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Using a plunge router

Does what it says on the tin
MyNameIsUrl
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Using a plunge router

#232740

Postby MyNameIsUrl » June 29th, 2019, 1:35 pm

I need to cut a slot in a piece of hardwood, using a plunge router. Should I drill out some of the material first?

I’ve had a look at youtube videos, but it’s not clear to me when it’s a good idea to drill first.

The wood is an offcut of kitchen worktop, made of blocks – it’s about breadboard size, and I need a slot crossgrain 7mm wide, approx 20mm deep(ie not all the way through), which stops short of the edges of the board. So I would have to plunge in rather than feeding in from the edge, and I’d be cutting on both sides of the tool, both of which seem tricky.

I have a decent pillar drill which I can use to remove some material first (by drilling a chain of 6mm holes), but I don’t have the experience to know whether this is a good idea. Any views please?

kempiejon
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Re: Using a plunge router

#232755

Postby kempiejon » June 29th, 2019, 3:04 pm

I have just acquired a router and have done exactly what you describe, plunging in to cut a slot a third of the thickness of the board deep and not cutting the full width. The channel about 6mm wide a similar depth and about 30cm long.
It did not occur to me to start with a drill, in fact it's for just that type of that I think the route is built.

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Re: Using a plunge router

#232763

Postby 88V8 » June 29th, 2019, 3:27 pm

From habit, I would drill a hole. One hole, as a starter.

And even though my Elu is pretty robust, I'd take three or four passes to get to full depth, so as not to overload the router nor burn the bit.
The glue in blockboard is quite blunting.

Random observations;
- you may have noticed from practice runs that it cuts more easily in one direction that the other.
- set up definite endstops with offcuts and G clamps. Don't try to eyeball the ends of the cut. Apart from the difficulty of seeing through the blizzard of chips, the near static cutter will overheat, burn the wood, and blunt itself.

Of the many power tools I possess, even after 30 years' use, I fear the router the most. It would take off my fingertip without even noticing.


V8

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Re: Using a plunge router

#232782

Postby jfgw » June 29th, 2019, 6:50 pm

I have never considered pre-drilling before using a router. This is the first time I have come across the idea.

It is called a plunging router because you can plunge with it. There is no need to drill a hole first.

You often do need to make several passes, going deeper each time.

There is normally only one safe direction in which to move the tool: the rotation of the cutter should push the tool in whatever direction holds the fence against the work (or the Base of the tool against the straight edge or other template, etc.). Usually, if the work is on your left, you push the router and, if the work is on your right, you pull the router.

Julian F. G. W.

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Re: Using a plunge router

#232786

Postby Urbandreamer » June 29th, 2019, 7:10 pm

I've used a router to plunge and cut slots and shapes in the past. The plunge part is not an issue. what is an issue is thinking that you can do anything freehand.

That said, it sounds like you are routeing into the end grain. That's going to be a tough job.

Chain drilling with a smaller drill is not a bad idea, but may not be needed. Use a router bit smaller than your finished size ie 6mm. Use a jig or streight edge then route each side to achieve a 7mm wide slot.

I've limited experience with a router, but what I did was to make a jig using thin mdf. If I had messed up I could have tried to make a better jig. Then I stuck the jig to the target using double sided tape and used a router bit with a bearing race to follow the jig, It made it very easy and repeatable.

I recommend drawing two lines on a bit of mdf seperated by the size of the bearing + 1mm if using a 6mm bit (Note mark the center line as well). Then using a jig saw to make a slot, the shape of the ends of the slot don't matter too much. Drill a hole big enough to get the saw through at each end and join to the ends of your lines.

Draw a line on some scrap and drill a 7.2mn or 7mm hole 20m mm deep. Wood drills don't come in a lot of sizes, but metal working needs more flexibility. Use a wood drill bit followed by an easilly available 7.2mm or 7mm HSS drill bit.

Line up your jig with the line and stick it down. Then route and check what you get.

Finally do the same on the real thing.

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Re: Using a plunge router

#233224

Postby more » July 1st, 2019, 6:22 pm

I have used a router for a number of years and have never predrilled anything. I'm not saying you can't, but I don't see the point. Routers are at their best when used with a jig or table. There are loads of stuff on the internet about homemade jigs.

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Re: Using a plunge router

#233332

Postby stewamax » July 2nd, 2019, 10:36 am

As an aside, how do woodworking Fools pronounce 'router'?
IT Fools who speak British English will pronounce the hub that connects them to their ISP a 'rooter', but US equivalents will call it a 'rowter' - because it routes data packets
But a woodworking router 'routs' - forcibly removes (in this case) wood. So is the woodworking doodah pronounced 'rowter' on both sides of the Atlantic?

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Re: Using a plunge router

#233336

Postby MyNameIsUrl » July 2nd, 2019, 10:50 am

stewamax wrote: So is the woodworking doodah pronounced 'rowter' on both sides of the Atlantic?

No. I have watched a few youtube videos and Americans all say 'rowder'. :D

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Re: Using a plunge router

#233350

Postby Urbandreamer » July 2nd, 2019, 11:31 am

stewamax wrote:As an aside, how do woodworking Fools pronounce 'router'?
IT Fools who speak British English will pronounce the hub that connects them to their ISP a 'rooter', but US equivalents will call it a 'rowter' - because it routes data packets
But a woodworking router 'routs' - forcibly removes (in this case) wood. So is the woodworking doodah pronounced 'rowter' on both sides of the Atlantic?


I have always pronounced the tool as a 'rowter' and the hub a 'rooter'. However I'm sorry to say that router (tool or hub) has nothing to do with 'rout' or 'routs' (disorder). Instead it relates to 'route' (travel), which us Brits pronounce 'root' and is pronounced 'rowt' in the US.

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Re: Using a plunge router

#233362

Postby jfgw » July 2nd, 2019, 12:05 pm

Urbandreamer wrote:I have always pronounced the tool as a 'rowter' and the hub a 'rooter'...


Same here. I have never heard the name of the woodworking tool pronounced differently.

Why can't Americans say "solder" without swearing?

Julian F. G. W.

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Re: Using a plunge router

#233425

Postby stewamax » July 2nd, 2019, 3:22 pm

Urbandreamer wrote:However I'm sorry to say that router (tool or hub) has nothing to do with 'rout' or 'routs' (disorder). Instead it relates to 'route' (travel)

Could be. But it could also be derived from hrjóta - an Old Norse word meaning plunge !

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Re: Using a plunge router

#233527

Postby bionichamster » July 2nd, 2019, 8:44 pm

Can’t say I’ve ever come across predrilling a slot for the router. Seems like a lot of extra faffing about and I’m not sure it would be for any significant gain. The full depth should be reached by incremental passes and I’d either run the router along a clamped straight edge or if you can be bothered make a jig as suggested above (good if you need to repeat it many times).

Whatever you do make sure you do some practice runs on waste wood first.

Good luck

Bh

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Re: Using a plunge router

#233873

Postby stewamax » July 4th, 2019, 10:11 am

jfgw wrote:Why can't Americans say "solder" without swearing?

In the US solder was/is sweat - in the sense that 'to solder' was 'to sweat' and a soldered pipe-joint was a sweated joint. A mite confusing (quick surreptitious sniff of armpits etc) until I got the drift.

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Re: Using a plunge router

#233957

Postby jfgw » July 4th, 2019, 2:33 pm

bionichamster wrote:Can’t say I’ve ever come across predrilling a slot for the router. Seems like a lot of extra faffing about and I’m not sure it would be for any significant gain.

Sorry for the late reply, I had a six-mile journey to make so I pushed the car five miles and drove the last mile. Actually, pre-drilling sounds like a good idea. Don't forget to use a chisel to join the holes into a slot before finishing off with the router. I'm off to Middlesbrough now (about 240 miles away) as I have a letter to post to Newcastle. I'm just wondering how best to get there. Shall I walk to the 200 miles to York station and catch a train?

(Which smiley is the one for sarcasm?)

Julian F. G. W.


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