Woodworking question

Discussion in 'Tutorials and Tips' started by James Cochrun, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. James Cochrun

    James Cochrun

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    I'm making a coin holder that will be octagon shaped with 4 levels to it. It is being made from purple heart. I cut each piece a little larger than needed. I was going to use my router with a flush trim bit to cut the pieces down to the exact size needed. The problem I am running into is that when I try to cut the end grain with the router, the wood gets jarred and almost thrown away from the router. BTW, I'm using the router in a table and holding the wood as I attempt to cut it. When I try to trim the wood going with the grain, it works just fine. Is there anything that I can do that will help when cutting across the grain? I have most of the pieces from an older coin holder that broke apart. I am using those pieces as a template for the new one. The lengths of each piece has to be exact in order form them to fit together properly. Any help/suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Jim
     
  2. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Are you holding these buy hand. I would make some sort of device to help hold them if they are small. Take small cuts, don't try to make larger cuts on end grain of a wood that hard. The other thing I would do is to cut the end grain cuts first. Then if there is any tearout on the edges it will be removed when you cut the side grain.
    If you could take a photo of what your doing it might help us figure out what to do.
     
  3. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    Spiral bit? Much friendlier than the single or two-flute variety for what you're doing. As John says, hold the work with something besides flesh, like this. http://www.amazon.com/Small-Piece-Holder-for-Router/dp/B001DSY4I2

    Personally, I'd make an octagon template by tacking thin wood on a piece of plywood, then use that template to plunge and cut to shape simultaneously. You just have to decide on the proper collar size and leave room for clamping and the router base around it.

    Or see if you can borrow some time on a disk/belt sander and sand into shape.
     
  4. john lucas

    john lucas

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    If you go with a spiral bit get a down cut for this purpose. The upcut can try to lift the work.
     
  5. john lucas

    john lucas

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    After re reading what your doing I would use a disc sander. Cut the wood close to size using any number of tools, band saw or scroll saw is probably safer. You can mark the piece with a template. Then just sneak up on a perfect fit using a disc sander or if you have a portable belt sander lay it over on it's back or side. Either of these methods would be far safer and with a gently touch just as accurate.
     
  6. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    He says he's using a table, which makes an up a down.
     
  7. john lucas

    john lucas

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    DUH Thanks MM. Sometimes my brain isn't always in gear.
     
  8. AlanZ

    AlanZ

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    Actually, no. The orientation of the router makes no difference.

    An upcut bit pulls the cut material towards the body of the router, a downcut bit pushes the cut material away from the body of the router. Turning the router on its head has no effect on this. Downcut bits are very often used when there is thin veneer that risks being damaged by an upcut bit.
     
  9. James Cochrun

    James Cochrun

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    The small lines show the grain of the wood. When cutting along side A, I have no problems. Cutting along sides B or C is when I have problems. I've got a disk/belt sander but I don't know how to make sure that I keep each piece the same size after sanding them. Using the router, I can use the template piece on top of the piece I am cutting and guide around it to make sure that both pieces are the same size.

    I do appreciate all of the suggestions.

    Jim
     

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  10. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    I guess you live in Australia? Here, when shavings are pulled toward the body of the router they go down when when the body's down, up when it's up. Of course water goes down the drain clockwise here, too. :D So an upcut bit would pull the piece in question toward the table, which is desirable.

    My guess for best outcome with the pieces cut, James, would be to doublestick all the pieces together if you can, place a male template up top and sand to touch. If you have an oscillating spindle sander you can make an insert for it to accept a collar and template sand external patterns.

    It's going to burn the wood horribly to make a climb cut if I recall purpleheart correctly. If you have the holder, climb cut the off-endgrain, then come across. Do all endgrain before the long, as usual, to minimize damage due to chipping. http://newwoodworker.com/clmbcuttng.html
    http://www.finewoodworking.com/SkillsAndTechniques/SkillsAndTechniquesArticle.aspx?id=34191

    Hey, if you're making flat sides, all you have to do is make a straight fence thinner than your template at the appropriate distance from your belt or disk if your template is smaller than the final piece. Clamp and push.

    Yes, Alan, he wants to keep the motion into the work to hold it to the table.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  11. AlanZ

    AlanZ

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    From MLCS

    So it doesn't make any difference which part of the planet you're on, or even which planet you're one. Upcut pulls material out of the mortise towards the router, downcut pushes the material away from the router. It's the direction that the bit's spiral is cut that controls the chip movement, not the orientation of the router. The first photo shown is an upcut bit, the second a downcut.

    Of course this really has little to do with the original poster's question. Judicious use of waste blocks (to control tearout on the end grain cuts) and material holding fixtures should allow him to get good quality precision cuts nade safely, no matter what shape attempted.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  12. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    OK, now stop and think where the router body is. Got it firm in your mind's eye? Spiral up pulls up on the wood when it's in your hand, helping keep the machine and material together, router inverted in a table with the same bit tugs the material down against the table, which is the safe direction.

    Further, as food for thought while you're there, consider the advantage of an upcut bit when cutting expensive ply with the router in hand. Put the expensive side down, where the other plies support against splintering, and as a bonus, the router base won't scratch the good side if you trap yourself a stray piece of grit or wood.

    That tip has kept me from scratching walnut veneer in favor of the backside birch I don't care about.
     
  13. AlanZ

    AlanZ

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    Michael,

    I give up. You can define things any way you want.

    I'm just using the term as the rest of the world does.

    This is independant of whether the cut is shallow or through the width.
    It is also independant of the orientation of the wood (up, down, vertical, horizontal), router or location in the time space continuum.
     

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