Best way to router a small intricate piece

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fostyrob

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Hi,

After recently joining the forum, I was hoping to ask advice on how to best router a small piece and apply rounding to the edges.

Of all my tools, I think the router is one that I fear/ respect the most. I have both a number of trim 1/4" routers as well as a 1/2" that is mounted in a diy table (screwed to a piece of ply).

I am making a small piece that consists of a small hexagon about 12cm across and 5cm in thickness. On 3 of the sides I have a small 10mm wide channel.

I want to take the hard edges off all the hexagon sides but also take it down the channels.

Given the small size, I am a little nervous using the 1/2" ply mounted job, particularly going down the channels as although the guide fits, both edges of the bit will engage at the same time and I would imagine chances of it kicking back are high and fingers would be near to the bit.

I'm leaning to use the trim router although fixing a small thin piece is going to add additional difficulties and my choice of bits is far poorer.

Any suggestions on safetly to using the table mounted 1/2" in the way proposed or securing for the 1/4" would be very much appreciated! Or any other ways to achieve the same desired effect?

Forgot to mention earlier it is a piece of oak made from smaller pieces so lots of differently orientated grains.
 

Ollie78

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You can use the blue tape and superglue trick to stick it to a bigger board to give you more purchase and safer control.
Or the same method for fixing it safely to the bench and using the trim router.
Or as its so small just sand a round over on to it with a block of wood.

Ollie
 

fostyrob

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You can use the blue tape and superglue trick to stick it to a bigger board to give you more purchase and safer control.
Or the same method for fixing it safely to the bench and using the trim router.
Or as its so small just sand a round over on to it with a block of wood.

Ollie
Thanks for the reply.
Is that the blue decorators tape? Tape to piece then glue between tape and sacrificial larger board?

I'd thought about high tack glue gun glue but had visions of the piece coming off going across the room!

I don't think I would get it as perfectly rounded with sandpaper, particularly at the ends of the slots which is why I thought of the router. The edges would be OK but this isn't the area that overly concerned me with the router.

Thanks

Rob
 

Ollie78

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Thanks for the reply.
Is that the blue decorators tape? Tape to piece then glue between tape and sacrificial larger board?

I'd thought about high tack glue gun glue but had visions of the piece coming off going across the room!

I don't think I would get it as perfectly rounded with sandpaper, particularly at the ends of the slots which is why I thought of the router. The edges would be OK but this isn't the area that overly concerned me with the router.

Thanks

Rob
Yes, using masking tape on both the part and support and super glueing them together.
It's remarkably strong.

A trick to get a perfect round using sandpaper us to route a cove of the correct radius into a bit of scrap wood and then glue some sandpaper to that.


Ollie
 

Ollie78

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Isn't it a lot simpler to use golf grip tape?

Perhaps it is, I don`t know about that as I don`t play golf.
If its just double sided tape then it does not have quite the same advantage, the masking tape is non damaging to the surface and doesn`t leave any residue, unlike a lot of double sided tapes.

Ollie
 

Sideways

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I would use a bearing guided chamfer bit for easing the edges of the hexagons. Piece can be fixed and cutter in a small router. I'd try simply clamping the piece standing proud in my bench vice, cut one or two edges then rotate, cut two more and rotate again.
Or use soft foam tape in the outline of the piece on a board with a hole in the bottom. Shop vac hose snug in the hole and you have a suction clamp.

Or put the cutter in the improv router table and move the piece.
If worried about your fingers, make a jig to hold the piece. Two fixed pegs and an opposing snail shape cam would grip a hexagon.

Lastly, for easing the edges of the 10mm slots in the sides, use a veining bit (two cutting edges forming a point, 90 degrees to each other, 45 degrees to the horizonral and vertical.
Put this in your router table and clamp two straight bits of timber to the table top so that the hexagon is on edge, snug in the slot and can't wander left or right.
You may need to tweak the fences position before easing the other edge of the groove.
HTH.
 

fostyrob

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Thank you all very much for the suggestions. Hope to try and give it a go in the next couple of days...will let you know how I get on.

Thanks again
 

Sporky McGuffin

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Perhaps it is, I don`t know about that as I don`t play golf.
If its just double sided tape then it does not have quite the same advantage, the masking tape is non damaging to the surface and doesn`t leave any residue, unlike a lot of double sided tapes.

I only play golf with one stick, and preferably windmills or animatronic dinosaurs. I've been using golf grip tape for woodwork for years though. It's basically an adhesive impregnated crepe ribbon. Massive holding strength, peels back off easily, no residue at all. A roll lasts me 5 years or so 'cos you hardly need any. I'll see if I can dig out the exact sort - I think it's from Intertape.
 

Ollie78

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I only play golf with one stick, and preferably windmills or animatronic dinosaurs. I've been using golf grip tape for woodwork for years though. It's basically an adhesive impregnated crepe ribbon. Massive holding strength, peels back off easily, no residue at all. A roll lasts me 5 years or so 'cos you hardly need any. I'll see if I can dig out the exact sort - I think it's from Intertape.
I see, sounds useful I might have to try it out.
You could re market it as "Sporky McGuffins marvelous woodwork tape" or something, might make a fortune.

Ollie
 

Sporky McGuffin

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As I recall it's easiest to buy by the box but that'd last me several decades. I think it's the 591 like this:

 

Fitzroy

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As I recall it's easiest to buy by the box but that'd last me several decades. I think it's the 591 like this:

Interesting, not something I had come across before. I typically just use regular double-sided tape for this kind of job but I may just treat myself to a roll and see what it advantages are.
 

Sporky McGuffin

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Mostly it's that it peels straight back off and has incredible grip strength.

I use it for template routing (sticking the template to the timber if that's not obvious), and a lot on the CNC machine for things where I want to machine the top surface; I'll usually have a couple of low-profile clamps to stop the workpiece moving sideways, but the tape will keep it in place. Biggest problem is usually getting the workpiece back off the CNC table if I've used too much tape. You do need to be a bit careful with fragile timbers as it's so sticky; I quite often stick it to my hand first to reduce the adhesion.
 
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