Router Safety Advice


Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

new member here...  Just wanted to ask about router table safety with different cuts more then basics such as "no jewelry and baggy clothes"stuff..

 

I am getting back into woodworking and about to buy a small router table mainly for profiles, different joints such as rabbets and dado's and so forth..

 

I care about safety a ton with tools and have worked around them a lot... I was googling around the net to refresh myself on router table safety and see quite a few injuries where guys have had the router pull the work piece "right to left" and drag their fingers or hands into the cutter...

 

Can someone explain all the ways this can occur and the best ways to assure it does not happen?  Not sure if it is a simple as using the bit guard and push pad at all times would have prevented the injuries (not the actual problem).

 

I know one guy was cutting a groove and moved the fence forward to widen the groove and assume the work piece caught a portion of the cutter is should not have?

 

I am going to get a micro jig grr ripper because I feel it would work well on the router table but it seems you can't use the guard that way.. Is the general thought that the Grr ripper is safer for moving work pieces along the bit then the bit guard?  I know on a TS it is mainly used for cuts where you would have to remove the guard for the cut.

 

Lastly are there any really good router safety books that show what not to do for different router cuts.  Online sources just all seem to cover basic safety and not things to look out for with different bits and techniques, things that went wrong for some of the injuries I have seen... And I know never trap the work piece between the fence and bit...

 

Thanks

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Grripper is a very good idea. I use 2 of them on longer boards. I have read so much over the years but haven't seen concentrated router table safety info.

Take small increments off at a time. Use clean sharp bits. (Resin build up dulls bits quickly ) don't leave huge gaps in the fence around the bit. Use a starting pin when you have to freehand around odd shaped parts( use the Grrippers as well ! ) dust collection is a big help.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice Steve..

 

So you use a Grripper on the router table?  Do you feel it is pretty much the safest way to move stock across the bit? If the stock was to get caught and pulled or kick back do you feel the Gripper would keep your hand from making contact with the bit?

 

Thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know one guy was cutting a groove and moved the fence forward to widen the groove and assume the work piece caught a portion of the cutter is should not have?

To do a groove, start with fence at its closest point and move back with each pass. That way the front of the bit is always the part cutting....and so the right to left direction of moving the piece is correct. In your example, that guy did it backwards...by moving the fence forward, the back of the bit is what was cutting and that part moves in the opposite direction of the front and so it would throw the board.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Safety does not come from gizmos and gadgets. Before you select a gizmo you need to have enough understanding of what is going on with the cutter. Once you understand the outcome is predictable and you can select the right gizmo for the job. Think before you move. Just knowing the proper feed direct and not understanding the cutter is just asking for an oh shit moment.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it's been said clearly in this thread, so I'll chime in...

 

The router bit will act like a wheel that will push the wood in one direction and the router in the opposite direction.  You want to move the router opposite that push, so that you are always applying steady pressure to move the router and the router is pushing back.  If you go in the other direction, then the router will try to jump ahead and you may lose control.

 

If you are routing equally on both sides of the router, then one side is pushing and the other side is pulling, and you're OK.

 

Because of the grain, you may want to go in one direction or the other.  You do this by turning the wood over.  Not by having the router pull ahead while you try to hold it back.

 

The router is not a good tool for removing a lot of material.  Make a rough cut with a jig saw or band saw, a drill, etc.  Then clean it up by removing the last little bit with the router.

 

If you have to use a router to remove a lot of material, do it a little at a time.  Like, less than 1/4" at a pass.  Usually, the easiest way to do this is to start with only a little bit of the bit exposed, and when that pass is done expose a little more of the bit.  Keep taking small steps until you reach the depth you want.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.