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I have an old Sears craftsman router that i got when i got out of high school ( about 22yrs ago)

I didnt use it much back then and havent used since then.  I dont have a lot of routing experience either, but i understand the very basics.

Fastforward to today.  My next project will either require me to use my dado blade on my table saw or my old router.  I figured that i should play more with the router and try to master it. So, reading the instruction manual, i see this line:

DO NOT ROUTE DEEPER THAN 1/8" per pass or CUT.

Im gonna attempt to do some rabbit cuts on my next project that require a 3/8" depth cut.  So my question is, do i have a crappy router that only enables me to cut 1/8" at a time or is this something standard for all routers.  I mean, that's 3 passes!! That's 3x likely that i'll F** something up. LOL

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RUSS ,  1/8 " is about standard on most routers , If you have a new or sharp bit , you could carefully  do two passes at 3/16 " , take your time and be safe  !!!  That also depends on the type of wood you are using  , such as oak or pine !!!!  I am not sure what you are building , If they are not to wide you could lay them side by side and clamp them down  flat , Mark off your rabbits , then set up your guild for the router and make your first pass , then lower your bit and make your second pass , without removing your guild !!!  I use a self clamping metal guild  from Rockler , they come in a set of three sizes !!! If you don,t have the metal guilds you can take a good straight 1 x 4 and tack it to your boards !!! Hope this helps you with your project , JIM  !!!

thanks

it will be a brand new bit!! :) I'll be cutting into plywood (baltic birch)

I also bought a clamp/straight edge made for routers, too :) It got it at rockler today.

 Hi Russ - I'm guessing that you have a 1/4" shank router. A depth of cut equal to or less than half the diameter of the bit shank is a prudent rule of thumb which is likely why it ended up in your router manual. I would agree with james that with a new, sharp bit, a 3/16" depth of cut could reasonably be done in plywood.

thanks again, guys.  Yes, it's a 1/4" shank.

I did some test runs on some scraps wood and i can not get good clean/straight cuts.  I think something might be misaligned on my router. 

I am using one of these: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=25134   works nicely, too.

Im aware that you have to find the right feed speed to get the proper clean cut, but after 3 different tries, im thinking i might need a new router.

Perhaps i need to practice some more:

Not real sure but it looks like the router is pulling away from your guide. Are you feeding in the right direction? The router needs to be on the right hand side of the guide.

Insure that the bit is ''centered'' in the router base.

Insure the router base is truely ''round'' and smooth, with no "HIGH" spots---deformations, burrs, or the like. 

The router base must be snug against the guide edge, during the machining operation.

Make a marking,  ''ARROW" or "V",  on the router base, on the back side, that will ride along the fence.

During you routing operation, keep the "V" visible side, so as to maintain visual with the router base and the straight edge.

Make shallow passes---1/4'' (MAX) depth cuts per pass.

Make some cuts on some practice pieces, before proceeding to your project piece.

Cuts should be made in a smooth steady motion---

try not to stop or pause.  If a pause is necessary, go back a short distance, 1/2- 1'', then proceed forward.

Allow the cutting tool to do the work---don't force feed it.

Force feeding can result in unwanted machine movement, away from the intended cut line.

Direction of machine travel is very important.  Review the procedure in your equipment manual.

TIP:  lube the bottom of your router base with "furniture paste wax'',

so as to decrease sliding motion resistance.  

Great point Ken!! If the bit isn't centered and he rotated the router while making the cut, that is exactly the pattern that would result.  Nice catch.

Left to Right, correct??

John Schaben said:

Not real sure but it looks like the router is pulling away from your guide. Are you feeding in the right direction? The router needs to be on the right hand side of the guide.


excellent! thanks for these tips


Ken Darga said:

Insure that the bit is ''centered'' in the router base.

Insure the router base is truely ''round'' and smooth, with no "HIGH" spots---deformations, burrs, or the like. 

The router base must be snug against the guide edge, during the machining operation.

Make a marking,  ''ARROW" or "V",  on the router base, on the back side, that will ride along the fence.

During you routing operation, keep the "V" visible side, so as to maintain visual with the router base and the straight edge.

Make shallow passes---1/4'' (MAX) depth cuts per pass.

Make some cuts on some practice pieces, before proceeding to your project piece.

Cuts should be made in a smooth steady motion---

try not to stop or pause.  If a pause is necessary, go back a short distance, 1/2- 1'', then proceed forward.

Allow the cutting tool to do the work---don't force feed it.

Force feeding can result in unwanted machine movement, away from the intended cut line.

Direction of machine travel is very important.  Review the procedure in your equipment manual.

TIP:  lube the bottom of your router base with "furniture paste wax'',

so as to decrease sliding motion resistance.  

Router cutting travel direction:

EXTERIOR edges:  "counter-clockwise" direction  --->>>

INTERIOR edges:  "clockwise" directions  <---

NOTE: As the router bit is rotating, the bit needs to remove the ''chips'' AWAY (chipping out) from the material---

akin to chipping away with a chisel or gouge.

 the bit needs to remove the ''chips'' AWAY (chipping out) from the material--

This is a very good way to remember. 

So, to confirm,  when routing a dado, i move left to right for a dado cut, correct?

I always got confused on that also until I stumbled on the router version of "right hand rule of thumb". Clench right fist, extend index finger and thumb. With the palm toward work surface and thumb pointing at the guiding surface, the index finger indicates router direction.

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