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4 tips for safer routing

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Tip 4: Give small pieces big attention

Tip 4: Give small pieces big attention

No matter what you're routing, you need to maintain a firm hold on the workpiece while keeping your fingers in the clear. That proves especially difficult, though, with tiny pieces. For safer, cleaner cuts, follow these three steps:

First, always use a router table with the smallest reducer ring that fits the bit.
Second, close up the bit opening in the fence as much as possible or create a zero-clearance sacrificial fence from scrap stock or MDF, as shown at right.
Finally, keep a good hold on the workpiece by locking it into a handscrew clamp, bottom photo. It grips small, irregular shapes; it keeps your hands at a safe distance; and its wooden jaws won't cause damage if they contact the router bit.


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