Monday, May 21, 2007

Routing--Stage Two

Here is a better picture to illustrate how I'm using the router:

You can see the cutting bit and how there's a little metal ring at the top that rests up against the template so that it follows it rather than just cutting all get-out out of everything, which it will do when given a chance. If the router was a member of the animal kingdom, it would most likely be part of the weasel family. Safety first:

Seriously, this thing spits out sawdust and wood chips like nobody's business--somewhat near the bottom of the list of things you'd want to get in your lungs and eyes. I really need to get some safety gear that looks more bad-assed. I just look like another geek in a flannel shirt in that picture.

At this point, it is just more of the same from the last time I routed. You take multiple passes around the template shaving off more and more each time. I did a little too much this time and it cased some problems, not the least of which was that it made the router harder to control. Next time, I will stick to taking of a quarter of an inch at once, maybe even less until I get a better hang of it. My router bit wasn't long enough to get the whole thing, so eventually I had to take the template off to get the last quarter inch or so. (I used the part of the body I'd already cut out as a template for the rest of it.) It made me a bit nervous not to have the template on but I came through OK. Once I had the whole thing shaped I used a roundover bit in my router to smooth the harsh edges:

As you can see, there's a curved cutting edge and then a little bearing on the end. The bearing guides it along the edge of the wood. I just got it lined up and let it rip around the edges. It wanted to jump around but through strength and vigilance I kept it under control. This part was significantly easier than the rest of the routing, let me tell you.

Ultimately, I don't think I did half bad:

Definitely some tear-outs but nothing that bad. Next time, I will leave an extra sixteenth of any inch to work w/ like someone who's not a dumbass. This time, unfortunately, I'm gonna have to use some wood filler to fix the tear-outs. I'll probably darken the stain I'm using to hide it a bit. Besides, I think I'll kinda like it that way.

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