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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, newbie here with a small issue. First off I love reading these forums and usually that's all I do until I had a small problem over the weekend.

I have a Milwaukee 1 3/4 hp fixed router in my router table and am using it to make trim pieces for a project on 3/4 and 1/2 red oak stock pieces. When I work with the grain it is smooth operating and comes out great however when I work the adjacent side of the piece (cross grain), it feels as though I'm fighting the piece and it comes out very dark, as if it's burning the wood and there is a lot of tearout that I have to sand. I'm thinking I'm definitely doing something wrong and am hoping someone can point me in the right direction. Thanks in advance for any tips.

Keon
 

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When you have to work against the grain take lighter passes. Are the pieces 3/4 or 1/2 wide or thick. If possible route the profile in the stock when it is as wide as possible then rip the trim strips off on a table saw.
 

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John
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Hi all, newbie here with a small issue. First off I love reading these forums and usually that's all I do until I had a small problem over the weekend.

I have a Milwaukee 1 3/4 hp fixed router in my router table and am using it to make trim pieces for a project on 3/4 and 1/2 red oak stock pieces. When I work with the grain it is smooth operating and comes out great however when I work the adjacent side of the piece (cross grain), it feels as though I'm fighting the piece and it comes out very dark, as if it's burning the wood and there is a lot of tearout that I have to sand. I'm thinking I'm definitely doing something wrong and am hoping someone can point me in the right direction. Thanks in advance for any tips.

Keon
Hi Keon - you're right, cross grain on most woods is tough, tougher on Oak. You're also right in that it is burning the wood and likely dulling your bit to boot. Slower speed will help the burning as will lighter cuts. Sometimes a PIA when going completely around the piece. What I have done is plunge several times across the span of cross grain and then go back and hit it with the full cut. What you do is sort of scallop that end then when you go back for the final cut the total volume to take off is much less.:smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the quick replies. So I guess by taking lighter passes, I should set the fence closer to the bit, make a light pass, then move it further away making passes until I am at the desired depth? I can definitely slow the speed down as well if that will help.
 

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It's great that you understand grain direction and how it runs opposite on the other edge of a board. You didn't say what type of profile you are cutting. Most router cuts are better done with incremental cuts rather than one cut set to full depth. That may not be enough when cutting against the grain, particularly with species like oak that tends to splinter and tear. With some profiles, like a chamfer or roundover, you can often over come the wrong grain direction by running the board up on edge, rather than flat on the table, so it cuts with the grain. The bit has to eventually be set so it cuts the same from the face and the edge. In woodworking, when a cut is not coming out smooth or it's straining the tooling, it's always best to slow down your feed rate and take less of a cut. Slowing down the router speed is contradictory, slow your feed not the bit, unless you are running a large bit that requires a lower speed, anyway.

Another technique is called climb cutting. You run the lumber with the rotation of the router bit, not against it. This can be very dangerous since the bit wants to grab the work out of your hands and throw it across the shop, blink of your eye quickly. It's not easily done on a router table but can be done with a bit more control with hand routing. Incremental cuts in a hand held router can be done with a fence attached to the router along with setting the depth of the cut. It can be done on a router table with use of a strong stock feeder, but still with incremental cuts.

Nibbling is another climb cutting technique. Instead of starting on one end and feeding the stock from that end to the other, the way you ordinarily do, you start at the far end. Like making a stop cut, where the profile doesn't go to the end of a board but stops. You "drop" the work on the bit. In nibbling, you drop in close to the end and feed with the bit rotation just a small amount, maybe 1" or less to the end of the stock, depending on the profile, etc. you then move ahead another 1" or so and repeat, moving toward the area you just removed. This eliminates uncut stock behind the bits rotation, which is what causes pieces to be thrown. When shaping edges of curves, the grain always runs opposite each side of the apex. The nibbling technique is commonly used for the side of the curve that has grain running the wrong way for a forward pass. An arch top door or window is a good example.

A sharp bit is necessary for a good cut. Making a zero clearance hole in your fence for the bit can help with tear out since there isn't a large enough opening for splinters to be pulled into. The combination of these techniques is your best chance for a quality cut that won't need additional sanding, it's not always fool proof but it's the best you can do with a router.
 

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Can I ask you a question ? , what is the thickness of the wood, what shape are you trying to route and are you routing faces or edges?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am using two bits, a french traditional type bit for trim and a ogee for the base of a piece I am working on. I am routing the edges of 1/2 and 1/4". Both bits are whiteside bits and brand new.

Hammer1 - thank you for the excellent info, some of it I understand and some not so much but I will slow down my router speed and take smaller "bites" by adjusting my fence like cabinetman suggested, I hope to see some improvement by doing so. If not, I will try your other methods and the other methods by jschaben and kelsochris and just keep learning. Thank you guys so much.
 

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Don't slow your router speed down, just your rate of feed, how fast you push the work piece. You can take incremental bites by either moving the fence, raising the bit or both. Safe climb cutting is easier to show than describe. Some of the other responders think you are talking about routing across end grain, not long grain against the grain. At least that's what I thought you were talking about.
 

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bzguy
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[QUOTE

Another technique is called climb cutting. You run the lumber with the rotation of the router bit, not against it. This can be very dangerous since the bit wants to grab the work out of your hands and throw it across the shop, blink of your eye quickly. It's not easily done on a router table but can be done with a bit more control with hand routing. Incremental cuts in a hand held router can be done with a fence attached to the router along with setting the depth of the cut. It can be done on a router table with use of a strong stock feeder, but still with incremental cuts.
.[/QUOTE]

Climb-cutting with stock-feeder is the way to go if you have the feeder.
If not you can jig up 2 feather-boards to hold stock against fence and down on table, then simply hold the stock back by hand rather than feeding it.
The stock acts as it's own "back-up board", tear-out free results 99% in spite of wrong grain direction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes I am routing long grain against the grain, I just didn't know the proper terminology so I apologize for the confusion. I am going to try to set the fence closer to the workpiece and try three incremental passes, keeping the router speed constant and slow down my rate of feed. I am not sure what speed my router is set at but would that be a factor to consider since my routing with the long grain edge is going fine?
 

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Thanks for the quick replies. So I guess by taking lighter passes, I should set the fence closer to the bit, make a light pass, then move it further away making passes until I am at the desired depth? I can definitely slow the speed down as well if that will help.
as you know do the end grain first than the long grain next. do lite pass also if you are getting tare out . if any build up on bit clean that off, that will cause burn, a sharp bit also go all around the piece with small pass , don't just do the end grain than the long grain

i don't slow the speed down on any thing i do , maybe on snother project but if to slow it will burn
 

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[QUOTE

Another technique is called climb cutting. You run the lumber with the rotation of the router bit, not against it. This can be very dangerous since the bit wants to grab the work out of your hands and throw it across the shop, blink of your eye quickly. It's not easily done on a router table but can be done with a bit more control with hand routing. Incremental cuts in a hand held router can be done with a fence attached to the router along with setting the depth of the cut. It can be done on a router table with use of a strong stock feeder, but still with incremental cuts.
.
Climb-cutting with stock-feeder is the way to go if you have the feeder.
If not you can jig up 2 feather-boards to hold stock against fence and down on table, then simply hold the stock back by hand rather than feeding it.
The stock acts as it's own "back-up board", tear-out free results 99% in spite of wrong grain direction.[/QUOTE]

A lot of folks have the light duty, baby, stock feeders, $300 range vs $1200 and more. Their grip is far less than an industrial feeder and the mounting posts are also much lighter. The same can be said about those plastic feather boards that affix to a miter slot as well as some homemade feather boards. Those of us that have extensive experience have to remember that many posters on this forum are novices and don't know the differences.
 

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bzguy
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Climb-cutting with stock-feeder is the way to go if you have the feeder.
If not you can jig up 2 feather-boards to hold stock against fence and down on table, then simply hold the stock back by hand rather than feeding it.
The stock acts as it's own "back-up board", tear-out free results 99% in spite of wrong grain direction.
A lot of folks have the light duty, baby, stock feeders, $300 range vs $1200 and more. Their grip is far less than an industrial feeder and the mounting posts are also much lighter. The same can be said about those plastic feather boards that affix to a miter slot as well as some homemade feather boards. Those of us that have extensive experience have to remember that many posters on this forum are novices and don't know the differences.[/QUOTE]

So I guess the solution is not tell anyone anything, then they can't possibly go wrong?
Or we could turn these posts into Pharmaceutical-like ads where the miracle fix is mentioned followed by a 1/2 hour of disclaimers.
We can become Woodwork Nannies or simply give people information and trust them to be responsible adults who already opted to play with potentially dangerous toys and are ostensibly paying attention.
 

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Don't slow your router speed down, just your rate of feed, how fast you push the work piece. You can take incremental bites by either moving the fence, raising the bit or both. Safe climb cutting is easier to show than describe. Some of the other responders think you are talking about routing across end grain, not long grain against the grain. At least that's what I thought you were talking about.
How do you slow a router down?
 

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A lot of folks have the light duty, baby, stock feeders, $300 range vs $1200 and more. Their grip is far less than an industrial feeder and the mounting posts are also much lighter. The same can be said about those plastic feather boards that affix to a miter slot as well as some homemade feather boards. Those of us that have extensive experience have to remember that many posters on this forum are novices and don't know the differences.
So I guess the solution is not tell anyone anything, then they can't possibly go wrong?
Or we could turn these posts into Pharmaceutical-like ads where the miracle fix is mentioned followed by a 1/2 hour of disclaimers.
We can become Woodwork Nannies or simply give people information and trust them to be responsible adults who already opted to play with potentially dangerous toys and are ostensibly paying attention.[/QUOTE]

It's not about being a Nanny, it just being aware that others don't share your knowledge, at least, not yet. There was a time we didn't know anything, too. Still, we can't forget the disclaimer on this site that says how dangerous power tools can be.

There are numerous times I read posts on this forum and don't bother to give my opinion. It's evident the poster is so far away from understanding fundamentals that my response would take volumes of "disclaimers" and explanations.

Some folks are not very savvy about the internet and forums like this one. Members are not vetted, anyone can give advise whether they have any actual experience, are just guessing or are giving bad advise. This post is a good example. Other responders didn't understand the OP's question and, apparently, didn't read or understand other responses. After I had clarified that the OP was not talking about end grain, there is another response about cutting end grain.

You seem to be taking my response about stock feeders as a personal affront. I never meant it to be that. The OP may not even know what a stock feeder is or own one. It's probably moot from that perspective.

There are also folks that regurgitate the technique of using a stock feeder for climb cutting but have never done it. It's a tricky operation as is climb cutting in general. People do get injured climb cutting, frequently. If anyone does have experience, they know the dangers which are much higher than other more ordinary operations. Therefore, some specifics about the process are advised. I only wanted to add some clarification to your advise.
 

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i thought when he was talking about cross grain - i took that to be end grain ?? that is why i posted, i been doing router work for around 50 yrs or so, i may not be a pro but i do know a little , as do most people here, when you post here most people do have a good sence of working with tool's, but a router is a tool with a different work style and a know how should be known . or learn with help here. climb cutting should be used after some one show's how it is done and not just say how it is done, very dangerous.
i read this,, (When I work with the grain it is smooth operating and comes out great however when I work the adjacent side of the piece (cross grain), it feels as though I'm fighting the piece and it comes out very dark, as if it's burning the wood and there is a lot of tearout that I have to sand. I'm thinking I'm definitely doing something wrong and am hoping someone can point me in the right direction. )
 
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