10 of 17 Old 10-11-2007, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help everybody. I followed the advice here and have created some nice templates to use with the router. The first time I followed the clamped on template I almost giggled with glee at how much easier it is.
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post #11 of 17 Old 10-11-2007, 09:21 PM
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Thanks for the help everybody. I followed the advice here and have created some nice templates to use with the router. The first time I followed the clamped on template I almost giggled with glee at how much easier it is.

It's always fun when something works that is new to you isn't it!

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post #12 of 17 Old 10-11-2007, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Yes it is! Especially something that I was fretting over so much.
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post #13 of 17 Old 10-23-2007, 09:51 PM
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A router with the right bits...and lots of practice, and PLANNING can produce amazing results...
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post #14 of 17 Old 10-24-2007, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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My results are better then I would expect. On each piece I'm hitting the edges with a belt sander afterwards and it's removing any tidbits that are left behind. Soon I'm going to get one of those upright belt sanders or something similar so I can move the shape instead of moving the sander.
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post #15 of 17 Old 10-24-2007, 09:11 AM
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My results are better then I would expect. On each piece I'm hitting the edges with a belt sander afterwards and it's removing any tidbits that are left behind. Soon I'm going to get one of those upright belt sanders or something similar so I can move the shape instead of moving the sander.

You might look into an oscillating spindle sander, in addition to the stationary belt sander. You could also get the small drum sanders that go into a drill press.

Just a note on your templates. Periodically check the edges for voids or dents. After many passes they have the tendency to get a little ragged.
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post #16 of 17 Old 10-24-2007, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions. I've actually made a template from the template to use. That way when I mess up the template from use like you mentioned, I can make another.
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post #17 of 17 Old 10-31-2007, 05:26 PM
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A few years ago all the people on our block decided to make matching Christmas decorations. Of course they came to me for the "how to". Beings we were going to make 16 identical pieces I made the template and then rough cut the pieces out and template routed them out in short order. I used a bottom mounted bearing, but a top mount would probably work better. A spiral cutting bit would also minimize chipping.

All the suggestions here are good, follow them and you'll come out OK.
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