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Wipe Out Chip-Out

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Router Know-How

Router Know-How

Router know-how

The best way to avoid chip-out when routing an edge profile is to make several shallow cuts, rather than cutting the finished shape in one massive, wood-chewing pass. If you're working on the end grain of a solid board or a rail-and-stile assembly, which also requires you to handle some end grain, clamp a backer board alongside the end grain, as in Photo C.

Or, rout the edges that include end grain first, then do the ones that are all edge grain. That way, if you knock some slivers loose while pushing across the end grain, you'll clean up that spot with the edge-grain pass.

If your workpiece displays a tendency to splinter when you begin routing an edge profile, it's time for climb-cutting. This can be a tricky operation, so exercise extra caution. Here's how it works.


Typically, you rout an edge profile by pushing the router forward with the workpiece to your left. Because the bit spins clockwise, this action pushes the cutting edge into the wood. To climb-cut, keep the workpiece at your left, but start the router at the far end of the cut and pull it toward you, as in Photo D. Now the bit's cutting action pulls the grain down, instead of lifting it up, and that reduces the likelihood of chip-out.

The router thrusts toward you when you climb-cut, so clamp the workpiece securely, take a balanced stance, grip the router firmly with both hands, and make light cuts. Remove no more than 1/8" of stock per pass when using small bits and only about 1/16" with larger ones. Don't climb-cut with bits over 2" in diameter, which create a tremendous amount of torque. Don't make climb cuts on the router table, either, where the workpiece is likely to shoot out of your grasp.

Continued on page 3:  Jointer Tricks & Basic Baseplates


Comments (4)
dhuff49 wrote:

Basic baseplates: "You can't guide the saw by eye with this baseplate attached, so you'll have to rely on edge guides. Or, you can make the baseplate with clear Plexiglas or polycarbonate plastic." I used 1/4" hardboard, made the baseplate then drilled two 1/4" holes on the leading end, filed out the figure 8 shape so I have a 1/4"x1/2" oval slot. This way I can see the line.

5/8/2014 10:27:40 AM Report Abuse
jayseagull wrote:

The masking tape does minimize the chipping. However, if you have a good straight-edge, scoring the cut-line with a utility knife will all but eliminate the chances of chipping.

8/20/2010 07:47:55 AM Report Abuse
rtl71 wrote:

I also use 1 1/2" masking tape to not only cross cut but cuts with the grain. Two minutes of preparation saves a lot of grief later...

8/19/2010 12:07:57 PM Report Abuse
rudemeister44 wrote:

I use masking tape to minimize chip-out when cutting with my circular saw. Also makes the cutting line easier to see! Easy to pull off when cut is done.

8/19/2010 10:33:09 AM Report Abuse

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