A starter pin keeps fingers safe
The toughest part of freehand routing is easing the workpiece against the bit. To help you guide parts safely, make a starter pin from a hardwood, brass, or aluminum rod, and securely mount it to the table about 2" from the bit. Brace the workpiece against the starter pin; then slowly rotate it into the bit and bearing. Grip the workpiece close to the pin, and use the above technique for small parts.