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Discussion Starter #1
Good Evening,

I am relatively new with a router but have used it successfully in my woodworking projects for edging. I have been trying to use it for something more complicated and have been having trouble doing so. Basically, I want to use the router to cut a pattern or profile in 1"x3" stock as shown in the attached picture. I have made patterns out of masonite and have tried both straight pattern bits and spiral bits with collars with and without a router table and I just don't think I know the "secret" to doing this. My last attempt was with a spiral bit and a router table, and I snapped the bit without putting much lateral pressure on the bit.

Please take a look at this picture and tell me how an experienced router user would go about this.

Thanks for your help,

Mike D
 

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I would cut it all about 1/16" outside the line, then trim flush with the router. You can cut it on a bandsaw, you can drill out the hole with w drill bit, etc., but you will get the best result taking a minimum amount off with the pattern cutting. In my experience.
 

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I would not even try to use a router for that cut. I would use a bandsaw. Lacking that I would use a jigsaw and finish as above with the sander.

George
 

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I believe unless making a bunch of them I would just cut it out with a jig saw, scroll saw or band saw and sand the edges. You could be done in the time it would take to make a template. On the other hand if you are making 50 of them I would make a finish pattern to route it out in order to eliminate all the sanding. Then I would make a cut pattern which leaves about 1/16" wood to route and rough cut them with a saw.

If this work is to be done on a router table you might make the template with some toggle clamps to hold the work similar to what I have here for making door parts.
 

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We have an introduction section where you can say a few words about yourself. If you fill out your profile in your "User Control Panel", you can list any hobbies, experience or other facts. You can also list your general geographical location which would be a help in answering some questions.

The method might be depending on how many you need to make.










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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for all of the great advice. Actually, I will need to make many cuts like this, but it sounds like I will need to cut the majority of the material with a band saw and finish with the router.

Thanks again.
 

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I agree with the others who say to cut away most or the waste wood with a bandsaw, jigsaw, or scrollsaw. When you wrote that you snapped off the router bit, that got my attention. I am guessing that was a 1/4" shank bit. I have snapped of a few of them in my days, also. You are better off going to a 1/2" shank for those bits. Still, cut away most of the waste wood before you finish off with the pattern bit.
 

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You can't just cut out most of it and then use a pattern bit, because you don't have a pattern YET. If you do the cutting, drilling, and sanding to the first one, you then have a pattern for the ones to follow. Then you cut most of the waste away, and secure the blank to the pattern and use a flush trim bit.



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Discussion Starter #11
Yes, the spiral bit that I snapped was a 1/4" shaft. From all of your advice, I will proceed with a scroll saw to remove most of the material and then use the router w/table and a template to finish. I will try a straight pattern bit (the one with the roller bearing) or a another spiral bit and a collar to follow the template.

Mike D
 

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Thank you for all of the great advice. Actually, I will need to make many cuts like this, but it sounds like I will need to cut the majority of the material with a band saw and finish with the router.

Thanks again.
The router will tend to grab the wood and tear chunks of the wood out. This is going to happen even if you precut the parts. It will just happen much more and more severe if you don't precut the parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, I have noticed that the router bit tends to grab the piece and tear chunks of wood out. I have found the best results (minimal grabbing) with a spiral bit but since the spiral bit does not have the roller bearing that a straight pattern bit has, it seems a little more tricky to use effectively. I guess the answer may be to buy a spindle sander!

Mike D
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok, here is what I did. First I used a scroll saw to remove as much material as possible, which, after some practice, does not take much time. Then I bought a very cheap 1"x30" belt sander from Harbor Freight which was $32 after the sale price and a 20% off coupon. I split the belt in half so that I was only using a 1/2' wide belt. This enabled me to very effectively remove the remaining material, if any, from the scroll saw cut. It ended up working much better than I expected without the risk of the router flinging my work across the shop.

Mike D
 

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Yes - scroll saws are great for cutting out shapes, but I think you could save yourself some time if you drilled out a large portion of the shape with a wide fostner bit. MMwood1 and FrankC have said it and I believe you could save yourself some time doing the bulk with a drill...
 
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