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4 tips for safer routing

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Tip 3: Start with a starting pin

Tip 3: Start with a starting pin

Although you can't typically use a fence when routing irregular shapes on a router table, you still need a way to control the workpiece as you begin your cut. So install a removable starting pin in your router table -- the closer to the bit the better -- and use it as a fulcrum to ease the workpiece against the whirling cutter, as shown at right. After making contact with the bit's guide bearing, you no longer need to brace against the starting pin.

You can make your own pin by cutting the head off a bolt and threading the shaft into a hole tapped into your router table or insert. Or clamp a pointed piece of scrap to your router table to act as a pivot point to start the cut.

Continued on page 5:  Tip 4: Give small pieces big attention


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